Month: February 2009

  • News and Analysis (2/27/09)

    Parties agree to the immediate release of all political prisoners, and five committees will address the issues of forming a unity government, rebuilding institutions, establishing presidential and legislative elections, security services, and reconciliation: Palestinian Factions Agree on Unity (Al Jazeera) The rebellion was motivated by the belief that the paramilitary members get second-class treatment, denied promotion […]

  • What Does Islam Teach About Apostasy?

    Andy Derkson asks: Does Islam teach and support freedom of conscience, so that if a Muslim decides to convert to another religion, he is free to do so without fear of reprisal? The case in point is the claim that apostasy is punishable by death. Non-Muslims must be excused for believing this, when so many […]

  • News and Analysis (2/26/09)

    Activists believe it amounts to ethnic cleansing, Israel claims its for tourism: Why 88 Arab Homes Received Eviction Notices (Christian Science Monitor) The first challenge to Hasina’s fragile government as border guards protest killing at least 49: Violence Breaks Out Along Bangladesh’s Frontiers (Washington Post) Ahmed Alwani argues constitution was violated as Daini’s plane was […]

  • Are Men and Women Equal in Islam?

    Andy Derksen asks: Are men and women considered equal in Islam? Absolutely men and women are considered equal in Islam. Several Qur’an verses (the ultimate authority for Muslims) emphasize this point: “And their Lord hath accepted of them, and answered them: ‘Never will I suffer to be lost the work of any of you, be […]

  • News and Analysis (2/25/09)

    The proposed 19 month withdrawal leaves a “residual force” of up to 50,000 soldiers behind: Compromise on Iraq Withdrawal Timeline Appears Near (LA Times) The Syrian “court” lacks basic elements of a fair trial like unfettered access to counsel, a systematic examination of evidence, and investigations into confession by torture: Rights Group Urges Syria To […]

  • The Ross Appointment

    Today I was interviewed by Javier Méndez Araya of El Mercurio newspaper, in Santiago, Chile, regarding the appointment of Dennis Ross to advise Secretary of State Clinton on “Gulf and Southwest Asian” (read:  Iranian) affairs. Here are my answers. 1) In your opinion, why was Ross appointed as “adviser to the secretary of state for […]

  • News and Analysis (2/24/09)

    Analysts fear the truce  will allow the Taliban to “carve out Swat as a political enclave for their influence and rule” and provide sanctuary needed to further destabilize surrounding areas: For Pakistan’s Swat Residents, Uneasy Calm (Christian Science Monitor) A strategy to cut the national deficit, stop funding the destruction (through the Israeli army) and […]

  • News and Analysis (2/23/09)

    Under an Iraqi law similar to America’s “Congressional immunity,” Mohammed Daini remains free to vote his conscience: Sunni Lawmaker Linked to 2007 Parliament Bombing, Iraq Officials Say (LA Times) “Those arming both sides in the conflict ‘will have been well aware of a pattern of repeated misuse of weapons by both parties and must therefore […]

  • News and Analysis (2/20-21/09)

    As the saga enters its 7th year, the judge denies a government motion to reconsider her decision to reexamine the 2006 Plea Negotiations in the Sami al-Arian case: Judge Agrees with Defense: 2006 Plea Negotiations Should be Revisited (TBCJP) If anything  motivated Abdallah Saleh al-Aj, it was certainly his time spent in Guantanamo: From Captive […]

  • Why No Success in the Egyptian Mediated Negotiations?

    Why no Success in the Egyptian Conducted Negotiations? Here are my answers to questions from PressTV as to the negotiations between Israel and Hamas. Q.  Why is Israel unable to achieve any viable conclusion in it’s conversation with Hamas? A. The most important of the many impediments to a viable negotiation between Israel and Hamas […]

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