Archive for July, 2010

News and Analysis (7/16/10)

Friday, July 16th, 2010

The man who wrote two of the memos authorizing techniques like waterboarding says the CIA not only used it excessively, but went even further to resort to “punching, kicking and dousings with cold water”:

Can humor be a more effective tool than violence in suppressing terrorism?

Wilders’ Freedom Party has more to do with hate-mongering than freedom:

Akbar Ahmed says that “the Muslim community and leadership really need to do a much better job of bridging this gap of misunderstanding that we found in the field” …

… while a televangelist promises to build a “9/11 Christian Center” as a hate-filled antidote to the planned Cordoba House center for the promotion of tolerance:

“Muslim-American efforts to create and support Islamic schools [in America] mirror previous efforts by Roman Catholic and Jewish communities,” which “faced the same kind of public resistance”:

“[D]escribing our enemy in religious terms would lend credence to the lie propagated by Al-Qaeda and its affiliates to justify terrorism” — John O. Brennan, the President’s chief national security adviser for counterterrorism:

News and Analysis (7/15/10)

Thursday, July 15th, 2010

Among the unintended consequences of the U.S.-backed Ethiopian invasion of Somalia was the motivation of “a new generation of home-grown jihadists” inspired by a nationalistic desire to defend their ancestral homeland:

Mayor Bloomberg says, “Government should never — never — be in the business of telling people how they should pray, or where they can pray,” yet a planned community center intended to show that Muslims in NY are just as much a part of the community as Jews or Christians is under attack as offensive to New Yorkers …

… meanwhile, an inflammatory television advertisement by the National Republican Trust PAC is refused airtime for equating all Muslims with the 9/11 hijackers:

Invidious institutional discrimination in Israel is rampant, especially in the distribution of government services; for example, only 0.5 per cent of funds budgeted to sports and recreation goes to Arab neighborhoods; the other 99.5 per cent goes to Jewish neighborhoods:

Following the Somali-based Al Shabab assault on the Ugandan capitol on Sunday, it would do U.S. policymakers good to remember that “Washington’s intervention has only exacerbated problems in the region. It’s time once and for all for Somalis to be free of international meddling“:

In a pre-attack video, the Pakistani-American terrorist in the failed Times Square plot claimed that the “revenge attack” was “in the name of all the mujahedeen,” specifically mentioning Baitullah Mehsud and Abu Musab al-Zarqawi:

News and Analysis (7/14/10)

Wednesday, July 14th, 2010

“Economists here say what is most needed now is not more goods coming in, as the easing of the blockade has permitted, but people and exports getting out”:

Among contradictory stories of kidnapping and defection, one thing is clear in the case of Iranian nuclear scientist Shahram Amiri: the layers of subterfuge characteristic of the U.S. intelligence community does not make matters any more intelligible:

Correct terminology matters in the debate between the terms “Islamic terrorist” and “Muslim terrorist”;  in a world of Christian, Marxist, and non-religious terrorists, we have to ask what a “War Against Radical Islam” really means:

A recent move by opponents of NYC mosque to zone private property as landmark, is more bigotry than historical preservation:

“Organisers say they still plan to dock in Gaza, despite Israel’s request to head to the Egyptian port of El-Arish”, despite Israel sources saying the boat has changing course for Egypt:

The Obama administration’s stance “is practical, it doesn’t give terrorists more reasons to claim the U.S. disrespects Islam, and it is does not focus on religion to the exclusion of the many motivations people have for” going to extremes:

News and Analysis (7/13/10)

Tuesday, July 13th, 2010

France’s National Assembly moves to restrict Muslim women’s freedom in a misguided attempt to protect women’s rights; ban may be ruled unconstitutional by high court:

Israeli NGO Ir Amim releases a study showing why Palestinians are being squeezed out of Jerusalem: 80% of the city is zoned for Jews-only use:

The same group denied a reservation for an annual conference in an Illinois hotel earlier this week reports supporters detained in Palestine after a commemoration event for the 89th anniversary of the fall of the Caliphate:

Calling into question whether or not the Obama administration does have improving relations with Muslim-majority countries as a top priority, as Obama claimed in his speech in Cairo in June, 2009:

Washington Institute for Near East Policy fellow David Schenker thinks it “ironic” that Fadlallah, who was labeled both a terrorist and a moderate,  “stood as the last bulwark against near total Iranian hegemony in Lebanon”:

News and Analysis (7/12/10)

Monday, July 12th, 2010

New video footage of the Israeli assault on the “Freedom Flotilla” calls into question Israel’s official statements on the incident and further demonstrates the need for an independent, unbiased investigation:

At 6-12 kilometers wide, the Gaza Strip is deprived of 30% of its arable land by an IDF-mandated buffer zone, which can be as wide as 2 kilometers:

“President Barack Obama has argued words matter, and administration officials have said that the use of inflammatory descriptions linking Islam to the terror threat feed the enemy’s propaganda and alienate moderate Muslims in the U.S.”:

The Campaign Against Political Correctness jousts with a British city-council over sex-education, lunch bags, and swimming lessons, which shows how public education can politicize otherwise resolvable issues:

Questions of  freedom of association vs. fulfillment of contracts appear to be at issue after a hotel cancels Hizb ut-Tahrir’s reservation; last year, their annual convention was titled “”Fall of Capitalism and Rise of Islam”:

Two centuries after Sir. Richard Burton defended his translation of “The Thousand and One Nights” against Victorians in England, a group of Egyptian Islamist lawyers have picked up the banner of the nanny-state:

News and Analysis (7/9/10)

Friday, July 9th, 2010

The city council of the ethnically-diverse Teaneck, New Jersey “gets it right” with the selection of a Muslim as mayor and a Orthodox Jew as deputy mayor on a platform of slashed taxes and cut government spending:

A Libyan charity sets off to deliver mostly Greek aid to the people of Gaza, stating that Israel may deliver the aid, if they require it; Israel says that the “Libyan intention is nothing more than a cheap provocation”:

The appointment of female judges to sharia courts — Malaysia has separate civil courts for non-Muslims and Muslims — signals a step forward for the cause of political gender equality in Malaysia:

After the EU yields to U.S. pressure to share personal data on Europeans with Israel, Ireland formally objects to “recognition of Israel’s data protection standards”:

The wall “is a land grab disguised as a security measure and its purpose is to allow the illegal settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem to expand, … an integral part of a regime intent on heading in the direction of apartheid”:

“In that struggle for hearts and minds, between the tolerant pacifism of the Sufi saints and the hateful militancy of the Taliban,” the almost 200 million Pakistanis and Afghans “must chart their own course and define what it means to be Muslim in the modern world”:

United Nations Development Fund for Women Executive Director Ines Alberdi to underline the detrimental impact of political conflict and humanitarian crisis on the status of women in the Gaza Strip:

Following the dismissal of CNN editor Octavia Nasr, Britain’s ambassador to Lebanon Frances Guy is censored for calling “Fadlallah a decent human being and a ‘true man of religion'”:

News and Analysis (7/8/10)

Thursday, July 8th, 2010

Like “a cruel joke,” Israel’s attempt “to assuage the international community by ‘easing’ the siege … allows Israeli goods to be sold inside Gaza; while blockading goods made in Gaza. This is one more step in killing an economy”:

CNN, “which has employed a former AIPAC official, Wolf Blitzer, as its primary news anchor for the last 15 years” claims “that Nasr’s ‘credibility’ had been ‘compromised'” by her “respect” for Fadalallah’s pro-women fatwas:

Former Congressman gets fifteen years and a $500,000 fine for obstruction of justice and regulatory violation in a case concerning a Muslim charity he sought to have “removed from a list of organizations suspected of financing terrorism”:

“The government appears to be unable – or in some cases unwilling – to monitor or block sectarian content on the web.” — Naguibullah Malik, federal information technology secretary:

“Wednesday’s decision by Tomasz Calkiewicz, the Polish judge, to extradite Brodsky over forgery allegations would mean that Germany can only charge him with that crime, which carries a sentence of three years”:

“Tariq Ramadan whose ban from the US was lifted earlier this year … called on the Muslims to be proactive and engaged with wider civil society while holding on to their faith”:

News and Analysis (7/7/10)

Wednesday, July 7th, 2010

“[The U.S.] believes in freedom. It sees itself as an opponent of colonialism. It is very, very difficult for the United States to understand that many people around the world now perceive it as an imperial, colonial power trying to occupy them”:

Seven British anti-war activists are acquitted after smashing £200,000 worth of defense industry manufacturer equipment on the grounds that they acted to prevent “Israeli war-crimes”:

“The first-ever, nationwide, random sample survey of Muslim Americans finds them to be largely assimilated, happy with their lives, and moderate with respect to many of the issues that have divided Muslims and Westerners around the world”:

“Muslim leaders say the maneuvers are part of an agenda to deny their community rights and undermine their belief;” the intervention of foreign Evangelicals is seen to foment “hatred between Muslims and Christians”:

“Curiously, not one of the young men in the photographs is wearing a beard” in Tehran’s government-approved promotional campaign hairstyles “to halt the spread of unconventional styles and promote Islamic culture”:

“When I walk in what was left from the Warsaw Ghetto, I can’t stop thinking about the people of Gaza who are not only locked in an open air prison but are also being bombarded by fighter jets, attack helicopters and drones,” says conscientious objector Yonatan Shapira:

News and Analysis (7/6/10)

Tuesday, July 6th, 2010

While closing “proceedings on all the other incidents … mentioned in the Goldstone Report,” the IDF has filed manslaughter indictments against two soldiers for acts that “include manslaughter and disobeying a military directive”:

“If we infringe their freedom — we infringe our freedom,” says the Reverend Russel Richardson of Grace Baptist Church in Murfreesboro, Tennessee:

“Nasr Abu Zayd is a heroic figure, a scholar who has risked everything to restore the traditions of intellectual inquiry and tolerance that for so long characterized Islamic culture”:

Israel prohibits “weapons, war material and dual-use items” into Gaza, which includes fertilizer, lumber, and concrete along with several hundred pages of other banned and restricted items:

Not liberal enough? “His critics in Egypt’s Islamist circles note ruefully that Mr. Serageldin, for all his professed devotion to tolerance and freedom of thought, rarely, if ever, invites them to his conferences”:

B’tselem finds that”those responsible for Israeli settlements have “treated international law, local legislation, Israeli military orders, and Israeli law in an instrumental, cynical, and even criminal manner”:

“It is not the Promised Land. It is our land,” says a Palestinian neighbor, but outposts illegal under Israeli law continue to receive tax-deductible donations from American evangelicals; the IRS has no comment:

A critic U.S. foreign policy who condemned the 9/11 attacks as terrorism, Fadlallah denied being Hezbollah’s mentor “not because I reject Hezbollah, but because I refuse to be given a title that I don’t possess”:

News and Analysis (7/2/10)

Friday, July 2nd, 2010

“Elad Orian, an Israeli human rights activist, nodded toward the poultry barn and noted: ‘Those chickens get more electricity and water than all the Palestinians around here””:

Commercial flights between Turkey and Israel may be banned unless Israel agrees to just compensation for its attack on the “Freedom Flotilla”:

A 19-year-old and a 21-year-old are charged with arson to the house of  Lars Vilks, who allegedly was the target of a foiled murder plot by “Jihadi Jane” earlier this year:

Citing “American policies and aggression in the region,” the operator of a Lahori auto workshop is among those saying “the attacks would end if the U.S. would pull out of Afghanistan”:

When the Taliban demanded to know what was the foul stench on his patrons’ breath, they accepted tee-totaling Muslim bartender’s straight-faced response, “All non-Muslims smell like this”:

“We should instead focus on becoming the best possible Muslims, and leading the best possible lives, that we can. If the rest of the world then chooses to follow our lead, so much the better”:

Suspicions that the invasion of Iraq was a “war for oil” are nor borne out as the French and Chinese retain the same advantageous position over America as during the Saddam era: