Archive for August, 2012

News and Analysis (8/29/12)

Wednesday, August 29th, 2012

The eye-witness report says Bin Ladin was shot on sight, not because he “might” have been reaching for a weapon:

Indonesia’s counterterrorism chief tells Qur’anic schools “Stopping would-be bombers ‘is your job, not mine'”:

The Egyptian “military chief-of-staff promised local leaders that his troops will ‘not permit any criminal hideouts in the land of Sinai, and current measures taken ensure that no innocent will be harmed'”:

“I can say without a doubt that I believe my sister was seen as that bulldozer approached her…. As for the intent of the driver, I hope someday he will have the courage to sit down in front of me and tell me what he saw and what he feels” — Sarah Corrie Simpson, sister of the slain human rights activist …

… but it may be prohibited to say that on California campuses where, on the pretext of fighting anti-Semitism, state legislators call for the suppression of criticism of Israeli aggression, apartheid, and atrocities:

There are no good options in Syria:

The Egyptian “military chief-of-staff promised local leaders that his troops will ‘not permit any criminal hideouts in the land of Sinai, and current measures taken ensure that no innocent will be harmed'”:

“I can’t deal with this by using weapons. These (attackers) are a big force in number and ammunition,” [Libyan interim interior minister Fawzi Abdel-Al] told reporters. “I won’t embark on a losing battle and drag the country to war.”

“The exhibition called I Speak For Myself features Muslim women photographed with personal messages challenging convention”:


News and Analysis (8/27/12)

Monday, August 27th, 2012

Now that Morsi has appointed a diverse staff …

…. all Morsi needs to do to solve the garbage problem is to repeal Egypt’s secular era-law (inspired by a Swine-flu scare) that prohibits Christians from feeding the garbage to their pigs:

“The All Pakistan Ulema Council, an umbrella group of Muslim clerics and scholars, which includes representatives from fundamentalist groups, joined hands with the Pakistan Interfaith League, which includes Christians, Sikhs and other religions, to call for” release of the girl accused of blasphemy and punishment of those falsely accusing her …

… but the law itself is not only unjust, easily abused, and an embarrassment to the Muslim community, it also contradicts the sunnah (practice) of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him):

The awesome power of prayer? The government cites a “radical sermon” once given by Lindh as justification  for limiting congregational prayer to Friday, but the ACLU notes that  the sermon in question wasn’t radical, was given on a Friday, and went undisciplined, adding that inmates are allowed to “do basically any peaceful activity except praying” :

“When she was about their age, she had only one ambition: to be the next Britney Spears. But during a trip to Mecca in Saudi Arabia as a teen, the Iranian American experienced an epiphany. At Camp Izza, [Munira Ezzeldine is]  helping those in her wake navigate the often tricky terrain that comes with being both Muslim and American”:

“The killing on Monday of Aboud Rogo fits into a pattern of extrajudicial killings and forced disappearances of suspected terrorists that is allegedly being orchestrated by Kenyan police, say Kenyan human rights groups”:

Human rights grou0ps say perpetrators are rarely punished for the ” rising number of crimes by radical Jewish settlers against Palestinians and their property in the Israeli-occupied West Bank”:

“Neither incident so far has resulted in criminal charges, something that may fail to satisfy Afghan demands for justice”:

“Morsi banned the imprisonment of journalists who face trial for inciting hatred, insulting the president, slander and other related offense” but calling for the murder of the President is a different matter, and the dissident who called for it does not have “the support of the youth and revolutionaries who helped engineer last year’s uprising”:

“An urban area cannot survive without being connected” — Maxwell Gaylard, UN humanitarian chief in Gaza:




News and Analysis (8/25/12)

Saturday, August 25th, 2012

An IR prof explains why two powerful arguments for intervention in Syria, “that the unfolding humanitarian catastrophe befalling the Syrian people mandates international action” and that “[s]upporting the just and winning cause of the Syrian rebels will put the United States in good standing with the regime that emerges from the conflict” are both wrong:

Our legacy in Libya; a student eyewitness reports that “a large group” handing out Wahhabi literature “are the one with the bulldozers, and some military police are also present. They seem to be overseeing the process, rather than preventing it… There are some bystanders who seem to approve”:

Lessons of the Breivik affair: “[S]ince 1995 extremists on the far right have perpetrated 56% of domestic terrorism attacks in the United States … compared with 12% carried out by radical Muslims. The likes of Breivik, Timothy McVeigh and Wade Michael Page have been responsible for the majority of terrorist incidents in 13 of the [past] 17 years”:

“It is certainly a sobering thought that the Trust would have put in place a ‘Do not resuscitate’ order if the family had not have challenged their stance through the legal system”:

Miffed that the Iranians have invited the winners of the most recent Palestinian election, “President Mahmoud Abbas will not participate at the summit of non-aligned nations in Iran at the end of the month if Hamas also attends”:

Beyond the partisan divide on American perception of Muslims is a generational divide:

Only about 2,000 people joined the demonstrations organized in part by opposition parties, as many liberals stayed home;  “Respectable democratic countries elect a leader and then give him time to prove himself,” said one wait-and-see Egyptian. “We must give Mursi a chance because he won the election. We can vote him out again next time”:

“Badruddin Haqqani has been described as a senior operational commander with the Haqqani network – masterminding and directing ambitious attacks on high-profile targets. He was also responsible for training camps, and for extorting funds from contractors”:

Syrian civil war spillover into Lebanon continues:

News and Analysis (8/23/12)

Thursday, August 23rd, 2012

In “the first law issued by President Mohammed Morsi since he assumed legislative powers this month in the absence of a parliament,” the Egyptian president (who plans to visit the US in September) ” has issued a law that bans imprisoning journalists pending trial for publishing-related charges”:

Sacrifice of American liberty is not a trade-off for security, it is a lose-lose situation …

… and while the NYPD’s pathetically desperate attempt to defend the program pretends that “evidence of the negative effects of profiling programs like their own” constitutes “critical national security information” …

… Attorney Jethro Eisenberg calls holding anyone who speaks Urdu as suspect and anyone from southern Lebanon as potentially “dominated by Hezbollah” to be “a terribly pernicious set of policies,”comparable to those to which Japanese Americans were  subjected in World War II and he will ask the courts to shut down the NYPD Demographics Unit:

Reasonable argument for shaving Nidal Haassan’ beard: Because he agreed to be clean shaven when he joined the army.  Bigoted argument for shaving Nidal Hassan’s beard: “Because his religious beliefs are associated with the crime”:

Talat Asad argues that his famous father should not be seen as a Western intellectual seeking to liberalize Islam, but as a Muslim intellectual concerned  “with immersing himself critically in the tradition of Islam that became his tradition, and with encouraging members of his community (Muslims) to adopt an approach that he considered to be its essence”:

Motivated by her concern over misrepresentation of Islam, a Catholic turned liberal Quaker tries a mini-Muslim-style fast, and concludes that while self-reflection may be a good idea at any time, “perhaps the fasting, the sense of community, the shared experience and the self-control presented during Ramadan offers a much needed helping hand”:

A survey by the Arab-American Institute finds Republicans love Presbyterians and Jews (by margins of 60%), but hate Muslims (by a margin of 31%) and aren’t so crazy about Sikhs either:

“Ban is ‘fully aware of the sensitivities’ of the visit, but not going ‘would be a missed opportunity'”:

News and Analysis (8/20/12)

Monday, August 20th, 2012

Illinois’s governor tries to undo the damage caused by Republican congressman Joe Walsh’s “controversial comments … that radical Islam had permeated the Chicago suburbs and was a real threat” and which were followed by three apparant hate crimes in the following days …

… while once again events demonstrate “how easily rumor can trump truth in Pakistan, [as] almost everyone in [the accused girl’s] neighborhood insisted she had burned the Quran, even though police said they had found no evidence of it”:

The end of a double standard? “For the first time, the U.S. State Department has cited violence by settlers against Palestinians in the West Bank under the heading “terrorist incidents” in its annual Country Report on Terrorism”:

“There were also two separate reports yesterday that Britain and Germany have been offering intelligence support to the Syrian rebels” through the US and Turkey:

A comment of a female Muslim Indian neurosurgeon inspires Eid reflections in a leftist atheist Western journalist:

“This is the new generation of young Muslim parents, which is driving an incredible surge in the quest for education in a community that was always blamed for being backward and conservative, especially with regard to girls’ education.” One parent boasts her “daughters will all become so successful that we will be recognized and respected as their parents”:

Told by a Houston policewoman, ” if you want your religious headscarf, you shouldn’t protest,’ Ilana Alazzah responds, “All of these horrible things that happen to people, are perpetuated by people who say they are just following orders…. When you’re doing your job, there’s a way to do things that’s not infringing on people’s rights and liberties and dignity”:

“They said they were going to distribute the oil money to the people in a fair way. It didn’t happen” — a customer at an Iraqi gas station:

Nwes and Analysis (8/18/12)

Saturday, August 18th, 2012

“Pakistanis do this, not to avoid paying zakat, but to make sure the money doesn’t go to the government, which is viewed by most people as incompetent and corrupt”:

As Tunisia emerges from the near total repression of the secular fundamentalists, will it be able to avoid a mirror image repression from Muslim extremists? Laws against “insulting religion” are slippery slope

As charges fly over which side is more insensitive to civilian casualties in Afghanistan …

… a “new history curriculum … deletes nearly four decades of the country’s war-torn past” putatively to “bring unity,” but “critics accuse ministers of trying to appease the Taliban and other powerful groups by erasing history that portrays them in a bad light. They say the government is trying to win over the Taliban”:

“[E]xcept for one insult shouted by a passerby, he and his family have been treated respectfully…. The opinions of Muslim immigrants and students … shape how Muslims abroad see America, much more so than the mosques, media, and politicians in their countries, experts say”:

Although the new government has not yet filled the vacuum left by the driving out of al-Shabaab, instead of gunfire “you’re more likely to hear the clang of hammers and the drone of drills” in Mogadishu today:

A Roman Catholic says she learned much from reading the Qur’an during Ramadan, above all “to have faith, seek the truth, praise God, pray, forgive, be kind, be peaceful and take care of people who are most vulnerable — those who are oppressed and often forgotten”:

As a communal violence threatens to spread panic across India, simplification of the conflict into “Hindu vs. Muslim” masks the fact that in “Assam, the underlying frictions are over the control of land, immigration pressures and the fight for political power”:

Morsi’s visit to “the Non-Aligned Movement Summit” in Tehran may “mark a thaw in relations between Egypt and Iran after years of enmity, especially since Egypt signed its 1979 peace treaty with Israel and the Islamic revolution in Iran”:

As the UN observers leave the country and Syria denies Assad’s deputy tried to defect, Lakhdar Brahimi’s conviction “will be put to the test in his new job as the joint United Nations-Arab League special envoy charged with trying to succeed where his former boss Kofi Annan failed — bringing an end to the 18-month conflict in Syria:

News and Analysis (8/16/12)

Thursday, August 16th, 2012

Denied the right to confront a key witness against her, a woman must pay $1.2 million plus punitive damages  to be determined on the basis of “testimony of a former employee, … which was read by a stand-in because [the ex-employee] was out of state and could not be subpoenaed”:

Tawfiq “Okasha’s network el-Faraeen, or the Pharaohs, was ordered off the air after he warned Morsi not to attend the funeral of 16 Egyptian soldiers killed in a militant attack this month. He said ‘spilling’ Morsi’s blood would be permissible and alleged the president’s Muslim Brotherhood group was behind the attack”:

“Last week, several members of the US Congress wrote to the Bahraini King Hamad al-Khalifa expressing concern over Mr Rajab’s case and urging the release of ‘Bahrainis being held for crimes related to freedom of expression'”:

“[F]ollowing widespread protests staged by Muslims last month, to dispute what they said was unconstitutional government interference in religious affairs,” Human Rights Watch charges the detainees “have had no access to legal counsel or, in several cases, their relatives,” while held “in a prison known for torture”:

Motives for the project include less reliance on foreign workers, diversification from oil, and a concession to the “growing cohort of female graduates who were sent abroad on a government scholarship aren’t content with sitting at home anymore”:

“The three provinces are Muslim-dominated and were part of an independent Malay Muslim sultanate until annexed by Thailand in 1909”:

The Taliban are increasing their violence in Pakistan even Afghan locals are losing sympathy for the increasingly badly behaved movement:

Suspended by the OIC, Syria remains defiant and violent, while the rebels transgressions not only attract UN attention, but are threatening the stability of neighboring states.:

“A few things make Eid different in Gaza: for starters, there seems to be a truce between the Occupation and the Palestinians on this day”:


News and Analysis (8/14/12)

Tuesday, August 14th, 2012

When a soldier shoots and kills a 35 year-old civilian and her 64 year-old mother while they are carrying a white flag, would you call that a war crime? Murder? Manslaughter? When the soldier is Israeli and the victims Palestinians, they call it “illegal use of a weapon” and the penalty is 45 days in jail:

The pundits try to sort out what the Islamists in Egypt (and Tunisia and Libya) are doing:

“We suffered from the unjust regime of Mubarak that participated in the Israeli blockade of Gaza” — Fathi Hamad, Hamas Interior Minister:

“The Taliban threatens people not to accept development projects with American money…. How are we supposed to build these storage facilities? If we talk about them, the Taliban will kill us” — Mohammad Hasan, a senior sub-governor in Ghazni province:

The Taliban “want to expand their influence — show that they are everywhere…. They want to show that the Afghan police are not strong enough so they are targeting the security forces and the government” — Jawid Kohistani, Afghan political analyst:

“Jewish Voice for Peace-Detroit, Pax Christi-Michigan, Detroit Meeting of Friends, Michigan Unitarian Universalist Social Justice Network, Unitarian Universalists for Justice in the Middle East,Michigan Coalition for Human Rights,Pointes for Peace and Michigan Coalition for Human Rights” unite against bigotry:

A “‘pillar of the community’ … is charged with aggravated discharge of a firearm and criminal damage to property, both felonies”:

With Syrian rebels takings h0stages and OIC suspending Syria’s membership, the defecting prime minister predicts the collapse of Assad’s regime:

The Israeli media was absorbed with fevered speculation on a pending strike against Iran, but where s the evidence?

News and Analysis (8/12/12)

Sunday, August 12th, 2012

An end to military rule in Egypt? Morsi cancels the military order stripping him of presidential powers, and Defense Minister Hussein Tantawi and Chief of Staff Sami Enan step down to become “presidential advisers”:

Anonymous security officials report that “raids by troops and police backed by armored vehicles targeted the villages near El-Arish of al-Ghora and al-Mahdiyah. They seized landmines, an anti-aircraft missile, heavy machine-guns and grenades”:

As frustration and apprehension over the Syrian civil war  grow …

… a Palestinian Christian warns, “The protracted conflict in Syria, and the involvement of various regional players made it unbearable for the neoconservatives to hide behind their new brand and slowly plot a comeback. For them, it was now or never”:

By deleting the word “principles” of Sharia in the constitution or replacing it with “rulings,” the so-called “Salafists” hope to transform “the constitution from a general text that guides to one that deals with narrow details” and “make any further discussion or interpretation moot”:

“[S]ummer violence that has both international and Afghan forces questioning who is friend or foe”:

“Matt Miller had just converted to Islam and begun worshiping at the mosque when the controversy erupted. He said all of his friends, whom he describes as ‘regular American bar-hopping citizens,’ support the new mosque and are happy for the congregation”:

Deploring the violence that erupted at a “rally to protest the killing of Muslims in Assam and Myanmar,” Mumbai Muslims have issued a statement that “[u]sing violence in a protest against violence is an insult to the suffering victims in whose support the protest was purportedly called”:

“Thomas Jefferson once held a sunset dinner here … — perhaps the first Iftar at the White House, more than 200 years ago. And some of you … may have seen our special display … — the Koran that belonged to Thomas Jefferson[,] …a reminder, along with the generations of patriotic Muslims in America, that Islam … is part of our national story”:

“Romney might be duped into thinking that oranges, falafel and hummus — staples of Palestinian cuisine for generations — are Israeli products. But how dare he claim that a state built at the expense of another people’s history and accomplishments is guided by ‘the hand of providence’”?

News and Analysis (8/9/12)

Thursday, August 9th, 2012

As the Taliban deny reports that they would kill playboy-cricket-star turned Islamist-politician Imran Khan if comes to their home turf  to protest drone attacks, a defender of the potential of drones to reduce collateral damage denies that he ever claimed that potential has been demonstrated  in the current US warfare in the Muslim world:

Although Gaza is suffering from the border closing in the wake of the Sinai attacks …

… “Gaza merchant Abdel Dayem Abu Medain said Thursday he is giving money to the victims’ families ‘to reflect the depth of our relations with Egypt’:

Libya’s “first peaceful transition of power in its modern history … comes amid heightened violence” …

… but unsatisfied with the chaos his intervention into Libya has wreaked on Africa, Sarkozy wants to do the same for the Arab world, as Assad takes back the Salah-al-Din district and Iran tries its hand at the diplomatic route:

Already under pressure in the aftermath of the Sinai violence …

… Morsi is is now taking heat for everything from power outages to press appointments:

Religion is less important to Muslims in the Middle East and North Africa, most Muslims believe there is only one way to interpret Islam but most American Muslims disagree, and 10% of the world’s Muslims are converts:

“The issue of Muslim extremism is a hot topic wrought with potential political pitfalls, and yet here is a guy on the short-list for GOP vice-presidential candidates who is directly confronting the topic in the backyard of his own house”:

A splinter Philippine rebel group’s violent rampage provokes Muslim condemnation and a government crackdown: