Archive for November, 2015

News and Analysis (11/8/15)

Sunday, November 8th, 2015

“[S]urprised to see a September poll showing 30 percent of Iowa Republicans didn’t believe that Islam should be legal in the United States” a UNI assistant professor of religion says, “Islam is connected to the story of America itself” and is not “new to the United States or Iowa”:

“[I]n the newest legal action the inmates’ lawyers argue that the earlier court order was ignored, and the MDoC continued to deprive their clients of sufficient nutrition repeatedly”:

“[F]or the 1 million Rohingya Muslims who live in Rachine State … it’s not a free election[,] … crowded into makeshift huts … [, they] suffer from shortages of firewood, water and food, and are forced to bribe security guards to leave the camp for medical treatment”:

“President Hassan Rouhani reaffirmed last week he expected sanctions to be lifted by year-end, paving the way for the return of the biggest economy to the global trading and financial system since the end of the Soviet Union in 1991”:

Among the security gaps reported by anonymous “officials involved in security at Sharm el-Sheikh airport” was a “malfunctioning scanner had been noted in security reports to their superiors, but the machine was not replaced”:

“As it happened in the 10th and 11th centuries, Muslim intellectuals who live in the West can initiate a new scholarly synthesis between Islam and Western knowledge — something that is a must to overcome the problems of the Islamic world”:

“We call on politicians, rabbis, imams, civil society leaders – all the people of Israel and Palestine to end rhetoric that exacerbates hatred and violence” — Rep. Keith Ellison and Rabbi Adam Latz:

“[T]he New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists said reporters face unprecedented threats in President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi’s Egypt. CPJ said Egypt currently had the highest number of journalists behind bars since it began keeping records in 1990”:

“The war has evolved into a wider proxy struggle between global powers, as Russia has joined the Assad-Iran axis and Western powers have stepped up support for Gulf Arab-backed rebels”:

News and Analysis (11/5/15)

Thursday, November 5th, 2015

A uniquely French plan to stop extremism: “This was the week that schoolchildren in one Paris suburb got a stark choice at the cafeteria: pork or nothing at all”:

Which should be reported as a potential terrorist: “a person posting about a plan to attend a political event, or someone with an Arabic name posting about going on ‘a mission’ overseas”? For the FBI training program it is a no-brainer [No brains, indeed!]:

“Filkins thus assembled a set of ‘facts’ … supporting his thesis of Iranian guilt, without any serious effort to inquire into its accuracy, reliability and significance [and] …suggests a readiness to interpret data that doesn’t fit the accepted picture in such a way as to keep it intact”:

“There is an undeniable link between media censorship and the proliferation of conspiracy theories in Turkey. In turn, society is so polarized that it lacks the means to negotiate truth claims”:

The accusations that the man who provided the rational for America’s disastrous Iraqi intervention was working for Iran were never proven, but there is no doubt that he “justified his lies by insisting that they served a greater good” …

… while a “new biography of the 41st president – Destiny and Power: The American Odyssey Of George Herbert Walker Bush – reveals that Bush Sr held Cheney and Rumsfeld responsible for the hawkish stance that ‘hurt’ his son’s administration”:

Friday’s narrative that the mission “would be totally ‘non-combat'” and suggesting “keeping the operation purely advisory … was ditched almost immediately:

Saad Almasmari, newly elected to what is believed to be “the first majority Muslim City Council … in the entire country” says, “We are going to represent everybody. We are going to serve everybody, Christians, Jewish, Muslims, everybody”:

“It was the fourth time in six weeks that Hindus had killed Muslims they suspected of slaughtering, stealing or smuggling cows”; a neighbor asks, “How can a man whose family consisted of engineers and doctors, and himself a respected headmaster, steal a calf?”
“Following the visit of a delegation of AFL-CIO leaders from Connecticut to Palestine this Fall as guests of the Palestinian General Federation of Trade Unions (PGFTU), the Connecticut AFL-CIO adopts a comprehensive resolution against Israeli apartheid:

News and Analysis (11/2/15)

Monday, November 2nd, 2015

Surprising most analysts, the AKP wins a clear majority in parliament, enough to rule without a coalition but not enough to allow Erdogan to completely monopolize power:

Having failed to deny Iran a seat at the Syria peace talk, are the Saudis trying to provoke them to walk out?

“What the Government is really saying is that its classification system trumps the decisions of the federal courts as to the public’s access to official court records; in other words, the Executive Branch (in this case, the Military) purports to be a law unto itself – Judge Gladys Kessler:

“[T]he courage and heroism of those Muslims who risked their own well-being to save the lives of Jews, and rescuing the names of these people from obscurity, is … useful response to the Netanyahu uproar. This is a story that has received remarkably little attention” …

… while a viral video exposes “the inhumanity of Zionism…. It is not simple hatred that motivated the disgusting comments from the onlookers, it is an ingrained, inter-generational sense of superiority bred of dehumanization of the Palestinian, and the Arab generally”:

“CISA is … a surveillance bill masquerading as a cybersecurity bill, … giving the NSA access to more personal information for its expansive databases. CISA is fundamentally flawed because of its broad immunity clauses for companies, vague definitions, and aggressive spying powers”:

The UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention has determined unanimously that Malaysia’s imprisonment of Anwar Ibraham is a violation of International Law and that he shjld be reeased immediately and have all his political rights restored:

“Khin Maung Thein, the lone Muslim candidate, is only campaigning in Mandalay’s mosques, rather than on its streets, and is concerned that Ma Ba Tha monks might harass the people he canvasses”:

Two Muslims crossing from the Muslim ghetto “to enter the Christian sixth district … were slain and their bodies chopped up into pieces, while [a] third … was later stoned to death by a crowd near a church. In an apparent act of retaliation, a Christian man was killed” the next day:

“Even if the situation in Iraq gets better, no matter how safe it is, there’s no guarantee it won’t happen again,” says Naghm Yousif Abdel Meseeh, now resigned to “[l]eaving the land where Assyrians have lived for thousands of years”:

El Mercurio Interview on the Russian Airliner Crash in the Sinai

Sunday, November 1st, 2015

[Here are our answers to questions by El Mercurio’s reporter Javier Méndez about the crash of a Russian civilian airliner in the Sinai]:

Q. It is possible that a Russian airplane passengers could be shot down by ISIS?

A. The plane could not have been shot down at that altitude. An on-board attack cannot be ruled out, but seems very unlikely in the light of the reports during ascent by the pilot of some sort of “technical problem” and his intention to land the plane as soon as possible. Further, reports that this particular plane had experienced problems with an engine days before the flight suggest a more likely explanation.

Q. What could be the political effects in the Middle East for this serious incident?

A. The fear expressed by a number of airlines to fly over Sinai in the wake of this tragedy puts pressure on Egypt, whose government has already lost legitimacy as demonstrated by the poor turnout in the recent elections. Alleged claims that ISIS is responsible, far-fetched as those claims may be, nonetheless portend more violence against the group in Syria and its affiliate in the Sinai.

Q. In your opinion, what will happen with the Islamic State the next year? Could ISIS be defeated by the international coalition?

A. I cannot predict what will happen to ISIS, but if it is defeated without popular support of the indigenous populations, it shall only be replaced by another undesirable, and perhaps even more vicious party.

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