Archive for May, 2013

News and Analysis (5/31/13)

Friday, May 31st, 2013

A bullet in the back of the head? A Samurai sword?  An FBI agent left alone with a killer? Shocking inconsistencies in the FBI’s story as to how and why they killed Ibragim Todashev have the man’s father accusing them of an extra-judicial execution and the Washington Post demanding the straight story:

“Senator Barbara Boxer’s accommodation of Israel’s discriminatory dual system of law in the occupied West Bank has now seeped into her treatment of American citizens. She is sponsoring legislation codifying Israeli racial profiling over the rights of Americans traveling to Israel and occupied Palestine”:

“An American Muslim who says he was beaten with batons by prison interrogators while held in solitary confinement overseas for more than three months has sued the FBI and State Department, claiming the torture was done at their behest”:

“[W]hile the president’s proposal to regulate nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) removes several measures that received heavy criticism in previous drafts, it also allows a committee formed by the government to arbitrarily reject funding … organizations and to interfere in … internal decisions” …

… and the Cairo Opera’s “principal conductor, Nayer Nagui … accused the government of having a ‘detailed plan to destroy culture and fine arts in Egypt’ and said the curtain would go down on all performances at the Opera until the minister himself was removed”:

“[T]he bigger reason we didn’t see a backlash like the one in England has to do with who we are as Americans…. America was, and still remains, a melting pot”:

“God doesn’t make mistakes. I can be myself and keep my faith.” Despite the discomfort of some Muslims with her transgender persona, Bre Campbell converted because  Islam “focused more on God and … she could cover her hair and wear modest clothes and … she could just be a human being”:

“Scores of young men and boys on motorbikes and on foot marauded through the city of 130,000 people, some singing nationalist songs, a day after a mosque and religious school were torched. One person was killed and four were wounded in fighting”:

“Britain’s intelligence services were under pressure Saturday to explain their knowledge of two Islamists suspected of hacking a soldier to death in London, amid claims they had tried to recruit one of them”:

Laurent Guyénot argues neoconservatives employ Leo Strauss’s political philosophy, “a cold analysis of Israeli strategic interests for the benefit of the leaders in Tel Aviv, and a fear-mongering warning against imaginary dangers besetting U.S. public opinion” to achieve political objectives that require demonizing Islam:


News and Analysis (5/28/13)

Tuesday, May 28th, 2013

It’s as if Tunisia’s new Islamist rulers did not remember that “Tunisia’s 2011 uprising against the dictatorship was sparked by the self-immolation of a frustrated street vendor” …

… and Morocco too is accused of becoming more like pre-revolutionary Tunisia after adopting a more democratic constitution:

Threatening to turn a civil war into a world war, “Israel’s defence minister signals that its military is prepared to strike shipments of advanced Russian weapons to Syria”:

“The scholarly documents depicted Islam as a historically moderate and intellectual religion and were considered cultural treasures by Western institutions — reasons enough for the ultraconservative jihadists to destroy them…. This is the story of how nearly all the documents were saved”:

“Digests of selected hadiths are nothing new in Islam…. What makes this one different is that it selects and explains the hadiths from the perspective of today’s Turkey” representing “Turkey’s “Ankara School” of theologians” who “subscribe to what they call ‘conservative modernity'”:

“Opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi and Islamic leaders expressed dismay over decisions by authorities in western Myanmar to restore a two-child limit on Muslim Rohingya families, a policy that does not apply to Buddhists and follows accusations of ethnic cleansing” …

… but “[n]ew sectarian violence flared Tuesday in northeastern Myanmar, with a mob burning some shops after unconfirmed rumors spread that a Muslim man had set fire to a Buddhist woman”:

Those who pretend Muslims and democracy don’t mix will have to explain this event “designed to cultivate relationships with lawmakers and other community members and encourage policies that promote civil rights and liberties”:

Under the new law prohibiting political activity by “ambassadors who served at any time in the Gaddafi era,” the congress leader had no choice despite “31 years in exile as leader of the Libyan National Salvation Front opposition group” …

… and France is agonizing over how to undo the conversion of Libya into “a weapons smuggling route for al Qaeda militants in the Sahara since” it and its allies arranged for the fall of Muammar Gaddafi:

The motive is unknown, the accused perpetrators were not in prison for terrorism and contrary to earlier erroneous reports, Pervis Khan was not the ringleader:

Accroding to the story in “Josh Ruebner’s new book, Shattered Hopes: The Failure of Obama’s Middle East Peace Process, … Obama’s performance in this area has been of a piece with his performance in every other.  Some people became very hopeful about his rhetoric and then very dejected about his actions”:

News and Analysis (5/26/13)

Sunday, May 26th, 2013

“[S]ick of all the report writing on capacity building,” the lawyer best known for obtaining the release of a rape victim jailed for adultery,  is using “Sharia law, Afghan law, and international conventions … to act directly within the system” and “create test cases of how things can be done”to establish the rule of law:

Noting its restraint with regard to Iraq and Bahrain, Hezbollah insists that it’s Syrian involvement is motivated by opposition to Zionism rather than sectarian considerations …

… and the response is a rocket attack on a Shia neighborhood in Beirut for which no one has  claimed responsibility:

The eagerness of British Muslims to label the murder of a  soldier “terrorism,” as if the victim were a civilian, feeds paranoia that Muslims lie about their religion; British police arrested several for threatening Muslims and one Muslim who claims British intelligence tried to recruit one of the murder suspects:

The Boston tragedy has Muslims asking whether someone who disagrees with them as to which holidays to observe, or whether Martin Luther King was a great man, should be reported to the FBI:

The FBI says the had to kill Ibragim Todashev when he turned violent “violent during questioning over his ties to Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the older of two brothers suspected of planting two bombs at the marathon”, but Todashev’s father wants to come to the US to challenge the official story:

Sacrificing the free press to a higher good — preventing the truth from leaking out to the American people:

“[S]ome religious leaders to disperse the crowd,” but according to the belatedly released report, the ISI “and local intelligence agencies knew banned extremist groups like Sipah-e-Sahaba were organizing the mobs, yet authorities did not take preventative action”:

“Muslims account for about 4% of Myanmar’s roughly 60 million people” and the government proposes to fight Buddhist violence against Muslims by reducing that percentage:

“Two former students from Pakistan are believed to have become the first Muslim lesbian couple to marry in a civil ceremony in Britain.” They “took their vows at a registry office in Leeds earlier this month before immediately applying for political asylum, it was claimed”:

News and Analysis (5/24/13)

Friday, May 24th, 2013

As British Muslims emphatically condemn the beheading of an army drummer, the question arises as to whether the  Christian converts suspected of the deed got their understanding of Islam from al-Muhajiroun founder Omar Bakri Muhammad or from the English Defense League’s Tommy Robinson:

The two countries who are the main victims seem pleased by the speech in Obama promised to move responsibility for drone strikes from the CIA to the defense department, which would allow some Congressional oversight, but Code Pink isn’t the only human rights group that isn’t buying it:

“We the Rohingya Muslims have lived in Myanmar for centuries. Yet they say that we are illegal immigrants from Bangladesh. But they are welcoming those Bangladeshi illegal immigrants to Myanmar just because they are their fellow Buddhists”:

“Two-thirds of the kingdom’s subjects are under 29, and … there have been an increasing number of confrontations between Hai’a men and Saudi youth. A number of physical assaults and fatalities attributed to Hai’a men, widely publicized on Twitter and Facebook, have inflamed public opinion”:

The Islamist PM’s critics “claim that Turkey does not have an alcoholism problem and that only 1½ bottles of spirits are consumed per person, per year in Turkey on average, compared to 15 bottles in the West. They say that youths should instead be educated about the harms that alcohol can cause”:

Hollande’s solution to the blow-back from his invasion of Mali? More violence:

The “foreign ministry said the Syrian government would participate ‘in order for Syrians themselves to find a political path to a solution’, but the main opposition group is still trying ti make up its mind:

A Taliban spokesman claims the compound is used “mostly by members of the CIA”:

News and Analysis (5/22/13)

Wednesday, May 22nd, 2013

The FBI says the man who had implicated himself and the slain Boston bombing suspect in a triple murder from two years ago suddenly initiated a violent confrontation that resulted in his death, but a friend also interrogated by the agency says the deceased man “felt” the FBI would shoot him:

In denying his claims that it ordered him to create “conversations about jihad or terrorism, then capturing the responses and sending them to the NYPD”  in violation of “a longstanding federal court order, the department said [its informant] was either lying or didn’t know what he was talking about”:

“Bahrain’s opposition said Wednesday it will boycott the national dialogue for two weeks after a crackdown by authorities that has seen “hundreds of citizens” arrested and home of a prominent Shiite cleric raided”:

“Today, we’ve met real people who suffered the Holocaust and the heroes that saved them at the risk of losing their lives” — Imam Mohamed Magid, President of the Islamic Society of North America …

… while in Bradford, England the 87-year-old chairman of the synagogue hails a Muslim community gift “a true mizva”:

“[S]ome Myanmar people blame the government for actually stoking – or at least tacitly supporting – religious tensions, speculating that harder-line elements in the government, unhappy with the country’s move toward democratization, see such tension as a way to justify continued military influence”:

His lawyer “said Issaka’s strict reading of his religion meant that he would only stand for God”:

Tunisia’s decision to crack down on groups more-pious-than-they has turned “into a public game of chicken. Although the group denies involvement in violence and does charity work, the interior ministry banned the rally. Ansar al Sharia vowed to hold it anyway”:

Mursi declares Egyptian security will be established by denying the right to keep and bear arms to the Egyptian people:

“BBC Iran correspondent James Reynolds reports” that it “is now clear that Mr Khamenei did not want either Mr Mashaei or Mr Rafsanjani to disrupt an election he wants to reserve for loyal conservatives”:

News and Analysis (5/20/13)

Monday, May 20th, 2013

Does the emulation of the incident that sparked the Tunisian revolution mark the arrival of the Arab spring in Saudi Arabia? …

… while in a presumably unrelated story:

“Lebanese Hezbollah militants attacked a Syrian rebel-held town alongside Syrian troops on Sunday and Israel threatened more attacks on Syria to rein the militia in, highlighting the risks of a wider regional conflict if planned peace talks fail”:

“[A]n alliance of liberal and leftist opposition parties, says the draft law submitted to the Shura Council, which for now has legislative powers, was more restrictive than laws under deposed leader Hosni Mubarak”:

“Organizers said they were holding the party to protest Islam’s encroachment on traditional French values in the neighborhood. Muslim groups had announced a counterparty serving halal, or religiously approved, food. Police banned both events” as “the organization, location, day and timing” aimed to provoke violence:

Want to know what Muslims are really like? Just put down that newspaper, turn off your TV, disconnect from that Internet echo chamber, and go visit your Muslim neighbors:

Violent extremists recruit with ideological rather than religious messages, it is up to the Muslim leadership to neutralize that ideological appeal by arming Muslim youth with religious understanding:

“Cricket hero Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaf party won a revote in an upmarket constituency of Karachi on Sunday, unofficial results showed, a day after gunmen killed a party leader”:

The Israeli denial is “rejected by … the French public television channel that broadcast the report, its reporter Charles Enderlin, and the boy’s father, Jamal al-Dura. All said they were ready to co-operate with an independent international investigation into the incident”:

Wasn’t this a scene in Woody Allen’s “Bananas”?

News and Analysis (5/16/13)

Thursday, May 16th, 2013

An anonymous law enforcement source says “writing on the inside of the boat dovetails with what Dzhokhar, 19, told investigators questioning him in a Boston hospital room shortly after his capture”:

“Muslims have rubbished claims by a local Labour politician that they are offended by England’s St George’s flag”:

“Boston really stole peoples’ hearts…. I got an email from a woman in Mission Hill. She says to me, ‘I just think today you need a virtual hug. Our non-Muslim neighbors have been incredible.” – Imam William Suhaib Webb:

White female converts resent both ‘persistent questions as to why a ‘liberated/free Western woman embrace a backward faith that oppresses her?'” and “heritage Muslims [who] … them for the “colour of their skin ‘rather than for their standing as Muslims”:

Liberals who, “[t]errified of accusations of racism, desperate not to undermine the official creed of cultural diversity,” take “no action against obvious abuse” feed rather than refute the absurd fallacy that Islam advocates prostitution, racism and sexual violence:

Noting that “[w]hile the Bible was available in hospital rooms,… there was no prayer rug” the daughter of a cancer victim protests, “I should not have to leave my religion at the door in order to receive health care services”, but the state board prefers to privilege existing providers and demonize “shariah law”:

“Engaged in an identity tug-of-war, the region’s main population — the Uyghur Muslims — are gradually watching their populations dwindle as they are engulfed by a predominant Han Chinese settlement. … ‘The Silk Road of Pop’ captures the challenges of a minority group in China and the explosive music scene which results”:

The move is an attempt to prevent a repeat of provocative celebrations of the Israeli conquest that resulted in the flight of “more than 760,000 Palestinians — estimated today to number more than five million with their descendants — … driven out of their homes”:

“Islamist gunmen abducted seven members of the Egyptian security forces in the Sinai Peninsula on Thursday and want jailed militants released in exchange for the men, security sources said”:

News and Analysis (5/14/13)

Tuesday, May 14th, 2013

The “”massive and unprecedented intrusion” into journalists’ confidential sources is especially disgraceful as it may be related to a story regarding a Yemeni CIA operation to foil an al-Qaeda attack  of which the agency “had informed the public that there was nothing to suggest any such attack had been planned”:

“IN A SIGN of growing political clout, the city’s Muslim community is being courted in the mayoral race”:

“A leading Palestinian official says rival groups Fatah and Hamas have agreed to form a national unity government in three months. Fatah official Azzam al-Ahmed said both sides agreed on a timetable that begins with creating laws to govern elections”:

Some Malays continue their persecution of non-Muslims who worship Allah, despite the 2009 High Court ruling “that the Catholic Church had the right to publish the word ‘Allah’ in the Bahasa Malaysia section of its newspaper, Herald, as the Arabic word was not exclusive to Islam”:

“An unauthenticated video that appears to show a Syrian rebel severely abusing the body of a dead soldier has highlighted the increasingly dire situation in Syria, where war crimes and sectarian rhetoric in the two-year conflict appear to be on the rise” …

… meanwhile, Russia complains that it “lost $13 billion by complying with a UN arms embargo against Iran, and almost $5 billion in broken weapons contracts with Libya, and received no comparable benefits from the West in return” …

… and commentator Eric Margolis warns, “The vicious Syrian civil war has put the world’s two biggest nuclear powers on a collision course over a small Levantine nation of no strategic interest to Washington“:

“Parents of a student had accused the teacher of showing contempt to Islam while talking to fourth-graders about religion. Three pupils allegedly complained the teacher showed disgust when she talked about Islam, something the family and lawyer of Abdul-Nour denied”:

“His message of Islamic values and the formation of an Islamic welfare state that would not be a slave of the West were interpreted by many as the ramblings of a ‘playboy-turned-puritan'” but Khan “only narrowly missed out on securing the legally important position of leader of the opposition in … parliament”:

“The refusal to accept the legitimacy of those who oppose their campaign shows members of Femen would rather believe in a “helpless slave” narrative than assertive and questioning Muslim women. If anything, their generalizations betray both ignorance and arrogance”:

News and Analysis (5/12/13)

Sunday, May 12th, 2013

Why do both sides in the political debate continue to disingenuously call the Benghazi CIA base a “consulate” or even an “embassy” when it was nothing of the sort?

What then? Shall Google also stop calling the apartheid state “Israel” since “since it entrenches the [Zionists] in their view that they can further their political aims through one-sided actions rather than through negotiating and mutual agreement”?

As Muslims object to the burial of a man killed in a hail of bullets before he could be convicted or acquitted of terrorism accusations in a country that does not hesitate to bury mass murders and terrorists of other faiths in accord with their own religious traditions, a Christian woman steps forward for common decency:

The “Islamist Justice and Development Party won the most seats on a platform of reform and fighting corruption”, but its coalition partners have fought “its efforts to cut spending and reduce subsidies”:

“Besides overhauling a moribund economy Sharif … wants to end his country’s decades old feud with India and put Pakistan’s meddlesome generals in their place. It is a programme that has won him fans even among left-leaning critics who oppose his conservatism. It has also raised hopes in India and Afghanistan”:

Rafsanjani “has enough of a liberal aura to re-energize reformers for the first time since being crushed in the wake of Ahmadinejad’s disputed 2009 re-election. He also is seen as a potential steadying hand on Iran’s sanctions-sapped economy as a ‘millionaire mullah’ patriarch of a family-run business empire”:

“Azath Sally, 49, the former deputy mayor of Colombo, was arrested on Sunday in what the minority Muslim community described as the latest attack on them in the Buddhist-dominated island nation”:

“[H]e described the executions of nine people carried out by the government as ‘un-Islamic.’ President Yahya Jammeh’s government faced mounting pressure from the international community as the Muslim cleric was regarded a prisoner of conscience by many human rights organizations”:

After “bombs exploded on Boylston Street … the unlikely face of the Muslim community in its time of crisis became this 6-foot-5-inch, blond-haired, blue-eyed former hip-hop DJ whose grandfather was a fundamentalist Christian preacher””

News and Analysis (5/10/13)

Friday, May 10th, 2013

A “question should be put to the war hawks: If Assad’s use of sarin should call forth U.S. air strikes, ought not the use of sarin by the rebels, if confirmed, cause this country to wash its hands of those war criminals?”

“The survey also found that Americans view Muslims as the group that’s most discriminated against when compared to gays and lesbians, African Americans, Hispanics and women”:

The Catholic soldier’s multicultural back ground gave her knowledge that the American military needs to fight extremism, but ot dogged to consider suicide even after changing her name to “Nadia Christian Nova”; “I changed my name, but that didn’t change other people’s ignorance”:

“To know that this is specifically Islamophobia and not just generalized anger following an inexcusable act of violence, just remember that … America saw no similar rhetorical or physical assaults targeted at specific demographic groups after the violence of: Tim McVeigh and Terry Nichols and” dozens of others:

The Christian Action Network argues the burden of proof is on Muslims of America to prove that the former group has been lying in its allegations that the latter group operates terrorist training camps on US soil:

It is not clear why Israel should take the threat seriously when Arabs in Syria are much too busy killing one another:

WINEP’s Robert Satloff calls the snub “the most famous empty chair since Clint Eastwood at the Republican National Convention”, but El-Gazzer insists that he “withdrew from the conference to refuse normalization with Israel” and that he paid all travel costs himself:

Mohamed Morsi won the presidency last June promising voters they would have more civil rights than under former president Hosni Mubarak, who was forced from office during the Arab Spring uprisings….
But Morsi has not yet delivered …

… as this case of an arrest on vague charges demonstrates:

“Ramadan traditionally begins the morning after the sighting, which has in the past been delayed by a day or even two by weather. Council President Mohammad Moussaoui said the old method played havoc with French Muslims’ schedules for work, school and festivities”: