Archive for September, 2010

News and Analysis (9/16/10)

Thursday, September 16th, 2010

In a perverse move to fight fraud, officials sacrifice democracy to security by closing hundreds of polling places:

“May the children of the Stock of Abraham, who dwell in this land, continue to merit and enjoy the good will of the other Inhabitants; while every one shall sit in safety under his own vine and figtree, and there shall be none to make him afraid” — George Washington:

Elbaradei’s petition for reform has “collected 800,000 signatures, nearly 700,000 of them secured through the [Muslim] Brotherhood website”:

“Nudity is allowed in the West. How come wearing decent clothes is not allowed?” asked Hamzeh Mansour, the secretary-general of Islamic Action Front:

For Erdogan free trade, not sanctions, are the way to peace:

“More than nine hundred mosques have existed in the U.S. since the early nineteen-nineties, and the oldest one, located in Dearborn, Michigan, recently marked its seventy-third anniversary”:

Afghan officials promise security for elections

News and Analysis (9/15/10)

Wednesday, September 15th, 2010

Supreme Court Justice Breyer equates the burning of the Qur’an with shouting fire in a crowded theater, although it seems to us a comparison to shouting “fighting words” is more appropriate …

… but the New York Civil Liberties Union says Derek Fenton’s “First Amendment rights probably were violated” when he was “fired for burning the Koran while off-duty”:

Iran’s internal struggle over the release of the American hiker is worthy of study:

A federal appeals court granted a new hearing to a Muslim woman in considering whether you lose your first amendment rights when in a holding cell awaiting a decision on a community service extension deadline:

Re-defining chutzpah, after condemning the Muslim-American community’s bid to build a Muslim community center in lower Manhattan, the ADL now offers “to help American Muslim communities that are facing opposition to the building of mosques”:

“Opponents claim the charges mask an attempt by Erdogan to silence critics, but the government, in its second term and gearing up for elections in 2011, says the removal of the military’s shadow over politics is overdue”:

News and Analysis (9/14/10)

Tuesday, September 14th, 2010

As Indian Muslims show they understand Islam’s respect for the sacred scriptures of others …

…  Ayatollah Khamenei’s call for the US to punish desecration of the Quran, shows how little he understands of the American system of impartial justice, religious liberty, and constitutional protection …

… meanwhile, in Muslim community members in Knoxville call the desecration of a Qur’an there an unrepresentative “isolated incident;” even Neo-Nazis are surprised by the act and characterize it as a “hate crime” …

Amidst supposed “peace talks”, Netanyahu refuses to yield anything on curbing the future construction of Israeli settlements in the West Bank, even at the risk of derailing the entire talks:

Lawyer says student suffers from PTSD; Sharif, the NYC man stabbed repeatedly by the student, says he has no doubt the attack was fueled by anti-Muslim bias, regardless of  the PTSD:

Skateboarder shouts “Dude, you have no Quran!” as he grabs the text to deliver it into “the safe hands of a smiling local Muslim leader”; no news of whether the attempted burner wants his property back:

News and Analysis (9/13/10)

Monday, September 13th, 2010

Constitutional amendments that move power from the military to the civilian government pass handily:

As MFI’s president explains to students that while “America is unique in allowing any religion and any kind of speech,” but that drawing parallels between the Manhattan Islamic center Qur’an burning is “misguided” …

… a recent poll shows that the work of MFI in the cause of reason, tolerance, and good-will has a long road ahead:

Despite the incapacity of the Pakistani government to distribute enough aid, efficiently and/or quickly enough, Pakistani Muslims effected by the flood make the best of the worst:

“In the past year,” Ariel Rosenberg, the spokesman of the Israeli Ministry of Construction writes, “the situation in the area under discussion has significantly worsened and the guards are witness to extremely hostile activity”:

“We changed the message to be a celebration of the freedom to read. Instead of burning, we should engage with those ideas,” said Barbara Jones, director of the Chicago library association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom

News and Analysis (9/10/10)

Friday, September 10th, 2010

“Imad-ad-Dean Ahmad of the Minaret of Freedom Institute points out that other Western democracies have laws b4323 Rosedale Ave.anning hate speech, but that freedom of speech in the United States is unique”:

FL pastor claims deal was reached with Imam Rauf of the planned NYC Muslim community center …

… however, sources report that there was no deal, or even any discussions with the FL pastor:

Americans are detaining 200 alleged “extremely dangerous or too politically sensitive to turn over to the Iraqis”:

“What do a Las Vegas casino manager, a Cambodian refugee, a Hurricane Katrina hero and a champion Georgian girls basketball team all have in common? They are all American – and they are all Muslim”:

“One wonders how strip clubs, seedy bars and porn shops that exist in closer proximity to Ground Zero than the proposed center do not violate its sanctity, whereas a house of worship, albeit a Muslim mosque, does”:

News and Analysis (9/9/10)

Thursday, September 9th, 2010

Is Terry Jones giving aid and comfort to the enemy? “Only God knows if there will be another such an opportunity to defend our religion and Koran,” says an insurgent pamphlet …

… and as Evangelical leaders seek to dissuade Jones from his reckless course, even Sarah Palin has doubts about the wisdom of Qur’an burning:

Indian authorities remove the enforced curfew in Kashmir for Eid-ul-Fitr, giving a reason to celebrate to a population under duress of unsettled competition between Pakistan, China, and India:

“According to a [new] Washington Post-ABC News poll, 49 percent of all Americans say that they have generally unfavorable opinions of Islam, compared with 37 percent who say that they have favorable ones”:

The latest target of the Islamophobes is a small Muslim college:

With hate crimes against Jews outnumbering even those against Muslims, “Jews and Muslims share a common interest in fighting hate crimes in America and working to strengthen pluralism” …

… meanwhile back in Deutschland, a member of the board of the central bank argues the Nazis were mistaken only in the specifics,  claiming Jews are smart and Muslims inferior:

News and Analysis (9/8/10)

Wednesday, September 8th, 2010

“It is regrettable that a pastor … with a church of no more than 50 people can make this outrageous and distrustful, disgraceful plan and get the world’s attention…. It is … not who we are.” — Sec. of State Hilary Clinton:

“I do not underestimate the challenges that will be involved in bringing our work to completion. … we will clearly identify all of our financial backers,” Imam Rauf (identified as a Sufi by author Stephen Prothero):

Syrian crackdown goes into high gear:

2008 Libertarian presidential candidate Bob Barr warns that Islam is not Qur’an burners’ only target as they believe that “any religion .  .  .  which teaches that Jesus is not the Son of God” is “of the devil”:

News and Analysis (9/7/10)

Tuesday, September 7th, 2010

Rabbi Arthur Waskow reminds us that “Those who begin by burning books will end by burning people”:

“On one hand, 9/11 is a very difficult day for us, and on then other hand, Eid is like our Christmas, it’s a day for celebration,” says Zeba Iqbal, Executive Director of the Council on the Advancement of Muslim Professionals:

“The spectacle of Israeli youth helping destroy al-Arakib helps explain why 56% of Jewish Israeli high school students do not believe Arabs should be allowed to serve in the Knesset – why the next generation wants apartheid”:

Foreign policy Realists from the Nixon Center question how strategic federally-funded programs in Israel are (a novel idea from the school of thought of Kissinger):

Fordham University Professor Father Patrick Ryan explains how conflict, and cooperation between Christians and Muslims is not new:

Step by step, and without intending to, Mobley’s captors seem to have turned a man who declined to be a spy into a murderer:

“ElBaradei was not specific on where he would take his campaign next, but he threatened civil disobedience if the regime continues to ignore calls for change”:

News and Analyis (9/3/10)

Friday, September 3rd, 2010

Kelantan province fights monetary irresponsibility with its minting of dinars, because  “a piece of paper … is just an IOU”:

A ham-handed government attempt to smear the Muslim Brotherhood backfires, “turning a dinosaur into a living political phenomenon”:

MFI president Imad-ad-Dean Ahmad argues that Netanyahu’s attempt to convince Abbas that citizens of Israel and Palestine should be guaranteed civil rights but not “national rights” is a step backwards:

“The West has accused us of curbing the liberties of BlackBerry users, while America, Israel, Britain and other countries are allowed access to all transferred data”:

“[P]anicked depositors formed long queues at Kabul Bank branches throughout the country, nearly every branch a staging ground of outrage against the government”:

Asked how far away from ground zero should Park51 be built, 9% of New Yorkers say no distance is sufficiently far away, demonstrating “why we don’t put fundamental rights up to a show of hands”:

Netanyahu Treats Negotiations Like a Joke

Friday, September 3rd, 2010

In his remarks at the State Department on Sept. 2, Benyamin Netanyahu made a joke out of the peace negotiations by urging his counterpart, Mahmoud Abbas, to adopt the position that “There is no contradiction between a nation-state that guarantees the national rights of the majority and guaranteeing the civil rights, the full civil equality, of the minority.” To me, this is nothing more than a transparent ploy to preemptively defend Israeli apartheid from becoming a point of negotiation in the talks.

What transforms the ploy from being simply a defense of racism into a sick joke is the fact that the man whom Netanyahu is lecturing has no interest in distinguishing between national and civil rights of Palestinians. The Palest8inian Authority has inherited the Palestine Liberation Organization’s the principle of equal rights of all Palestinians whether Jewish, Christian, or Muslim. Netanyahu’s comments would be more appropriate if his interlocutor were Hamas, which has adopted Israel’s peculiar notion about a distinction between national rights and civil rights, claiming, as Israel does, that while there should be no discrimination in the civil rights of law-abiding citizens, nonetheless the land of Palestine (to Hamas) or to Israel (to the Zionists) is a trust of single group (Muslims to Hamas, Jews to Zionists).

Even if Netanyahu and Hamas are correct on this point (and I would be fascinated to hear the debate), as a practical matter it is a step backwards in the peace process to try to convince Abbas to adopt their point of view. If the U.S. administration wants the peace talks to be anything other than a joke, they need to invite Hamas to the talks and immediately start to try to convince both Hamas and Netanyahu that the citizens of any nation-state should have the same national and civil rights as any other. That is, after all, America’s great contribution to the evolution of human governance.

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