Archive for June, 2009

News and Analysis (6/30/09)

Tuesday, June 30th, 2009

Former US Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Mairead Corrigan Maguire are among those taken captive:

Despite security concerns, June 30th marks a symbolic day for the sovereignty of Iraq …

…  as BP and China’s CNPC secure the lucrative contracts designed to “finance infrastructure projects across Iraq – schools, roads, airports, housing, hospitals”:

As expected, the limited recount confirms Ahmadinejad’s election and protesters are left with “few options.” With over 650 persons detained, one writer says, “There is no future here for independent-thinking, cultured people”:

Taliban militants of North Waziristan will likely join the combat against the Pakistani military in South Waziristan:

“The group’s findings in Gaza suggest that ‘the weapon itself isn’t the problem…It’s the way it’s used that is'” -Marc Garlasco, the senior military analyst at Human Rights Watch:

Artists and entrepreneurs of Lahore buckle under pressure from Taliban extremists; a rock drummer is chided for NOT growing a beard:

News and Analysis (6/29/09)

Monday, June 29th, 2009

Despite now public splits within the religious establishment, including calls from Qom similar to our advice to Khamenei, Mousavi has limited options:

As commentators differ on the significance of the arrests:

Undermining Israeli objectives, the occupation of Gaza is likely to produce more radical thought and encourage more violence:

“I will celebrate when I see my country living in peace…. I will celebrate when there is electricity and clean water, when people go to the park and feel safe” — Iraqi tribal leader:

Disguised as a compromise, the agreement would allow all currently authorized construction, some 2,000 buildings, in settlements across the West Bank:

Ahmadinejad has ordered an investigation into Neda’s death and  plans to make the results of his investigations public:

News and Analysis (6/27-28/09)

Sunday, June 28th, 2009

While Ahmadinejad continues to reject criticism of the election results…

… Protesters are quickly realizing how much they may have to sacrifice to continue to disputing the results …

… and “Iran detained eight or nine local embassy staff for playing a ‘significant role’ in the unrest”

With the election security and logistics already set to cost an estimated $220 million,

Foreign investment could quadruple production, but critics ask, “Why can’t we re-create” the indigenous oil industry?

As the West continues it militance in Afghanistan and Pakistan, is Turkey a new recruiting grown for al Qaeda?

Mr. Nawi can be seen as “the Robin Hood of the South Hebron hills, an Israeli Jew helping poor locals who love him, and thwarting settlers and soldiers who view him with contempt”:

News and Analysis (6/26/09)

Friday, June 26th, 2009

Mousavi has challenged Khamenei’s position “that those who question the vote results should pursue legal means of recourse” claiming he has “closed off most avenues for doing that and shuttered news outlets critical of the election” …

… Meanwhile, allegations of torture emerge from what Amnesty International claims are “very reliable sources”:

Green with envy: will Iranian protesters inspire activists across the Middle East?

As the chokehold on Gaza continues …

… Israel’s selective easing of restrictions on the West Bank do not meet Palestinian expectations:

Analysis believe  Meshaal’s speech was an attempt to reach out to Obama  and revive negotiations under a dialogue without conditions:

Analysis are hard pressed to find any strategic gains in Kenya’s actions:

News and Analysis (6/25/09)

Thursday, June 25th, 2009

Ahmadinejad’s words practically beg Obama to say something to provide the besieged Iranian president with the political capital he seems to be losing as seventy professors are arrested:

In the likely scenario that Ahmadinejad remains in power…

… What are the political consequences in regional affairs?

Backed by the UN Security Council, International forces seem determined to engage in foreign intervention:

The burning question for Iraqi democracy, “Is Maliki a strongman, personally and through the constitution? Or is he a dictator?”:

Refugees have little but the horrid conditions of the camp to occupy their minds:

Congressional Muslim Staffers Association Social

Wednesday, June 24th, 2009

Congressional Muslim Staffers Association social On Friday June 19, 2009 Congressional Muslim Staffers Association (CSMA) held their 2nd annual Summer Interns and fellow social with Congressman Andre Carson and Congressman Keith Ellison as guest speakers. However, the event was deceptive by title due to its overwhelmingly rewarding program and diverse group of attendees.

CMSA defines its object as “to effectively represent the Islamic faith and the Muslim American community to Representatives, Senators, Congressional Staff, and other government organizations and officials” and this mission was the target of their event. The program began with Jummah prayer, which is hosted every Friday in the US capital building and open to the public. Despite certain stereotypes that inevitably cross a Muslim’s mind about their treatment by security, Capital Police were very helpful and polite in providing information. The prayer is widely respected among Capital Hill staffers of all faiths and I would recommend it as a venue for Jummah to any Muslim in the area.

In a room packed with over 100 people, Muslims from a variety of professional fields met to pray, network with one another and develop a strong sense of community often lacking among Muslim youth. Congressman Ellison and Congressman Carson, the first and second Muslims elected into the US House of Representatives respectively, both opined in on the importance of Muslim values in America. While their demeanors contrasted sharply, both speeches addressed the same fundamental need of the Muslim Community, a call for greater involvement in public office and public policy.

Particularly interesting was how the Congressmen avoided partisan politics and spoke the greater need. While Congressman Carson was praising Obama as a source of inspiration for Muslims, it wasn’t because of his Democratic affiliation but the Muslim heritage on his father’s side. A strong indication the first Muslim-American President might not be far away. The interests of Muslim communities will continue to be ignored without a strong commitment of Muslim youth to serving the community in Congressional offices, policy institutes and media outlets.

Prominent Muslim organizations across the DC metro area were represented at the event including AIC (American Islamic Congress), CAIR (Council on American Islamic Relations), IIIT (International Institute of Islamic Thought), MPAC(Muslim Public Affairs Council), and Rumi forum. The event offered the opportunity for the youngest affiliates of these organizations to begin building relationships and bonds crucial to serving Muslim interests in government. Although the event was relatively small, the impact was obvious. Muslims of all diversities quickly engaged with one another discussing politics, organizational ties and opportunities to contribute to each other’s causes. If CSMA’s event was any indication of the future, the prospect for Muslim involvement in government is very promising.

Imran Malik
Program Assistant
Minaret of Freedom Institute

News and Analysis (6/24/09)

Wednesday, June 24th, 2009

As Israel continues expansion of illegal settlements …

… Netanyahu demands Palestinians recognize Israel as a Jewish state, a novel precondition not applied to Egypt and Jordan …

Defending human rights and free speech, Obama singles out the slain protester but avoids taking sides as to who won the election:

Denied by the Defense Department, the reports of the attack highlight the problems of US intervention in Northwest Pakistan:

“The documents provide no smoking gun connecting the royal family to the events of Sept. 11, 2001”:

A strong Syrian-American relationship would help the US facilitate its broader regional goals:

News and Analysis (6/23/09)

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2009

As Ahmadinejad is officially declared the winner with the Guardian Council reporting no “major” irregularities in the election …

… Iranian authorities place the full blame of any violence on the “hooligans and rioters” protesting the election…

… Yet the government is unlikely to succeed in censorship of the Internet:

Accusing him of spying for US forces, al-Qaeda tortured Janko and put him in a Taliban prison until he ended up in the hands of US forces who held him as a terrorist with weak logic that “defies common sense”:

Ignoring the legitimacy of Hamas’ election by popular vote, Fayyad’s plan calls for a unification of Palestinian governments under the PA…

…Additionally, Hamas points to political prisoners as a sign of PA inflexibility in reconciliation talks:

Faulting the “burka” as a “problem of liberty and women’s dignity”, the “Sun president” positions himself to dictate what women may wear:

Kyrgyz officials retract their eviction of US forces striking a deal allowing for the transport of non-lethal military supplies to Afghanistan:

An Open Letter to Ayatollah Khamenei

Monday, June 22nd, 2009

Dear Ayatollah Khamenei,

I listened with great interest to your speech regarding the recent elections given last Friday. You certainly had a point when you  indicated that America’s tragic treatment of the dissidents at Waco and its violent intervention into Iraq and Afghanistan detracts from the credibility of any advice it may offer Iran. Perhaps, however, you could take advice from we who have been critics of that violence and who are your Muslim brothers here in America. We, who have spoken truth to power in America about the oppression of the Palestinians and who stuck our necks out to blow the whistle on disinformation about Iran feel that we have a right — indeed an obligation — to offer you sincere advice about the difficulties now facing your country.

You have advised Mr. Moussavi and his followers to work within the system and follow the procedures prescribed by law in order to call for proper investigation of such cases of fraud as they may believe have taken place. That is sound and prudent advice. We hope that they do so, and we hope that the Iranian government is diligent and objective in seeking out any cases of fraud and punishing those who are guilty of it. Any fraud, even if it does not affect the outcome of an election, must be treated as a grave matter. This is not only our advice, it is also the advice of the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him)  who said, “Those who deal in fraud are not of us,” and of Allah (the Glorified and Exalted) who says in his holy book: “Woe to those who deal in fraud” (83:1).

It is also the advice of Imam Ali, may Allah be pleased with him, who wrote in his famous letter to the Governor of Egypt: “You should never overlook the fact that around the rulers there usually are certain privileged persons. They may often try to take advantage of their status and may resort to selfishness, intrigues, fraud, corruption and oppression. If you find such people around you then do away with them (however closely connected they may be with you), immediately bring an end to the scandal and clear your surroundings of all such moral and spiritual filth.”

As to your order that Moussavi and his followers cease from peaceful demonstrations, that is an unjust demand. It is an obligation upon Muslims that we should speak truth to power and that demand justice even if against our next of kin. You are within your rights and duties as the supreme leader to take action against those who would disturb the public peace through violence in their demonstrations, but not against those who peacefully petition that you diligently pursue your duties to seek out and eliminate fraud.

For the same reasons you must not silence those who report on the complaints of those who profess to be oppressed. Again the wisdom of Ali must be remembered when he urged the Governor of Egypt to cherish “those who can always speak out the bitter truth to you and unreservedly and without fear of your status, can refuse to assist you or associate with you in the deeds which Allah does not like His good creatures to commit.”

In giving this advice we ask no more of you than what Imam Ali himself has asked. Our motives are constructive and if you would heed this advice you would only benefit the ummah and your own nation, both of which have been smeared with false allegations about which there should be no need to remind you. If you do not heed this advice to investigate, repudiate, and exterminate fraud in your midst, the people of Iran may come to doubt your own motives and objectives. They proved their willingness and ability to resist oppression when they overthrew the Shah. If they come to believe that the current regime is neither Islamic nor a republic, they may overthrow it as well and install one that is.

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

News and Analysis (6/22/09)

Monday, June 22nd, 2009

Further complicating the election crisis “the number of votes cast in 50 cities exceeded the actual number of voters”:

Short of a complete collapse of Iran’s government, Israeli leaders disagree on the most preferred outcome …

… while the presence of American troops next door to Iran complicates Iraq’s relationship with its top trading partner:

Despite the previous failures of interventionism in Somalia:

In anticipation of reconciliation talks,

“Air power contains the seeds of our own destruction if we do not use it responsibly…. If it is just to defeat the enemy, then we are not going to do it, even if it means we are going to step away from that firefight and fight another time” – General  McChrystal

Without seeming to realize that he is doing so,  Zardari resurrects the Vietnam era “domino theory” to justify continued U.S. intervention: