Archive for January, 2012

News and Analysis (1/30/12)

Monday, January 30th, 2012

A fiery advocate of civil disobedience flees Syria as the evidence that a civil war is taking place becomes increasingly hard to ignore and a question arises as to whether the Free Syrain Army might become a tool for Western interests:

An advisory group has suggested “shortening the time set aside for a 100-member panel to write Egypt’s new constitution, which might allow the election to be brought forward to May” in “an effort exerted to end the tension in the streets”:

It can happen here. A former Bush “intelligence” official” who opines “there should be no freedom of religion for Muslims, that there should be no Mosques in America, and that America is in a religious war that pits America, a ‘Christian Nation,’ against Islam was invited to address our men and women in uniform”:

“The Obedient Wives Club went kind of extreme … by saying you need to behave like a prostitute, so that kind of triggered a very negative reaction, but it was a great debate while it lasted…. It’s hard to ignore them, you know. They’re good for a laugh, actually, I think” — Ivy Josiah, women’s rights advocate who “says banning the book was unnecessary”:

“In a secular democratic country every citizen has a right to protest within constitutional limits. Why should it be wrong when no ugly incident or violence took place? Indian Muslims have never approved violence. Until and unless Rushdie is going to apologize and express regret about his writing, Muslims have a democratic right to protest”:

“Leaders in Canada’s Islamic community are saying the Shafia quadruple-murder trial was fundamentally about domestic violence rather than so-called honour killings,” saying life is a “universal value” after the presiding judge said the conviction sent a message about “Canadian values”:


News and Analysis (1/29/12)

Sunday, January 29th, 2012

Elections for the upper house of parliament begin as the Muslim Brotherhood insists its cause is one with that of the young revolutionaries, but is withdrawing from Tahrir Square after they were pelted with plastic bottles both for endorsing the military’s timetables and for trying to dominate the demonstration with a sound system and a giant stage:

Only about 100-400 Muslim women will be confined a virtual house arrest by Geert Wilders’ anti-Freedom Party:

Desite the concession to female aficionados of the sport, segregation will be maintained and men unaccompanied by female family members will still be restricted to the men only sections:

That the struggle in Egypt is between the young and the military establishment rather than the religious and the secular is demonstrated by the graffiti war:

Iran’s foreign minister says, “We have nothing to hide and Iran has no clandestine (nuclear) activities,” and the state media calls the inspection “a test for the IAEA” to see “if the team carries out its duties professionally”:

Speaking from a script that could have been written by Islamphobe Robert Spencer:

In Libya, human rights groups charge that “torture is being carried out by officially recognised military and security entities as well as by a multitude of armed militias operating outside any legal framework”:

The Syrian opposition is concerned over the fragmentation of militias while the U.N. is fragmented over Russian “interests” in Syria and the Arab League gives up for now:


News and Analysis (1/26/12)

Thursday, January 26th, 2012

The commissioner and his deputy admitted to ” involvement in the film [only] after producer Raphael Shore emailed The Times and provided a date and time of the interview” and “the department was found to be fibbing about how many times the film had been screened“:

The exception  for “‘thuggery’ … leaves a loophole for police to continue to use exceptional powers to arrest and detain civilians without cause”:

“The Brotherhood feels little need to push through legislation enforcing an Islamic vision, .. [some] members say, especially since Egyptian society is already deeply religious and conservative. More effective, they say, is influencing the culture. [They] show a confidence that they can … bring the public into their way of life” by example:

After Voices in the Dark, Al Jazeera English’s surprising documentary on revolts in Bahrain, the news agency publishes a video on the prospects of reform in Saudi Arabia that brings mention to the unrest in the Shiite majority eastern cities and women rights:

“I’ll stay on hunger strike until they open the door to me in my niqab,” Ms Hazzi said. “It covers my face, but not my mind”:

 “The real revolution – will happen only when true representatives of citizens, rather than the military, begin to set their countries’ political course”:

“Woman, Muslim, marital rape, human right, victim, domestic violence, harassment: all these words are going to come up in net-searches or tags. Add to it a few ahadith and verses from the Quran that seem patriarchal enough and voila! Recipe for a hit, with many comments under it, commending the bravery and valour of the one who dared to bring it up. Let me be clear here, it is not just about Islam, any religion or ethical code will not allow a human being wronged”…

…a blog post that adequately responds to the following news “hit”:

Muslims who kbnow the accused caution, “Allegations are not facts. Facts are not known yet. As a community, we have known good from both…. We remind the Muslim and non-Muslim community members that, according to the law, both are presumed innocent until proven guilty”:

Things just keep getting worse in Syria:

Q&A: The Truth About Zabiha (“Halal”) Meat

Wednesday, January 25th, 2012

Q: I received an email of concern from a Christian reverend who wants to get some correct information that he can print in his newsletter regarding what is halal in Islam. This is in response to what he sees as anti-Islam bigotry that has been circulating among some people on the subject of halal and the purported harmful nature of halal products. As far as he is concerned, halal rules are similar to kashrut/kosher law. He cannot therefore understand the purpose of all this attack. He would like some help in answering the bigots who are spewing this stuff…. He would like a few or several paragraph response to what [such attacks] so that he can print this corrective information in his interfaith newsletter.

A. For a lengthy answer contact the USA Halal Chamber of Commerce Inc.  This is a quick response:

Halal is like the Jewish concept of kosher although not as complicated. The Islamic method of slaughter strictly prohibits the conception of carrion such as the already dead animals your correspondent accuses Muslim butchers of using and explicitly prohibits cruelty to the food animals. The accusations of excessive violations of food codes are imaginary. When I instructed a hotel hosting an event of ours to use a Halal Butcher for the dinner they inspected the shop themselves and told me that they had NEVER BEFORE SEEN SUCH A CLEAN BUTCHER SHOP and were considering using it for all their catered dinners.

The Qur’an spells out clearly what is halal in the opening verses of Surah 5 (The Tablespread, a reference to the miracle of Jesus, peace be upon him, of the loaves and fishes):

1              O ye who believe! fulfil (all) obligations. Lawful unto you (for food) are all four-footed animals with the exceptions named: but animals of the chase are forbidden while ye are in the Sacred Precincts or in pilgrim garb: for God doth command according to His Will and Plan.

2              O ye who believe! violate not the sanctity of the Symbols of God nor of the Sacred Month nor of the animals brought for sacrifice nor the garlands that mark out such animals nor the people resorting to the Sacred House seeking of the bounty and good pleasure of their Lord. But when ye are clear of the Sacred Precincts and of pilgrim garb ye may hunt and let not the hatred of some people in (once) shutting you out of the Sacred Mosque lead you to transgression (and hostility on your part).  Help ye one another in righteousness and piety but help ye not one another in sin and rancor: fear God: for God is strict in punishment.

3              Forbidden to you (for food) are: dead meat blood the flesh of swine and that on which hath been invoked the name of other than God that which hath been killed by strangling or by a violent blow or by a headlong fall or by being gored to death; that which hath been (partly) eaten by a wild animal; unless ye are able to slaughter it (in due form); that which is sacrificed on stone (altars); (forbidden) also is the division (of meat) by raffling with arrows: that is impiety.  This day have those who reject faith given up all hope of your religion: yet fear them not but fear Me.  This day have I perfected your religion for you completed my favor upon you and have chosen for you Islam as your religion.  But if any forced by hunger with no inclination to transgression God is indeed Oft-Forgiving Most Merciful.

4              They ask thee what is lawful to them (as food): say: Lawful unto you are (all) things good and pure: and what ye have taught your trained hunting animals (to catch) in the manner directed to you by God; eat what they catch for you but pronounce the name of God over it: and fear God; for God is swift in taking account.

5              This day are (all) things good and pure made lawful unto you.  The food of the People of the Book [i.e., Jews and Christians] is lawful unto you and yours is lawful unto them.

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

News and Analysis (1/25/12)

Wednesday, January 25th, 2012

Nearly 1,500 New York Police department officers are trained  to think that American Muslims have plans to infiltrate and dominate America:

Holding that “‘the market economy and free trade … is part and parcel of Islam as a complete way of life,’ and “reminding Westerners” that “Ronald Reagan suggest that the philosophies of Ibn Khaldun, a 14th-century Islamic scholar, anticipated the Laffer Curve by 600 years,” the “group has supported lower taxes” and condemns monopolies:

“The recognition and accommodation of Islamic religious practices, from clothing to language to education, does not mean capitulation to fundamentalism. On the contrary, only by strengthening the democratic rights of Muslim citizens to form associations, join political parties and engage in other aspects of civic life can Europe integrate immigrants and give full meaning to the abstract promise of religious liberty”:

Rushdie speculated that ” the same police who want to arrest Hari, Amitava, Jeet and Ruchir” fabricated threats from violent extremists to keep him away, but the police deny everything:
Leader of the raided group asks why socialists and communists can advocate changing the system by electoral means, but the advocates of an Islamic state cannot? “Don’t I have freedom of expression? Don’t I have freedom of religion? If people have a problem with the belief that I carry that means they have a problem with democracy, with freedom”:

“We are deeply disappointed” that the only U.S. soldier to be punished for the massacre “will receive a punishment that is suitable for a traffic violation” — Anbar provincial council member from Haditha:

As part of an Israeli crackdown thought to be intended to frustrate reconciliation between Fatah and Hamas, Israel has jailed 27 of the Palestinian Legislative Council members 19 of them without trial:

Dissatisfaction with the NTC continues to mount:

“Whatever the conduct of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s government in other realms, its fuel-subsidy reforms in late 2010 are impressive”:

News and Analysis (1/22/12)

Sunday, January 22nd, 2012

“[A]pproval would have been required under the presidential order that Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said authorized the unusual assignment”:

Crisis of dissatisfaction with the NTC hits Benghazi:

Boko Haram escalates its carnage to new levels now claiming it now targets “anyone who opposes it, at present mainly police, the government and Christian groups”:

With Islamist victories in Egypt confirmed, Human Rights Watch warns that “Islamist parties are ‘genuinely popular’ in the Arab world” and that “ignoring that popularity would violate democratic principles” …

… but the regional changes that have given Hamas hope of an Islamic spring “have cast it adrift from its headquarters in Syria and prompted Meshal to suggest non-militarized confrontation with Israel, to the chagrin of some in the movement”:

As the split over the Arab League mission becomes sharper, the Saudis pull out:

After “delivering a farewell speech in which he asked for forgiveness and said it was time to hand over power,” a spokesman for Saleh “said he would seek medical care in the United States, then return to Yemen before presidential elections next month to head his ruling party”:

News and Analysis (1/20/12)

Friday, January 20th, 2012

Amid protests over the five-year old murder of a journalist, a breaking story of extrajudicial killings of Kurds from the 1990s:

“The United States should repair its image in the Middle East to play a more constructive role in the region,” according to “Muslim Brotherhood Chairman Mohamed Badie” who “said past U.S. administrations earned a bad reputation in the region by supporting Arab dictators”:

Reformists is a term embracing present and former Muslim members “from 20 to 50 years old” diverse in “profession …, socio-economic status, and place of residence … who advocate for more creative approaches to Islamic texts, … and insist on the necessity of justifying the values of democracy and citizenship in Islamic terms”:

Is Hamas taking the fun out of fundamentalism? “This is more serious than Hamas just killing fun in Gaza — they are limiting the freedoms of the people, according to their whims”:

“Analysts say about 20 of Hamas’s 74 MPs in the 132-member PLC are currently being held by Israel”:

“Newt Gingrich said that the only way he would ever support a Muslim for the presidency of the United States is if that person would “commit in public to give up sharia,” thereby continuing his trend to exhibit his ignorance on the subject of Islamic law (sharia) as well as his ignorance of the United States Constitution”:

The controversial Arab League mandate nears an end:

News and Analysis (1/18/12)

Wednesday, January 18th, 2012

Gaming simulations demonstrate that an Iranian bomb would not mean war with Israel, but might “set off a global arms race” and “deter Israel from striking at Hamas and Hezbollah” …

… and Iran has announced that rather than intimidate others from pursuing careers in nuclear science, the assassination of a young chemical engineer has backfired and “some 1,300 university students had changed majors to nuclear physics and engineering in support of the country’s nuclear program”:

Even as the U.S. moves for talks with Iran, the talks with the Taliban are jeopardized by Guatanamo and by a horrifying charges of child abuse, called a “PR gift to the Taliban”:

The elected rulers of Hamas “said the victims were all civilians and said it held Israel responsible, raising the prospect of a new exchange of attacks across the volatile border”:

The Islamic tradition attributed to the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) “‘Allah grants plenty or shortage. He is the sustainer and real price maker'” is “the kind of small-government, go-it-alone approach that” makes one young American frontier convert to Islam support a 76-year=old Baptist for President …

… but, “discussions of issues involving Muslims … have become more difficult with the intervention of Israel” — Prof. Emeritus Dr W. Scott Thompson, Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University:

Among the challenges faced by Muslim women seeking mates in the West is that they “academically outperform the men. … Bangladeshi and Pakistani women are more likely to be employed as professionals than their male counterparts. This means that professional Muslim women have an even smaller pool of intellectual and economic equals to choose from”:

Libyan concerns about foreign forces on the ground were not just paranoia after all, and suspected supporters of the late dictator are now subject to savage and fatal brutality:

A human rights activist accuses the Iranian regime of using “physical and psychological torture” to extract confessions from a man whose family members say “is a programmer who wrote photo-uploading software that was used by a porn website without his knowledge”:

With 46% of the seats in parliament in hand, the FJP turns its attention to practical problems in the unsettled Egyptian atmosphere:

News and Analysis (1/16/12)

Monday, January 16th, 2012

“[Bush] went absolutely ballistic….. There’s no question that the U.S. has cooperated with Israel in intelligence-gathering operations against the Iranians, but this was different. No matter what anyone thinks, we’re not in the business of assassinating Iranian officials or killing Iranian civilians” — unnamed US intelligence officer:

As Iran claims it has evidence of U.S. complicity in the recent assassination of its young scientist and Europe is at a loss on  how to deal what it sees as Iranian “dissembling,” evidence emerges of Israeli:

THEN, “Different groups — ethnic or religious minorities, the business sector, Islamists and secular activists — were played off against, and ‘protected’ from, each other by the leader who sat atop the pyramid;” NOW, “a secular liberal … just elected to Parliament … and others have begun a quiet discussion with the Islamist parties about how to cooperate on legislation to get Egypt growing again and to show that the new power holders can produce a better Egypt”:

Hope for Christian-Muslim reconciliation in Nigeria?

Arguing that the ” imam from Trinidad, ‘abandoned the true tenants of his religion’ by participating in the plot, U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch” wins a life sentence:

“The Nobel laureate, regarded as a driving force behind the movement that forced the former president Hosni Mubarak to step down, said the conditions for a fair election were not in place”:

The creator of the Muslimah Media Watch website says, “Islam is about submission to God, an important facet of that is submission to what’s just. Thus, both Islam and feminism guide my outlook and my work” …

… while a former female member of the Muslim Brotherhood “dismisses [its founder’s] dictum that there is no need to invest heavily in girls’ education and that women should be trained only to serve as housewives and mothers … [as] contradictory to true Islam”:

Is Asad’s amnesty offer just another attempt to avoid the increasing impatience of the Arab world:

Is al-Qaeda making a comeback?

News and Analysis (1/12/12)

Thursday, January 12th, 2012

As “much about spreading terror as they are about stopping the nuclear program;” the “messages in these campaigns” are “to terrorize those who are working in” and to target “young scientists thinking of joining” Iranian nuclear development, and to threaten “the regime and population” that “We can get you anywhere, any time” …

… but, surrounded by adversaries with nuclear weapons, Iran knows how nukes saved North Korea from Iraq’s fate, and may take a different message from “mysterious cyber sabotage, drone violations of its air space, the slaying of its nuclear scientists and” explosions at military sites “Israeli and American officials are not trying too hard to conceal”:

Something on which Panetta, Karzai, the Taliban and the USMC can agree:

Because allowing Muslims and Christians to gain citizenship would be “national suicide” for the apartheid state:

She alleges “that the school failed to investigate her claims that a fellow student sexually harassed her and instead retaliated by reporting her to the FBI based on a false claim that she was a terrorist”:

Have the Shabab resorted to Israeli-style “price tags” against he invading Kenyans?

“The Islamist Justice and Development Party formed Morocco’s new government Jan. 3 promising a change to the status quo, after dominating November elections. But analysts and activists say the king’s new “shadow cabinet,” which includes some outgoing ministers, will really rule Morocco and prevent any real reform in this North African kingdom”:

“A representative from the group said they intend to stage a sit-in on the Turkish side of the border” and “the head of the Arab League, Nabil al-Arabi, has said that the organisation will ‘re-think’ its observer mission next week”: