Archive for September, 2018

News and Analysis (9/30/18)

Sunday, September 30th, 2018

“The only way to portray Iran as a terrorist state is to define terror as opposing American power…. Zarif’s job is to persuade the world to rebel against Trump’s dictates. He has already had some success, notably in India, China, Russia, and Turkey” …

… Zarif “said the European countries’ efforts in recent months to find ways to maintain trade with Iran following the reinstatement of unilateral US sanctions”:

… Bolton threatened “that Iran could have ‘hell to pay’ if it doesn’t fall in line with the U.S., but experts say his strategy is bunk. ‘It didn’t work with North Korea,’ said one, ‘and it won’t work with Iran'”:

“Iran did not act to stop these attacks by its proxies in Iraq, which it has supported with funding, training and weapons,” said the White House …

… which has never stopped its proxies in Iraq and Israel:

Muslim Advocates “said Hyatt is the first hotel firm to make such a commitment to his group. He said Airbnb, the online home-sharing site, has also committed that it will not do business with hate groups”:

“For the first time in their modern relations, neither Iran nor Saudi Arabia have a political pawn in Islamabad that they can manipulate”:

“Pictures of soldiers shielding women and children with their bodies or carrying them away from the scene were widely shared, while more than 20 newspapers used a photograph on their front pages of a commando cradling a baby while holding an AK-47”:

Palestinians say that “the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations … dictates embassies must be established on the territory of the receiving state and that the ‘special status of Jerusalem’ means that the US violated its international obligations when it moved its embassy“:

“Musicians started playing heavy metal in Iran in the late ’80s and early ’90s. … But all had to stay underground, excluding a few whose music did not include elements from racier subgenres of metal.” In the past three years an increasing number of bands have been permitted to play in public:

News and Analysis (9/27/18)

Thursday, September 27th, 2018

Press outlets that characterize Rouhani’s words at the U.N. as saber-rattling just aren’t listening:

The poet says she is “very happy to be free, finally, after three years” after “being sent to prison for a poem, but it will be impossible to stop my writing” …

… as Labor Party delegates vote “to criticize Israel’s use of force against Gaza protests, urge more U.K. funding for the U.N. agency for Palestinians and back a freeze on British arms sales to Israel” …

… while the international community is revulsed by Israel’s order to “Palestinians living in a Bedouin village in the occupied West Bank to demolish their homes within the next eight days and leave” …

… and Erdogan says, “The massacres in Bosnia, Rwanda, Somalia, recently in Myanmar, and in Palestine as we speak have all taken place before the eyes of the United Nations Security Council”:

“The video, which has been circulated widely online, shows a female constable repeatedly striking the young student — who local media report is Hindu — and berating her for allegedly conducting an interfaith relationship”:

Yameen destroyed the statues “even though the statues have no religious symbols or meaning. … Despite the edict huge cutouts of Yameen towered over the capital Male in the lead-up to Sunday’s poll, which he lost after five years of strongman rule marked by a regression from democracy”:

PM-in-waiting Anwar Ibrahim asserted that “the new government defends free speech and that allowing space for pro-LGBT views should not necessarily be construed as accepting them”:

“The Iraqi political scene has been roiled by a boiling over of public frustration with government incompetence and by the bellicose rhetoric between Washington and Tehran“:

“The foreign minister of Saudi Arabia, the ambassador of the United Arab Emirates to Washington, and the director of Israel‘s Mossad spy agency have joined ranks” …

… and the Saudi’s plan to reduce their own oil use “just as the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries rebuffs demands from U.S. President Donald Trump that it take action to reduce prices” …

… while a British Foreign Office minister says “the UK would stand firm against Washington’s pressure to abandon the 2015 nuclear deal with Tehran and continue to pursue progress in ‘a different way'” …

… and EU members plan to “set up a payment system to allow oil companies and businesses to continue trading with Iran in a bid to evade sanctions after the US withdrew from a nuclear agreement” …

… but Israel insists on welshing on  a billion dollar debt to despite an order upheld by Switzerland’s supreme court:

Muslim “victim of, or the perpetrator of, … terrorism?” Check. Male misogynist? Check. Oppressed female? Check. Irrational anger? Check. Superstitious, culturally backwards or anti-modern? Check. Threat to a western way of life? Check. Bodyguard fails the “Riz test” on every count:

News and Analysis (9/23/18)

Sunday, September 23rd, 2018

Trita Parsi warns that “the terrorist attack in Ahvaz” might be part a Saudi and UAE effort “to goad Iran to retaliate” in order “to spark a larger war and force the US to enter” …

… while Rudolph Guilliani told an Iran Uprising Summit organized by the a Washington-based group associated with the Mujahedeen-e-Khalq”, “I don’t know when we’re going to overthrow them. It could be in a few days, months, a couple of years. But it’s going to happen:

“The court said the government’s refusal to acknowledge that Fikre did not belong on the list and would not be returned there left an overhang that could cause business associates, friends and even family to shun him”:

From unanimously denied to unanimously approved after federal intervention, “Thursday’s votes were followed mostly by applause from residents who filled audience seats at City Hall, and there were only a few grumbles” …

… but a federal investigation into the blocking of cemetery in Virginia “could turn into a lawsuit against” Stafford County”:

The party’s “Interim Manifesto” “calls for the creation of jails ‘exclusively for’ Muslims who “promote extremism or try to convert non-Islamic prisoners … [and] a ban on mosques receiving money from overseas and the abolition of the hate crime category”:

“It’s absurd that the immigration minister thinks this is an important thing to spend time on. Shaking hands does not show if you are integrated or not”– Kasper Ejsing Olesen, the mayor of the town of Kerteminde:

Rouhani asks, “How can Iran, and others, trust the United States while it is threatening to punish other countries for the implementation of the same U.N. resolution it sponsored and voted for?” …

… and Iran’s oil minister will veto any OPEC move  to change to its oil allotment:

President Yameen removed the chief justice and a lower court judge “known for their relative independence” and since then “all major political rivals to Yameen were imprisoned on various charges”:

“Noorul Haq Qadri, Pakistan’s federal minister for religious affairs, warned that Beijing’s strict regulation of Uighur activity fuels extremism rather than counters terrorism”:

The highway from Ramallah to Jerusalem “deteriorates into a half tarmac road, a set of closed, rusting shop doors, and garbage” smelling of raw sewage that “lies, green and gentle, in a pool at the bottom of … The Wall” …

… as Spain and Ireland signal their readiness to recognize Palestine in the face of Trump administration attempts to sabotage the peace process:

News and Analysis (9/20/18)

Thursday, September 20th, 2018

“[B]efore and beyond the Zionist abuse of Judaism (similar to the Islamist abuse of Islam in Iran and Saudi Arabia, or colonial abuse of Christianity …) there is an enduring and historically grounded proximity to the Judeo-Islamic heritage which started even before the Golden Era of Andalusia”:

The motives for the Saudi move are unclear but its effect may be to jeopardize the legal residency of Palestinians in Jerusalem who go on the pilgrimage:

“Intensive responsible diplomacy over the last few weeks-pursued in my visits to Ankara & Damascus, followed by the Iran-Russia-Turkey Summit in Tehran and the meeting (in) Sochi-is succeeding to avert war in #Idlib with a firm commitment to fight extremist terror. Diplomacy works”–Iranian FM Zarif:

“Slovak politicians haven’t tried to conceal their motive behind this bill. In fact, they have publicly stated it’s intended to outlaw all aspects of Muslim life in the country forever”:

The director insists “that the play is not a critique of any faith” and that he has taken care to distinguish “between those with a sincere belief in Islam and the Qu’ran and those who manipulate it to serve their own agenda”:

Halley’s idea to focus “the meeting on Iran drew immediate concerns from U.S. allies who believed that the topic would expose sharp disagreements among the United States, France and Britain over the 2015 Iran nuclear deal” …

… while  Iran’s ambassador to the United Nations call out he Israeli nuclear threat, “The United Nations’ members should not turn a blind eye to these threats and must take firms actions to eliminate all Israeli nuclear weapons”:

“A 15-year-old Palestinian teenager was killed and five others were wounded by live Israeli gunfire on the Gaza border on Wednesday” …

… and the Israeli military, which shot over two dozen protesters on Monday defended killing two young civilians (18 and 21) in an airstrike by accusing them of being “terrorists who approached the fence in the southern Gaza Strip in a suspicious manner and planted a suspicious object along it”:

Ramadan’s pseudonymous accuser has “described a scar on Ramadan’s groin as proof they had a sexual encounter, but his lawyers have argued she could have obtained this detail from one of his former mistresses”:

A “spokesman for the Muslim Council of Britain, claimed eyewitnesses had reported hearing “anti-Islamic” slogans shouted during the incident outside the Hussaini Association community centre” …

… while in Lebanon,”Joint Palestinian Security Forces have arrested a prominent … member of the Lebanese-based Al Qaeda linked group, Abdullah Azzam Brigades”:

News and Analysis (9/17/18)

Monday, September 17th, 2018

“Working as an eye doctor in East Jerusalem, I saw first-hand how Israel maims Palestinians as a form of crowd control. Now Trump is cutting U.S. funds to the hospitals that treat them”:

“While the effectiveness of Iran’s online disinformation networks is far from established … a widespread campaign of social media manipulation by actors who are opposed to the government in Tehran has had many analysts eyeing Iran’s enemies for clues to who might be behind the project”:

If at least one “Muslim” character is connected to “Islamist terrorism,” “irrationally angry,” “superstitious, culturally backwards or anti-modern,” “a threat to a Western way of life,” a misogynistic male or an oppressed female, “then the film/show fails the test”:

“This goes against diplomatic norms. Children, spouses and family have nothing to do with political rows”–Ambassador Husam Zomlot:

The impact of Islam on China goes back to the seventh century and Liu Zhi, the “most profound figure in the intellectual history of China … described Prophet Muhammad as a sage who was the “culmination of the achievements of the 10 thousand generations of former (Chinese) sages”:

“The Hollywood Reporter’s Venice review said that while the pic is ‘lensed with great sensitivity and style and superbly acted, it has one drawback for Western audiences in its perplexing plot points based on the local culture and customs'”:

“They say I’ve been ‘forced’ to wear the hijab and that my parents have made me wear it. Believe me, once you’ve met me, you’ll know that I’m not the sort of person who can be made to do anything”:

Spiderman to the rescue: “[I]n a climate in which the religion of Islam and depictions of its adherents are often laughably wrong and usually offensive, here we find an example that is incredibly spot on”:

The “soldiers broke into and violently searched many homes in the town, and interrogated scores of residents, before abducting nine teenage boys. … [T]he soldiers were accompanied by several Israeli intelligence officers, who also stormed homes and buildings” …

… The inequality between “the military and civilian court systems in Israel” is demonstarted by the fact that “Palestinians living in the West Bank are tried and imprisoned by the Israeli military, whose prison system does not typically include an option for parole”:

News and Analysis (9/15/18)

Saturday, September 15th, 2018

“Khankan says she is not challenging the Quran, just rewriting a male-dominated way of worship … ‘by promoting and disseminating new narratives, with a focus on gender equality. It’s not a reform. We’re going back to the essence of Islam'”:

“For Palestinians, America was never an honest broker,” but Trump and Kushner have dropped the facade completely to openly embrace the occupation and offer billions of dollars to the Palestinian leadership to sell out their people’s rights, but so far they have not taken the bait:

When “Dorrie O’Brien proposed that the appointment of Shahid Shafi — who was named vice chairman of the local GOP this summer — be reconsidered in a secret ballot vote … [o]ne Republican booed” but when Shafi “stood to introduce himself, dozens of Republicans gave him a standing ovation”:

Wendy Sherman’s book is “a devastating reminder of just how much the United States invested to build a consensus with allies and adversaries alike, only to have it dismantled by people with a fraction of [her] experience in international matters” …

… more than sanctions, the Iran treaty was possible only because the “United States not only was willing to negotiate but also dropped its unfeasible demand for zero enrichment, leading to a detailed agreement that would ensure that the Iranian nuclear program stayed peaceful”:

Scholars argue that it is “wrong to view Islam as a Malay religion because its teachings [are] universal” and that muftis must “understand different cultures and customs before issuing fatwas”:

After she filed a formal complaint over harassment by prison employees, “she was told she would be put in solitary confinement if she did not remove the scarf before leaving her cell” but a judge dismissed her suit, “saying that it did not provide enough information to show how she had been harmed”:

“In 2017, the agency found that the workers had been harassed and discriminated against for protesting the unannounced policy change that denied them opportunities for obligatory prayer”:

“Israel contends that it’s defending its border and accuses Hamas of using the protests as a screen for attempts to breach the border fence to attack civilians and soldiers. Human rights groups have accused Israeli troops of excessive and unlawful use of force against unarmed protesters”:

News and Analysis (9/12/18)

Wednesday, September 12th, 2018

John Bolton threatens to “use any means necessary” to insulate Israel and the U.S. from what others see as the “recourse for victims of genocide and other war crimes in lawless countries.” offered by the ICC’s “court of last resort [that] seeks to complement, not replace, national courts” …

… while “Senior Palestinian official Saeb Erekat told reporters in Ramallah that the full range of political, economic and security ties would be reassessed in the wake of the Trump administration’s decision on Monday to shut the Palestinian mission in Washington”:

Modern Israel started life “by passing a series of Orwellian laws which enabled the new state to seize Arab-owned land (over 2 million acres were taken…) and demolish 385 Arab villages—all done in the effort to physically erase any evidence of the prior Palestinian presence”:

After repeatedly being disappointed by U.S., Iraq’s kingmakers, now the swing vote between rival Shia factions, see Tehran as a more attractive partner than Washington:

“Iran shares the United Nations’ concern about a potential humanitarian catastrophe in Syria’s Idlib province and will seek to avert it”:

A state dictated French Islam? The author of the report calling for subordination of Islam to the French state is Hakim El Karoui, “an essayist and ex-Rothschild banker, is also the nephew of former Tunisian Prime Minister Hamed Karoui” …

… while in China the state “intends to extend aspects of its crackdown on Islam in the north-western province of Xinjiang to all religions as is evident from the publication of proposed restrictive guidelines for online religious activity“:

He claimed Muslims are offended by the American flag, but now that he’s met some he co-organized a program on demystifying Islam:

Israeli support for the Syrians who would fight Assad’s Iranian ally instead of the dictator himself was tiny, yet they came to depend on it. Then Israel left them in the lurch:

“Turkey, Russia and Iran reached an agreement to conduct bilateral trade in their own currencies, and to avoid the use of US dollars … that included all trade in petroleum, natural gas and other commodities as well as some banking issues”:

The “play’s director, Maryam Kazemi, and the manager of the theatre in which it was hosted, Saeed Assadi … were taken into custody … on $24,000 … bail each [after a] clip on social media showed female actors dancing with men as part of the trailer”:

News and Analysis (9/9/18)

Sunday, September 9th, 2018

Trump thinks he can get Palestinians to accept apartheid by “cutting money to cover cancer treatments and other critical care for Palestinians at Jerusalem hospitals” …

… but instead it will stoke the resistance …

… while Iran mocks the Trump regime’s inconsistency in accusing Iran of “‘squandering’ our resources abroad” one week and then of “not financially supported the Palestinians enough” the next:

“There is no evidence that Iran and al Qaeda cooperated in carrying out terrorist attacks, according to a study … based on detailed analysis of documents seized in Osama bin Laden’s hideout after U.S. forces killed the al Qaeda leader in 2011”:

The Trump Administration promised that despite the ban on immigration from certain Muslim countries they would prioritize “the safety of Christians in the region.” Not true:

Apart from the ritual significance of Mecca and Medina, not since the time of Muhammad’s (pbuh) companions had Arabia been the center  of Muslim geography until restoring its position at the expense of the Ottomans became part of modern Britain’s plans for world domination:

[P]rotesters hold Iranian-backed political parties responsible for the mismanagement and poor services in the city” — Prof. Abbas Kadhim, George Washington University:

An expert on the Iraqi military and Middle East history casts doubt on a Reuters story:

“Currency exchange offices will also be allowed to import gold”:

“The single-camera project follows the life of a Muslim woman who has Cerebral Palsy (Zayid), as she struggles to find love, the right career, and discover who she is separate of her opinionated Muslim parents”:

“Video posted on social media allegedly shows Abu Tuyur in a white T-shirt hurling a rock toward Israeli soldiers from a distance then waving at them before he was struck”:

News and Analysis (9/6/18)

Thursday, September 6th, 2018

“Israel’s new Nation State Law … has already increased the discrimination against Palestinians in Israel to absurd levels: they’re being prohibited from raising chickens, planting potatoes, gathering traditional herbs. Small sewing and knitting factories are being closed down”:

“Amnesty International’s Saudi Arabia campaigner Dana Ahmed called the reports “a disturbing trend in the Kingdom [that] sends a horrifying message that peaceful dissent and expression may be met with the death penalty”:

“[T]his might be the first instance of a government openly using a cryptocurrency to usurp the influence of other governments … [but] it won’t be the first time a government has developed its own cryptocurrency”:

Believing a false Internet report that Muslims had pressured a Catholic Church it removing its cross, Raymond shot down two civilians and two police officers:

“The Salam Sisters represent various racial and ethnic backgrounds…. The dolls were given a wide range of interests and aspirations, including journalism, astronomy, art, history, sports and social leadership”:

The Zionist Organization of America “which had not long ago been accusing Qatar of funding Hamas and terrorism” changed sides in return for Qatar’s suppressing a documentary with “explosive revelations” about Israeli interference in American affairs that could undermine pro-Israeli sentiment in America …

… sentiment already declining as “77 percent of Israelis approved of President Donald Trump’s handling of U.S.-Israel relations, while only 34 percent of American Jews did. Eighty-five percent of Israelis supported” moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem compared to 42% of American Jews:

News and Analysis (9/3/18)

Monday, September 3rd, 2018

“Islam does provide for women’s rights, but enforcement is the problem” in South Africa. “How do you leave someone desolate when you know that person was an equal contributor to that marriage?”

An 11-year old student says the madrassa is “friendly and you can practice your religion freely. It’s just a normal school and teaches us about Islam and to respect other faiths so we can make friends. I am very excited about going to high school but I will be sorry to leave”:

At its 2017 world premiere the Berlin International Film Festival, the movie in  which “ex-inmates re-enacted their interrogations and discussed the humiliation they experienced during their detention … won the main documentary prize … and one of three audience awards”:

Blaming “the parties and in the international community’s lack of will or utter inability to bring about a negotiated and peaceful resolution of the conflict between Israel and Palestine,” Krahenbuhl said, “The attempt to make UNRWA somehow responsible for perpetuating the crisis is disingenuous at best”:

Forced into the role of spokeswoman for Islam, an 11-year old girl came to find changing minds fun, but she came to see impressing her “peers by existing as adequately human … as disheartening”:

Forgiving her attacker in court as he pleads guilty, a Muslim teen says, “In the end, because of you I felt so much pain and betrayal and hardships in my life. Because of you, I grew, I forgave and I began changing the world one person at a time”:

A punishment intended to humiliate rather than inflict pain on two women arrested for engaging lesbian sex in a car in a public square draws condemnation of human rights groups. “Lesbian sex is illegal for Muslims in Malaysia under Islamic laws, but not for the country’s … ethnic Chinese and Indians”:

There is no mention of a reward of 72 virgins to martyrs in the Qur’an. Farhana Qazi explains how the twisting of an obscure hadith demonstrates that “[w]ithout proper context, extremists [and, we would add, Islamophobes] will remain forever ignorant and merciless”:

“Media reports say British officials have been asking Japanese officials how they were able to avoid parts of earlier sanctions against Iran”: