Archive for November, 2008

News and Analysis (11/7/08)

Friday, November 7th, 2008

Obama’s selection of pro-war enthusiast Rahm Emanuel as his chief of staff grants power of presidential access to someone who once reportedly stabbed a steak knife into the table shouting “Dead! Dead! Dead!” while listing his political opponents:

In an unprecedented move, Ahmadinejad congratulates Obama, emphasizing the need for change in American foreign policy:

Extending humanitarian aid still a top priority in Iraq:

“I wanted to fight the Taliban, but in fact, I was shot by my helpers. I don’t know who is my enemy, the Taliban or those who shot at me,”

Human Rights group argues “many instances of abuse are not exposed because they have become the norm”:

Reinstating the truce that existed since June is becoming increasingly difficult:

News and Analysis (11/6/08)

Thursday, November 6th, 2008

Informant’s character in question during court examination in the prosecution of alleged Fort Dix plot:

Iranians have their doubts about Obama, noting that “Democrats … started the sanctions under President Clinton” …

… in the meantime, Livni wants the President-elect to pursue an even harder line:

In an effort to improve the relationship between Christianity and Islam:

Tensions rise in Kashmir as separatists announce plans to boycott local elections beginning November 17:

Hoping to become an ‘ambassador for peace’ between the Muslim world and the West:

Amid mutual incrimination of violations, neither Israel nor Hamas appear “interested in tearing up the fragile ceasefire”:

Dare We Hope?

Wednesday, November 5th, 2008

Even as John McCain made an impeccably gracious concession speech yesterday, voices of his supporters interrupted him with boos directed against the new President-elect. Those boos reminded you of the why McCain lost: the frightening jingoistic, racist, Islamophobic rhetoric of too many of his supporters and the trail of destruction visited upon the Republican Party’s highest ideals by the Neoconservatives who dominated the last years.

Barack Obama, too, was gracious. With that polished eloquence we have now come to expect from him he assured us that he will be the President of all the people and invited those who had opposed him to help him to craft “change” that would be acceptable to all and restore the democracy and liberty that Americans clearly desire.

I am audacious enough to hope that new policies that will restore the liberty of Americans will follow the election of the first half-black President of the United States, but I confess that I am also cautious. I am reminded of two important statements by occupants of quite different sectors of the American political spectrum: Democrat Bill Clinton’s favorite political analyst Caroll Quigley and the late Republican Sen. Barry Goldwater.

In his book Tragedy and Hope, Quigley wrote, ” The argument that the two parties should represent opposed ideals and policies, one, perhaps, of the Right and the other of the Left, is a foolish idea acceptable only to the doctrinaire and academic thinkers. Instead, the two parties should be almost identical, so that the American people can ‘throw the rascals out’ at any election without leading to any profound or extreme shifts in policy.”

Is this what has happened (yet again)? Muslims are well aware that the President-Elect did nothing as a Senator to cut funding for the illegal war in Iraq and that as President he has promised to keep troops in Iraq indefinitely and reserved the right to unilaterally attack Pakistan, and offered to disenfranchise Palestinians in a way that not even George W. Bush ever dared: to establish Jerusalem as the undivided capital of Israel.

The large Muslim turnout for Obama can only be accounted for by the professions I have heard Muslims make that he had to say such things, in order to get elected. In other words they vote for him in the hopes that he is a liar. This in turn reminds me of Sen. Goldwater’s insight in The Conscience of A Conservative regarding complaints that the problems of the nation are due to the lies of politicians: “[L]et us be honest with ourselves. Broken promises are not the major causes of our trouble. Kept promises are.”

Despite these things, I dare to hope. Obama has two real strengths that offer hope to Muslims. First, he is a highly intelligent and cosmopolitan intellectual who knows the world well enough not to be enthralled by ideologues who have nearly destroyed the American Republic. Secondly, he has a reputation for truly listening to all sides. Thus, we may hope he will hear our voice and give fair and due consideration to the arguments in favor of liberty, free markets, unfettered civil society, and meaningful religious diversity in the public square.

Imad-ad-Dean Ahmad, Ph.D.
Minaret of Freedom Institute

News and Analysis (11/5/08)

Wednesday, November 5th, 2008

How will the election of Barack Hussein Obama shape foreign policy in the Middle East:

Hamas retaliates after an Israeli air strike broke the truce agreed upon in June:

Organizers use the internet to plan a hunger strike in a “virtual” protest:

Iraqi elections in 2009 will largely determine the status of the country as the US attempts to withdraw:

U.S. once again turns to the Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, the opportunistic veteran commander who, as PM, bombed his own a capital:

At least 23 children dead in an attack on a wedding party in Kandahar:

Home Secretary requests “criminal proceedings against Americans allegedly responsible for the rendition and abuse” of a British citizen at Guantanamo:

News and Analysis (11/4/08)

Tuesday, November 4th, 2008

The looming impeachment of an Iranian cabinet member sparks acts of bribery and a fist-fight:

Despite lobbying for larger quotas, only six seats reserved for minorities:

Circumstantial evidence indicates a local Afghan police chief and another district leader aided the Taliban:

Profits from dairy farming leave many hopeful for successful agriculture in Afghanistan:

Tareq al-Hashemi, one of Iraq’s vice-presidents calls for nationwide referendum to decide the fate of the pact allowing US soldiers to remain:

Targeting more than the Muslim Brotherhood, restrictions underline the “epidemic social, economic and political illnesses of the country”

Backing off from its detente with North Korea, US officials accuse a North Korean state airline jet was carrying sophisticated technology such as ballistic missile parts:

News and Analysis (11/3/08)

Monday, November 3rd, 2008

Settlers damage Palestinian property (imposing “price tags”) in response to Israeli military and police action against them:

…Meanwhile, fears remain that settlers would “use firearms in order to halt diplomatic processes and harm political leaders”:

Information Minister Naciri prohibits magazine without specifically identifying what is offensive towards Islam:

Falconry among the favored techniques to deal with the increase in bird attacks which reportedly cost the Air Force $35 million a year:

Hoping to defuse tensions and promote interfaith relations:

Iraqi government receives increased responsibility in troubled province:

The issue of Guantanamo among the toughest for the incoming US president:

“Iranian people regard America as the Great Satan and the main instigator of wars and insecurity in the world,”

News and Analysis (11/1-2/08)

Sunday, November 2nd, 2008

Political motivations undermine the global effort to thwart terrorist financing:

Iraqis dismiss the idea a new US president will bring serious change to their lives:

Facing the prospect of habeas corpus hearings, the government begins justifying Guantanamo cases narrower grounds:

Pakistan begins arming civilians in an effort curb Taliban influence:

Spies admit to “gathering information on political party offices and monitoring the movements of party figures for this enemy”:

“With oil prices less than half what they were this summer, Iraqi and American officials are searching for new sources of money to jump-start Iraq’s economy…”

… while the British PM offers the Saudis “a say in any future new world economic order” to secure contributions to the IMF bailout reserves: