Archive for February, 2017

News and Analysis (2/26/17)

Sunday, February 26th, 2017

McMaster’s views may be eclipsed those by clash-of-civilization fanatics Steve Bannon and Stephen Miller who “have close ties to Mr. Trump and walk-in privileges in the Oval Office” McMaster lacks:

“What right does the United States have to inquire about somebody’s religion when they enter the country?” – Chris Mancini, a former federal prosecutor and friend of the family:

Those “labeled Salafist … disagree amongst each other over what defines authentic Salafist practice.The vast majority of [them] … are … simply nonpolitical or actively reject politics as morally corrupt”:

“The shooting also injured 24-year-old Ian Grillot, [a third] patron at Austin’s, who apparently tried to intervene”:

“The passage of the so­-called ‘Regularization­ Law’ could, according to [Israeli President Reuven] Rivlin, cause Israel ‘to look like an apartheid state'” – Canadian Human Rights Attorney Edward Corrigan:

“Analysts at the Homeland Security Department’s intelligence arm found insufficient evidence that citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries included in … [the] ban pose a terror threat to the” U.S.”:

“Iran launched naval drills at the mouth of the Gulf and the Indian Ocean on Sunday, a naval commander said, as tensions … escalated after U.S President Donald Trump put Tehran ‘on notice'”:

New and Analysis (2/23/17)

Thursday, February 23rd, 2017

As American Jews rallied in support of American Muslims under attack by the administration, American Muslims rally in support of American Jews victimized by grave desecration and bomb threats …

… but the  Palestinian Muslim activist who co-organized the successful fundraising drive is the victim of social media threats and “disparaging articles” on “anti-Muslim hate sites”:

“[I]ignorance coupled with government power can be very difficult to overcome” —  Attorney Mohammed Abdrabboh:

Declaring the Muslim brotherhood a terrorist organization would be  a signal that the U.S. makes no distinction between peaceful and violent groups …

… and could unleash a wave of civil rights violations that alarms the CIA as well as human rights organizations:

Gorka has no patience with “nuanced and complicated” approaches which he would “completely jettison.” No wonder former CIA analyst Cindy Storer says “the government … thinks he’s nuts”:

“[H]e’s working with Islamic scholars to draft a law discouraging men from marrying multiple wives if they cannot afford to educate large families” and outlaw “forced marriages and domestic violence”:

Ranked among the “best places to raise children or for most affordable metro areas, the violent crime rate is 25 percent lower than the national average and three percent lower than” the rest of Iowa:

“What sort of freedom is it that allows you to free head scarves without thinking of changing discriminatory and assimilatory policies against [non-Sunni Muslim] Alevis and non-Muslims?” …

… There has “always been a xenophobic, paranoid nationalism, but …  it was also a secular nationalism…. [N]ow it is nationalism [with] a heavy dose of Islam, so it appeals to religious conservatives”:

Although he was pleased by the ad’s promotion of friendship between Muslims and Christians,” he never expected it to lead to celebrity and an invitation to help the government fight terrorism:

The revised travel ban has been delayed by a week as commentators note the administrations arguments for it reveal its constitutional flaws:

News and Analysis (2/20/17)

Monday, February 20th, 2017

The American people have responded to the latest outpouring of anti-Islamic propaganda with an effort to discover the truth to themselves:

“[T]he Def Jam founder and mogul told the Times Square crowd[,] ‘We are here unified because of Donald Trump. We want to thank him for bringing us together'”:

A “Huntingtonian ‘clash of civilizations‘ on steroids … helps explain why people like Bannon are so fond of right-wing xenophobes like Marine Le Pen in France and autocrats like Vladimir Putin in Russia”:

“[T]he judicial and legislative branches of the government should take a look at the social science showing why Islamophobic policies pose a genuine threat to Americans of all cultural backgrounds and faiths”:

She called Islam “feminist,” saying, “we got equal rights well before the Europeans. We don’t take our husbands’ last names because we aren’t their property. We were given the right to own land”:

The Department of Children and Family Services knows that “a quiet, devout Libyan-born Muslim who lives in Azusa … [is] the only one that would take a child who would possibly not make it”:

Many of the “110,000 Iraqis worked with the US between 2003 and 2011, the year that US troops withdrew from Iraq” are viewed as traitors or infidels there and would be trapped by a reissue of the ban:

The terrorist act in Sweden was as bad as the Bowling Green massacre. Neither ever happened:

Tasnim News Agency Interview with Imad-ad-Dean Ahmad

Sunday, February 19th, 2017

[This is the substance of Reza Saiedi’s interview with me for Tasnim New Agency on the occasion of the 38th anniversary of the Iranian Revolution.]

Q. It has been 38 years since  the victory of the Islamic Revolution in Iran, and during this time, we have witnessed the hostile acts of America against the Iranian nation, from the unjust sanctions to the 8-year war with Saddam’s regime and US support of the MKO terrorists. Every American administration has found some excuse and method to continue these hostile actions against the nation of Iran. Considering that Iran has not attacked another nation in more than 300 years, what is the reason for such animosity against Iran ?

A. Although the Iranian military has not attacked another nation in three centuries, the American critics of Iran will point to Iran’s intervention in support of the Asad dictatorship in Syria and into the internal affairs of Lebanon through its support of Hezbollah as examples of aggression. Such criticisms are hypocritical, of course, given the American interventions all over the world, including the Sisi dictatorship in Egypt and the Saudi invasion of Yemen, not to mention its direct sponsorship of the Israeli occupation of Palestine.

Q. It is said that one of the achievements of the Islamic revolution of Iran is Standing against American domination and hegemony in the region and the world. Would you agree with this observation? Please elaborate your opinion?

A. I honestly have mixed feelings about the Iranian challenge to American hegemony in the region. On the one hand, Iran certainly has a more reasonable interest in its own region and its stand against American intervention can be compared to the “Monroe Doctrine” in which the American president warned the European powers that it would not tolerate colonization of the Americas or establishing puppet dictators therein. On the other hand, there are dangers of Iran becoming a regional hegemon, as the U.S. did in Latin America with the establishment of banana republics and support of dictators from Hernandez in El Salvador to Noriega in Panama.

Q. Although US officials claim that their battle is with the Iranian regime, their cruel sanctions have actually targeted the Iranian people.  Under the  pretext of support for human rights and democracy , the US has even prevented the Iranian nation from obtaining medicines and medical equipment and innocent people die every year as a result. These sanctions were undertaken during the so-called peaceful Obama administration and Donald Trump gives every indication that he intends to keep the pressure on. Do you think that the American public will come to see this trend of injustice towards Iran, especially as they begin to witness extreme measures taken by Donald Trump?

A.  The excesses of the Trump administration have already prompted a rethinking of American policies in other areas, and I hope it will provoke a more clear-headed examination of American policy on Iran. I am concerned, however, that the extremely vitriolic polarization of the public may drag the level of the debate down to one of name-calling and personal attacks, precluding any sober discussion of what is in the best interests of the American and Iranian people, not to mention in accord with justice and righteousness.

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

News and Analysis (2/17/17)

Friday, February 17th, 2017

Declaring the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization could be a tool for “anti-Muslim crusaders to hound unaffiliated, mainstream Muslim organizations and potentially criminalize their leadership”:

Trump’s inner circle is convinced that America is fighting a battle to the death with Islam – not one to win over the hearts and minds of the world’s Muslims …

… but his solidly conservative Labor appointee sees things differently, criticizing the French ban on “headscarves, kippahs, crosses and any other religious” and defending the protection of religious expression”:

One Russian woman says her “family, including women and four children, as well as a female neighbor and her children, were held for several days in a police station … without charge”:

“[T]hree cases, which reached the court before Democratic President Barack Obama left office, all deal broadly with the degree to which non-citizens can assert rights under the U.S. Constitution” …

… and may affect arguments as to whether the travel ban violates major Constitutional provisions even as it professes to aim at ensuring those entering the country ‘support the Constitution'” …

… and it is “interesting that Arab countries where Trump has done business are not included in the ban“:

“I signed with the top modeling agency in the WORLD and still wore my hijab as my crown. Don’t ever change yourself. Change the game”:

“Students whose families are more engaged with religion or go to a mosque tend to have more information, whereas … [those] mostly only hearing things from other kids at school, so there’s more fear”:

ISIS adds to the toll of Muslims it has murdered with a terror strike in Pakistan:

“The ‘clearance’ operations resulted in the emigration of 69,000 Rohingya Muslims to neighboring Bangladesh. Thousands … are believed to have been killed during the four-month campaign”:

“Many of the perpetrators invoked the president-elect’s name during the incidents, indicating the surge was linked or motivated by his electoral win,” according to a Southern Poverty Law Center report:

News and Analysis (2/14/17)

Tuesday, February 14th, 2017

The surge “reflects not an influx of new refugees, but a backlog of those who had undergone an 18-month to two-year vetting process prior to the Jan. 27 executive order and had already been” approved:

Judge “Robart said he saw no reason to slow down the case, adding he was ‘surprised; the Justice Department would seek a delay given Trump’s angry tweets over the 9th Circuit ruling” …

… and “Judge Brinkema said Trump’s promises during the campaign to implement what came to be known as a ‘Muslim ban’ provide evidence the … executive order unconstitutionally targets Muslims”:

Surprised that the man targeted for cartoons of Prophet Muhammad disagreed with his violent tactical view, Bannon warned that Trump is “only a premonition of what will ultimately come. ‘Just wait and see'”:

The Bayan Claremont school joins Unity Productions, Dearborn’s Leaders Advancing and Helping Communities, and Minneapolis’s Ka Joong in rejecting Homeland Security CVE grants:

Some may opine that the group is “bad, authoritarian, or illiberal” but “not a single American expert on the Muslim Brotherhood who supports designation” of the group as “terrorist”:

The issue was not about Muslims initially (the majority of affected residents are Italian) but the extremist Swiss People’s Party made an issue of the potential  “loss of Swiss values” from Muslim citizens”:

In Atlanta and New Zealand horrific bigotry is followed by loving support:

“France emphasizes equality rather than liberty. This, [Imam Oubrou] says, is the opposite of Britain and the U.S.”:

“[O]f roughly 13 full-time Muslim chaplains … at colleges in the U.S. and Canada[, m]any … are paid by outside nonprofits and mosques … and none hold their campus’ top spiritual leadership position”:

News and Analysis (2/11/17)

Saturday, February 11th, 2017

“‘[W]hy did they have to kill children and women and elderly people?’ said Zabnallah Saif al Ameri, who lost nine members of his extended family, five of whom were children”:

Rather than risk a “fourth legal setback over the ban on travel to the US for people from seven Muslim-majority countries, the White House announced it would not for now pursue the legal battle any further” …

… but “Trump is considering issuing a new executive order banning citizens of certain countries traveling to the United States” …

… and the “Department of Homeland Security is rushing to roll out a multibillion dollar surveillance system that will equip US airports with facial recognition software”:

“The attempt to rush through the ban is said to be a result of the blitzkrieg approach of Bannon, who” wants action before “the loathed ‘establishment’ can organise itself to sabotage the revolution”:

Fourteen Muslims were “a small fraction of the 176 guest appearances on the news networks from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. on those five nights, when Trump’s Muslim ban dominated the national conversation”:

“This was blackmail. They kept the money and they kept asking me to provide additional information even though they had my details” – Mamunul Islam:

Long before today’s anxiety about terror attacks, Spain and England feared that enslaved Africans would be more susceptible to revolt if they were Muslim”:

“Iraq is very keen to preserve its national interests (..)and does not wish to be part of any regional or international conflict which would lead to disasters for the region and for Iraq” – Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi:

News and Analysis (2/8/17)

Wednesday, February 8th, 2017

“The 9th Circuit … court said it would likely rule this week but would not issue a same-day ruling. The matter will ultimately likely go to the U.S. Supreme Court”:

Sec. Kelly “and his staff were only allowed to see the order after Mr Trump signed it, and lawyers from the National Security Council were stopped from evaluating it”:

The American Bar Association has urged President Trump to withdraw the executive order” and its president “warned that parts … ‘jeopardize fundamental principles of justice, due process, and the rule of law'” …

… while a lawyer who has represented President Trump’s organisation in visa battles,” and helped Mrs. Trump “to clear up questions surrounding her own immigration to the US” vocally opposes the ban:

The Trump administration empowers extremists who would blur
“the lines between militant groups such as al-Qaeda and the Islamic State” and Islamic movements employing non-violent means:

“The ‘National Pact for an Italian Islam‘ has been … criticized for creating a double standard: no other religious group has been asked by authorities to hold sermons in Italian”:

“We are thankful to (Trump) for making our life easy as he showed the real face of America”:

“The private Palestinian land would be seized by the government and held until there is a final resolution of the decades-long Israel-Palestinian conflict”:

Amnesty International charges the Asad regime with “murder, torture, enforced disappearances and extermination … [calling for] independent monitors to investigate Syria’s brutal detention [centers], now”:

News and Analysis (2/5/17)

Sunday, February 5th, 2017

Trump supporters expecting “a smarter, more self-interested, more restrained, and above all more successful foreign policy than his predecessors … should be disappointed and deeply worried”:

“ISIS is emboldened now because Bannon’s undaunted pursuit of a clash will help … to ‘eliminate the gray zone‘ of coexistence between Muslims residing in the West and their non-Muslim neighbors”:

The president tweeted his surprise that “a so-called” [!] judge could overturn a presidential order:

The Justice Dept. attorney didn’t know “how many citizens of the seven Muslim-majority countries targeted by the ban … had been arrested on domestic terrorism charges since 9/11” but he did. None:

A fake news story jumped on by Breitbart, Infowars, and Sputnik and promoted by Trump is refuted:

“The NYPD had the opportunity to show that the people who police us look like the community they police. Instead, they put her to the side and changed her assignment so she was not visible to the public”:

“Katebi’s work pushes in the opposite direction, helping open-minded Americans appreciate the nuances and diversity in Muslim culture”:

“As many as 23 civilians were killed in the raid on a village in Yakla district on Saturday, including 10 children, rights group Reprieve says”:

Canadian police deny that a pig’s head thrown at [a] mosque is “a hate crime – because the perpetrator was depressed. Or that the torching of another mosque [is] a hate crime because the perpetrator was drunk”:

News and Analysis (2/2/17)

Thursday, February 2nd, 2017

Trump’s desire to tear up the nuclear agreement Iran may explain his administration’s saber-rattling over a missile launch that it agrees didn’t violate  the nuclear deal …

… but what explains his “acrimonious telephone call with Australia’s prime minister” accusing the American ally “of trying to export the ‘next Boston bombers'”:

Dangers to American science & tech include effect of travel restriction on conferences, the large number of immigrant scientists and engineers and the need for high-skilled foreign workers in computer science:

“The launch of the probe … follows calls from Illinois senators Tammy Duckworth and Dick Durbin earlier this week for a ‘comprehensive investigation’ into the ‘chaotic execution’ of the administration’s order”:

What causes Western Muslim youth to join militant jihadist groups? What causes them to leave them? A moving and meticulous documentary goes to the heart of the problem:

“Both kids were hoisted on their fathers’ shoulders for a better view, holding cardboard signs of support for those stranded by the new US president’s surprise [travel] ban”:

“[L]awyers at LAX and airports across the nation … have been offering free legal counsel to travelers who say they have experienced heightened problems with immigration authorities following the immigration ban”:

“Tuesday’s ruling by U.S. District Judge Andre Birotte Jr follows decisions by federal judges in at least four other states that also limited the executive order Trump issued on Friday”:

“President Donald Trump’s recent executive order temporarily freezing immigration from seven predominantly Islamic countries would affect only about 12% of the world’s Muslims”: