Archive for July, 2012

News and Analysis (7/31/12)

Tuesday, July 31st, 2012

Franklin Lamb explains why the Lebanese people, no less than the Americans, have a right to keep and bear arms, which in Hezbollah’s  case “give Israel pause before its likely 6th major aggression against Lebanon” or serves as the pretext for Israeli aggression:

The man who ” is considered the CIA’s man in Riyadh” is back:

Rejecting concerns over the crackdown on Muslims, Burmese authorities have detained several UNHCR staff on suspicion of instigating the Buddhist-Muslim riots that killed more than 70 people:

“ASAL is one of the largest companies in the small but burgeoning Palestinian tech sector, which many of those involved say is on the verge of big things,” difficult for Israelis to suppress because “[y]ou just need electricity and a telephone line”:

” Saudi Arabia judoka Wojdan Shaherkani will compete at the Olympics” now that an “International Olympic Committee spokesman said: ‘The judo federation will allow her to wear something which will not compromise her safety, which I think they use for competitions in Asia'”:

“More than 1,000 people, most of them Muslims, were killed by Hindu mobs in the state after a train fire [that] killed 60 Hindus who were returning from a pilgrimage” and was blamed on Muslims:

The latest U.S. government report on religious freedom points a finger not only at Egypt where a Muslim man died after recent sectarian clashes, but some traditional European allies as well:

“Panetta said it was clear to him that Morsi is ‘his own man.’ But Panetta also offered praise to Tantawi, the country’s military leader”:

“Lawyers for Qatada claimed that the seven years he has spent in detention was the longest in English legal history and his continued detention was no longer justified” but the judges declared themselves “quite satisfied” with dismissing with the technicalities of habeas corpus:

News and Analysis (7/29/12)

Sunday, July 29th, 2012

“Hundreds of Palestinians are to be displaced despite evidence that the villages have existed since 1830…. The IDF will allow the displaced Palestinians to continue farming the abandoned land and tending cattle on weekends and holidays, when there is no military training”:

“In an example of communal harmony in India, Muslims in the holy month of Ramadan have helped in the construction of a Jain temple in Bhagalpur town of Bihar.” One man “even demolished a portion of his house Friday to enable the movement of a 70-foot long truck laden with a granite stone block, being carried for making an idol at the temple”:

“It all began on 3rd June 2012 when 11 Muslims were killed by the extremist Buddhists with an alleged assistance of Burmese Army after bringing them down from a bus. The Muslims of Burma are losing hopes for a better future as they do not see any sort of help, now, from the International community specifically from the Muslim Ummah”:

A Romney spokesman promises his man “would respect” Israeli aggression against Iran:

It’s not just the athletes. “Muslim women have held pivotal roles in …  ensuring that the clearance of the Olympic Park site pre-construction met the ‘zero-waste games’ goal”:

“Morsi’s response to Haniyeh’s requests … to open the Rafah crossing for commodities” was limited by demands from Israel and the U.S. that Hamas “distance itself from terrorist cells operating in the Sinai” and promote Palestinian reconciliation in order to build a unified Palestinian leadership”:

As “Assad’s forces pound Aleppo,” will the U.S. heed its own advice?

“Since Morsi won, the Muslim Brotherhood adopted more of a conciliatory tone and made an effort to reach out to non-Islamists. The question is if it has worked, and I would say it hasn’t. It’s deep-seated. Neither side trusts the other” –  Shadi Hamid, director of research at the Brookings Doha Center in Qatar:

“It is the first incidence of sectarian violence since the election of Egypt’s first civilian President Mohammed Morsi, of the Muslim Brotherhood”:

News and Analysis (7/27/12)

Friday, July 27th, 2012

A gang of 62 including “Karl Rove, J. Paul Bremer, Fouad Ajami, Doug Feith, Danielle Pletka, and Michael Ledeen” beat the drums to turn Syria into the next Iraq …

… but even they should understand we don;t need another Ahmed Chalabi:

An an unconfirmed PressTV report claims protests have broken out in Riyadh for the release of political prisoners, one of the two women to successfully persuade the Saudi government to allow them to compete in the Olympics finds “the International Judo Federation is moving against the tide in international sports: to stand in her way:

“Islam is a religion of peace. Violence has often been a part of us, in Indonesia, Thailand, North Africa and the Middle East but peace is not the absence of violence, but the presence of justice, which rests on equality and it is us that need to create competence in order to be equal.” An exchange of thoughts within a Muslim community in Thailand:

The Appeals Court in Malaysia upheld a high court decision to lift a home ministry ban of a book, entitled ‘Muslim Women and the Challenges of Islamic Extremism’ which contains, among others, issues discussing the impact of fundamentalist Muslim movements on women rights:

Muslim youth protest the ban on a rap song in praise of hijab:

Egypt’s President Mohammed Mursi has held talks with the head of the Hamas-led government in Gaza, Ismail Haniya:

“I’ve lived here for 19 years in America. I grew up here. I don’t think I should be treated in this way,” said one of the nine Muslims who “said they were fired Wednesday from the plant for using their breaks to pray during the Muslim holiday of Ramadan”:

“[G]roups such as Amnesty International say Rohingyas are the victims of state-sanctioned violence and discrimination in a country that has a long history of mistreating ethnic minorities”:


News and Analysis (7/25/12)

Wednesday, July 25th, 2012

“A nearly five-year legal saga will conclude Thursday for Falls Church resident Jamal Abusamhadaneh when he takes the oath of citizenship at a federal courthouse, after a federal judge ruled that immigration authorities wrongly drew sinister conclusions about aspects of his Muslim faith”:

“How easily we forget that in the West, civic liberalism was preceded by the Protestant Reformation. The liberalization of Christian theology and its daily interface with ordinary folk ushered in secular politics. But that did not mean Christianity stopped influencing politics”:

The Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt finds itself on an ideological pendulum between the liberals and Salafists that can only be slowed down by a successful economic strategy:

A fully veiled Egyptian Islamic Channel has been launched at the beginning of Ramadan. A lot can be said about the cultural transformations that have allow even the  women with the most conservative  backgrounds in Egypt to run and maintain a TV channel:

“Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi surprised the nation Tuesday by naming an obscure bureaucrat as his new prime minister to form a government that probably will be held in check by military leaders during an unsteady transition to democracy”:

“Turkey has closed its border gates with Syria to commercial traffic due to worsening security conditions but will keep them open for refugees fleeing the Syrian conflict”:

Here’s a switch: Christians complaining about Muslim proslytization:

“God’s law involves giving human beings the freedom to sin, the freedom to make mistakes, and part of the law of the land has to be to give people these freedoms. Unfortunately, there’s a lot of misapplication of Islamic law in many countries”:

Israeli Suicides Evoke the Memory of the Tunisian Ignition of the Arab Spring

Tuesday, July 24th, 2012

[I was interviewed by Fars News Agency today on the recent spate of suicides in Israel]

Q. There have been five suicides by burning in Israel recently, one of whom was a medical doctor. What brought about this chain of events?

A. I am struck by the way the suicides in Israel evoke the memory of the onset of the Arab spring in Tunisia. The suicidal protesters in Israel are demonstrating against an incompetent and unresponsive bureaucracy that is no longer able to provide goods and services for the most vulnerable members of Israel through the resources it has stolen from the Palestinian people. In a nation founded on the principle of enriching  one people at the expense of another, recent events  demonstrate why thievery must inevitably fail as a means of development. We can only pray that as more and more Israelis become disillusioned with their militaristic, colonialist, socialist state, that they will come to realize that the first victims of that state, the Palestinians, are not their enemies but potential allies in a potential  future society that would respect the rights to life, property, dignity, family, and religion, of all residents of the land committed to justice and the rule of law under the one God of all of the children of Abraham (peace be upon him).

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

The Fall of the Assad Regime: Imminent or Just Inevitable?

Tuesday, July 24th, 2012

[I was interviewed today by the Fars News Agency on Western predictions of the imminent fall of the Assad Regime in Syria.]

Q. The West claims that the rebels will soon announce victory over the Assad regime. What is your take?

A. The Assad family is probably near the end of its reign in Syria. Because of the depth of the hatred a large part of the Syrian people hold for that regime, even many of those Syrians who oppose a regime change do so more out of fear of the aftermath of such a change then to any affinity for the current rulers. However, it is difficult to see any sound basis for Western predictions that Assad’s fall is necessarily imminent. Although defections at high levels in the military continue, I believe the pace is slower than it would be had the original peaceful nature of the uprising been maintained. Had the Syrians been able to maintain a primarily peaceful resistance, as the Iranians did in their struggle against the Shah, I believe that many more members of the armed forces would have abandoned Assad by now as the Iranian army abandoned the shah, leaving the dictator without support. Now that it is a civil war, many potential defectors understandably fear the consequences of a successful coup. Nonetheless, as the inability of the status quo becomes increasingly obvious, I expect more and more Syrians will prefer the risks a rebel victory poses of an enhanced position of imperialist powers on the region and of Gulf state influence in their country, as well as risks of sectarian and ethnic violence and even of terrorist organizations beginning to operate against Syrian society, to the increasingly intolerable state terrorism by which Assad is trying to suppress this revolt.

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


News and Analysis (7/23/12)

Monday, July 23rd, 2012

“With Turkey mulling further curbs on already limited press freedom, … Twitter is emerging as a powerful tool to bypass – and discredit – the country’s muzzled news outlets “:

“Neither Reuters, nor New York Times, nor Washington Post, nor Fox News nor their comrades and cronies in France, Germany, Britain, Australia and Canada had uttered a single word regarding the painful days the Muslims of Myanmar are experiencing”:

Although driven out of Damascus, the rebels are deep into Aleppo, as Syria warns its chemical weapons, off the table against the rebels, are in play to defend against foreign military intervention, and the Arab League Secretary-General offers Assad a way to step down:

Is the al-Qaida takeover of Mali an unintended consequence of NATO’s Libya intervention?

“{A]dd the Muslim Brotherhood to the ‘Michele Bachmann is Ridiculous’ bandwagon,” as a longtime Brotherhood leader responds to her charges that his organization has penetrated deep into the highest levels of the US government with the quip, “The Muslim Brotherhood can’t even penetrate the Egyptian government” …

… but why the focus on Michelle Bachmann, when the source of this nonsense is Frank Gaffney?

As the Saudis supply arms and aid to the rebels in Syria, they also call for “an extraordinary Islamic solidarity meeting to ensure… unity during this delicate time as the Muslim world faces dangers of fragmentation and sedition”:

Mission accomplished?

 “Most of the films today are full of obscenity, double meaning words and expressions… It is hateful and sinful. I strongly condemn and object to the visit of film actors, actresses, directors and producers to the dargah (shrine) to seek blessings for such things which are taboo” — Zainul Abedin Ali Khan, head of the Sufi Ajmer shrine:


News and Analysis (7/21/12)

Saturday, July 21st, 2012

An agent of the Syrian government spying on Syrian dissidents in the U.S. get off with a 18 month sentence while prosecutors recommend 17 years for that the apparently mentally unstable target of anFBI sting operation reported to have “stood in the road not moving and appeared to have wet his pants”:

“The extremist ministate in northern Mali is the unexpected fallout from the collapse of what had been regarded in the West — mistakenly — as a stable African democracy with functioning institutions in the capital”:

“I am fully aware that she sometimes has difficulty with her facts, but this is downright vicious and reaches the late Senator Joe McCarthy level” — Ed Rollins …

…while satirist demonstrates that Michelle Bachmann is more closely linked to al-Qaeda than Huma Abedin is to the Muslim Brotherhood …

… but undaunted, Bachmann casts her net wider still to include Rep. Keith Ellison:

An academic protests the “sloppy and sensationalistic journalism that has made the work of academics who study and teach about the region much more difficult”:

“From Hezbollah’s perspective, avenging Mughniyah requires selecting a target with reciprocal value, such as a high-profile political or military figure in Israel” not tourists:

“Corruption and suspicions of vote fraud – the same problems that stoked the biggest street protests of Putin’s 12-year rule in recent months – are helping fuel the spread of conservative Islam in Russia’s Muslim regions”:

“Thousands of anti-government protesters in Bahrain clashed Friday with riot police firing tear gas during demonstrations against plans to limit political marches”:

News and Analysis (7/19/12)

Thursday, July 19th, 2012

“We can look to the people in the middle or far east or in the middle of Africa saying to them ‘America is the role model. Try to learn from us in America'” — Imam Ossama Bahlou

The challenges facing the liberal winners of Libya’s elections are enormous …

… but if the test of whether a party is ready for democracy is not whether it is prepared to win but prepared to lose, Libya’s Islamists have met the challenge:

“Jordan … says it is following a path similar to Morocco, whose king responded to demands for change with more open elections that brought to power a government now led by Islamists, while reserving vast powers for the monarchy”:

China and Russia continue to veto sanctions as the Syrian civil war continues to escalate after a suicide bombing kills two high Syrian officials:

“According to reports, more than 20,000 Muslims have been killed only this month in Myanmar by police, army and Buddhist extremists”:

The “assassination of two top government officials in Damascus raises the stakes of Syria’s conflict yet again. Will the UN vote to continue its observer mission, or give it more teeth?”

Israeli accusations that Iran and Hezbollah are responsible for the suicide bomber’s murder of Israeli civiliansseems calculated to “escalate  the tension”:

“[T]he Taliban said they carried out the attack, which officials say is the first of its kind in northern Afghanistan … in the same province where well-known Afghan politician Ahmad Khan Samangani was killed in a suicide attack on Saturday while attending his daughter’s wedding”:

McCain repudiates Michelle Bachmann’s fronting for Frank Gaffney’s unrelenting anti-Muslim crusade saying  “these allegations about Huma and the report from which they are drawn are nothing less than an unwarranted and unfounded attack” that ” have no logic, no basis and no merit”:

News and Analysis (7/15/12)

Monday, July 16th, 2012

The Cassation Court dealt a legal blow to President Mohamed Morsy’s reinstatement of the People’s Assembly on “Saturday, after the court [unanimously] ruled it did not have the jurisdiction to rule on the case, plunging the embattled body of parliament into murkier political waters”:

Clinton calls for respect for democracy but gets no respect from either side as the masses hurl tomatoes and the military declares it will continue to suppress the winners of its elections:

As “[n]ew details emerging Saturday about what local Syrian activists called a massacre of civilians near the central city of Hama indicated that it was more likely an uneven clash between the heavily armed Syrian military and local fighters bearing light weapons” …

.. an analysis in the Guardian noting that a  ‘number of key figures in the Syrian opposition movement are long-term exiles who were receiving US government funding to undermine the Assad government long before the Arab spring broke out, … vocal advocates of foreign military intervention in Syria and thus natural allies of well-known US neoconservatives” …

… is attacked by the Guardian’s own diplomatic editor and defended by the author …

… and Russia accuses the West of “blackmailing” it by threatening to remove the UN observers whose eyewitness accounts challenge the narrative for military  intervention:

Libyan Human Rights “Observatory president Nasser Hawari said that the decision was a return to the Qaddafi era when demonstrating was a crime.  He called the order unconstitutional and demanded the NTC reverse it, stating that it went against the principles and values of the 17 February Revolution”:

“[P]art of deal to end a mass hunger strike by Palestinian detainees,”it is the first time Israel has allowed Gazans to visit their imprisoned family members since “2007 after the militant Islamist group Hamas” …

… but for now Morsi won’t end the Egyotian blockade:

“In view of problems faced by Muslim couples in getting passports, the executive committee of the All India Muslim Personal Law Board on Sunday passed a resolution demanding that the Nikahnama – the testimony of marriage in Islam – should be accepted as a marriage registration certificate by the government agencies”:

The Bedouin said his hostages will not be released until won’t be released until his uncle, who is in an Egyptian prison … for refusing to pay 100 dollars in a bribe to police officers at a check point” is released as well:

“Morality police argued with the driver of a car listening to children’s songs with his family in a park in Baha province, reports say. The driver, Abdulrahman al Ghamdi, drove off and was pursued by the police at speed before losing control of the car and dying in the crash.” The regional emir is horrified by the police behavior: