Archive for November, 2010

The Effect of the Elections on US Foreign Policy

Monday, November 15th, 2010

[These are  our answers to questions posed by the Iranian weekly Panjereh (meaning “window”) about the effect of the mid-term Congressional elections on U.S. foreign policy.]

Q. Given the Republican’s victory, how do you see the future challenge to Obama’s foreign policy?

A. The main impact of the Republican victory will be to further discourage Obama from deviating significantly from the Bush policies. Thus, for example, his withdrawal from Iraq will mainly consist of a redeployment of combat troops to Afghanistan while leaving a substantial support force in Iraq. In Palestine he will continue to dance around the issue of the illegal settlements without succeeding in addressing the heart of the dispute. However, the election of Rand Paul to Congress may be a wild card as he and many of the “Tea Party movement” voters that supported him feel that the military should not be exempt from the budget cuts necessary to address America’s enormous debt problem. Since Sen. Paul opposes cutting the salaries of soldiers or the medical benefits of veterans, the primary target for cuts will have to be the unnecessary and counter-productive wars that Bush started and Obama has embraced.

Q. With regard to these developments, what’s your assessment of Obama’s policy toward Iran?

A. In Iran, too, Obama will pursue what he conceives to be a “moderate” course, namely to continue putting intense sanctions on Iran over the nuclear issue without launching a direct attack as Israel desires. This may have the unintended consequence of forcing him into a third war front if Israel decides to attack Iran unilaterally, as Obama will feel domestic Zionist pressure to intervene on Israel’s behalf if Iran takes direct or indirect retaliatory or defensive military action.

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

News and Analysis (11/15/10)

Monday, November 15th, 2010

Karzai “wants American troops off the roads and out of Afghan homes and that the long-term presence of so many foreign soldiers will only make the war worse”:

The pilgrimage can be a trying experience for those with limited means, but “[f]or over a billion of the world’s population the Hajj is meant to be a great leveler: transcending race, nationality, and economic background”:

Promises to block Palestinian statehood is no way to jump start balanced negotiations between Israel and Palestine:

“Huge gains” from “exceptional” cooperation between Palestinian and Israeli villagers on projects in Wadi Fukin “to preserve water supplies and protect their local environment … are now threatened”:

Counter-terrorism tactics alienate and radicalize “many Muslims across the globe, especially in West Asia and Europe … expanding [rather than] shrinking” terrorism:

News and Analysis (11/12/10)

Friday, November 12th, 2010

“[M]arked by a dramatic walkout by Iraqiya, the main Sunni-backed bloc, in protest over what it said was the coalition partners’ decision to renege on an agreement hours after it was signed”:

And now, from the people who brought you the Scopes trial:

Some Saudi intellectuals are worried by the influx of investment and development in and around Mecca, but shouldn’t be; there is nothing impious about wealth well-earned:

As a man who described the Muslim conception of God as a “primitive Bedouin” and is accused of sarcastically claiming to be God becomes the first Muslim arrested in the West Bank for religious dissent …

… Israelis take offense at an upcoming Turkish action film romanticizing a fictional special-ops team clashing with IDF forces …

… but in more uplifting news, Chile’s Education Minister demonstrates the country’s commitment to social freedom:

“[A] narrow focus of blame on named Muslim organisations and groups for allegedly failing to counter al-Awlaki’s support for al-Qaeda … invariably serves to deflect attention from more fundamental collective and institutional failings in attempts to prevent violent extremism”:

News and Analysis (11/10/10)

Wednesday, November 10th, 2010

Obama pledged “to reshape American relations with Muslim nations so they were not ‘focused solely on security issues,’ but rather on expanded cooperation across a broad range of areas, from science to education”:

“[T]he suspension of talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA) … [over] illegal Jewish settlements, has provided an opportunity for the gap between Hamas and Fatah to be bridged”:

After the attack on the Baghdad church, “[s]ecurity was beefed up around churches in Baghdad after the massacre, possibly pushing the militants to seek easier targets, such as Christian homes”:

“… Indonesia has proved that Islam and democracy can coexist and that modernity and moderation are possible in the world’s most populous Muslim country”:

China is “home to about 60,000 ethnic Chinese Muslims and boasts 1,300 years of Islamic history”:

Circumstances are compelling the West to reconsider its rejection of the hard currency system of the Sunnah:

News and Analysis (11/9/10)

Tuesday, November 9th, 2010

CAIR argues that the amendment violates both the establishment and free-exercise clauses of the First Amendment’s guarantee of religious freedom” and would ‘officially disfavor and condemn the Muslim community as being a threat to Oklahoma'”:

Just hours before departure, “the group learned that the package had been seized by U.S. Customs and Border Protection. After a flurry of phone calls, the passports were released and arrived” but “by then, all but one of the travelers had missed their flight. ‘Grown men were crying'”:

“The European Union on Tuesday urged Israel to reconsider its plan to construct more than 1,000 new homes in East Jerusalem”:

“Voter turnout is expected to reach an average of 40% and drop down to as low as 20% in areas densely populated by Jordanians of Palestinian origin, where votes normally go to the Islamists”:

“The hope among Muslims,” said the Interfaith Director of ADAMS, “is that once we get to the other side of these trials, we will never have to go through it again. That eventually, this, too, shall pass”:

“One female journalist — who said the minister had refused to shake her hand — gleefully noted that now he would no longer be able to wriggle out of it”:

News and Analysis (11/8/10)

Monday, November 8th, 2010

Over 100 terrorists have been captured or killed in the past year in Indonesia, but uprooting extremism requires means such as education and the strengthening civil society, including mainstream religion:

By presenting “a mirror image of al-Qaeda’s arguments about the inherent perversities of the infidel West … Islamophobes have actually declared war on normalcy, not extremism”:

An articulate call for the Muslim world to bring back the past glory of the Abbasid period with advances in education, religious liberty, the status of women, democracy, and intra-religious unity:

“An Israeli colonel said at this trial that there are no civilians in a war zone. But there are. If that hadn’t been the army’s attitude, maybe my daughter would still be with us” — Cindy Corrie, mother of Rachel Corrie:

A Wisconsin Muslim “encourages members of the community who are curious about Islam or the Muslim faith to come to the mosque and said they will be welcomed”:

“With 400,000 new pieces of evidence screaming for justice, the question still needs to be asked: where is the rage at the revelations brought on by the release of the Iraq war logs?”:

News and Analysis (11/5/10)

Friday, November 5th, 2010

Woolas accused Liberal Democrat opponent Elwyn Watkins of receiving support from Muslim militants who advocate violence.

“It is ironic that two important characteristics of being a Muslim, in fact the two most basic criteria (freedom and peace), are two of the most misrepresented and conflated when it comes to the West’s conception of Islam”:

“Four Lions” diffuses the aura of neurosis and fear of home-grown terrorism …

… but not in Nigeria:

Supreme Court Justice Stevens compares Japanese tourists paying their respects at the USS Arizona memorial to the Park51 community center:

The years-long Saudi “effort to recognize Israel” is conditional “on the return of the territories, including East Jerusalem, and arrives at a ‘just settlement’ of claims by Palestinian refugees”:

News and Analysis (11/4/10)

Thursday, November 4th, 2010

“An Oklahoma Muslim filed a federal lawsuit on Thursday to block a state constitutional amendment … that would prohibit state courts from considering international law or Islamic law when deciding cases”:

“Al Qaeda has been able to say, ‘We’ve been telling you Yemen is under Western military attack. And it has been catching on”:

“Hate has always been a lucrative industry, and these days the industry works non-stop attacking Muslims and denigrating their faith”:

“YouTube spokeswoman Victoria Grand said the videos by Anwar Awlaki violated the site’s guidelines prohibiting ‘incitement to commit violent acts’ “:

“[Allah Akbar] proclaims our wish to live in peace with our neighbours, our God, our fellow humans, both Muslim and non-Muslim. Or, failing that, in the current climate, just to be left to live in peace would be nice”:

National security measures can not shield from every asymmetric threat from terrorist groups, but Yemen attempts to try at a cost to business:

News and Analysis (11/3/10)

Wednesday, November 3rd, 2010

As an Indonesian worries that the new political order in the U.S. means Obama can’t bring peace to Israel and Palestine, an Israeli worries that it means he won’t be able to attack Iran:

The opening of Gaza’s borders has drastically decreased the use of Gaza’s smuggling tunnels, proving the importance of open commerce in stabilization of areas of conflict:

As tensions over drone strikes “are further exacerbated by news of NATO helicopters … killing Pakistani soldiers … anti-American sentiment will only continue to rise, despite billions of dollars of aid being promised”:

The “youthful-looking man with an easy smile” describes his job as a “lawyer, a defender and a liaison between the community and the government of the city”:

“[W]ith so many FBI agents chasing a guy whose ‘guilt’ was mostly in exercising his First Amendment rights, the FBI missed another fellow flitting around Florida, a real terrorist with blood on his mind, Mohammed Atta”:

“We’ve reports that (intelligence) agencies are up to some mischief and if something untoward happens (during the President Obama’s visit) it should not be attributed to militants” — the United Jehad Council:

News and Analysis (11/2/10)

Tuesday, November 2nd, 2010

Does conservatism equal authenticity? An interesting Bloggingheads discussion on feminism in Islam:

Scorning the fact the mosques have been exclusively Muslim places of worship for over a thousand years, Israel “seeks to consecrate its fait accompli of Palestinian land and history by laying false historical claims”:

“It is well known that the United States believes it is important for all aspects of the case to be conducted fairly and transparently and in a way that increases confidence in the rule of law in Malaysia” — Hillary Clinton:

“Jordan has accused Israel of seizing the scrolls from a museum in East Jerusalem during the 1967 Six-Day War”:

Allegations of women converts to Islam being held “in Egyptian monasteries to be forced to return to Christianity” is excuse for threats of attacks “Christians across the Middle East”:

Comments  that Maher “won’t apologize” for being alarmed by the fact that “Muhammad” (in its variant spellings) is now the most popular name for babies in Britain shows that Islamophobia is not the monopoly of the Right:

An emergency room physician at the University of Michigan suggests “intake questionnaires where patients can list their religious concerns and values” as well as “more modest hospital gowns or … wearing their own clothing”: