Archive for August, 2018

News and Analysis (8/31/18)

Friday, August 31st, 2018

Worse than cutting off aid to the Palestinians is the effort to strip Palestinians of their refugee status to undermine their inalienable “right of return”:

Dr. Wan Azizah Wan Ismail refuses to condone the LGBT cause, but stands by their “right to exist in Malaysia if they keep their ‘practice’ behind closed doors”:

“[W]ith the crash of the rial, Iranians are using gold for more everyday payments, most notably rent”:

A veteran diplomat says, “U.S. governments should have learned from past experiences that an effort to squeeze an enemy government, strangle its economy, and isolate it from the world rarely works, especially when the desired end remains unclear and deeply contested”:

“Federal officials are investigating whether Farmersville violated the law by banning the religious use of the land” …

… while in Virginia Spotsylvania County had revised rules for cemeteries’ proximity to private wells and drinking water sources. By increasing the distance from 100 feet to 900 feet, the revision effectively barred the property’s use as a cemetery:

“His comments come after the Nobel committee said Ms Suu Kyi would not be stripped of the prize she was awarded in 1991 for campaigning for democracy, despite a UN report concluding Myanmar’s army had carried out genocide against the Rohingya people”:

“The unjust trials of over 200 Dervishes is one of the largest crackdowns against a religious minority in Iran in a decade” – Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at Human Rights Watch …

… and Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe was not among the 615 prisoners Ayatollah Khamenei has “pardoned or reduced the sentences for … as part of … Eid Qorban and Eid Qadir” holidays:

“One of the big problems in this case is all the ancillary, inflammatory allegations, when really this case always should have been about a dead four-year-old,” said Tom Clark, an attorney for Ibn Wahhaj. “State prosecutor Timothy Hasson declined to comment”:

News and Analysis (8/29/18)

Wednesday, August 29th, 2018
To demonstrate that “Islam is grounded in equality and freedom and it is against all forms of oppression … Guzman asks each of his subjects to choose a chapter from the Quran or a ‘hadith’ … to accompany their portraits”:

Iran claims US sanctions violate a 1955  treaty. “Although the ICJ’s rulings are binding, it has no power to enforce them” if the Trump administration goes rogue:

Khan’s backs “the blasphemy clause that has served as a ramming rod against minorities and a means to whip crowds into a frenzy and at times turn them into lynch mobs and inspired vigilante killings” while ignoring China’s persecution of Muslims …

… where one million Muslims in internment camps are “forced to renounce Islam, criticize their own Islamic beliefs and those of fellow inmates, … recite Communist Party propaganda[,] … eat pork and drink alcohol, … [and face] torture and death“:

… like too many other Muslim politicians:

China isn’t the only country skilled in the arts of brainwashing, but Israel turns the schools instead of internment camps for its captive audience:

Trump goes easy on corporations but pursues criminal prosecution of individuals:

A UN fact-finding mission wants “the country’s top military generals … investigated and prosecuted for crimes against humanity … [and] accused Myanmar’s leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, … of failing to use her position to protect the country’s civilian population”:

“[S]uccess is more likely if the U.S. makes its demands clear, imposes costs on Iran that outweigh the benefits of standing firm and clearly and credibly offers a diplomatic off-ramp to end the pressure. The Trump policy fails each of these tests”:

“The EU’s commitment to maintaining economic ties with Iran, among other things, is fueling calls for greater independence from the U.S.” …

… as Trump’s policy benefits China with “new opportunities, starting with the option to take control of South Pars after Total failed to secure an exemption from the U.S. penalties”:

Sanctions apply pressure that stress the Iranian economy’s weak points. The fact that weak points exist should be attributed to “government corruption, or just old-fashioned bureaucratic incompetence”:

News and Analysis (8/26/18)

Sunday, August 26th, 2018

“The Palestinian people and leadership will not be intimidated and will not succumb to coercion. The rights of the Palestinian people are not for sale. There is no glory in constantly bullying and punishing a people under occupation” – Hanan Ashrawi:

“The government shouldn’t be allowed to copy and keep our digital lives simply because we travel overseas, … without a warrant, or even probable cause”:

Americans will miss John McCain the defender of a  free press and opponent of torture, but residents of the Middle East remember him as the supporter of war and occupation:

A “judge’s ijtihād here allowed the Court to defend some of the child’s rights in accordance with the Moroccan constitution without violating Islamic law”:

“In the Polish history, for 600 years Tatars have always fought for Poland, from the Battle of Grunwald to September 1939 as separate Tatar units of the Polish army”:

“[R]elations between Azerbaijan and the Jewish communities living there were normally excellent … [until] Azerbaijan became part of the USSR in 1920 when it was invaded by the Red Army”:

Amnesty International says, “Nazanin has had to endure – nearly two-and-a-half years behind bars, eight grueling months of solitary confinement without a lawyer, a deeply unfair trial, and also being subjected to a string of unfounded accusations”:

News and Analysis (8/23/18)

Thursday, August 23rd, 2018

Tunisia’s Ennahda Party achieves what the nation’s secularists never did: they have elected a woman as mayor of the capital city:

As Israel releases Ahed Tamimi from prison it sentences her brother and to make sure no videos of its troops misbehavior ever surface again passes a law penalizing filming its soldiers while on duty with five to ten years’ imprisonment”:

Executives of Indonesia’s two largest Islamic organizations criticize the government’s conviction of a Buddhist woman on blasphemy charges because she complained that that speakers broadcasting the call to prayer were too loud:

The U.S. media rarely reports the Israel’s daily abductions of Palestinians which this past July alone included “69 children, nine women and five journalists” …

… because Israel “prefers headlines that make Palestinians sound like instigators and terrorists – and when they don’t, a few well-placed phone calls or tweets will usually do the trick. Mainstream media lives in Israel’s pocket” …

… which is a shame since reporting can change things, as following widespread reporting of a 3-year-old denied his mother’s presence for his chemo treatments because she is related to a Hamas member, she will now be allowed to join him:

India finally joined every every other Muslim country in banning “triple talaq” divorce after “a Muslim women’s grassroots organization … conducted research into …  the custom, its history within India and its lack of legitimacy within Islamic law”:

Modest but fun-loving Muslim women “wearing lightweight, form-fitting ‘burkinis’ that covered all but their faces, hands and feet — rappelled down a waterfall, went for joyrides on a tortuous water slide in a forest, and ziplined, four times, through the trees”:

With the collapse of the rial, Iranians can’t afford international travel …

… but “Iran, Russia, and Turkey [can] escape the sanctions stick” by turning gold which has “no political baggage to carry[,] is already widely … used in Iran, Russia, and Turkey” and is sanctioned by Islamic law:

A former CIA counter-terrorism specialist and military intelligence officer says Israel is greater threat to U.S. national security than Russia. Powerful Americans will do anything a self-professed Mossad agent says, “including literally dropping their pants”:

“Her new EP, ‘Barbarican,’ addresses her feelings as a Syrian-American woman who is grateful for the freedoms she has in the U.S. but demands more from the so-called greatest nation on Earth”:

News and Analysis (8/22/18)

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2018

With the transfer of the Iran portfolio to Brian Hook (“John Bolton’s man in the State Department”), the “Iran Action Group” might as well be renamed the “Iran Coup Squad,” but it reflects administration doubts about prospects of its Iran policy: 

“During Eid al-Adha , Muslims commemorate Prophet Abraham’s sacrifice by slaughtering an animal such as a sheep, cow or goat. The meat is then given away to friends, family and those in need”:

The head of the “Tarrant County party’s finance committee …  called [Shafi] a patriotic conservative” but Republican Sara Legvold wants him removed because he’s “a practicing. Mosque-attending muslim” (sic):

“The EU has vowed to counter Trump’s renewed sanctions on Iran, including by means of a new law to shield European companies from punitive measures”:

“Sentencing someone to 18 months in prison for something so trivial is a stark illustration of the increasingly arbitrary and repressive application of the blasphemy law in the country” — AI’s executive director for Indonesia:

The founder of  MuslimGirl is “the first veiled Muslim woman to be named to the Forbes 30 under 30 in media”:

“The head of Iran’s nuclear agency, Ali Akbar Salehi, was quoted by state TV on Wednesday as saying British experts would fill in for the American ones”:

News and Analysis (8/19/18)

Sunday, August 19th, 2018

“[T]he rites of Hajj are believed to ultimately trace the footsteps of the prophets Ibrahim and Ismail, or Abraham and Ishmael as they are named in the Bible”:

Does attending a session with the words “Israeli aggression” in the title at a time when Israelis killed over 2100 mostly civilians that saw only 72 Israeli mostly soldiers die make one an anti-Semite …

… or is it a distraction from the fact that the slaughter continues even now?

Should Hong Kong copy the EU’s “‘blocking statute’ that forbids Europeans from complying with American sanctions on Iran, protects them from US court decisions and allows them to recover damages arising from the enforcement of sanctions”?

“In the US, the Muslim Women’s Alliance … aims ‘to empower Muslim women’ … [saying that] its core values of integrity, generosity, compassion and leadership “are defined by our Islamic ideals”:

Contrary to its intentions, the Saudi-lead “obsession with Qatar is having the opposite effect—it is, naturally, forcing Doha into closer relations with Tehran as a means of mitigating the negative economic consequences of the continued blockade”:

After the state received a complaint that she was defending a woman who removed her hijab, she was arrested to serve a previously unannounced five-year sentence issued against her in absentia” two years ago on a national security charge:

“It’s just an example of the tone-deaf Iran policy of this administration” – “Barbara Slavin, the director of the Future of Iran Initiative at the Atlantic Council on Pompeo’s Iran Action Group:


News and Analysis (8/17/18)

Friday, August 17th, 2018

Even Israel’s post office practices apartheid, …

… and Palestinians can’t use the airport as even Palestinian-Americans “have been sent back to the U.S. upon arrival at Ben Gurion. And for Gaza’s two million locked up inhabitants, it’s far worse” …

… yet it seems “that the Trump administration shares” Netanyahu’s “vision of ‘economic peace‘ with Palestinians receiving a state minus.’ In effect, of course, it means Palestinians will agree to live as ‘humans minus'”:

Five decades after surviving the Israel attack on the U.S.S. Liberty that killed 34 of his shipmates, Joe Meadors was arrested by Israel for trying to break the blockade of Gaza:

Pegging the value of its new blockchain currency  to the rial (instead of gold backed by oil) “would make the digital token as unattractive as the nation’s paper currency.  And eliminating Iranian access to all non-state cryptocurrencies will be difficult”:

Whom do the Iranians blame for their foundering economy? Rouhani? Khamenei? Guess again:

“Alhajeh told the BBC she respects Sweden’s gender equality and thus does not shake anybody’s hand…. Ultimately the court agreed, ruling that while the company was right in its insistence upon gender equality, it could not enforce it by imposing handshakes”:

“Whenever the authorities think that keeping my wife in prison is too costly for them – meaning that the public is becoming sensitive about it – they release her, and whenever they think she’s becoming harmful for them outside jail, they take her back in”:

“A clash between a nation-state with a defence budget of $18.6 billion and a politically, geographically and militarily fragmented people who’ve been under occupation for the past 70 years is in no way a battle between equivalent powers”:

“We know women who follow the Islamic faith are not a monolith and no one person can truly represent them. So we decided to speak to a few representing their community in a bunch of different industries and let them do the talking”:

News and Analysis (8/15/18)

Wednesday, August 15th, 2018

“The social media, email and telephone threats made against … Judge Sarah Backus were deemed so serious that court officials felt compelled to reiterate her responsibility to decide on the law, not public opinion based on incomplete information”:

Reports of Iraqi submission to U.S. bullying may have been exaggerated …

… and the actual victims of sanctions may not be the intended ones:

The arrest of a million Muslims behind bars, bans of beards and veils and the humiliation of imams has met with silence from Western liberals and Muslim governments:

The appointment of the Pakistani-born Greens Party MP for New South Wales to fill a vacant senate seat “comes as another new senator faces condemnation for a speech calling for a “final solution” on immigration“:

A 32-year-old  Irish-American “Ph.D. student from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill … gives free walking tours about … Islam as it is lived today in Harlem” so that the “mostly oral histories” are not forgotten:

“At first sight, his conservatism seems to be quite traditional,” but unlike his Christian counterparts, he refuses to deny science:

“The Islamic Republic can negotiate with America whenever it achieves the power to resist America’s pressure and blackmail. Today this is not the case”:

News and Analysis (8/12/18)

Sunday, August 12th, 2018

Socially conservative Muslims see a “disconnect with some parts of the Democratic political platform” but unlike their Catholic and Evangelical counterparts, “feel little imperative to use government to promote those value”:

The Ottoman Empire ended in 1922 with Kamal Attaturk’s secular rule in Turkey. The new Ottomanism symbolizes everything “from justice, power, and pluralism to Islamic primacy and Turkey’s own campaign to make the country ‘great again’”:

The government raised no “concerns about the permits during the actual construction process” but now wants the building torn down because minarets and domes do not have a “Chinese style”:

Rather than realize the dream of democracy and human rights after the fall of Mubarak, the country is again heading to absolute autocracy for an uncertain period of time:

To free themselves from dependency on Israel for electricity, individual Palestinians “have taken it on themselves to install solar panels, trailing cables down the side of buildings to keep fans whirring or to power televisions and other appliances”:

The Saudi-led airstrike that killed many innocent people including children demonstrates the disastrous consequences of its brutal attempt to dominate the region:

Iraq begins to follow US sanction policy on Iran, while Turkey resists; and China, which imports 7% of its total crude oil imports from Iran, will also take over development of the Iranian portion of the largest gas deposit on earth from France …

… and most “Arabs believe that Israel and the US present a far greater threat to Arab security than Iran”:

Human Rights Watch warns that “to combat corruption at every level … requires an independent judiciary that ensures due process rights for all those accused”:

News and Analysis (8/9/18)

Thursday, August 9th, 2018

As Netanyahu boasts that Israels new law will prevent Palestinian families from reuniting:

His staff insists he did not know what was written on the sign handed him comparing Trump’s proposed wall with Israel’s and insists the senator from New Jersey still supports Israeli apartheid:

In retaliation for Canada’s alarm over Saudi jailing of human rights activists “Saudi authorities have expelled Canada’s ambassador, frozen future trade … and said they will relocate thousands of government-funded Saudi students at Canadian universities” …

… but “Saudi Arabia’s intimidation tactics may be boomeranging, [as] Germany in January said it was ‘immediately’ stopping approving arms exports to anyone participating in the war in Yemen, including Saudi Arabia”:

Professor Rabab Ibrahim Abdulhadi fights back against Lawfare’s third frivolous lawsuit against her in its war against academic freedom:

Faced with Pakistan’s election of “a complex figure who is Oxford-educated and yet deeply critical of Western hegemony,” the US media resorted to a shockingly despicable display of stereotypes and smug arrogance …

… one problem is that American interests in Pakistan have had little to do with Pakistan itself, but have been the function of other American interests—China, fighting the Soviet Union, al-Qaeda, and trying to win an ongoing—and losing—… [a] war in Afghanistan”:

Sweden is not buying the Israeli pretense that a blockade against military weapons legalizes the piracy of humanitarian aid:

“Did Putin come to give an address to the joint sessions of Congress trying to…calling on them to reverse US policy, without even informing the president”:

“The executive order signed by U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday contains a ‘Natural Gas Project Exception’ which describes the Southern Gas Corridor without naming it”:

“[T]he most pressing issues … relate to how Syrian society has struggled, transformed and, ultimately, survived—what Syria has become, how Syrians organize, and what they need to create a future for themselves”: