Archive for June, 2012

News and Analysis (6/28/12)

Thursday, June 28th, 2012

“The stakes are now very high because a jury will be asked to decide if the government engaged in preventative detention — a practice that Congress has never authorized in the history of this country” —

Bahrain has offered $153,000 each in compensation to 17 families of victims killed in the anti-regime protests last March and has released an activist with a Twitter following of 150,000 after three weeks detention:

The traditional venue for swearing in the Egyptian president of parliament “was dissolved by the ruling military council. The alternative” is “the Constitutional Court, which is packed with judges appointed in the Mubarak era. The venue will be a signal to revolutionaries whether their new president is willing to defy the powerful generals”:

The contrast with her predecessors “are symbolic of the sea change in Egyptian politics” and “there is already a war of words on social media over her conservative, modest style which is shared by the vast majority of women in Egypt’s impoverished villages and towns”:

U.S. Taxpayers should take warning, “senior Israeli military leaders” are using the election of an Islamist to the presidency of Egypt as an excuse to ask for $15 billion in additional military expenditures …

… Meanwhile, Israel’s defense minister says accusations that Mossad is behind the assassination are not “necessarily true,” while the Syrian opposition blames the government:

“Rebel forces attacked Syria’s main court in central Damascus on Thursday, state television said, while Turkey deployed troops and anti-aircraft rocket launchers to the Syrian border, building pressure on President Bashar al-Assad’ …

… as Russia stands by its ally:

“Separatists have dismissed the government’s promise to investigate the blaze and are demanding an independent probe. The separatists had called for a strike on Tuesday, but residents maintained it Wednesday on their own”:

The Ahmadiyya movement, which claims that it founder fulfilled the promise of the return of Jesus as well personified the Muslim mahdi, “is persecuted around the world, but it has plenty of friends on Capitol Hill”:

“Earlier this month the administration granted exceptions to India and six other economies. Japan and 10 European Union countries got exceptions in March”:

News and Analysis (6/26/12)

Tuesday, June 26th, 2012

When the NDAA empowered the American military to detain citizens we argued it was unAmerican and when Egypt’s military did the same thing, the Muslim Brotherhood complained it was unIslamic; now the Egyptian courts rule its unEgyptian as well:

Morsi’s announcement that his VPs will be a woman and a Christian before he knows which woman or which Christian indicates he is more concerned about their gender and religion than about their qualifications …

.. but Fawaz Gerges explains that such political pragmatism is only to be expected:

“Activists frequently liken United States statements — condemning violence by both the government and its opponents — to Russia’s on Syria” and as with Russia’s arms sales to Syria, a “senior Obama administration official said last month that the weapons sales would not include arms used for crowd control”:

The German district court found that “freedom of religion and the rights of the parents of the circumcised cannot justify the practice” of circumcision:

Her boss says a bald anchorwoman looks unprofessional and some fanatics find the look sinful, but Ras Adiba, who has relatives and friends victimized by cancer, insists shearing her locks was the compassionate thing to do, “I am answerable to God. Islam is a way of life, and we are told to always help people” and has put on a turban:

The Islamist prime minister’s overruling the secular president’s objections to the extradition underscore different perspectives on human rights concerns:

“Ankara has accused Syrian gunners of targeting a Turkish search-and-rescue plane looking for survivors from the downed jet, and on Tuesday morning the prime minister claimed Syrian helicopters had violated Turkish airspace five times recently without a Turkish response” but NATO is “not considering a collective armed response”:

Kashimiri “separatists rejected the government probe and instead called for an independent investigation. They also called for a general strike on Tuesday”:

“A new study finds that most Germans who oppose Israel’s Palestinian policies are not anti-Semitic, but pro-peace and human rights”:

News and Analysis (6/25/12)

Monday, June 25th, 2012

Following his 52%-48% victory in the presidential election …

… Morsi calls for unity, declaring, “I have no rights, only responsibilities. If I do not deliver, do not obey me” …

… and promises conciliation and vindication of the martyrs, while others speculate on what will really happen in the looming showdown with the military that has stripped the presidency of power, dissolved parliament and made clear it has no intention of giving up its control Egypt:

Turkey’s president dismisses Syria’s charge that it violated Syrian airspace, saying such violations are “routine”:

According to her complaint, “commissioners … rescinded the offer when they learned of her heritage,” asked her “to minimize her work in the Muslim world, because several commissioners were uncomfortable with Muslims” and “one staffer recommended she ‘call in sick’ to avoid a few of the commissioners on days they’d be in the office”:

“The Saudi regime, which closed private gyms for women in 2009 and 2010 and severely limits women’s ability to undertake physical activity, has been under mounting international pressure to adopt a more liberal approach”:

“We fully support the Bill, we have gone through it and it has catered for all the interests. It is not discriminatory to the Muslim community” — Sheikh Athman Mponda, Chairman of the Association of Muslim Organisations in Kenya:

News and Analysis (6/22/12)

Friday, June 22nd, 2012
It is through efforts to bring both religious and international principles into the discussion on refugees that there is hope that leaders can find new and realistic solutions to this pressing issue:

“A military source who spoke to Ahram Online on condition of anonymity spelt out the ruling military council’s position on Egypt’s current uncertain political situation, in which the Muslim Brotherhood appears to stand on the verge of winning the presidency”…

… A view that is not shared by the liberals who, despite being uneasy about the electoral success of the Islamists, the prospect of Shafik winning, or of the army retaining power behind an impotent President Morsy, would for them mean the failure of their revolution:

… a view that plays into the hands of the military:

The Taliban attacks a resort in Kabul and kill at least 20 people because “Afghan government officials and foreigners frequent the restaurant and hotel and drink alcohol there:

“[E]very mosque prays against Boko Haram because what they are doing is not Islamic as Islam views the killing of one person as the killing of humanity” — Muazu Sani, representative of the Jama’atu Nasril Islam at the “security forum organized by the Plateau State Police Command yesterday to deliberate on the Boko Haram threats “:
“You were rubbing elbows with some of the most dangerous revolutionaries of the past few years …, there has to be religious tolerance in the world. There has to be freedom of speech” — U.S. District Judge Liam O’Grady:
In Australia, the greatest growth in religious followers is among followers  of Islam, with the number of Muslims increasing by 40 per cent since the 2006 census:

A “potentially alarming development as Syria’s civil war is deepening and signs are emerging that Turkey is assisting the arming of that country’s rebels”:

A Syrian air force colonel has become the country’s first senior military officer to defect in his aircraft, seeking asylum in Jordan after making an emergency landing in his MiG-21 fighter jet.

News and Analysis (6/20/12)

Wednesday, June 20th, 2012

Tariq Ramadan is provides a country-by country analysis of the factors that influenced the events of the Arab Spring:

“Under the previous standards, investment was banned or restricted in companies that were involved in industries deemed to be unethical, such as gambling, alcohol and tobacco. These restrictions are now being made more stringent”:

Tunisians show compassion for Libyans …

… but Afghan refugees are scheduled to lose their legal residency in Pakistan at the end of the year, although many are not ready to return:

The Muslim Brotherhood and other groups rally in Tahrir Square to draw on resentment over recent military actions and give new momentum to Egypt’s revolution:

MENA initially reported Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak was “clinically dead” upon arrival, but a security official said he was put on life support:

Afghan justice minister claimed that women’s shelters encouraged “immorality and prostitution,” according to news reports and accusations of infidelity flare within the Afghani community:

“He has done nothing but sit quietly and attentively. The fact that he has hair on his face should not be the basis to exclude him from the courtroom” — defense attorney Lt. Col. Kris Poppe:

Conflict between Muslims and Buddhists in Myanmar make future coexistence impossible:

“Absent from the five marathon sessions in Moscow over Iran’s nuclear program were any new incentives, from either side, to signal that compromise is imminent or even possible”:

News and Analysis (6/18/12)

Monday, June 18th, 2012

Egypt’s military trumps the FJP presidential election victory by declaring its own constitution preserving a military dictatorship:

The assassination shows ‘that militants have the ability to strike despite losing ground to the army, which regained control of several towns in the southern province of Abyan last week”:

“Iranian diplomats charge that the P5+1 offer violated the framework agreed in Istanbul of a reciprocal, step-by-step exchange of concessions. P5+1 officials counter that Iran must first agree to take “concrete” action in Moscow. But analysts say Iran’s perception that it is being forced to accept a lopsided offer is unacceptable”:

“I’m married to an utterly irresistible Muslim man who makes me laugh, respects and cherishes me as an equal partner. I’m the mother of a Muslim son whom we are raising with the Islamic values that will make him a strong advocate of women’s rights, just like his father and the other Muslim men in my life”:

“The claim is explosive because it appears to contradict Mr Murdoch’s evidence to the Leveson Inquiry”:

“Among the mourners was the man most likely to be named as successor: Prince Salman, 76, who is seen as more likely to continue the 89-year-old King Abdullah’s cautious economic and social reforms than the conservative Nayef”:

News and Analysis (6/15/12)

Friday, June 15th, 2012

By dissolving the parliament the Mubarak-appointed Egyptian high court has tipped the military’s hand that it has no intention of giving up power, but in doing so provides an opportunity for Egypt’s extremely diverse democratic movement to regain the unity it has lost since Mubarak’s resignation:

” The aim of transitional justice is both to punish the guilty and inspire reforms to ensure that abuses are not repeated…. Tunisia must first answer key questions, from whether and how to compensate victims to the scope and make-up of a possible truth commission”:

Showing contempt for lawyer-client privilege as well as for diplomatic immunity:

“After spending the last year and a half holding hearings on ‘radicalization’ within the American Muslim community, House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Peter King (R-N.Y.) is preparing to hold hearings on his hearings…. What’s next? A hearing on the Muslim community’s response to the hearing on the earlier hearings?”

“Both rebels and forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad are intensifying violence in Syria and striving for military gains rather than peaceful transition, the chief U.N. monitor in Syria said on Friday”:

Scoffing that the government “basically handed Abyan over to terrorists, and we’re to thank the military for getting them out?” a local secessionist activist insists, “This is a southern victory for the southern people”:

“[S]tateless Muslim people of South Asian descent [are] now at the heart of Myanmar’s worst sectarian violence in years. The United Nations has called them ‘virtually friendless'”:

“The unlikely pro-Israel crusader quickly became the darling of the literary world. Yet soon after his release on bail, allegations began surfacing that Choudhury was a ruthless con artist with a criminal past”:

News and Analysis (6/13/12)

Wednesday, June 13th, 2012

Taking its cue from the US’s NDAA detention provisions?

Unrest plagues even Tunisia whose experience with the Arab Spring has been long listed as an example of success. The new regime’s policy of freedom of expression for all is now challenged by the acts and assertions of the Salafists within its borders:
Liberals in Egypt continue to feel marginalized and demand more representation, efforts that have been delaying the handover of power to the future Egyptian president:
Erdogan is “launching a new front in the culture war and I think politically this will serve him, because a majority of the country is probably against abortion” — Mustafa Akyol:

In the deadliest day in Iraq since Jan. 5, when a wave of bombings killed 78 people, sectarian conflict persists as terrorists target the annual pilgrimage that sees hundreds of thousands of Shiites converge on a golden-domed shrine in Baghdad to commemorate the eighth century death of a revered Shiite saint:

The Iraqi Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities has stopped dealing with US archeology and exploration teams because the US administration has failed to fulfill its promises to return Iraqi antiquities that were transported to the US by the US forces in 2003:

The war drums over Syria reach a disturbing crescendo in terms of slanted news reports, dubious and even hypocritical (given U.S. armaments to Israel used against civilians in Gaza and Lebanon) accusations against Syria’s allies and threats of unilateral intervention:

News and Analysis (6/10/12)

Sunday, June 10th, 2012

“Karzai said he had been given a ‘commitment’ that American forces would cease bombing such targets” following “widespread anger in Afghanistan over a raid on Wednesday that killed women, children and elderly people in a home that US forces believed was harbouring a Taliban militant”:

“[T]he longest war in US history … has consumed $57 billion in American development aid”and “more than $517 billion trying to subdue and secure one of the most invaded countries in human history. What, in the end, has the United States achieved”?

“Christian Solidarity Worldwide deplored the ‘rising racism [and] intolerance’ in Burma, which it says ‘follows a steady increase in racist propaganda against Muslims generally'” and which is now an excuse for the government to stall on democratic reform:

“The disparate revolutionary groups cannot agree on who speaks for them and what they want. And the Brotherhood cannot agree on what it needs to do to win the revolutionary vote. Both sides can’t even agree on how important the taxi driver vote is. But they do agree that the fate of the revolution rests with the Brotherhood”:

“A Somali Islamist militant group is offering rewards of chickens and camels for information on the whereabouts of the US president, Barack Obama, and secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, mocking the millions of dollars the United States has offered for leaders of the al-Qaida affiliate”:

As Assad forces renew the assault on Homs, the “umbrella organisation for opposition groups” is accused of being “dominated by Islamists and not inclusive enough” and some hope it’s new leader “could attract more Kurds and other Syrian minority groups to join forces with the council”:

Secular idolatry: “A 22-meter (72-foot) high copper statue of Ataturk – the country’s biggest of the iconic figure – was inaugurated on May 19 in northeastern Turkey, a tribute to the near-mystical hold that Ataturk exerts over his fervent believers, whose admiration is rooted in his success in imposing secular values on a largely Muslim nation”:

Why do foreigners have such a hard time learning the obvious lesson “that while invading may be relatively simple, occupying Afghanistan [is] impossibly costly”?

The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) website says that the comments by chairman Murad Ebrahim evidence “commitment” to a peaceful resolution of “the insurgency that has claimed over 150,000 lives since the early 1970s”:

News and Analysis (6/8/12)

Friday, June 8th, 2012

“Marine Gen. John Allen flew to Logar province to personally deliver his regrets to villagers and provincial officials for the deaths of women, children and village elders in Wednesday’s pre-dawn raid to capture a Taliban operative. Afghan officials have said the airstrike called in by NATO troops killed 18 civilians”:

Blaming “several longtime commissioners” the “suit quotes Shea as writing that ‘hiring a Muslim like Ms. Ghori-Ahmad to analyze religious freedom in Pakistan would be like “hiring an IRA activist to research the UK twenty years ago”’”:

“Writing a new constitution is a key step in Egypt’s transition because it will not only define the powers of the new president and the parliament, but it will also lay out the relationship between Islam and the state and define the military’s role in politics”

“On what was supposed to be the “Friday of Isolating Ahmed Shafiq,” a call to protest the Egyptian presidential candidate who was Hosni Mubarak’s last prime minister, the crowd in Tahrir Square could be counted in the hundreds”:

In Europe, “backlash against Muslim integration will continue to come from … the populist movements that are in a stronger position because of the recession and the currency crisis, and from foreign governments and international movements that don’t intend to let go without a fight” despite “signs of Muslims’ social and political normalization”:

The debate over Islam and hip hop in Europe is heating up as governments wade in:

Sectarian tension escalates in Syria and raises fears of an Iraq-style sectarian bloodbath and worsened tensions between Shi’ite Iran and mainly Sunni-led Arab states:

“Do the US and Israel believe that Iran has a nuclear weapons program?  Did President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad really promise to ‘wipe Israel off the map’?  The answers may surprise you”:

“The leader of a Belgian Islamist group, Sharia4Belgium, was arrested on Thursday for posting an Internet video urging attacks on non-Muslims after a woman was detained in Brussels for wearing a face veil” and “detained at his home in … Antwerp and remanded in custody on suspicion of breaking anti-discrimination laws and inciting violence”:


U.N. monitors investigate Syrian massacre