Archive for September, 2008

News and Analysis (9/20/08 – 9/21/08)

Sunday, September 21st, 2008

More secular and more efficient, focused on fighting foreigners, the Taliban “forces operate in virtually every province and control many districts in areas ringing the capital:”

Devastating terrorist attack in Islamabad increases pressure on Pakistani government…

… but Pakistan’s president vows to protect Pakistani sovereignty while rooting out terrorism:

“Originality is scarce” as advertisers cash in during holy month of Ramadan:

Some Muslim first ladies are returning to the role model provided by Hazrat Aisha:

Iranian President and “Supreme Leader” differ on whether Israeli government or people are to blame for the plight of the Palestinians:

Perhaps the most daunting task of rebuilding Iraq, Humoud Yakobi “is charged with attracting foreign visitors to his beleaguered country”:

Approval to construct a mosque in Cologne spurs anti-Islamic sentiment:

News and Analysis (9/19/08)

Friday, September 19th, 2008

A man called the district governor for help, thinking the Nato forces raiding his house were Taliban attackers; Karzai calls his friend’s death “a misunderstanding”:

Citing the killing of an Iraqi in the market, Maliki refuses immunity for US army and contractors, threatening the extension the U.S. intervention beyond the year end:

Secularists and conservative clerics agree that al-Lihedan’s violent language goes too far, but another Saudi cleric says “Mickey Mouse should be killed” …

.. but Oprah provides medium for discussing local taboos while avoiding a “subversive” nature:

Workers misunderstand Muslim intentions during Ramadan:

Internet provides forum for debate between secularists and Islamists:

News and Analysis (9/18/08)

Thursday, September 18th, 2008

US promise “to respect Pakistan’s sovereignty” belied by continuing attacks within Pakistani borders:

Nato and U.S. forces are responsible for 45% of civilian casualties:

Recognizing that trade barriers hurt both sides, Ahmadinejad says, “Those who say we want to put sanctions … are putting sanctions on themselves”

In Egypt, the hijab becomes an symbol of fashion:

NGOs struggle to pick up the slack after the government abandons madrassah reform:

News and Analysis (9/17/08)

Wednesday, September 17th, 2008

Detained since his mother’s capture in July, Aafia Siddiqui’s son, an American citizen, is released:

Revenge motives of women suicide bombers are downplayed by accusations they are manipulated by “religion, money and empty promises”:

Religion and market in Ningxia, site of the third annual International Halal Food and Muslim Commodities Trade Fair:

“The organization of Islamic Jihad in Yemen” claims responsibility for suicide attack:

Adm Mullen meets with army General Ashfaq Kayani and Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani in an attempt to defuse tension:

News and Analysis (9/16/08)

Tuesday, September 16th, 2008

Zoning laws and signs of bigotry:

Denied by both the Pakistani and US Military, warning shots supposedly fired at US military in a raid across the Pakistani border:

Sharia courts given power to rule in Muslim civil cases:

Prime Minister consolidates power and gains independence from US control:

Iran remains reticent about nuclear research despite pressure from IAEA:

Anwar Ibrahim says he would prefer negotiating a transition to a new government over a show of force:

News and Analysis (9/15/08)

Monday, September 15th, 2008

Despite a failure to secure any convictions in the previous trial, prosecutors begin another trial against the Holy Land Foundation, accused of distributing charity to Palestinian relief groups run by Hamas:

Tribesmen “representing half a million people vowed to switch sides … if Washington does not stop cross-border attacks:”

Highly popular, Barbie dolls are described as “destructive culturally and a social danger” by Iranian prosecutor:

Donor fears that government officials will pocket donations lead to tragedy as Muslims distribute Zakat (obligatory charity) during Ramadan:

Proposed security aid package strongly indicates Israeli intention to attack Iran:

Lieutenant-General Ray Odierno assumes control of Iraqi operations on Tuesday, hoping to further improve the security and reduce the number of US forces:

News and Analysis (9/13/08 – 9/14/08)

Sunday, September 14th, 2008

The man who argued for punishing suspected drug pushers without even charging them is now in the spotlight for a similarly contemptuous attitude towards Muslims:

Anwar Ibrahim “one of the leading proponents of the idea that Islam and liberal democracy are complementary”, claims to have enough votes to gain control of Malaysia’s government:

Once considered relatively safe, violence increases in Lowgar providence:

Israeli troops claim non-lethal techniques were used except for “one live bullet” which took the life of a Palestinian teenager:

Insurgents attack aimed at TV crew dedicated to helping Iraqis during Ramadan:

Khaled Meshaal supports “reconciliation among Palestinians provided there was no external pressure and all issues were discussed”:

A group calling itself “Indian Mujahideen” takes responsibility for deadly blast, further damaging relations and prospects for peace:

News and Analysis (9/12/2008)

Friday, September 12th, 2008

Muslim workers leave factory after being denied a food break at sunset:

Divisions grow as Iraq plans to integrate the Sunni paramilitary army into national army:

Violent tactics are utilized as foreign pressure urges Egypt to stop border-crossing refugees:

Attacks continue in spite of General Kayani’s assertion the Pakistani border will be “defended at all cost”:

Colonial-era security law invoked to detain political critic:

In the spirit of charity, soup kitchen offers community feel during Ramadan:

News and Analysis (9/11/2008)

Thursday, September 11th, 2008

Senior officials confirm suspicions of US raids in Pakistan and promises the US will inform Pakistani government of future raids, but won’t seek permission…

… but Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani says the “sovereignty and territorial integrity of the country will be defended at all cost and no external force is allowed to conduct operations inside Pakistan”:

Former Guantanamo detainee travels to Geneva, speaking about the inhumane conditions and demanding the closing of the illegal prison:

Interim military-government releases former prime minister over fear that a political boycott could discredit December elections:

Daughters of Iraq recruit aiding the searching of Muslim women at security checkpoints:

An Israeli human rights group estimates least 1,126 acres has been “unofficially annexed,” half of which is privately owned by Palestinians:

Fears arise as Shi’ite led government assumes control over Sahwas (Sunni Arab neighborhood patrols):

Designer argues that drabness among Muslim clothing is a recent innovation:

Allah Reclaims W.D. Mohammed

Wednesday, September 10th, 2008

“From Him we come and to Him we return.”

Yesterday a beloved and respected (revered, actually) member of the Minaret of Freedom Institute’s board of advisers passed away. Warith Deen Mohammed is best known for bringing the Nation of Islam, a cult co-founded by his father, Elijah Muhammad, into mainstream Islam. He did much more than that. To me, he was a visionary of the first magnitude who, in his humble manner provided a brilliant example to the Muslims of every race and national origin.

Warith Deen’s influence was all the more remarkable because he was not a charismatic speaker. A product of the school system founded by his mother, Sr. Clara Muhammad, he was self-taught in the Islamic sciences. With a characteristic self-effacement, he rejected the title of scholar, but to me he was a paragon in the pursuit of ijithad (original critical thinking), not only for the keenness of his intellect and the meticulousness of his research, but the humility of his presentation.

The obituaries in the mainstream press take note of such accomplishments as the fact that he was “the first imam to deliver the prayer and invocation on the floor of the U.S. Senate.” This was a proud accomplishment for all American Muslims, but for me personally, Imam Mohammed was the one who articulated the importance of supplementing liberty, a necessary element in the human enterprise, with vision, the role religion plays in our lives. “Freedom without vision,” I recall him saying in a speech at Howard University, “is destruction.” Every human being has the God-given right to choose his path, but only one with vision will avoid the path to Hell.

Although W. Deen Muhammed never used the word libertarian to describe his political position, his commitment to liberty was beyond question. His understanding of the corrupting influence of power was strong and his moral integrity matched it. When his father died he inherited a powerful organization that at one time had been the biggest importer of fish to the United States. It preached communal self-help, but impeded its implementation by its own hierarchical structure. Rather than wait for the power he inherited to corrupt him into believing he could reform such a behemoth, he dismantled it, contenting himself to be the spiritual leader of the movement, and urging his followers to practice their communal self-help by running their own mosques and businesses.

W.D. Mohammed’s practical commitment to entrepreneurship was matched by a sound understanding of the principles of the free market as well. When Adam Meyerson was editor-in-chief of Heritage’s magazine, Policy Review, he told me that Heritage was so impressed by Mohammed that they would have been proud to have him on their board of directors. It speaks well of the Heritage Foundation that they would recognize that. We were proud to have him on our board of advisers and we miss him already. We are grateful to God for giving us the benefit of his support during our first 15 years of existence.

Imad-ad-Dean Ahmad
Minaret of Freedom Institute

[A copy of W.D. Mohammed’s address to the Minaret of Freedom Institute’s fourth annual dinner is available on the Minaret of Freedom Institute website.]