Archive for August, 2007

News and Analysis (8/31/07)

Friday, August 31st, 2007

DoJ Inspector General Glenn Fine adds allegations political favoritism in hiring practices and the NSA wiretapping to several “ongoing investigations” including “the National Security Agency’s Terrorist Surveillance Program, the FBI’s use of national security letters, and Gonzales’s characterizations of his conversation with an aide before a House hearing”:

Although disillusioned with all other political parties many Moroccans like the moderate Justice and Development Party for its realistic outlook and drive for clean government and separation of powers:

Signs of sectarianism run deep with two of Iraq’s most important institutions—the police and the parliament:

Kenya’s Muslim civil society mobilizes to protest at the detention and torture of fellow Muslims by local authorities, saying local law enforcement was urged to do so by the United States government:

Seeking to push greater adherence to the rule of law and transparent government, Indonesian activists call on the government to institute “radical reform” of national intelligence agencies to prevent extra-judicial killings and suppression of information:

News and Analysis (8/30/07)

Thursday, August 30th, 2007

If the Bush’s administration’s success for detaining and convicting actual terrorists could be compared to a baseball hitter, it “could not qualify even for a tryout for the minor leagues. The federal government has had far more strikeouts than people realize when it comes to terrorist suspects.”–James Bovard, author of “Attention Deficit Democracy”

Draft of government watchdog report finds that three out of the eighteen congressionally mandated benchmarks have not been met:

“Within the Muslim world … the state is almost always the primary agent responsible for the authoritative interpretation of tradition. As a result, Islamic thought has lost a certain vitality… Thus it is not that the so-called Muslim mind is naturally resistant to critical thinking, but rather that analysis and judgment have too often been the exclusive prerogative of political authorities.” – Jocelyn Cesari, Harvard Professor of Islamic Studies

After bloody intra-sect fighting in the Shi’a holy Karbala, Moqatada Al-Sadr suspends his organization’s military operations for the next six months:

Sikhs and Muslims speak out against new Federal policy requiring individuals wearing any type of head covering to be possibly subjected to further screening:

A look into the FBI’s phone wiretapping program and the high privacy, security and financial costs it imposes:

Power-sharing deal between Musharraf and Bhutto leads the former to give up his post as Army Chief and allows the latter to return to Pakistan after eight years of exile:

News and Analysis (8/29/07)

Wednesday, August 29th, 2007

The third time is a charm: After two other run-off votes, the AK Party finally gets Gul into the Presidency and is ready to approve a pro-EU reform cabinet, but lingering concerns from secular parties and the military remain:

Negotiations between Musharraf and Bhutto increasingly push Musharraf to abandon his role as Army Chief in order to maintain his presidential post:

More rhetorical saber rattling between Washington and Tehran as Bush uses particularly muscular language over alleged military interference in Iraq while Ahmedinejad thumbs his nose at American difficulties in Iraq:

Columbia University journalism professor argues that the controversy over former NYC school principal Debbie Almontaser overlooks a long record of public service and interfaith work, particularly with Jewish organizations:

News and Analysis (8/28/07)

Tuesday, August 28th, 2007

Driven by faith and neighborhood troubles, Muslim Americans organize faith-based crime patrol and show almost immediate results:

Army General issues fresh veiled threat toward AK party day before expected victory by Abdullah Gul:

Although the NSA still has its Big Brother program running, the Department of Defense and Department of Homeland Security have finally decided to axe their separate intrusive initiatives:

Iranian government arrests 11,000 in ethnic Arab-majority province on charges of terrorism and “immorality”:

News and Analysis (8/27/07)

Monday, August 27th, 2007

Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, a long-time supported Big Brother NSA wiretapping and marred by allegations of political favoritism over respect for the rule of law, resigns:

Columnist Jackson Diehl notes that the expected election of Abdullah Gul in Turkey “looks like a victory for democracy as well as for the principle that a Muslim political party can be moderate and liberal:”

Chairman of Indonesia’s second largest Muslim organization discusses his visit to southern Thailand’s Muslim communities as well as issues of polygamy, jihad and shari’a in the political system:

Nazi-apologist declares plan to prevent mosque construction under the guise of incorporating “’religious and cultural tradition’ when dealing with construction requests”:

Motivated by the ethics of their faith and culture, Indonesian Muslim women partnered with anti-graft body and plan to mobilize others against corruption:

Officials from Bhutto and Musharraf’s party to salvage earlier failed negotiations over a possible power-sharing arrangement:

News and Analysis (8/25-26/07)

Sunday, August 26th, 2007

One Million Signature Campaign for women’s rights in Iran is another example of where American interventionism works against the efforts of local civil society activists:

Events in Sudan are taking a dramatic turn as political saber rattling over Darfur leads to the expulsion of Canadian and European diplomats on one hand and accusations of arms violations by Amnesty International on the other…

Interview with Pakistani opposition leader Benazir Bhutto provides insight into the behind-the-scenes political strategies and negotiations with Musharraf and other opposition parties:

The case of two men convicted of plot to buy shoulder fired missiles could be used as platform to challenge the legality of the NSA wiretapping program:

Harvard law professor Noah Feldman finds that religion in public schools is legally permissible so long as certain policies are “dual purpose”—both secular and religious:

News and Analysis (8/24/07)

Friday, August 24th, 2007

Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell admits telecom cooperation in NSA warrentless wiretaps, boosting cases against the program’s legality:

Muslims flex their political muscles at civic event and local politicians respond:

As reports emerge that the ‘surge’–which is supposed to include protection for Iraqi communities–has led to more Iraqis fleeing the country, some analysts see the lack of evidence supporting charges of Iranian militancy in Iraq (and elsewhere) as indications that the charges are politically expedient means for hardliners in Washington to deflect criticism on Iraq and continue to push for “regime change” in Iran:

More heavy-handedness from Hamas as unruly Fatah demonstration also leads to unnecessary physical confrontation with international journalists:

Man who fled Iraq from Saddam’s torture is allowed to stay in the United States after being arrested based on racial profiling and almost deported:

Indonesia President lashes out at plans for further decentralization, saying such plans have led to gross mismanagement, however, the speaker of parliament says that the central government doesn’t allow local autonomy to work:

“The state and religious groups cannot be tempted to force one particular conception of God on others by any sort of compulsion…” – Muhamad Ali, Indonesian academic:

News and Analysis (8/23/07)

Thursday, August 23rd, 2007

Libya’s heir-apparant seeks decentralization and growth civil society as part of plan for  political reform tht suggests democracy a a market economy, but he dare not cross some “red lines” as long as his father remains “The Leader:”

Big Brother seeks to probe charity groups working abroad, while shrouding its findings in secrecy and focusing on organizations working the West Bank and Gaza:

Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell claims “100 or less” Americans are being targeted for secret court-approved wiretaps, but how many Americans of so-called “foreign intelligence value” are being monitor without a court-approved warrant?

In latest legal blow to Musharraf, Pakistan’s Supreme Court rules that exiled former PM Nawaz Sharif may return to Pakistan:

Detained Al-Jazeera reporter Sami Al-Hajj’s mental and physical health is deteriorating due to a hunger strike protesting his incarceration at Guantanamo:

News and Analysis (8/22/07)

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2007

After months of detention and interrogations, the Iranian government finally releases Haleh Esfandiari on bail from the Evin Prison:

Survey of 100 top foreign policy and security experts paints a bleak picture of that state of American power and national security–84% say the U.S. is “losing the war” and over 90% say the world “is growing more dangerous for Americans:”

Political pragmatism and the desire to put forth a responsible domestic and international image motivates Hamas to keep its military actions on a low flame in the face of Israeli attempts to politically isolate the organization and economically strangle it:

“At its best, the history of Islamic Spain is a model for interfaith cooperation that inspires those who seek an easier relationship among the three Abrahamic faiths. At its worst, it’s a warning of what can occur when political and religious leaders divide the world. It reminds us what really happens when civilizations clash.” – Alex Kronemer, religion documentary producer

Universities act as hotbed of rising discontent over creeping authoritarianism and rising costs of living in Bangladesh:

Donning the facing veil for some has led to limited professional growth, while others have not been barred:

News and Analysis (8/21/07)

Tuesday, August 21st, 2007

Civil society activist Saad Eddin Ibrahim marks the fourth anniversary of the disappearance of a prominent Egyptian journalist by describing the rising levels of State repression and Mubarak’s use of Islamophobia to ensure Western support for his tyranny:

British mosques begin teaching course that mixes citizenship with faith:

The CS Monitor’s Ilene Prusher visits the West Bank and finds that Israel, motivated by political pragmatism, has decided to loosen some of its economic strangulation on the West Bank, while the BBC’s Jane Corbin visits and sees despite Hamas’ restoration of law and order, the devastating effects of Israel’s continued chokehold over Gaza:

Seeing the use of torture in interrogations as “immoral, psychologically damaging and counterproductive” the American Psychological Association requires its members to report such abuse and strip people of membership if engaged in such activities:

Former terrorism prosecutor Kelly Anne Moore debunks the notion that a separate legal system for terrorists is needed, arguing that the civilian criminal courts have a “proven track record of dealing with complex prosecutions” and that the rule of law is the best antidote to terrorism:

Falling a few votes shy of the two-thirds needed in the first round of elections, Abdullah Gul heads to the second round, but is unlikely to capture the presidency until the third round of voting: