Archive for August, 2014

News and Analysis (8/31/14)

Sunday, August 31st, 2014

“Six senior Islamic scholars have endorsed the fatwa … describing Britons allied to Islamic State cells as ‘heretics'” and stating that they should fulfill their “‘moral obligation’ to help those in war-torn Syria and Iraq … without betraying their own societies”:

“Iraqi security forces backed by Shi’ite militias on Sunday broke the two-month siege of Amerli by Islamic State militants and entered the northern town” …

… but IS’s skill at “adapting shows the scale of problems ahead for … Obama, the Pentagon and U.S.-backed Iraqi and Kurdish forces, as they struggle to reclaim ground from the Sunni militants, who have seized a third of both Iraq and Syria, and want to establish a jihadist hub in the heart of the Arab world”:

In Egypt, international “[r]ights defenders had until Tuesday to agree to government interference or face closure. But after a fierce international backlash the deadline was delayed on Sunday until November” …

… while the  the Giza Criminal Court  has decided it shall only kill Mohamed Badie once:

Israeli spent half of its annual $3 billion allowance from the U.S. on the Gaza massacres, but don’t expect daddy to put his foot down:

… as Israel adds theft to murder in what “Peace Now, an Israeli group that monitors settlements, said this is the biggest ‘land confiscation’ since the 1980s”:

For years she refused to wear one, then she insisted on wearing one, then she abandoned it, now she has taken a job that will require it. It’s a woman’s right to change her mind:

As Libya continues to unravel, a U.S. facility falls and residents confront a choice between abandoning their homes to looting or risking abduction by militants:

“Mr Khawaja’s lawyer, Mohammed al-Jishi, said Ms Khawaja, the co-director of the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights, was denied entry and told that she had been stripped of her Bahraini citizenship. She was later granted a visa but was detained for seven days”:

“Clashes erupted between al-Qaida-linked Syrian rebels and U.N. peacekeepers … on Saturday after the militants surrounded their encampment … as the international organization risked being sucked further into the conflict. Other U.N. peacekeepers were able to flee from a different encampment”:

An Open Letter to the “Islamic State”

Friday, August 29th, 2014

Assalaamu Alaikum (Greetings of Peace):

On March 16, 2003, a committed young (only 23) American activist by the name of Rachel Corrie was murdered in cold blood by an Israeli soldier, while she attempted to non-violently prevent the destruction of a Palestinian family’s home in Rafah (Palestine). It has come to my attention that another young (26 years old) American woman was allegedly kidnapped on August 4, 2013, by members of ISIS while engaged in humanitarian relief work in Turkey and Syria. From what I’ve learned of this dedicated young woman, she is cut from the same human cloth as Rachel Corrie.

It is my understanding that she is a human rights activist who has protested against rendition, torture, America’s use of drones, and she begged family and friends to do what they could to urge the US government to intervene in a way that would help the suffering people of Syria (especially the millions of vulnerable refugees).

At the time of her abduction; she had gone into Aleppo to assist a project at an area hospital. She was abducted outside the hospital, along with her Syrian friend who has since been released. It is my understanding that she was initially given a life sentence in retaliation for the 86 year sentence imposed by the US Government on Dr. Aafia Siddiqui. Then, on July 12th, 2014, ISIS informed her family that she would be executed in 30 days if: (a) Aafia was not released, or (b) the family did not come up with a ransom of five million euros.

If I had the chance to address her captors I would ask them to consider the following:

  1. The Noble Qur’an and Prophetic Sunnah disallow the deliberate killing of civilian non-combatants, especially women and children.
  2. Deliberately engaging in actions on the battlefield that violate “the limits” established by The Noble Qur’an and the Prophet’s Sunnah (i.e. Islamic Shariah) removes ALLAH’s barakah (blessings) from the actions taken. As Sheikh ibn Taymeeyah correctly stated: “Civilization is based on justice, and the consequences of oppression are devastating. Therefore it is said ALLAH aids the just State, even if it is non-Muslim; and withholds His help from the oppressive State, even if it is Muslim.”
  3. To murder an innocent young woman, who willingly put herself in harm’s way to non-violently assist other human beings (who happen to be Muslim), would make her killers no better than the murderous regime (Zionist Israel) who took the life of Rachel Corrie in 2003 (and countless others since)! Do you really want to be part of that fraternity?

I end with a message from the family of Dr. Aafia Siddiqui, who were shocked and saddened when this tragedy was brought to their attention.

El-Hajj Mauri’ Saalakhan
Director Operations
The Peace Thru Justice Foundation

The Family of Aafia calls for Mercy and Compassion

The Family of Dr. Aafia Siddiqui is very distraught at the disturbing report [of the abduction of name omitted]. If the issue is true, we would like to state that our family does not have any connections to such groups or actions. We believe in a struggle that is peaceful and dignified. Associating Aafia’s name with acts of violence is against everything we are struggling for.

Cases like Aafia’s generate great support and emotional involvements because the suffering she has been put through and continues to endure can’t be ignored. A growing and tragic result of Aafia’s continued detention is that our appeals to reason and avoidance of violence are being ignored as people lose faith in the efficacy of those means, and we see them expressing their anger in a manner that neither us nor Aafia would endorse.

So, to those who have influence in the fate of Ms. [name omitted] we ask that they opt for a path of mercy and demonstrate by their actions to those who hold Aafia that mercy yields greater success, like the Sunna of our holy prophet. While we deeply appreciate the sincere feelings of those who, like us, wish to see the freedom of our beloved Aafia, we cannot agree with a “by any means necessary” approach to Aafia’s freedom. Nor can we accept that someone else’s daughter or sister suffer like Aafia is suffering.

Those of us who know and love Aafia can tell you that she would be distraught if she knew that there are people bragging about murder and mayhem and using her name to justify it. She would also be praying for the victims and their families. Aafia is one of too many people around the world who understands the toll that injustice imposes upon all of us.

Let us do our part to put an end to these cycles of pain and bloodshed. Let us show those who have military might that mercy and forgiveness is even more powerful. We pray that both establishments will do their part, and that both innocent women will be set free; not in exchange, not as ransom, but simply because it is the right and honourable thing to do.

The blessed are those who avoid the greater crimes and shameful deeds, and when they are angry even then forgive (Holy Koran, 42:37)

But indeed if any show patience and forgive, that would truly be an exercise of courageous will and resolution in the conduct of affairs. (Holy Koran, 42:43)

The Family of Aafia Siddiqui

News and Analysis (8/29/14)

Friday, August 29th, 2014

Steve Sotloff’s mother pleads with al-Baghdadi to follow the sunnah of Muhammad (pbuh), saying that she has “learned that Islam teaches that no individual should be held responsible for the sins of others…. Steven has no control over the actions of the U.S. government. He’s an innocent journalist” …

… but IS seems to prefer other teachers than the Prophet, such as the Khawarij (with the beheadings) and Dick Cheney (with his waterboarding) …

… “[I]t is not fear that forced the Peshmerga to fall back in the first weeks of combat with IS – it was the superior firepower provided IS by America, courtesy of the disintegrating Iraqi Army. Let the Muslim world see the crimes that these men commit, and then decide which side they are on”:

“Ten survivors write open letter to president and say disclosure of report is ‘necessary part of correcting America’s own history’”:

The leaders of IS “believe fighting ‘apostates’ is more important than fighting non-Muslims for now…. Their caliphate, say its fighters, will never be truly powerful unless apostates and ‘fake’ Muslims are first weeded out – and their definition of ‘apostate’ expands to include anyone who stands against them”:

“Muhbeen Hussain, founder of a British Muslim youth group in Rotherham, said the police and the town’s social services ‘totally failed us’ by not taking action against gang members. ‘We want the investigations to go back to 1997, cases reopened and prosecutions made'”:

“Jim Roth, the lone council member to back the center, predicted then that the council’s rejection would spawn a lawsuit. Roth said he was ’embarrassed’ and ‘stunned’ by some of the remarks made” by its opponents:

“What prevents Muslims from uniting is the inability to discuss the history of early Islam calmly and in a civilized manner…. We need to understand that the bloody early schism, which still is an open wound in the Muslim world, was indeed earthly and sinful”:

“Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey’s first directly elected president, faces civil wars on his borders, a possible economic slowing, and accusations of authoritarianism”:

“The cabinet said it was resigning to enable the elected parliament to choose a new, inclusive government. The Islamist-linked militia which seized the capital, Tripoli, last week has called for the elected MPs to be replaced by the previous body, the General National Congress (GNC)”:

“Its moniker might stand for ‘Islamic State’, but it seems there are more than a few of its supporters who don’t understand much of their adopted religion”:

News and Analysis (8/27/14)

Wednesday, August 27th, 2014

So far the truce brings relief to Gazans and heat to Netanyahu:

Actor and playwright (and brother of one of my college roommates) Wallace Shawn “translates” an ad placed by the ADL in defense of the Israeli massacre of Gazan children:

Unable to believe that it is his dictatorship that fuels the opposition, Sisi accuse Egypt’s “great minds and brilliant brains” of selling out to sinister foreign forces:

In Syria, arms from Iran help the Kurds to defend against IS, while a border post falls to the rebels but Syria offer coordination with the US effort against IS while warning unilateral strikes will be treated as aggression:

The US suspects the UAE and Qatar are behind the Libyan bombing raids, and that may only be the beginning of expanded military intervention from the Gulf states:

“The reported initiative by Qatar coincides with an effort by the tiny state to rebut accusations by some of its Arab neighbors and Western politicians that it supports the most anti-Western militant armed groups in Iraq and Syria”:

From Michigan to Noray Muslims denounce the IS:

Worse than stupid,  Charles Lister, a visiting fellow at the Brookings Doha Center in Qatar says that Israels attempt to equate Hamas with the IS is dangerous:

“Fazal Ahmad Manawi, an adviser to Mr. Abdullah, told reporters in Kabul that the audit of more than 8 million ballots from the June 14 runoff election is a “joke” and called for the immediate adoption of stricter procedures in order to identify and destroy fraudulent ballots”:

News and Analysis (8/25/14)

Monday, August 25th, 2014

“The government had made significant investments in both weapons and manpower to try to hold onto the military base, making its fall a both a symbolic and a strategic blow”:

The bankruptcy of the Neoconservative position on Islam needs no further proof than the fact that they resort to the outright lie that Muslims are not condemning IS atrocities …

… but it is the darling of the Neocons who has mastered the big lie as Netanyahu pretends “Hamas is ISIS and ISIS is Hamas” …

… when it is Israel itself that not only matches, but outdoes IS’s thirst for noncombatant blood:

“While the family of slain journalist James Foley mourns his passing, another American journalist … Peter Theo Curtis … [reportedly has] been handed over to a representative of the United Nations” …

… but “Lebanese hostages held by Al Qaeda’s affiliate in Syria and the so-called Islamic State were threatened with death in a video yesterday unless Lebanon’s Hezbollah withdraws its support for Bashar al-Assad”:

An “Arab spring [is] happening in the Muslim community towards self-appointed community leaders. “The notion that the 60-plus organisations that signed the statement are not legitimate and are divisive is incorrect and unfair” — community activist Rebecca Kay:

“[I]t’s not just Gaza… The attacks on freedom of speech and human rights organizations in Israel, the land-grabbing settler movement, a growing strain of anti-Arab and anti-immigrant racism, extremist politics, and a powerful, intolerant religious right — this mixture has pushed liberal Zionism to the brink”:

“Major parts of the devices of the drone are intact and have been received by our friends that can be used for further information” — Revolutionary Guard spokeman General Ramazan Sharif

“Libya has lurched ever closer to fragmentation and civil war this weekend after Islamist-led militias seized the airport in the capital, Tripoli, proclaimed their own government, and presented the world with yet another crisis”:

“Omar Zakhilwal told the BBC he would have to cut salaries and lay off government workers if the crisis was not resolved by the end of the month”:

News and Analysis (8/23/14)

Saturday, August 23rd, 2014

Has the attempt to form a less sectarian Iraqi government come to late?

Hamas is unafraid to face a process “that could expose both the Islamist group and Israel to war crimes investigations”, but “Israel Israel opposes involving the court”:

IS claims to be ruling with the consent of the governed, but in fact” does not have the support of the majority of Muslims living in Iraq and Syria” ans “is not only targeting other ethnic minorities in Iraq, but … also other Muslims, including Shiites …, and Sunnis who defy them”:

If the British  murderer of an American journalist James Foley thought he would intimidate Britain and America from action against IS, he was mistaken:

Will they ever work in this town again? “Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem are reportedly facing a serious backlash from top Hollywood executives following their support for Gaza, which saw the couple sign an open letter condemning the actions of Israel as tantamount to ‘genocide'”:

Each side blames the other for the violation of a “2003 cease-fire in Kashmir …, with troops exchanging gunfire Saturday. Two villagers on each side were killed and several injuries were reported”:

An attorney seems to think that a British ban on dowries will somehow be more successful in eliminating the demeaning practice than the bans already imposed by Islamic and Indian law:

News and Analysis (8/21/14)

Thursday, August 21st, 2014

“Khalid Mahmood, the MP for Perry Barr in Birmingham, estimates that at least 1,500 young British Muslims have been recruited by extremists fighting in Iraq and Syria in the last three years” …

… one of them seems to be the Jihadist who beheaded the journalist James Foley…

… while an expert on IS says that their main message is revenge and secondarily deterrence …

but undeterred by threats that more Americans will be murdered, the US continues air strikes against IS …

“[I]s it fair to continue to allow extremist religious groups to use religion as a pretext to wage wars?”: 

The Islamic State publishes a video of Yazidi men ” converting to Islam,” with no mention or evidence of informed consent …

… a reminder that “far from being religious zealots, a large number of those involved in terrorism do not practice their faith regularly. Many lack religious literacy and could … be regarded as religious novices”‘:

Some Muslim leaders refused to meet on the legislation many object that the PM is “merely seeking approval under the cover of consultation” and “that similar issues about Australian troops travelling abroad to fight or Jews travelling to train or fight with the [IDF] are simply never raised”: 

“[Y]oung Muslim women living in Britain … have, for various reasons, chosen to adopt the headscarf to declare their faith to all around them, despite figures showing rising violence against visibly identifiable Muslims”:

“A lot of Muslim people say it’s about religion. But I think it’s more about the culture and how people have been brought up. Men and women are treated equally [in the religion]. In the culture, it’s like the women should be at home cooking tea” – Ambreen Sadiq, one of Britain’s first Muslim female boxers:

“Why were we arrested, because we participated in protests? Because we stand with our family? What’s our crime? They’re the criminals” – Issa Abu Khdeir, father of the 19-year-old Baltimore boy arrested for protesting the burning to death of his cousin by Israeli extremists:

“[T]here has been a serious failure … in framing Gaza primarily as a humanitarian crisis. Addressing the broader context of occupation and siege is critical to ending violence and achieving a future of freedom and human security for both Palestinians and Israelis”:

“For Muslim youth, music [is a way] to proclaim your identity, to proclaim your politics, to explain who you are, to mobilize, to build community” Hisham Aidi, lecturer at Columbia University and author of Rebel Music: Race, Empire and the New Muslim Youth Culture:

News and Analysis (8/19/14)

Tuesday, August 19th, 2014

As scholars say, “The worsening plight of Iraq’s Christians is but a legacy of US’ illegal, unwarranted and criminal invasion of Iraq in 2003 and its subsequent engineering of sectarian strife to divide the Iraqi resistance to the occupation” and urge the UN hold ISIS accountable for its “crime against humanity” …

… and a top Saudi imam says that the terrorist entity Islam’s  “No. 1 enemy and that Muslims have been their first victims” …

… IS condemns an entire village for the peaceful resistance of one resident and threatens Americans everywhere  in retaliation for American intervention, starting wth the beheading of an American journalist:

“Two people are reported to have died as a result of the Israeli strikes, and eyewitnesses said thousands of Gazans were heading for UN shelters. Israel said about 50 rockets were launched from Gaza on Tuesday, but there were no injuries reported”:

“A UN official said approximately 16,800 homes and over 100 UN refugee installations in Gaza were destroyed or severely damaged during the war with Israel”:

Some say that Al-Maliki and Al-Abadi are of the same cloth, but a different design. The new Iraqi prime minister is described as “different type of Islamist: one whose education, big-city upbringing and decades of living in Britain:

As The  president of Fortune 500 company punishes Scotsmen for solidarity with Gazan victims of Israeli aggression … 

… NSW police go to the supreme court in effort to stop protesters from practicing their freedom of speech right by using the Summary Offences Act of 1988:

During a visit to Gaza, the British Consul General to Jerusalem, Alstair McPhail was photographed wearing a scarf with an embroidery of the slogan ” Free Palestine” next to the map before 1948:

News and Analysis (8/18/14)

Monday, August 18th, 2014

The seaport and the airport destroyed by Israel are symbols of the sticking points in the negotiations:

A Saudi ambassador insist that his country’s puritanical and intolerant version of Islam is not a unique interpretation of Islam, but the true religion; he thinks this exclusivist claim will distance the state from the terrorists:

Some say that the prerogative of Israel is to be exclusively a Jewish State.… Protesters swarmed the wedding of a Muslim man and a Jewish woman, shouting hateful slogans and calling the Jewish woman “a traitor” after she converted to Islam:

The British officials fear that their “findings will contradict the position on the group taken by Britain’s allies in the region, including Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE)”:

“Muslims are once again pressured to condemn and distance themselves from any association to the term Caliphate, as if the default position (or assumption) is that Muslims support ISIS unless they condemn them”:

A Muslim community condemns racist acts of Vandalism in a grave yard… The “uprooted headstones, trampled on flowers and kicked over memorials in a ‘heinous and senseless’ crime” said the police:

As Muslim Cadets serve their country Australia; “teenage girls wear black headscarves under their camouflage caps, and boys have full, dark beards” …

… the Australian Prime Minister, Tony Abbot, met with Muslims leaders in Sydney to negotiate the counter terrorism laws “to explain the proposed crackdown – which has been criticized by some Muslim groups”:

“According to the draft law, the Autonomous Government of Bangsamoro … will have more autonomous powers, particularly regarding politics and the economy, as well as “more territory, outside of and adjacent to” the current Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao:

“[T]he organization now finds itself engaged in a war against ruthless Sunni militants from the rugged mountains of east Lebanon and across Syria to the borders of Iraq and Iran that is slowly transforming the way Hezbollah sees its military role”:

News and Analysis (8/16/14)

Saturday, August 16th, 2014

“One of the most influential tribal leaders said he was willing to work with Shi’ite prime minister-designate Haider al-Abadi provided a new administration respected the rights of the Sunni Muslim minority that dominated Iraq under Saddam Hussein”:

I’m frustrated because for years, Muslim[s] … have endured our interfaith sisters and brothers, as well as media and politicians, telling us that we don’t denounce terrorism done by Muslims. Even though Muslim organizations, leaders, lay people have all … condemned terrorism … consistently since 9/11″:

As the United Nations declared the highest humanitarian level of emergency. the US found fewer people and better conditions on Mount Sinjar than expected, “partly because thousands had left the mountain each night over the past days”:

… and as a result, “the Pentagon announced on Wednesday night that there was no longer any need for a risky rescue effort, as days’ worth of US air strikes and Kurdish-led exfiltration efforts had permitted most of the Yazidis chased up the mountain to escape”:

France and Britain are ready to arm the Kurds. Could this mean Kurdish independence and the division of Iraq? The decision came after the United States abandoned a rescue mission at Mount Sinjar…”The decision to agree to such a request highlighted Britain’s concerns about the challenge of defeating Isis forces”:

As the world watches Iraq closely, the regional war in the Middle East between the Sunnis and the Shia’s predicts an inevitable division of the country and redrawing of the Sykes- Picot lines:

… the new Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Al Abadi said in a statement that “he is committed to fighting corruption and uniting the Iraqi people in the face of terrorism”, but most importantly, to call for the unity of Iraq:

Invading Iraq was a mistake now the West refuses to recognize. All the countries who led the invasion promised ‘ “stable, democratic, federal, parliamentary, prosperous Iraq”‘:

Iraqi leaders say they are incapable of defeating ISIS alone, and “believe it will take a broader effort backed by U.S. airstrikes to dislodge militants in Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city, and parts of western Iraq”:

Anbar, the Western province of Iraq, took up arms against ISIS militants… “The current effort could potentially be a major turning point in Iraq’s two-month conflict against an ISIS-led offensive”:

Hamas, Gaza’s dominant Islamist group, wants an Israeli-Egyptian blockade on the coastal enclave lifted, as well as the establishment of a seaport and airport, as part of any enduring cessation of hostilities with the Jewish state”: