Archive for August, 2009

News and Analysis (8/31/09)

Monday, August 31st, 2009

“So far, there has been no known friction with conservatives over the new excavations” of non-Muslim sites, but “hard-liners have been known to raze even ancient Islamic sites to ensure that they do not become objects of veneration”:

McChrystal compares “the US military to a bull charging at the matador-like Taliban and slightly weakened with each ‘cut’ it receives” …

… but Anthony Cordesman thinks no strategy can succeed short-term:

The Meghrabi controversy is not over:

“I don’t think the reconciliation will include a review of the election or delegitimize Ahmadinejad. It will look at the torture accusation and it will basically smooth out the court procedure to remove all the hard-line accusations” – Mustafa Alani:

Despite US attempts to reduce the scope of it’s responsibilities in Iraq, funding needs are likely to exceed $1.8 billion annually:

Emphasizing the radical nature of the BJP party, Jaswant Singh is expelled over a sympathetic portrayal of Mohammad Ali Jinnah, the founding father of Pakistan in his book:

News and Analysis (8/29-30/09)

Sunday, August 30th, 2009

Critics dismiss the charges as “blood libel” and “anti-Semitic”; Alison Weir examines the evidence and testimony for  such charges:

Larijani moves to depoliticize the issue:

Other Middle Eastern nations could benefit from emulating the school program designed to promote tolerance and unity in Lebanon:

Prisoner acquiescence is not a indication of the effectiveness of torture:

Any rift in US-Pakistani relations would be a major setback for US interest in fighting Al Qaeda in Afghanistan and Northern Pakistan:

With US public support waning, Obama attempts to fulfill his promise of “clear benchmarks” indicating progress in Afghanistan:

Accusations of electoral fraud could come to ahead if Karzai manages to meet the 50.1% of the vote required to prevent a run-off:

News and Analysis (8/28/09)

Friday, August 28th, 2009

The founder of the rebel movement denies Agwai’s parting assessment:

Legislation proposed to protect journalists actually consolidates government regulation and could serve to severely restrict freedom of the press:

Ahmadinejad says, “those caught up in the unrest should be freed, but the leaders should face justice”:

Although a meeting between Netanyahu and Abbas may occur next month, peace negotiations are likely to stall once again:

While the US takes responsibility for only 19 casualties, the relatively short 8 week test period included over 250 civilian deaths…

… Admiral Mullen warns that US attempts to win over Muslim populations fall short because “we need to worry a lot less about how to communicate our actions and much more about what our actions communicate”:

Given the internal political disputes of Iran, experts agree the Nuclear program is unlikely to see a huge boost in priority or development:

News and Analysis (8/27/09)

Thursday, August 27th, 2009

As supreme leader Khamenei dismisses the idea that protesters were backed by Western forces …

… Grand Ayatollah Montazeri echoes our open letter to Khamenei, complaining “that this ruling system is neither a republic nor Islamic and that nobody has the right to express opinion or criticism”:

Leaving a major void in political leadership, will al-Maliki’s exclusion from the Shi’ite bloc be reconsidered:

The devastating drought threatens a total blackout in the city of Nasiriyah:

Will the Bush-era policy of backing warlords to provide stability continue in the Obama administration:

Fear of radicalism has curbed any progress towards democracy and liberty:

News and Analysis (8/26/09)

Wednesday, August 26th, 2009

With the election much closer than previously believed, Abdullah produces video evidence which he claims illustrates “that state-engineered fraud has been underway”…

The documents underscore that officials in Washington so closely supervised the program that an investigation limited to ” so-called rogue interrogators would be completely inadequate”:

The systematic removal of political opposition only serves short term goals and will eventually work to undermine the regime:

As an Israeli municipality, having deprived thousands of Muslims of their historic mosque for decades, now wants to turn it into a museum …

… Obama seems to cave on the settlement issue, expecting only a partial freeze, …

… While the PLO leadership’s credibility is slipping away:

Women’s rights issues go far beyond the burka, the West’s favorite symbol of Muslim misogyny:

News and Analysis (8/25/09)

Tuesday, August 25th, 2009

Senator Wyden suggests the investigation passes over “Justice Department lawyers and senior Bush administration officials” while “lower ranking troops who committed abuses were hung out to dry'”…

… Meanwhile, the Obama administration will continue the practice of transferring prisoners abroad with “diplomatic assurances” that torture will not be used:

The conservative political alliance, which has close ties to Iran, could completely reshape Iraqi leadership for the election slated in January:

Israeli policy continues to steal Palestinian land and leaves any future state resembling a piece of swiss cheese…

… However, some Palestinians refuse to surrender their homes without a fight:

Lawyers for the youngest Guantanamo detainee claim he was only 12 years old when he was sent to the prison seven years ago:

Denying that unsuccessful attempts to get the defendant to appeal her sentence are a response to international pressure, Malaysia insists “the government wants to ensure that the spirit of the Islamic legal system was implemented properly”:

News and Analysis (8/24/09)

Monday, August 24th, 2009

As accusations of abuse, rape and “Abu Ghraib-style sexual humiliations” damage the credibility of Ahmadinejad’s regime…

… the legislature allocates $20 million to investigate human right abuses by the US in retaliation of the $55 million spent by the US to document human right abuses in Iran…

… while improving transparency in US detention policy progresses slowly:

Echoing the election crisis in Iran, few election outcomes are predicted to be widely accepted and bring stability:

100,000 people have fled their homes after Shia rebels reject the government’s Ramadan truce proposal:

Underfunded and devastated by Israeli invasion,

News and Analysis (8/22-23/09)

Sunday, August 23rd, 2009

Deprived of both his visiting professorship at Erasmus University and his advisory position to the city of Rotterdam, Tariq Ramadan sends an open letter to his detractors:

Some don’t share the optimism over the fact that Sunnis and Shia began fasting on the same day for the first time in ten years …

… and Iraqis fear political motivated violence will continue to rise ahead of elections scheduled for January:

“His core message … is ‘to suggest’ to his new colleagues that there is nothing to fear in recognising the notion of a Jewish state. ‘The correct response is that we will not recognise an Israel defined by political Zionism’:

“Women’s rights activists” and conservative clerics both oppose Ahmadinejad’s appointment of women to the cabinet:

Will the election results be considered legitimate and widely accepted by the Afghani population?

An opportunity for interfaith dialogue as Muslims rent space in a synagogue to accommodate the surging population during the month of Ramadan:

News and Analysis (8/21/09)

Friday, August 21st, 2009

If upheld, the ruling would take away what attorney David Cole calls “a blunt sledgehammer that permits the government to shut down charities indefinitely without any finding of wrongdoing”:

In the wake of the arrest of five New Jersey rabbis for illegal body part sales, a leftist paper’s explosive claim provokes cries of anti-Semitism from a liberal rival:

The 19-year-old “making her debut in a regional women’s league … has not said if she will play without the scarf”:

Holbroke says he “would not be surprised if you see candidates claiming victory and fraud in the next few days”:

As U.S. drones continue to hit the border areas …

… Zardari panders to Beijing’s yearning for endorsement from Muslim countries for policies critics say “suppressed Uighur religious life”:

The “only person convicted in the 1988 Lockerbie bombing” continues to maintain his innocence:

A Kremlin source calls the rebels’ claim of responsibility for destruction of a dam “idiotic”:

News and Analysis (8/20/09)

Thursday, August 20th, 2009

Ahmadinejad’s proposed cabinet filled with “loyalists and little-known figures” faces a hard sell in the parliament:

An assassination scheme approved in 2004 was only brought to the attention of Congress this June:

Amid intimidation of voters in the south, Obama observers express confidence about transparency of voting, but not about the vote counting:

With 631 casualties, the blasts challenge Maliki’s ability to maintain security:

Denied her request for a public punishment that she hoped would convince other Muslims  not to drink,

Taliban deputy’s claim to power “may fuel rifts” the leadership:

After the Taliban “bombed or set fire to 230 of Swat’s 1,600 public and private school buildings” (sparing the religious schools), students return to study in unventilated tents: