Archive for September, 2009

News and Analysis (9/18/09)

Friday, September 18th, 2009

While admitting that she has not finished reviewing Judge Goldstone’s findings, Ambassador Rice nonetheless rushed to echo Israeli sentiments that the jurist’s report is “unbalanced, one-sided and basically unacceptable”:

Prison abuse of West Bank Palestinians stands as a huge obstacle to reconciliation between Hamas and Fatah:

Will militias prove to be the solution against Taliban intimidation?

Obama suffers a major setback in policy with a runoff election unlikely to produce a winner until spring 2010:

As the opposition refuses to concede the presidential election …

… the AP “reveals” that Iran has engaged in “probable testing” of explosives arranged in a hemisphere, had worked on developing a chamber to carry a warhead on top of one of its missiles, and, along with any competent physics graduate student, has sufficient information to be able to design and produce a workable implosion nuclear device:

When Ramadan Is Over ….

Thursday, September 17th, 2009

Last night I addressed the Islamic Society of the Washington Area on “Improving the World” at their Lailat-ul-Qadr observance. My thesis was that Ramadan is a time in which Muslims exercise their free will to make it stronger. Just as an athlete exercises his muscles to make them stronger so he can prevail in actual competition. By denying ourselves food, water and sexual intercourse, we resist the three most powerful animal passions in order to be able to resist any temptations in the serious game of life.

Islam is, by definition, “submission to the will of God.” The irony is that a weak-willed person cannot submit to the will of God. It takes a strong will to fulfill our responsibilities as the “khalifah.” People think of a “khalifah” as the leader of the Muslim ummah, but that is not how the word is used in the Qur’an. The Qur’an identifies every man and woman as “God’s vicegerent on earth.”

So when Ramadan is over, how do we fulfill these responsibilities with our renewed strength of will? Serving God is not easy because He needs nothing from us. We serve God by serving man, and that means “improving the world.” Individual Muslims can do this by being active in their communities, their PTAs, civic associations and homeowners associations, writing letters to the editor, involvement in politics, and being good neighbors. At the Minaret of Freedom Institute it means doing research and educational work that will promote understanding between religious communities and advance the cause of liberty and free markets. In these tasks we welcome the help of all who share our vision, or any part of it.

Ramadan being a time when many Muslims, having denied themselves, seek to engage in charitable work, we remind our readers that promoting our work is an act of charity. To donate click here.

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

News and Analysis (9/17/09)

Thursday, September 17th, 2009

Unless the UN investigation invalidates a substantial portion of the 10% of votes under review, Karzai will be announced the winner of Afghanistan’s election:

Mahdi is not advocating for renegotiation of SOFA but believes there are more successful strategies  in using the US troops available …

… But in the heat of battle how can you distinguish a shoe from a grenade?

As Israel persists in avoiding investigation of and denying wrongdoing in the invasion of Gaza …

… its defense minister Ehud Barak faults the Muslim world for not behaving like Western Europe:

As political factions clash, the people continue to suffer, without shelter, “sitting in the open, on the roads” with “nowhere to go” facing  “shortages of food and water”:

The “Doha Debates” television program forces audiences to think critically and challenge their preconceived opinions:

News and Analysis (9/16/09)

Wednesday, September 16th, 2009

Israeli says the U.N. report “legitimizes Hamas” by listing Israeli abuses that  include “a deliberately disproportionate attack designed to punish, humiliate and terrorize a civilian population, radically diminish its local economic capacity both to work and to provide for itself and to force upon it an ever-increasing sense of dependency and vulnerability” …

… Meanwhile, additional evidence of Israeli abuse of female prisoners emerges:

Investigating allegations of fraud may only delay his inevitable reelection and leave him Karzai politically weak:

Admiral Mullen insists that more troops and more time will bring “good governance” to Afghanistan:

Amidst fear Ayatollah Rafsanjani will rally the opposition, Ahmadinejad selects Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami to give the Quds Day prayers, an annual day of solidarity with the Palestinian cause:

Local newspapers have nicknamed him the ““Lebanese Bernie Madoff”, however his association with Hezbollah could be a major blow to the party:

Pop culture sides with education reform as a key factor in Saudi Arabia’s integration with the modern world:

News and Analysis (9/15/09)

Tuesday, September 15th, 2009

Disturbing accusations which seriously undermine Pakistani objectives in the area:

Two of the documents and materials Reuters requested under the Freedom of Information Act were withheld as classified and  the other six were redacted:

Karroubi continues to challenge the government denial of prisoner abuse despite threats from the authoritarian-like regime:

With refugee numbers on the rise, the decision means conflict is likely to continue:

“The FBI said Nabhan was wanted ‘for questioning in connection’ with the resort bombing in Mombasa, Kenya. U.S. counterterrorism officials have also alleged he was involved in the 1998 al-Qaeda attacks on the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania”:

Accusing his captors of torture, Al-Zeidi is released from prison nine months after being arrested:

Pakistanis create an industry out of America’s love of credit cards:

the FBI said Nabhan was wanted “for questioning in connection” with the resort bombing in Mombasa, Kenya. U.S. counterterrorism officials have also alleged he was involved in the 1998 al-Qaeda attacks on the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania

News and Analysis (9/14/09)

Monday, September 14th, 2009

In Wardak Province, a unit “kicked in doors, tied up four hospital employees and two family members of patients, and forced patients out of beds” and declared that coalition forces would decode whether the hospital staff could treat any wounded militants …

… in the meantime, has Kandahar quietly fallen?

As US officials continue to press for a solution in Israeli /Palestinian relations…

… Israeli Arabs protest their treatment as second class citizens, which could result in “a mass explosion of tension that will dwarf anything that’s gone on ‘in Gaza and the West Bank'”…

… Meanwhile, it is not clear Hamas will sign on to the latest proposal for  reconciliation with Fatah unless political prisoners are freed first:

European diplomats believe the negotiations are just an attempt to delay UN sanctions against Iran:

Emboldened by the fear of censorship, students find inspiration in art to combat the repressive nature of the Taliban:

News and Analysis (9/12-13/09)

Sunday, September 13th, 2009

Although the new rights represent  a substantial break from Bush-era detention policy, Afghani citizens can still be denied the full extent of rights one should enjoy living in a democracy …

…. Meanwhile, the legacy of illegal detentions is coming to a head in Iraq:

With few other viable options, will US foreign policy enter a  new era of compromise?

Recent approval of settlement expansions is only one of many signs Israel is unprepared for serious peace negotiations:

Alliances formed through monetary payoffs prove to be difficult to sustain:

Training Afghani forces is the most important element of US strategy to improve and withdraw from Afghanistan:

News and Analysis (9/11/09)

Friday, September 11th, 2009

Although the US has rejected Iran’s proposal, the offer may serve as a basis for substantive talks on the nuclear issue:

Nancy Pelosi and Carl Levin are among the top democrats opposing another troop surge into Afghanistan:

Despite the Israeli blockade, Gazans attempt to bring normalcy through smuggled goods during the month of Ramadan:

In the midst of an energy crunch, could Bangladesh’s example provide an solution for overused air conditioners:

“I get a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach every year… I feel on 9/11 others look at me and blame me for the events that took place.”

“President Karzai has got to be realistic. One way is to try and reach a coalition and let his other presidential candidate come into that coalition government”:

The state of Al-Qaida eight years after September 11:

News and Analysis (9/10/09)

Thursday, September 10th, 2009

Experts believe Iranian scientists could rapidly develop at least one nuclear bomb, how will this change the terms and strategy of negotiations?

Former Guantánamo guard and Islam convert was schedule to address a support group for inmates of the camp and was denied entry into Britain because he was unemployed, rented property in the US, which raised the suspicions he might stay:

The fine is nearly equal to the entire cost of the company, leading many to question prime minister Erdogan’s involvement:

Free speech and political satire could break the deadlock in Palestinian politics:

The alliance is a positive sign for hte end of violence and a successful election in April 2010…

… Meanwhile, evidence of false accusations and misreported accounts emerges:

“He’s under the impression that this way he will be able to change his reputation in the eyes of women’s rights groups around the world as a closed, brutal dictator… He wants to be seen as a broadminded president”:

News and Analysis (9/9/09)

Wednesday, September 9th, 2009

Karzai is still likely to win if the vote goes to a second round, the question remains how his victory can appear legitimate:

A.Q. Khan claims his contact with Iran was approved by top military officials:

With the US and Iran closely watching, will relations between Syria and Iraq stabilize or continue to deteriorate?

The opposition claims evidence that protesters were torture, raped and killed in prison was confiscated:

The conflict continues as difficulties in securing humanitarian aid from the UN arise:

The heated controversy over a Saudi sponsored American school in the eyes of a student: