Archive for April, 2010

News and Analysis (4/19/10)

Monday, April 19th, 2010

Allegations of torture and rape emerge from a secret prison created under the jurisdiction of Prime Minister Nouri Maliki’s military office…

…However, Maliki publicly defends his position as a champion of sectarian reconciliation and leader of the Iraqi people:

“Israel must recognize that the world will not put up with decades more of Israeli rule over the Palestinian people, the country’s defense minister said in unusually frank remarks Monday”:

“Palestinians are working to build the institutional, infrastructural, economic and administrative framework of their state in spite of the occupation… while continuing to insist on the right of self-determination”:

Understanding the local culture of Afghanistan and its contribution to sustaining the Taliban…

… Meanwhile, Ahmadinejad speaks for Afganistan and Iraq claiming “regional states” should take care of their security interests:

Controversy surrounds Gates’ assessment that the US is lacking an effective long-term strategy to Iran’s development of nuclear technology:

News and Analysis (4/17-18/10)

Sunday, April 18th, 2010

“Threatening with nuclear weapons only dishonored the American government officials and more fully exposed their inhumane and aggressive policies” – Ahmadinejad:

Believed to be one of the major sources of political strife between Israel and the Palestine, 0ver 250,000 Palestinians have been arrested and detained since 1967:

The perceived schism between Karzai and the international community may jeopardize his ability to maintain control and leadership over Afghanistan:

Approximately 2 million Somalis have sought refuge elsewhere since 2007, as on Somali worded it,”[t]here is no freedom in Somalia, only death.”

“There has never been a tool built from the ground up specifically to address the way in which the regime does its Internet filtering… We really hope that Haystack will be a one-to-one match for how the regime implements censorship” – Austin Heap, co-creator of the software:

Sectarian violence remains the top threat to the stability of the Iraqi government:

You Can’t Be “For Jerusalem” With Falsehood

Friday, April 16th, 2010

For some time now, the cracks in the wall that covers up Israel’s abuse of the Palestinians have become increasingly apparent. The latest panic reaction in the form of a series of pro-Israeli advertisements in the Washington Post this week was unremarkable except for their lameness — until today. An ad in today’s Washington Post containing several patently false statements and headlined “For Jerusalem” is signed only by the lauded Nazi-hunter Elie Wiesel. That Wiesel, a committed supporter of the Jewish state would want to defend it against the rising tide of criticism is not news, but that he thinks things are so bad he must risk sacrificing his reputation, built over decades of hard and effective work, by signing his name to such blatant falsehoods signals a sea change.

What threatens Wiesel’s reputation is not the polemical style of the piece. When Wiesel mentions Jordan’s closing of the Western Wall to Jews without mentioning that it was a response to Israel’s expulsion of the Palestinian Muslims and Christians, we have to acknowledge that we all have our own biases;  why devote limited space to the other side’s case? No, what threatens his reputation are blatant falsehoods such as that the Jordanian occupation and the Roman invasion were  the only times in history that Jews were forbidden access to the city. Perhaps Weisel, who asserts that his own religious faith was consumed by the Holocaust,  cannot be expected to remember the Babylonian exile, but how does he manage to forget the Crusades?

Perhaps it is unfair to expect Wiesel to be familiar with the Qur’an, but then why does he feign expertise and claim that the place is mentioned “not a single time in the Koran [sic]” displaying his ignorance of the reference to Muhammad’s night journey to Jerusalem with such arrogance?

The absurd claim that only now are Jews, Christians and Muslims free to worship at their shrines in Jerusalem when Christians and Muslims have less freedom to worship in Jerusalem today than the Jews did under the Ottomans (West Bank Palestinian Christians aren’t even allowed into the city for Easter). On top of all this, Wiesel asserts in the face of all the evidence:  that Jews, Muslims and Christians are free to build homes anywhere in the city. Has he not heard about the expulsions in recent weeks in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood?

Elie Wiesel worked a lifetime to gain a reputation as a defender of human rights, doing battle with the Holocaust-deniers. Confronted with the cracks in the wall of silence about Israeli persecution of the Palestinians, he has decided to sacrifice it all not in the name of the God of Abraham, whom he believes was “hanged … on these gallows” of the Holocaust, but in apartheid-denial, the false god of Israel that has taken His place in his heart.

Those who wish Palestinians well need not be dismayed by this advertisement. Wiesel has harmed his own reputation more than he has harmed the cause of justice. Rather, that he would publish so fallacious a screed shows how serious the cracks in the Israeli wall of apartheid have become and encourage us to look forward to it following its South African cousin into oblivion.

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

News and Analysis (4/16/10)

Friday, April 16th, 2010

With Obama’s promise to close Guantanamo unfilled, hu8s administratin now “envisions that a small number of suspected terrorists captured in the future could be detained and interrogated in an overseas prison”:

The involvement of Egypt, not the kidnapping of Israelis, is the primary reason Hamas decided to act…

… Meanwhile, Hamas’ decision to execute “collaborators” (the first since taking power) convicted in military court without approval from President Abbas is likely to further divide Palestinian politics:

Exposing war crimes rather than remaining silent and complaint, Kam could now face up to life imprison as a result of her actions:

“The investigation was severely hampered by intelligence agencies and other government officials…which impeded an unfettered search for the truth”:

Knowing about her experience with FGM and a grandmother who said one boy is worth fifteen girls helps in understanding one of Egypt’s most influential and controversial critics “of all religions”:

News and Analysis (4/15/10)

Thursday, April 15th, 2010

“Kufr Aqab’s residents have to pay taxes to the Israeli authorities, but they get virtually nothing in return,” yet the “population is booming” because Palestinians from outside the city who marry Arab Jerusalemites are not allowed inside the Wall:

The decision to “formally undermine powers granted to it under the Constitution … seemed to be an acknowledgment of the reality that the elected Parliament was often blocked from fulfilling its role as a watchdog over the [unelected] institutions of state”:

US hopes to have the embargo targeting Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps and a network of Iranian companies and financial institutions controlled by the Guard passed by June …

… in the meantime, alarmists muster support by impuning an as yet unreversed National Intelligence Estimate that there is no evidence that Iran  intends to produce a nuclear weapon in the next five years:

Seeking “a political outcome, crafted by Afghans,” McChrystal says the goal “is to strengthen the government and weaken the insurgents so that when negotiations come, they can produce ‘reasonable outcomes'”:

Robert Wexler concedes, “you’d have to have blinders on not to recognize that there are issues in one arena that affect other arenas”:

The “anonymous suspects” who “set fire to two cars outside the mosque” signed their vandalism with a star of David on the mosque wall:

News and Analysis (4/14/10)

Wednesday, April 14th, 2010

A King Saud University professor says the current debate is making ending Saudi Arabia’s unique system of gender segregation, once unthinkable, “thinkable. Not do-able at this stage. Just thinkable”:

“There is not a single militant in the area,” protests Kashmalo Khan, a retired Frontier Corps officer who suffered a broken leg in the airstrike:

Confronted with a peaceful change of power for the first time, will the Iraqi military maintain impartiality?

Denying the allegation, Syria says the timing is “a cynical attempt by Israel to take the focus” away from increasing criticism of its persecution of the Palestinians and thwart American engagement …:

… Meanwhile, Obama admits “he had underestimated the obstacles to a renewed peace process,” but insists the US will remain “”constantly present, constantly engaged””:

Iran appears to be increasingly depended on trade with China, but Western pressure leaves it little choice:

The Palestinian counterpoint, “Menachem Begin, who … is infamous for his role in the Deir Yassin massacre, has museums, streets and many public spaces across Israel named after him”:

News and Analysis (4/13/10)

Tuesday, April 13th, 2010

Reminiscent of 1990 when violence among warlords gave rise to the Taliban:

At the nuclear summit, China “cautiously” agrees to join in a new round of Iranian sanctions …

… But with Israel refusing to attend and Iran not invited,  Ahmadinejad has announced a new disarmament summit in Tehran and denounced “foolish people … who brandish their swords … without realising that the time for this type of thing is over”:

US officials look to compensate farmers for their destroyed poppy crops…

… Meanwhile:

“King Abdullah is pressuring or helping Obama to be more personally involved in the conflicts” — Mazen Alaugili, a political science professor at Jordan’s Mutah University:

News and Analysis (4/12/10)

Monday, April 12th, 2010

What “Washington deliberately ignores is that much of the extremism that poses a danger to the U.S. is fueled by its complicity in Israel’s oppression of the Palestinians”:

“This bus wasn’t like an a suicide bomber, and we did not touch or come close to the convoy, ” says a wounded passenger. “It seems they are opening fire on civilians intentionally”:

al-Awlaki’s father says his American-born son will yield under US threats “to abduct, capture, or kill him,” and “cease his statements and speeches against it” if it will take him off their hit list:

With no viable alternative leadership in place, Obama seeks overture with Karzai:

Winning third in a wildly popular television poetry contest,  Hissa’s poetry often criticized the religious establishment that challenged her ability to compete.

Women debate the place of the niqab in Islam and the culture as the 2009 World Economic Forum places Yemen as the worst country in the world to be a woman for the fourth year in a row:

News and Analysis (4/10-11/10)

Sunday, April 11th, 2010

“The definition of ‘infiltrator’, which exposes a person to a prison term of three to seven years could, in principle, be applied to any person the military commander wishes ill, including Israeli and international citizens.”:

Challenged by “a diverse array of democracy advocates, head-scarf-wearing Muslim women, journalists and others who complain that the military’s grip on power has largely benefited wealthy and secular elites”:

Exercising its unique influence over Iraqi politics, Iran calls on Iraqi to form a coalition government that includes Sunnis:

Al- Azhar’s acquiescence to the ruling party line is an obstacle to regaining the its lost influence that once covered the Muslim world:

“This park has been a few minutes of freedom,” says one Afghani woman, pushing her mother on a swing. “That freedom can be addictive.”:

Former IAEA deputy director Bruno Pellaudsay says that although they are “major scientific achievement,” the new centrifuges may little “change the political outlook of the Iranian nuclear issue”:

With the Maryam’s mysterious return, Pakistanis still want Dr. Siddiqui’s repatriation and, together with all Muslims, remain concerned over the fate of her still missing youngest son:

With twelve parties boycotting the elections, nothing can change:

News and Analysis (4/09/10)

Friday, April 9th, 2010

“Special Forces account for a disproportionate share of civilian casualties caused by Western troops … though there are no precise figures because so many of their missions are deemed secret”:

There is no doubt al-Madadi made poor decisions, but did racial profiling escalate matters?

Among her revelations, that “the army used targeted assassinations against wanted Palestinians even when they knew that arrest was possible, in apparent violation of Israeli Supreme Court rulings”:

A new film exposes the depth of Israeli apartheid as a new polls reveals 50% of Jewish-Israeli schoolchildren believe Arab Israelis do not deserve equal rights:

With Mubarak’s time as president winding down, will the Brotherhood have a serious impact on the next election?

Experts remain divided on whether the new government will close the military base but everyone agrees the loss of Manas airfield would be a serious blow to US efforts in Afghanistan: