Archive for July, 2007

News and Analysis (7/23/07)

Monday, July 23rd, 2007

Pakistan goes from one extreme, letting Taliban supporters freely set themselves up in the Red Mosque, to another, having the authoritarian state appoint the mosque’s new Imam:

Recent bullish trends in Pakistan’s stock market have more to with the military’s manipulation of prices to raise funds for the coming election rather than investment climate or market forces:

Daily Star op-ed sees Turkey’s democratic evolution an example Arab states should repeat, cites pragmatic party policies and economic incentives as major driving forces:

Although Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudry has been reinstated to his job, citing history, some analysts see this latest event not as a restoration of democracy, but the political status quo:

Washington Post hosts a series of Muslim voices discussing issues of just war, religious freedom, and women’s rights:

News and Analysis (7/21-22/07)

Sunday, July 22nd, 2007

“The controversy which we witnessed about secularism versus Islam has not materialized”—Sami Kohen, a columnist for liberal daily Milliyet; AKP will be able to form a solo government, but will need cooperation from other parties to pass constitutional amendments:

As Iraqi parliamentarians protest criticism of their upcoming summer break on the grounds that it is constitutionally mandated, insurgents send a chilling message to Ayatollah Sistani…

… and Ambassador Crocker expresses concern that Iraqi allies of the U.S. are ready to withdraw whether the U.S. does or not …

… and the Bush administration continues to seek to impose “top-down” nationalism  (though we have insisted since the Iraq incursion was first announced the only reasonable hope for a post-invasion Iraq lies in federalism and a fair privatization of the oil industry are the only hopes for Iraqi reform):

The head of the Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding explains the basics of Islam:

News and Analysis (7/20/07)

Friday, July 20th, 2007

Amid the fight between religious extremism and military dictatorship, chalk one up for democracy and the rule of law:

Despite Russian opposition,

Iraqis aren’t waiting to withdraw…

… but the Bush administration has been insisting that Congress wait until September to judge whether the surge has worked. Would you believe November?

Politically motivated war makes for strange bedfellows:

Iran may allow inspectors to takes inside photos to prove the peaceful purpose of the Natanz plant:

News and Analysis (7/19/07)

Thursday, July 19th, 2007

Israeli strategy: destroy Gaza trade and turn the population into welfare dependents:

Sadr uses civil society to provide services the Iraqi government can’t:

As a marine is convicted of kidnapping and conspiracy to commit murder in Iraq …

… another case emerges …

… while an award-winning filmmaker shows the war from the perspective of the American troops:

Human rights groups estimate that 400 Pakistanis have “disappeared” under Musharrif’s rule, and the judge who tried to take up the cases has been suspended:

Don’t impose your religion on others is the key:

News and Analysis (7/18/07)

Wednesday, July 18th, 2007

In latest twist of Zionist-Fatah symbiosis, Israel’s arrest of half of the Hamas parliamentarians gives Abbas a loophole to call for new elections:

Failure of Bush strategy provides an excuse for “more aggressive measures inside of Pakistan:”

In the run-up to Sundays’ parliamentary elections, the ruling Islamic-leaning party in Turkey is criticized for being too pro-American:

The vast majority of Pakistani Muslims are caught in the middle between the military dictator and the militant extremists:

They said he was killed last October, and again last May. Now the U.S. says it has captured the senior Iraqi official of al-Qaida operations and that his organization is just a front headed by a fictitious leader whose voice is played by an Egyptian actor:

“Nearly six years after the Sept. 11 attacks, the hundreds of billions of dollars and thousands of lives expended in the name of the war on terror … the National Intelligence Estimate suggests, the threat of terrorist violence against the United States is growing worse, fueled by the Iraq war and spreading Islamic extremism:”

News and Analysis (7/17/07)

Tuesday, July 17th, 2007

Shooting the messenger—a demonstration of how certain U.S. allies impede America’s ability to get accurate information in the fight against our avowed enemies:

·        Afghan Governor Fired After Comments (ABC News / AP)

The hopelessness of the Bush plan for revived peace talks is underscored by the emphatic statement of a spokeswoman for Israeli Prime Minister Olmert that Israel will not “discuss at this stage the three core issues of borders, refugees and Jerusalem:”

·        Israel Rebuffs Call for Talks on Core Issues (LA Times)

The Iraqi government has agreed to rebuild the Samarra shrine, the bombing of which triggered sectarian violence, so

·        Al-Sadr Bloc Ends Boycott of Parliament (ABC News / AP)

·        Radical Shiite Cleric’s Bloc Returns to Parliament (NY Times)

From an Israeli-style interrogation room to the “University of Evin,” a Frenchman released from Iranian prisons provides a rare peek at the Iranian legal system:

·        Ex-prisoner recalls Iran Ordeal (LA Times)

British website tries to prevent construction of privately funded mosque:

·        No 10 Site in Mosque Petition Row (BBC)

Independent candidate for Turkish parliament killed by gunfire after leaving TV studio, while Prime Minister Erdogan says he will quit politics if his party doesn’t win enough seats to form it government alone.

·        Turkish Poll Candidate Shot Dead (BBC)

With no other results from the first round of talks, a second round is better than nothing:

·        Iraq Says New Round of Iran-U.S. Talks Soon (Reuters)

News and Analysis (7/16/07)

Monday, July 16th, 2007

Bush offers $195 million in taxpayer money to buy peace …

·        Bush Urges Mid-East Peace Talks (BBC)

… but the pattern he would follow is one of failure:

·        U.S. Bet on Abbas For Mideast Peace Meets Skepticism: Intelligence Reports Cast Doubt on Strength While Warning of Tenacity of Rival Hamas (Washington Post)

Israel will release Fatah militants while Gaza farm produce rots …

·        250 Palestinian Prisoners to Be Freed (NY Times / AP)

… the militants promise to abandon violence against Israel, but no word about violence against other Palestinians:

·        Fatah Militants Accept Israeli Clemency Deal (LA Times)

Speculation mounts that Musharraf will declare a state of emergency:

·        Pakistan Militants Scrap Cease-fire (LA Times)

·        Pakistan Truce Appears Defunct: Insurgents Strike Police, Troops; At Least 44 Die (Washington Post)

Husband of nonviolence advocate says: “Only a paranoid would suggest this amounts to criminal activity:”

·        Iran Airs Images of 2 Imprisoned Americans (Washington Post)

News and Analysis (7/14-15/07)

Sunday, July 15th, 2007

Those who would conquer seek to divide; liberation requires unity:

· Competing Visions for Palestinians: While the Israelis and US want to isolate Hamas, some Arab states see need for Palestinian unity (Christian Science Monitor)

Imprisoned Egyptian radicals change their tune: Have they finally read the Qur’an for meaning, or are they speaking under duress?

· Egyptian Extremist Rewriting Rationale For Armed Struggle: Jailhouse Dissent Seen as Challenge to Al-Qaeda (Washington Post)

Where do the non-Iraqi militants aiming at the American troops in Iraq come from? Iran? Syria? Guess again:

· Saudis’ Role in Iraq Insurgency Outlined (LA Times)

Ramsey Clark and a Jordanian observer for Amnesty International are barred from a case in Egypt’s crackdown on non-violent Islamist groups:

· Egypt Bars Ex – U.S. Attorney General From Islamist Trial (NY Times/ Reuters)

News and Analysis (7/13/07)

Friday, July 13th, 2007

Members of congress, latest US military action against sectarian policemen and Middle East analysts issue their respective rebuffs to Bush spin on recent Iraq report: 

State funding of Muslim schools in Scotland is a major bone of contention among political parties and Muslim groups alike: 

Confrontational regime change policies from U.S. make Ahmedinejad’s top-down reshaping of key government agencies and crackdown on internal dissent easier: 

In the aftermath of the red mosque raid, an old partnership between religious extremist groups and some elements of the Pakistani military begin to crack, religious radicals stage protests across Pakistan and the country braces itself for more internal conflict: 

News and Analysis (7/12/07)

Thursday, July 12th, 2007

In the wake of the Red Mosque battle, Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz promises no tolerance for extremism in religious schools and vows curriculum reform:

As White House is due release “mixed results” Iraq benchmark report, CIA already gave dark assessment last year, saying, Iraq government’s impotence “seems irreversible”:

Big brother couldn’t stop undercover GAO investigators from setting up a front organization to buy necessary materials for “dirty” bomb, but wants unaccountable and un-transparent powers to obtain “potentially unreliable data” for terrorism prevention:

Questions of right to practice one’s religion vs. concerns of “promoting religion” surround San Diego public school’s recent decision to accommodate Muslim students:

Inter-faith dialogue between all three Abrahamic faiths helps resolve communal and legal dispute between Boston’s local Muslim and Jewish communities: