Archive for October, 2007

News and Analysis (10/8/07)

Monday, October 8th, 2007

Iraqi political leaders now see national reconciliation not as goal, but as end result of more limited and efficient government run by the best people for the job, not political and sectarian cronyism:

Play written by local rights activist lampooning state officials for distorting so-called shari’a law to steal public funds is censored:

Seeking to impose its version of Islamic orthodoxy, the hardline Indonesian Ulema Council prods local police into conducting a raid on a tiny local heterodox movement, prompting criticism from civil society and government rights organizations:

Increasing grassroots influence of American Muslims grows as more school districts in the New Jersey/New York area close for Eid holidays:

New York University international relations professor Tony Judt slams “liberal hawks” for supporting the Iraq war by falsely arguing that the United States had the moral high ground to invade:

News and Analysis (10/6-7/07)

Sunday, October 7th, 2007

As a New York Times editorial asserts that banning torture and reviving the rule of law in Guantánamo Bay would not harm American lives, a federal judge reinstates 16 lawsuits that allow 40 detainees to challenge the legality of their imprisonment:

Some members of Congress seek to enhance weak oversight mechanisms of the Protect America Act, however debates over the possibility of immunity for telecoms allegedly complicit in government spying and whether umbrella or individualized warrants should be used when an American citizen’s communications are monitored:

Majorities in Muslim countries seek limited government, want democracy in their countries and see free trade as mostly beneficial to their country:

Egyptian government releases 10 prominent Brotherhood officials, including reformist leader Essam El-Arian:

Musharraf wins sham election in Pakistan, but must keep his full victory celebration on hold until hearing back from the Supreme Court’s ruling on whether or not his presidential bid was legal in the first place:

“For those who haven’t paid attention to what al-Qaeda‘s leadership has been saying, anthologies like this one are instructive because the contents, on the whole, place so little emphasis on explicitly Islamic themes.”–Steve Simon, Library of Congress, reviewing Raymond Ibrahim’s Bin Ladin/al-Zawahiri anthology:

News and Analysis (10/5/07)

Friday, October 5th, 2007

After an expose by New York Times revealed secret endorsement of torture techniques, battles in Congress erupt over the treatment of terrorism suspects and whether Congress has been properly informed of White House legal policies:

In an odd attempt to smear Turkey’s mildly Islamist AKP-led government, fundamentalist secular writer attempts to portray them as “Zionists” and conjures up a series of wild theories patterned on the anti-Jewish “Protocols of the Elders of Zion”:

Alan Johnston, famous BBC reporter formerly held captive in Gaza for several months, adds his voice to the growing chorus of voices calling for the right to a fair trial for detained-but-not-formally-charged Al-Jazeera reporter Sami Al-Hajj:

Royal decree allocates $2 billion to bring greater transparency, accountability and other institutional safeguards for the individual, including the establishment of a supreme court, appellate courts, general courts and other specialized commercial courts:

Musharraf approves deal to grant total legal amnesty to former PM Bhutto, relieving some pressure from the general as Bhutto tells her party not to resign from local and national legislatures, but the final test comes from the Supreme Court weighing on whether or not Musharraf can run for office as head of Army:

News and Analysis (10/4/07)

Thursday, October 4th, 2007

The latest details of the Justice Department’s complicity of sanctioning torture reveal secret re-endorsement of brutal interrogation tactics again in 2005 under AG Gonzales after effectively banning it under acting AG Jack Goldsmith in 2004:

While three Anglican bishops go public with a private letter sent to PM Gordon Brown urging him to put pressure on Israel to stop the “segregation wall” and its economic damage against Palestinians, Israel and the Palestinian Authority will start drafting their positions on key issues, but without Hamas’ involvement: 

Republicans use infamous smear job against local Muslim leader Esam Omeish for partisan purpose of scoring points with voters in the upcoming state elections: 

Middle Eastern and Muslim Hollywood actors are faced with a tough choice between play the role of a terrorist or having no job at all, while a film contest begins for the best short movie that tells of Muslim Americans’ experiences: 

News and Analysis (10/3/07)

Wednesday, October 3rd, 2007

As some members of Congress seek to unravel the mystery shrouding invasive NSA and FBI programs by pressing telecoms to disclose more information about their collusion with the government, a former high-level Justice Department official testified that the White House’s secrecy surrounding the NSA wiretapping was so tight that they kept the Attorney General and the NSA’s general counsel “partly in the dark”:

Indonesian court upholds legal restrictions on polygyny, citing the need to treat wives fairly and asserting that these regulations were not against national law or the tenets of Islam:

As an assassination attempt against the Polish ambassador to Iraq kills 2 and wounds 17 others, including the ambassador himself, UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown announces the withdrawal of 500 more British troops:

With Musharraf’s main interest in trying to maintain the façade of legitimacy in lieu of the upcoming election, his focus has shifted away from fighting the Taliban, allowing them to continue extending their reach into Pakistan, while opposition leader Benazir Bhutto claims that power sharing talks with the Musharraf have stalled and denies claims that corruption charges against her had been dropped:

News and Analysis (10/2/07)

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2007

According to the latest Washington Post-ABC News poll, at least 69% of Americans want some sort of cut in the Iraq war funding:

Although the US has tried several different carrot-and-stick approaches to weakening the rebels in Iraq, several Sunni nationalist and Islamist armed groups have united in order to prevent fragmentation in anticipation of a post-occupation Iraq:

Indonesian interfaith organization composed of Muslims, Christians and Buddhists slams Myanmar military dictatorship for its violent repression and insists on the use of peaceful dialogue between opposition and government groups:

In spite of criticism from some secular Muslim groups, TV series about Canadian Muslims is met with very warm reception among leaders of Canada’s practicing organizations and is slated to be aired in the Middle East, Turkey and the UK:

Musharraf publicly declares his successor to head the Army, but has not officially appointed him yet, raising suspicions among opposition leaders that the president will break his promise to step down as Army leader if re-elected, meanwhile Benazir Bhutto reaches a deal with the government that grants her immunity from prosecution over corruption charges and over 80 members of parliament resign protesting Musharraf’s election bid:

News and Analysis (10/1/07)

Monday, October 1st, 2007

After effectively crushing Egypt’s weak secular opposition, the government seeks to contain the powerful Muslim Brotherhood through a series of whimsical arrests and military tribunals:

Reviewer Diane Wertz says the new comedy-drama series focusing on a Muslim teenager’s sojourn with an American family “is too sharp in too many ways” to deserve the quick cancellation that has met so many other television shows about high school life:

Electronic privacy watchdog alleges that telecoms cooperating with illegal NSA wiretapping are lobbying for amnesty from lawsuits and calls such a move “effectively surrender[ing] the rule of law”:

In a “candid conversation” with some Democratic members of Congress, the Secretary of State admits of the strain of fighting on two fronts with the current resources:

Pakistan continues its tumultuous path toward the path towards the Oct. 6 presidential elections as three high-ranking police officials are sacked for yesterday’s heavy-handed debacle against protesters while Musharraf will continue to face more petitions disputing his eligibility to run for president while acting as head of the Army: