Archive for March, 2013

News and Analysis (3/30/13)

Saturday, March 30th, 2013

“[N]ews that the individual at the heart of the bomb plot was in fact an informer for US intelligence is likely to raise just as many questions as it answers.” AP “reported that the unnamed informant was working under cover for the Saudis and the CIA when he was given the bomb, which was of a new non-metallic type aimed at getting past airport security”:

A hunger strike by prisoners, most of whom have been cleared of any charges, and a terrifying history of the creation of the procedures employed there confirm the urgency of closing this ugly blot on the image of America:

As the Mursi regime increasingly resembles the Mubarak regime …

… best-selling Egyptian novelist Alaa al-Aswany identifies five factors that can transform a devout person into a violent extremist, and accuses the Muslim Brotherhood of falling  into the trap …

“At a time when western diplomats and investors are making a beeline to seek favours from Gujarat chief minister Narindra Modi” the most recent of ten complainant says “local politicians forced him to close down his business on February 9. His petition says that despite court orders police has refused to provide him protection”:

It’s a reasonable question. Is your headscarf really “religiously motivated” if you only wear it on bad hair days? That seems to be more about Western vanity than Muslim modesty:

A Zionist has failed in his attempt to quash free speech, losing “his case against the Universities and Colleges Union, which he alleged is anti-Semitic, with the furious tribunal slamming those who brought the case as having ‘a worrying disregard for pluralism, tolerance and freedom of expression'” …

… and Hanan Ashrawi declares, “The fact that so many Palestinian Christian communities are denied their simple human right to worship freely in their own capital city is unacceptable,” but the new Pope has no overt comment on the Israeli restrictions that impedes Palestinian Christians as well as Muslims from worship in Jerusalem:

As Buddhist on Muslim violence increases in Sri Lanka and Myanmar:

… “Peace negotiators for the Thai government and Barisan Revolusi Nasional (BRN) said in a joint statement on Friday that they had agreed on the terms of reference for the negotiations”:

“Even if Yemen’s ambitious national dialogue conference fails to resolve crucial issues like constitutional reform, it can declare success simply for getting Yemenis to talk to each other”:

“Protests by the unemployed in southern Algeria are raising the specter of rising unrest in the country’s sensitive oil regions, and are increasingly attracting the attention of al-Qaida”:

News and Analysis (3/28/13)

Thursday, March 28th, 2013

“An Egyptian court postponed on Tuesday a ruling on whether President Mohamed Mursi’s Muslim Brotherhood is illegal, agreeing to the Islamist group’s request for more time to present evidence in a case that has put it on the defensive” …

… but the government may have to postpone the parliamentary elections, meeting one of the demands of the opposition:

“The Siac judge … said the diplomatic assurances obtained by May were insufficient to prove that torture-based evidence would not be admitted in any retrial. He said the risk would remain until Jordan amended its code of criminal practice or” there was some other proof ‘to a high standard that the statements were not obtained by torture'”:

Mamdouh Hamamreh, a reporter for the Hamas-linked Al-Quds TV” was sentenced for “a photo montage on his Facebook page back in 2010 [that] showed Abbas next to a TV villain. The villain was an informer for French colonial rulers and the photo caption read: ‘They’re alike.’ Hamamreh denied he posted the photo”:

The young man whose family was displaced by the American military intervention in Afghanistan is admired even by “active members of the Afghan security forces” for killing two American soldiers as retribution for Terry Jones’ Qur’an-burning, but a local imam objects, “We can’t point the gun at our guest’s forehead…. Islam doesn’t allow us to do this”:

“If Prophet Mohammed, peace be upon him, came to my house, he wouldn’t check the meat[,]” says the Muslim bikini model, but her father would:

In Syria related developments, the opposition opens an embassy in Qatar, Turkeyd enies mass deprttaions of refugees, Tunisia may have become a route for militants into Syria and elsewhere, and Iran has a plan to keep its supply lines to Lebanon and the Palestinians open even if Assad should fall:

“France’s leadership had pledged to pull out quickly after launching a military operation in the West African country in January. French-led forces quickly pushed al-Qaida-linked fighters out of Malian cities…. But pockets of resistance remain” …

… and they are welcome according to the new American-trained military ruler,whose first year in office has not gone well:

As anti-Muslim riots continue to spread in the Buddhist-majority country, with a mosque destroyed and many Muslim homes ransacked, Myanmar’s president warns that he cannot tolerate the situation must longer:

“It must have been a twisted mind that said those things” – Nazir Ahmed, referring to himself:

News and Analysis (3/26/13)

Tuesday, March 26th, 2013

SR 65 is in committee, but if it passes it will change America’s policy toward Iran from a tough intolerance of Iranian possession of nuclear weapons to an insane intolerance of Iranian “nuclear capability,” a path to regional, and possibly world, war:

“The five … accused of inciting ‘aggression’ against members of the Brotherhood last week” include Alaa Abdel-Fattah “a leading blogger who played a role in the protests that led to the overthrow of President Hosni Mubarak in 2011” …

… meanwhile, the Norwegian tourist released from captivity expresses her joy at returning home but the Israeli “shielded his face and did not speak to the TV reporter” …

“Bahrain successfully crushed pro-democracy demonstrations in 2011, and now it has told Doctors Without Borders that their long-planned conference on medical ethics is unwelcome”:

“Defense lawyers say prisoners began the strike began on Feb. 6 to protest what they say are more intrusive searches of their cells and of their indefinite confinement. The lawyers say the strike involves most of the 166 men held at Guantanamo”:

The anti-Muslim rampage spreads to more towns and the Thai president declares a state of emergency:

“I commend the Seattle Police and the FBI for their work, and thank the leaders of our Muslim communities who work tirelessly to ensure the acts of extremists are not used to condemn their faith” – US Attorney Jenny Durkan:

“Violence had erupted after a Coptic man beat Abdel-Nazir’s brother to death with an iron rod in an argument over the use of a village street, MENA said. Abdel-Nazir and several other people then attacked houses and shops belonging to relatives of the Christian man, killing a farmer and a trader” …

… and Egypt has reversed its traditional reluctance “to hand over exiled politicians or officials from ousted regimes. Egypt offered refuge to Libya’s deposed king Idris after Gadhafi’s 1969 bloodless coup and also hosted Iran’s former shah after the 1979 Islamic revolution there”:

The Syrian opposition, in disarray, wins a victory at the Arab League:

“Last week, a Stavropol court ruled against overturning the ban, which had been appealed by four residents of the region. An estimated seven percent of Russians are adherents of Islam, and the country’s North Caucasus region is predominantly Muslim”:


News and Analysis (3/23/13)

Saturday, March 23rd, 2013

Franklin Lamb opines that Washington, Doha and Tel Aviv all think they can work with Hitto, but some Syrians are concerned that the ex-pat doesn’t know the country …

… but even as the politically-motivated return to Syria to fight to inherit the state power slowly slipping away from the Assads, entrepreneurs take their talent and wealth to neighboring countries:

The spillover Syrian violence into Turkey and Israel may have contributed to Netanyahu’s decision to reverse his policy of blaming the victims of Israel’s slaughter of nine civilians on board the Mavi Marmara, and to offer compensation for what he now characterizes as “operation errors” in attacking the unarmed relief ship on the open sea …

… but Lebanon continues to hesitate “to react to rising incidents of Syrian cross-border fire[,]” as Prime Minister Najib Miqati resigns, declaring, “There will be no rescue [for Lebanon] except through dialogue and making room for the formation of a salvation government in which all groups are represented”:

“Mobs set fire to Muslim homes and mosques in frenzied sectarian rioting in a town in central Myanmar, leaving at least 20 people dead and more than 6,000 homeless amid growing fears Friday that the latest bout of Muslim-Buddhist bloodshed could spread”:

“The protesters’ demands should be delivered to the government and president, not the Brotherhood office because even though the president came from the group, he makes decisions that are separate from the group’ – Muslim Brotherhood spokesman Yasser Mehres:

“Youngsters want to dispel the notion that terrorism has sanction in Islam which is why they are reading the Quran and hadith, so that they can refute allegations frequently made against the religion” — Atif Ismail, Students Islamic Organisation zonal president:

A Judge’s sober reflections on why Egyptian democratization has stalled and what it will take to move forward:

Despite having to endure “some religious discrimination and ridicule by students” on the Mormon campus the Moroccan student says her Muslim faith is strengthened by the experience and finds herself “comfortable with Mormons because their principles and values really match my own”:

The state Republican vice-chair who was the Sikh target of a county Republican central committeewoman’s embarrassingly idiotic anti-Muslim blather notes, “One would expect her to consider resigning or at least issuing an apology for the outrageous statements she made, which she has not done”:

“Riot police clashed with hundreds of marchers trying to gather at the home of Nabeel Rajab, who has been sentenced to two years in prison on charges of backing “illegal” protests.” He is just one of “dozens of activists and political figures jailed during the more than two-year unrest in the Gulf kingdom”:

News and Analysis (3/21/13)

Thursday, March 21st, 2013

The children, some as young as eight or ten, were “on their way to school in the West Bank city of Hebron” when seized by the Israelis for interrogating in connection with allegations that stones were thrown against the illegal occupation forces during a recent anti-apartheid demonstration:

“Owners of Egyptian bakeries have protested in Cairo following the government’s decision to implement a new plan to ration bread”:

Under attack on the streets and in the courts, the Muslim Brothertthood has obtained legal status as an NGO:

The UN will look into whether chemical weapons were used and, if so, who used them. “Both the Assad regime and Syrian rebels have accused each other of using chemical weapons in an attack on Tuesday that the government says killed 31 and wounded more than 100.”  It’s only a red line if Assad crosses it …

  • Syria: Obama skeptical of a chemical weapon attack by rebels  (Christian Science Monitor)

… so here’s a historical reminder to those who think they can install a friendly puppet in Syria, “Ahmed Chalabi poured sweet words into the ears of powerful Washington insiders for years. For some reason, they thought it was a good idea to believe him”:

“The statement I am preparing will be a historical call…. We want to rapidly solve the arms problem without losing time or another life” – Abdullah Ocalan, imprisoned leader of the Kurdistan Workers’ party (PKK):

The Serb Nationalist was silent about his Muslim heritage Israel awarded “his great-grandparents the Righteous Among the Nations medal, Israel’s highest award honoring non-Jews” for risking “their lives to shelter Balkan Jews destined for near-certain extermination during World War II”:

Attempting to recast its image as part of civil society, the former militant group Gamaa Islamiyya is careful to distinguish its efforts to assist police from the rising tide of vigilantism in Egypt, but some are not convinced:

“[T]alks for the American officials do not mean for us to sit down and reach a logical solution … What they mean by talks is that we sit down and talk until Iran accepts their viewpoint” — Ayatollah Khamenei:

“Speaking in Ramallah today, President Obama reversed US insistence on an Israeli settlement freeze before peace talks could begin. The reversal highlights Palestinian frustrations” …

… and “Haaretz notes that a senior Hamas official earlier this week ‘threatened retaliation against Israel for what he called frequent violations of the ceasefire agreement, by Israel.’ Haaretz says he referred to “a number of incidents where IDF forces opened fire at Palestinians approaching the Gaza security fence'”:

News and Analysis (3/19/13)

Tuesday, March 19th, 2013

As sectarian violence continues, ten years after the disastrous decision to invade Iraq, the disgraceful truth emerges of bad intelligence manufactured, good intelligence ignored, and one example of the media shills who convinced Americans that an Iraqi dictator had something to do with 9/11:

The rising suspicion that “Zionism is the problem” has emerged even in the New York Times even as Obama makes his trip to Israel, sparking a rarely heard but badly needed conversation:

The justice minister has associate the rise in vigilante activity with Islamism, but “[w]itnesses to the lynchings depicted it purely as a revenge killing without pointing to any connection to enforcing Islamic law”:

“The Pakistani Taliban on Monday withdrew their offer of holding peace talks with the government, saying that the authorities were not serious about following through with negotiations” and separately claimed responsibility for “a pair of suicide bombers [who] attacked a court complex in the northwestern city of Peshawar”:

Green lantern is a Muslim?

“Chief Justice Aideed Abdullahi Ilkohanaf said Sunday there was not enough evidence to support an appeals court ruling that reporter Abdiaziz Abdinur Ibrahim offended national institutions” noting “the reporter had not published the interview”:

“This past week … the Egypt delegation “pleasantly” surprised many of the Conference’s participants and perhaps some of the male-dominated leadership in Cairo by joining the overwhelming consensus to support the empowering Declaration concluding the two weeks of deliberations at the UN”:

“In the 1970s, barely 1 percent of schools were private, says Mr. Zaidi. Today over a third of all children attend private schools, a statistic that reveals the huge appetite for education in Pakistan” but of the “12 million school-age children in Pakistan who have never been to school, two-thirds of whom are girls”:

“The opposition Syrian National Coalition chose Western-educated former businessman Ghassan Hitto as provisional prime minister in a vote on Tuesday at a meeting in Istanbul”:

Sociological, Philosophical, and Legal Considerations of Shariah as the Rule of Law in Islam

Monday, March 18th, 2013

“Sociological, Philosophical, and Legal Considerations of Shariah as the Rule of Law in Islam”

by Imad-ad-Dean Ahmad, Ph.D.
Minaret of Freedom Institute
4323 Rosedale Ave.
Bethesda, MD 20814

paper presented on March 1, 2013 to
the Istanbul Network Conference on
Islam and the Institutions of a Free Society
Held in Islamabad, Pakistan
February 28th to March 3rd, 2013


I explore the compatibility of the idea of Shariah with the classical liberal conception of liberty by considering sociological, philosophical, and legal aspects of both concepts. Some contemporary Muslims depart from the historical norm by equating the Shariah with a fixed set of regulations handed down from the past. I contend that the Shariah is an idealized notion of Islamic law to which Muslims appealed to solve problems after they occurred, and solved those problems through a practical application of a strong ‘rule of law’ ethos, logically related to the higher purposes of the law (maqâsid-ash-sharî`a), and methodologically grounded in an evolved legal procedure. Traditionally, appeal to Shariah was functional, a way to deal with practical questions as they arise or to resolve differences of opinion over seemingly contradictory fatwas. Thus, both the Western notion of natural rights and the Islamic notion of the maqâsid-ash-sharî`a aim at an intuitive ideal of justice. I conclude that notwithstanding specific disparities between Muslim fiqh and Western jurisprudence, Shariah is fully compatible with liberty.

Read the full paper at:

News and Analysis (3/17/13)

Sunday, March 17th, 2013

Actors for censorship? Egypt’s “Actors’ Syndicate has banned the movie from being released in cinemas” on the gournd that it was never submitted to the censorship bureau, but the movie’s director protests that “hundreds of short and long independent movies have not passed through the bureau yet they were still released”:

Notwithstanding objections from Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood that the document incorporates language alluding to issues beyond violence against women, “Iran, Libya, Sudan and other Muslim nations agreed to language stating that violence against women and girls could not be justified by ‘any custom, tradition or religious consideration'”:

“Obama’s new position is not without irony. The White House kept details of drone operations – which remain largely classified – out of public view for years when the U.S. monopoly was airtight”:

“Pakistan’s PM has hailed as “a victory” for democracy the completion of a full term by an elected government for the first time in the country’s history”:

Inspired by the thought that “Ariel Sharon … and Yasir Arafat … might be more likely to talk peace if they tried to lose weight together,” the diverse women of Slim Peace are united by their desire to lose weight. “We are not a peace-dialogue group and not a conflict-resolution group…. But we are bringing dialogue and exposure”:

The Israeli regime thinks it will have a better chance of seducing Obama into a war with Iran through the back door of involvement in Syria:

After opposition groups denounced “what they saw as irresponsible government accusations that Hezbollah was behind last year’s bombing that killed five Israelis in the Black Sea resort of Burgas,” the new PM announced Bulgaria will not list Hezbollah as a “terrorist organization,” but “only present the objective facts and circumstances” instead:

Finding a way to make herself even more of a laughing-stock, Pamela Geller tells her CPAC audience that American Conservative Union Board Member Suhail Khan is “worse” than the late anti-American propagandist Anwar al-Awlaki, while her cohort Robert Spencer criticizes conservatives who are “very anxious not to appear bigoted and racist”:

“Police fired tear gas to disperse thousands of supporters and opponents of President Mohammed Morsi during clashes that erupted on Saturday as he launched development projects in southern Egyptian where residents have long complained of being neglected by the central government”:

News and Analysis (3/15/13)

Friday, March 15th, 2013

Drones are a triple threat to Muslim women. They murder the women themselves (an estimated 411-884 to date), they leave them destitute by slaughtering their male breadwinners, and they traumatize them, leaving them afraid to aid their neighbors, gather in groups, or send their children to school:

An internal investigation has been launched into charges that police “threatened some visitors [to a cafe] with automatic weapons and with a lighter”:

“By [U.S. State Dept. spokeswoman Victoria Nuland’s] definition, every drone assassination carried out by the Bush and Obama administrations has been terrorism, as have the frequent tactics of bombing or ambushing insurgents at home, in both Iraq and Afghanistan”:

With tension increased by the newly discovered natural offshore natural gas deposits, one analyst suggests the way to a resolution is for the leaders of the two parts of Cypress “to meet … informally at a social gathering” to be followed by “talks aimed at reuniting the country while safeguarding the Turkish Cypriot minority and sharing gas deposits”:

“The CIA’s claim that it could neither confirm nor deny whether it has any drone records was inadequate, because the government, including Barack Obama himself, has clearly acknowledged a drone programme, the court said”:

“If St. Francis’ love for all of God’s creation, animals, plants, rivers and mountains is alive and with us today, just like his ascetic mission of poverty, then so is his bold peacemaking with the Muslim world. This is a mission worthy of his name, and one can only hope that the current Pope Francis heeds this call” — Daniel Tutt, Interfaith Activist:

‘Ben Emmerson, the U.N. special rapporteur on human rights and counter-terrorism, said the Pakistani government made clear to him that it does not consent to the strikes — a position that has been disputed by U.S. officials’;

Only $200 million of the $85 billion cuts to the 2013 budget comes out of Israels multi-billion dollar foreign aid grants, but Israel-firsters don’t see why they should suffer just because the U.S. economic problems and demand “a status enjoyed by no other nation which will presumably save Israel’s aid from the Budget Control Act axe” …

… but American taxpayers would probably waste the money on things like building homes, whereas the Israelis use it for the destruction of homes:

Mixed motives behind their call fore an election boycott, a failure to put forward its own positive alternative program, organizational incompetence, and disunity are among the reasons analysts suggest for the opposition’s utter failure to capitalize on the growing dissatisfaction with the FJP’s performance in office:

News and Analysis (3/13/13)

Wednesday, March 13th, 2013

Is it a war crime for a teenager to fight against an invading army? The Bush administration said yes, but International Law says no:

The defense attorney, banned from entering the country, says, “The United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention concluded earlier this year that all the accused before the ICT are being held arbitrarily and in breach of the international law”:

Declaring a jihad on jihadis? The Syrian mufti who once pontificated, “For us to go on TV to tell people ‘kill your leader,’ or tell the leader to ‘kill your people,’ that is not our right… We only say to the leader: ‘God help you. Be just with your people.'” has changed his mind:

“Women were appointed to the Shoura Council after consultation with the highest religious authority in the country, which means it has the endorsement of the religious establishment. More importantly … as Islamic history is full of examples, since the time of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), about women holding influential positions”:

The Muslim Brotherhood is not alone in attacking the yet-to-be-released document as an attempt by the UN to dictate its own preferences on questions of inheritance, pre-marital intercourse, homosexuality, and even abortion in a document that is supposed to address violence against women:

“Private movie critics inside Iran, while acknowledging Ben Affleck’s sophisticated directorial skills, have decried some of the film’s historical inaccuracies and claimed the film portrays Iranians as stereotypically backward and violent”:

“More than 10,000 youth were languishing in different jails in the country [India], some for close to eight years, without any charge-sheet filed against them”:

“[T]hree civil liberties groups have detailed the corrosive impact the program had on the students, families and worshippers who were watched. The report, ‘Mapping Muslims: NYPD Spying and its Impact on American Muslims,‘ documents a pervasive sense of anxiety and self-censorship in New York area Muslim communities”:

The writer for the Islamophobic Front Page Magazine infiltrated the event sponsored by the group he claims was infiltrated by Islamic extremists; he found nothing nefarious going on which he says only proves how utterly nefarious the event’s organizers really are: