Archive for September, 2014

News and Analysis (9/29/14)

Monday, September 29th, 2014

Notwithstanding claims that the air strikes have helped Iraqi ground forces to halt IS militia advances, civilian deaths from American led attacks on economic targets like grain silos and oil refineries can’t be winning any hearts or minds …

… and “the west does not intend mass murderers to benefit from its wars any more than it intends civilians to die in its airstrikes. If when the accountants of violence make their reckoning, the dictators are as triumphant as the civilians are dead, that is no concern of ours” …:

… and, beyond the moral issues, there is the strategic consideration about policies violate the first rule of war by uniting rather than dividing or enemies:

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper told a Washington Post columnist this month that U.S. intelligence had underestimated Islamic State and overestimated Iraq’s army”:

The U.S. has demanded that Tehran limit enrichment to about 15% of current rates, while “Iran insists the output should remain at the [current] level … and be allowed to expand more than ten-fold over the next decade” as permitted under the nonproliferation agreement which Iran has signed and regional rival Israel did not:

“[H]owever well the arguments of Sam Harris and Richard Dawkins might work at illustrating the evils of religion in a broader sense, they do little in the face of a perfectly moderate family that just happens to be Muslim. It’s like hating Fifa (as you should) and then screaming at kids kicking a ball around in their garden”:

“Police databases found that Nolen had ‘Jesus Christ’ tattooed across his chest and ‘As-salaamu Ataikum,’ tattooed on his stomach, which could be a misspelling of “As-salaamu Alaikum,” a standard Muslim greeting that means ‘Peace be upon you'”:

“In response to the IS message released last weekend urging followers to kill Westerners, including the ‘dirty French’ – a message that appears to have been directly linked to the beheading of Hervé Gourdel – a group of prominent Muslims pushed back in a provocative letter … yesterday entitled: ‘We are also dirty French’:

The anti-Muslim violence has receded, bug in its aftermath, “Muslim business owners said they had lost anywhere from 40 to 80 percent of their income, which at $300 to $1,000 a month can be the difference between just getting by and poverty”:

“The first democratic handover of power in Afghanistan’s history has been far from smooth: the deal for a unity government was cobbled together after months of deadlock…. Illustrating the problems facing the new president, a blast on a road near Kabul airport just before Ghani was sworn in caused some casualties”:


News and Analysis (9/26/14)

Friday, September 26th, 2014

The Constitutional scholar says the U.S. Constitution disfavors war and 126 Islamic scholars say Islamic law prohibits injustice. Who knew?

“Six weeks of bombing hasn’t budged ISIS in Iraq, but it has caused ISIS recruitment to soar“ …

… and focusing on Syrian oil, U.S. airstrikes fail to stop advancing terrorists burning villages ad lopping off heads …

… and although Iraq’s PM claims to have “credible’ intelligence that Islamic State militants plan to attack subway systems in Paris and the United States” but a deputy national security adviser to President Obama, said it hasn’t been shared with the U.S.:

“In a speech to the UN, the Iranian president blamed ‘certain intelligence agencies’ for fomenting extremist groups in the Middle East. He said a nuclear deal with Iran should mean more security cooperation”:

Muslims tweet apologies for everything from algebra to the death of Mufasa in “The Lion King”:

“My feminine body has been attacked in a new way. They have used me as a symbol of a threat to democracy. My scarf and niqaab are now not only symbols of subjugation, but also that of a facilitator of terrorism. I am now both the oppressed and the oppressor”:

“[T]he 20-year-old woman was discovered on Wednesday, saying she had been ‘dropped off by suspected Boko Haram militants’.” There was “no explanation why she might have been released. The Islamists offered last May a prisoner swap to release the girls, but the proposal was rejected by the government”:

A “16-year-old girl has been barred from an outstanding London state school because she insists on wearing the niqab, or full-face covering…. Hundreds have already signed a petition protesting that what you wear “does not affect anyone else”:

In Syria a “woman walked the streets of Raqqa with a camera hidden in her niqab. The video offers a rare glimpse of what life is like in the IS stronghold”:

The “deputy chairman of Hamas’ political bureau, said “The United Nations will come to an agreement with Israel and the unity government on how to run the crossings”:


News and Analysis (9/23/14)

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014

Will the IS’s war against Islam in the name of Islam reconcile the Saudis and the Iranians?

“Few people join IS out of religious belief. Most are in it for power, money, and recognition, or simply to have their backs covered if they have problems in the community. The tragedy is that the youth and children are easily brainwashed, so this will be a long-term problem”:

Despite the U.S. administration’s optimism about airstrikes, the Pentagon continues to signal the expectation that soldiers may be needed on the front lines and Israel shoots down a Syrian plane for flying over Syria …

… while Christians and Kurdish civilians flee, Kurdish soldiers claim to hold the line, but IS calls for international attacks on French and American citizens gets a response in Algeria …

“Ilham Tohti … was sentenced to life in prison…. Most of the charges … relate to … a website he started … to promote better understanding between Han Chinese and Uighurs. It featured articles in the two languages about customs and values—which the Chinese authorities decided … have ‘bewitched and coerced young ethnic students’:

If a man tells his wife, “‘please wear the niqab, I don’t want any other men to see you’,” Dr. Raihan Ismail says, then “the problem is not the niqab, it is being married to someone who is possessive and oppressive. By banning the burka or niqab you are preventing some women in freely practising what they believe in”:

“Launched by the British community organization Active Change Foundation, based in east London, the social media campaign urges young Muslim Twitter users to ‘fight back against ISIS,’ as the rogue terror organization sweeping through Iraq and Syria has been called, and ‘denounce their violent actions in your own words’:

“Abbas would ask the U.N. Security Council to issue a binding resolution, with a specific date for ending Israel’s occupation of the West Bank, Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem…. In the event of a likely U.S. veto at the Security Council, Abbas will seek membership in dozens of international institutions and agencies, including the” ICC:

The Houthis have long been shunned by Yemen’s political elite. They complained they were left out of a Gulf-brokered power transfer deal after “Arab Spring” protests forced veteran leader Ali Abdullah Saleh to quit in 2012 in favor of his then vice president”:

Dynamics of Regional Crises Run Amok: Implications for Arab and U.S. Interests and Policies

Monday, September 22nd, 2014

The success of the terrorist group formerly known as ISIL or ISIS (acronyms for translation of its Arabic name, Islamic State in the Levant, or Iraq and Syria) in occupying much of eastern Syria and western Iraq has set the stage for renewed American intervention. Last month, the National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations and the U.S.-GCCC recently convened a program of speakers to explore the dynamics of the regional crises and its implications for Arab and U.S. interests and policies.

Samir Sumaida’ie, formerly Ambassador of Iraq to the United States (2006-2011) and formerly Permanent Representative of Iraq to the United Nations (2004-2006) noted that actions and policies can have long term devastating consequences. We are suffering from actions taken decades ago. When he grew up in a Baghdad the country was doing well and prospects were good. Then a military coup set the country on a downward course beginning with the Baathist regime and ending with the dictatorship of Saddam Hussein. What he did not destroy the sanctions did. Enter the Americans without much idea of what it was they were walking into. Everyone was happy that Saddam was gone, but they made bad decisions disbanding not only the military but the police. Looting and chaos followed.  There followed an attempt to create a new political order in the American image, but with a vision of an Iraq divided into Sunnis, Shias, and Kurds, they implemented a system that deepened these divisions. At the same time Islamists trained outside the country found it in their interests to play that game in a winner-take-all system that created the conditions that led to the current situation. The entire region is only beginning to wake up from the Middle Ages. They need to catch up. The Arab spring faltered for both internal and external reasons. This is the context of the current catastrophe. We have refugees who must be dealt with today. We need a stable political order. We need a long-term international alliance to combat the ideology of terrorism. These three must be wedded in an overall strategy embraced by all parties. We must recognize that without a resolution of the Palestinian Israeli dispute the potential for instability will remain.

Dr. Imad Harb, Distinguished International Affairs Fellow at the National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations, observed that there is an arc of instability from Iraq to Lebanon and another from Yemen to Libya. There has been no president elected since Michel Suleiman, and the parliament’s extended tenure is about to expire. The U.S. has sought a consensus candidate, neither Michel Aoun nor Samir Geagea. Electoral committees were to be called into action to prepare November elections. Maronites want the presidency to be established before any extension of the existing parliament. For the first time people in the poor sections of Lebanese cities are listening to jihadist talk. Recruiters are helped by outside funding and the presence of Palestinian refugee camps. Jihadists even took over one town and although driven off they took some police as hostages with them. Hezbollah nearly controls the country. The U.S. is called upon to help implement U.N. Res. 1701 that ended the Israeli incursion. Lebanon is now involved in the Syrian war. Syria is attracting jihadists from everywhere while the moderates are ineffective. Cities are under control of the regime and the countryside is i the control of extremists. Communities that had remained neutral are being forced to take sides. It is not just ISIS, but Jabhat-an-Nusrah, as well. Geneva 2 collapsed. It is unclear what the U.S. can do. They could bomb ISIS, but the outcome may be more unintended consquences.

Dr. Thomas Mattair, Executive Director, Middle East Policy Council, sad that Iran has restricted its enrichment of uranium to a limit of 5% and are in discussion of the use of recently discovered facilities and the U.S. has agreed to some modest limits on sanctions. Gulf Arabs remain concerned that these negotiations were started without informing them and they are still not included. There are still large gaps in limits and time horizons and testing. Mattair doubts that agreement will be reached within the four month time limit. Gulf Arabs see themselves as being on the front line and they, like Israel, oppose any Iranian enrichment whatsoever and might start enriching themselves. They fear U.S. acquiescence in Iran’s regional ambitions. They warned us against invading Iraq and are uneasy that we have not intervened more robustly in Syria and are disappointed in our failure to produce an Israeli-Palestinian agreement. Obama identified loosely connected networks of terrorists rather than Iran’s nuclear program as the greatest danger to American interests in the region. Although the U.S. has supported some collective action against Syria, it has not gone as far as Jordan and other Arab states wish. We’ve struggled over to whom we could safely give weapons, and indeed IS has captured American weapons. Because of inadequacy of the Iraqi government, IS has found supporters on the ground.

Professor David Des Roches, Senior Military Fellow at the Near East South Asia Center for Strategic Studies, National Defense University and Malone Fellow in Arab and Islamic Studies to Syria. He focused on military aspects of he situation in Iraq. IS is not Napoleon sweeping through Europe. It was fighting a regime unpopular with the locals. It has positioned itself as the defender of the downtrodden. Paying the Sunnis not to oppose the Shia led federal government put them in the position of either accepting a subordinate position with them or standing apart from them. When ISIS took Mosul, the Kurds took Kirkuk. The Barzanji and Talabani factions of the Kurds are at war with another and we cannot give heavy weaponry to them. They would divert military assets towards the big prize of Kirkuk. Neutralizing IS requires a troop commitment Obama is not interested in making. If the enemy is completely defeated, the Baghdad government will have no incentive for reform.

Mr. Matthew A. Reynolds, North America Representative, United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) arvued that the one constant in Middle East history since WWII is the unresolved nature of the Palestinian issue. There are 5 million Palestinian refugees. He focused on Gaza, but mentioned the current situation of the Palestinian refugees in Syria. The devastation is much worse than we see on TV. Gaza is mostly 3 miles wide and one third of that is made into no man’s land by Israel. It was already called the world’s largest open air prison before the current war. We have reached a tipping point and must now confront health issues. Eleven of his UNRWA colleagues were killed in the recent hostilities. One-half of the supply of all poultry has been eliminated. The only power plant will be inoperative for months. Untreated sewage dumped into the sea will adversely affect Israel itself. Gaza needs nothing less than a new deal: Freedom to trade, freedom to move, and freedom from aid dependency.  With modern technology there is no justification for a medieval type surge against Gaza civilians. The violence Israel sows will only hurt their own people.

Joshua Yaphe with Bureau of Intelligence Research at the U.S. Department of State said Saudi Arabia has offered $500,000 million for Gaza reconstruction. The Gulf states have become more active in diplomacy, most recently calling for U.N. chapter 7  to be applied to Israel. Qatar called for suspension of Syrian membership in Arab League in 2011. In 2012 its membership in OIC was suspended. Most experts have not noticed this unprecedented outburst of diplomacy. Compared to the response in previous Gaza wars when actions involved consultation with all stakeholders and required no long term commitments beyond humanitarian financial, GCC states now take a more direct role.

The following points were made during the discussion:

Maliki had ministers from diverse groups but high jacked the ministries by appointing his own cronies. We must find a way to prevent this.

Capital is a coward and does not want to go into places that are insecure and unstable. The displacement in Gaza is equivalent to the displacement of 48 million Americans.

Without reconciliation among the major factions in  Iraq we will get more of the same, with a distinct possibility of more fragmentation. A change requires staging not just the cabinet but the PM’s office and the security forces with diverse personnel.

IS is proud of stoning adulterers and executing those who will not support them. You defeat such a group only by shrinking the base of their support and they see no alternative although they may change their minds after living under them long enough.

Israel seems to be using Hamas as a prop to say no to Palestinian rights. The PLO, too, was told that once it recognized Israel there would be peace.

The interpretations of Islam coming out of the Nadj simply cannot be applied in cities like Cairo and Baghdad, but they indoctrinate children into believing that anything else is heresy, ISIS is the extreme of the extreme. Abu Dhabi has established a new institution of scholars to try to challenge the more extreme ideologies as has al- Azhar.

Saudi society is more conservative than the Saudi monarchy. King Abdullah is moving deliberately. They had a wake up call when al-Qaeda took action in the peninsula. The Saudi government is now very harsh in fighting fundraising for terrorism, but there is a concern with the education of children that paves he say for terrorism.

At one point Iraq accused Syria of involvement in terrorist bombing, but one year later Iraqis were prohibited from criticizing Syria obviously for sectarian reasons.

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

News and Analysis (9/21/14)

Sunday, September 21st, 2014

“Tribal leaders hold the town up as an example of how the conflict with the Islamic State can be won, as the war brings together unusual allies against a common enemy…. Sunni tribesmen, the police and the Iraqi army fight side by side on the front lines of Thuluyah … joined by Shiite militias that are notorious for revenge killings”:

“Many observers expressed disbelief that the ruthless militant group would have relinquished such a big bargaining chip without getting something in return…. Erdogan denied having paid a ransom, although he was far less categorical when asked whether the government had swapped prisoners with the terror group”:

“Tens of thousands of Syrian Kurds crossed into Turkey Friday, fearing an imminent attack on the town of Ayn al-Arab. The border town is considered necessary for the militants to consolidate their gains across northern Syria”:

“Hawthi rebels captured the state television building on Saturday. Interior Minister Hussein al-Terb issued a statement Sunday calling on policemen in the capital to ‘cooperate’ with the Hawthis in maintaining security, a move seen as an attempt to stop the city from descending into lawlessness”:

“In Western feminist thought, religion is generally a tool of patriarchy. But for many Muslim women, religion is seen as a source of liberation rather than a source of oppression”:

“Families who have not succeeded in conceiving boys will designate young girls as honorary sons, allowing them to roam freely and masquerade as boys, with the tacit acceptance of others in their communities. At adolescence, most are switched back to young women, a transformation that can be traumatic”:

“Away from their bosses some of the younger ones express a wish for a return to the challenging journalism aimed at the government that characterised the revolution of 2011, but none felt able to say this openly. This extends to an apparent lack of concern over the detention of political opponents and the jailing of journalists”:

The Independent Election Commission of Afghanistan “acknowledged deep flaws in the June 14 run-off vote and said a U.N.-supervised audit was not adequate to weed out all the vote-rigging….. Ghani will share power with a chief executive proposed by Abdullah. The two will share control over who leads key institutions”:

“A backlash of hate crimes against the Muslim community after the police raids last week has also sparked a rash of social media comments such as ‘this is how they should deal with them’, ‘behead them all’, ‘give them a taste of their own medicine for a change’ and ‘we just need to blow up parramatta n bankstown'”:


News and Analysis (9/19/14)

Friday, September 19th, 2014

“You’re thinking, ‘He’s only doing this because he’s a prisoner. He’s got a gun at his head and he’s being forced to do this.’ Right…? Well, it’s true. I am a prisoner…. I have nothing to lose…. Maybe I will live and maybe I will die, [b]ut I want to take this opportunity to convey some facts that you can verify… that might help preserving lives”:

As the U.S. approves $500 million to train the Free Syrian Army in Saudi Arabia

… France throws the first stone …

… but Salam al-Maryaati warns, “Bombs cannot destroy ideas. Decapitating the leadership of ISIS will not stop violent extremism”, as he contrasts Islam and ISIS:

“Gen. Abdel Fata al-Sisi, to the presidency. He follows in the footsteps of dictators Gamal Abdel Al-Nasser, Anwar al-Sadat, and Hosni al-Mubarak.” His regime has murdered an American journalist and the massacre at Rab’a al-Adawiya was worse than Tienneman Square:

Among the allegations, “I woke up to my mother screaming. This pig, this man he tried to take the blanket off my mother when she was dressed like any woman would dress for her husband. They were wearing armour, helmets, balaclavas. They didn’t even knock on the door they just broke it down” …

… but Australia’s PM says that the Australian Hizb ut-Tahrir Muslims protesting “allegedly brutal tactics used by police in Thursday’s counter-terrorism raids did not represent their faith and … “the police operation was ‘a show of strength … that we will respond with strength to any threat to our way of life and to our national security” …

… but while one “Muslim leader has called for Hizb ut-Tahrir to be banned … as exasperatation … grows over the extremist group … for drawing Islam into another ‘stereotypical debate'”, solicitor Zali Burrows warns that such a ban “dangerous,” asking, ‘Where does it end? What threat has Hizb ut-Tahrir actually made?’:

Bennett’s bigoted comments were “directed against … people like my family, friends and me…. Instead of dividing the community, Bennett had brought together Christian, Jewish and Muslim groups as well as organizations like the NAACP and the ACLU to stand together at a press conference to denounce Bennett and demand an apology”:

Still happy? Six were sentenced “to six months in prison and 91 lashes. A seventh participant …received an additional six months on her prison sentence for possession of alcohol and her role in distributing the video…. [They] will serve their sentences only if they are found guilty of another crime in the next three years” …

… and an “Iranian journalist and activist says freedom of speech and the press have not improved one iota under the new administration.” Iranian intelligence officers “would always say that they know the law but that it simply doesn’t apply to them. They go by their own laws”:

“A report released by the IAEA in September said Iran had failed to answer questions about what the watchdog called the possible military dimensions of its nuclear ambitions by a 25 August deadline”:

“Meeting in Madrid, officials from countries surrounding Libya and to its north across the Mediterranean concluded ‘there is no military solution to the current crisis.’ But Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo warned that the status quo puts Libya in a position where it could slide into a Syria-style civil war”:

“Mr. Hargey … said the mosque would welcome people from all genders, religions and sexual orientations” and insists that in doing so, he has replicated “the original mosque of the Prophet Muhammad, where there were no barriers. This idea of female invisibility is an innovation that came after Muhammad”:

News and Analysis (9/17/14)

Wednesday, September 17th, 2014

Among Edward Snowden’s most shocking revelations is “that the N.S.A. was routinely passing along the private communications of Americans to a large and very secretive Israeli military organization known as Unit 8200” that has been accused by 43 of its veterans of startling abuses:

“With the word ‘injustice’ often on their lips – and … thousands of Sunnis detained without charge on their minds – Iraq’s aggrieved Sunnis began a popular uprising in December 2012. They called the Baghdad government ‘enemy,’ and in June this year helped Islamic State (IS) militants advancing from Syria seize control” …

… and now as foreign powers decide what to do about the terrorist state with which their previous interventions have saddled Iraq, in addition to issues of practicality, unintended consequences, and the risks of escalation, they must also consider the fact that government with which they have saddled Iraq doesn’t want their troops:

“In the 10-minute call with Nzinga Islam, which she believes was not sanctioned by his jailers, Mobley pleaded to see his lawyer and said he was being physically abused. ‘He said, “I’m being tortured.” He even said, “They’re gonna kill me in here”’”:

Amnesty International says she is being held in Tehran’s notorious Evin prison, where she was kept in solitary confinement for more than 40 days before being moved to a shared cell.   ‘She is a prisoner of conscience, arrested solely for taking part in a peaceful protest against the ban on women attending volleyball world league matches in Tehran’s Azadi stadium”:

“Qatar and Turkey were the only regional countries to back the Brotherhood after Egypt’s army toppled Islamist President Mohamed Mursi last year following mass protests against him”:

“The UN has orchestrated a deal for rebuilding in the Gaza Strip, giving prominent roles to the Palestinian Authority and the private sector”:

The “Islamist political leader whose conviction last year for war crimes during the country’s 1971 war for independence sparked deadly protests. Delwar Hossain Sayedee … must remain in prison “for the rest of his natural life”, said the chief justice[, who] … did not explain his decision for reducing the sentence”:

“Six children were among those who died …, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported. A dozen rebel fighters were also killed, the UK-based group added. Meanwhile, at least 34 children have died in another opposition-held area of Syria, reportedly after being given contaminated measles vaccinations”:

News and Analysis (9/15/14)

Monday, September 15th, 2014

As world leaders back America’s muddled policy to intervene in Iraq (where previous intervention paved the way for ISIS’s invasion) but not Syria (where Arab intervention enabled ISIL’s initial successes) …

… while “the most effective opponent of the Islamic State group” have been the Kurds whose relative autonomy insulated them from the mistakes of the American-backed regime in Baghdad and in recent fighting have captured approximately 14 villages:

“British aid worker David Haines devoted his life to helping civilians in war zones and that is how he should be remembered, his family said Sunday as they grieved his death at the hands of Islamic State militants in Syria” …

… and “the Briton threatened with execution next by militants from Islamic State in Iraq and Al-Sham is a Manchester taxi driver who drove a van full of aid to Syria to help children in the war-torn country”:

“Imams and leaders of Muslim societies in Britain have urged journalists and politicians to find an “alternative way” to refer to the [terrorist] group Islamic State. They say ‘UnIslamic State’ would be a more ‘accurate and fair’ description” …

… but as Jews calling for the “embargo on Palestinian be lifted and asked for justice for Palestinians” march in the same parade with Muslims condemning the savagery …

… Israeli leaders denounce the refuseniks who seek to wash their hands of the terrorism of political Zionism …

The former football coach of a young recruit to the terrorists’ cause says “the speed with which Berisha went from playing for a Jewish football club to joining a radical jihadist group underlined “how strongly we have to confront this kind of racism or we are in real trouble” …

… and the judge addressing the defendant as “a very young man, without a significant criminal record,” offers him a reduced sentence in exchange for “full information … about the inner workings of the group”:

Julian Assuange interviews former Guantanamo inmate Moazzam Begg and Asim Qureishi from Cageprisoners “about the Caliphate and Shari’ah in the Muslim World”:

The 18-year-old Somali refugee designs bold, edgy clothes for Muslim women that are ‘on trend,’ … but modest enough to meet Muslim religious standards. She took first prize in Maine’s Future Business Leaders of America competition and the ‘Girls Rock Award’ for entrepreneurship from Hardy Girls, Healthy Women:

“In order to avoid causing any embarrassment for the State of Qatar, which we found to be a very welcoming and supportive host, some symbols of the Muslim Brotherhood and its political wing … have now honored that request,” an FJP leader said, but promised that the “revolution will continue” …

… while in Egypt bail is granted to the recipient of the “harshest given to secular activists amid an ongoing government crackdown on Islamists [who] was granted a retrial last month on charges of organising an unauthorised protest, beating a police officer and stealing his walkie-talkie last November”:

“Recently received analyses make plain beyond question that every Israeli commander who ordered these operations in Gaza knew well before the first rocket or tank shell was fired that two thirds of the victims of these ‘operations’ would be women and children”:

Dropbox has handed “over content 103 times, and ‘non-content'” such as “the name and email address associated with the account; the date of account creation and other transactional information like IP addresses’ … 80 times. The company also emphasised its commitment to notifying users of any governmental request for their data”:

News and Analysis (9/13/14)

Saturday, September 13th, 2014

“‘Muslim Americans are very troubled by the images they have seen of beheading innocent people, especially our fellow Americans,’ said Imam Magid. U.S. Muslim leaders have been quick to condemn videos like this one released by IS. Rizwan Jaka says Islamic State fighters are terrorists”:

“Forty-three past and present reservists signed a letter about Unit 8200, which carries out electronic surveillance. They said the intelligence it gathered – much of it concerning innocent people – was used to “deepen military rule” in the Occupied Territories”:

Egyptian prosecutors confess that they have no case by resorting to showing a homenvideo of the wife of a defendant belly dancing for her family as “evidence” against “a vocal government critic … sentenced … to 15 years in prison for protesting, the harshest sentence against secular activists amid authorities’ crackdown on Islamists”:

“After the expulsion, the director of the Centre for Middle-Eastern Strategic Studies, Anwar Ashqi, told satellite television channel al-Tahrir that the decision to expel the Brotherhood leaders was ‘an implementation of one of the articles of the Riyadh Agreement. Qatar has no choice but to commit'”:

“[T]he BBC has learnt that Iran already appears to be sending troops and weapons to fight the Sunni extremists in the country” …

… yet John Kerry has “refused to say precisely how a global campaign that is being pieced together by the U.S. would succeed in destroying the Sunni extremist movement that some believe is even more dangerous than al-Qaida” …

… but although “France has staked a tough stance in the nuclear dispute, [it] is viewing Iranian help in the region with pragmatism, stressing the overlapping concerns of Iraq, Iran and the West about the dangers posed by the Islamic State group. Paris believes Tehran should not be excluded”:

“Politicians need to consider the impact of their rhetoric on more than their polling numbers – on the way it can can, ultimately, foster violence. And the media needs to gauge how to report on conflict and use images to explain both the news and illuminate the truth. Otherwise, many more innocent Americans will become targets for hate”:

The civilian refugees “appear to have been among the victims of a wave of revenge attacks carried out after one of several Lebanese soldiers captured by militants from Syria in a cross-border raid was beheaded by jihadists earlier this month. The killing of the Shiite soldier by Sunni extremists has aggravated sectarian tensions”:

“The feared militant and 200 other fighters died in a battle on Friday in the state of Borno state, birthplace of the extremist group”:

News and Analysis (9/10/14)

Wednesday, September 10th, 2014

Like a number of his predecessors, Pres. Obama refuses to be reigned in by Article One, Section Eight of the U.S. Constitution (“Congress shall have power to … declare War”):

“Usually nonprofit and charitable organizations are scared to publicize such things. I’m not going to be quiet. I don’t want to see this happening to anyone again” – Florida businessman Sofian Zakout whose American non-profit relief organization “has helped victims of Hurricane Katrina, as well as the civil war in Syria”:

Darshini “Kanda a journalist who works for Kuala Lumpur-based Malaysiakini, an independent online newspaper, was appalled and confused” by the US media’s reference to the group that beheads innocent journalists as “an Islamic group” and asks, “Why didn’t they just say terrorist group?”

Bosnian Muslims safeguarded “the Sarajevo Haggadah, a 600-year-old manuscript which narrates the Exodus from Egypt every Passover” by carrying “it through Nazi checkpoints, to a mountain village above Sarajevo. A Muslim cleric kept it hidden beneath a floor of a mosque until the war was over”:

“The long-running conflict between the government and Muslim fighters in the south has killed thousands of people and displaced more than three million. It has also left Mindanao … mired in poverty and lawlessness despite being rich in resources, including natural gas, gold and valuable minerals”:

“Several FSA commanders suggested that if the living conditions and treatment of Syrian refugees in Arsal do not improve, young people will continue to be drawn to radical Islamist groups”:

“More than 300,000 military personnel and 300 jets, choppers and boats have swarmed the northern state, rescuing more than 76,500 residents after a week of rain caused riverbanks to burst. This is the first major disaster faced by Modi’s administration, which in May won federal elections”:

“Verse 143 of Chapter 2 asks Muslims to be “… a moderate nation so that you could be an example for all people and the Prophet an example for you,” which requires Muslims to always follow the middle path, avoiding the extremes in everything. That would include music as well”:

“The Muslim Council of France (CFCM) in a joint statement with a Christian group denounced the persecution of Middle East Christians by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria and said mosques across France would pray for them this week”: