Archive for February, 2019

News and Analysis (2/26/19)

Tuesday, February 26th, 2019

Most see Macron’s plan to create “a French Islam … as either a patronizing intrusion into their personal lives or a surreptitious expansion of the police state”:

MbS, “keen to refurbish his personal image and standing, now found himself in the quagmire of India-Pakistan disputes…. Never have two joint statements been subjected to such close scrutiny”:

The dean of medicine at the University of Malaya acknowledged a global “‘tipping point’ on the use of the death penalty in relation to drugs amid growing recognition that capital punishment was an ineffective deterrent”:

The “presidential chief of staff, in a tweet, ‘strongly denied’ that President Hassan Rouhani had accepted the resignation” but Benjamin Netanyahu tweeted, “Zarif is gone. Good riddance”:

Kushner admits what we already knew, that the main objective of his secret Middle East plan is to make Iran rather than Israel the pariah of the region:

Before Black History Month ends, take advantage of it to remind you to read up on the essential connection between Islam and the African-American experience:

Not all Muslims, not even all “radical Muslims” oppose vaccination campaigns. “Hostility and suspicion .. must be understood in the context of” groups marginalized by states allied to the West:

“Qatar’s deputy prime minister and foreign minister … [urges] international powers” to approach the Middle East more inclusively, “saying one-sided initiatives that excluded either the Iranians or Palestinians [won’t] work”:

Israel denies that Kufr Aqab “residents were paying taxes without receiving any services” but them why no sewage services and the dependence on the PA for police services and on Palestinian companies for utilities?

News and Analysis (2/24/19)

Sunday, February 24th, 2019

Iranian funds designated for “hostages and their families” are diverted to “relatives of 9/11 victims … despite the fact that the official report on the 2001 attacks ‘found no evidence that Iran . . . was aware of the planning'”:

“Murad and his transition body will form a cabinet as well as pass laws until the temporary arrangement ends with the election of a regional parliament in May 2022. …The national government retains police powers”:

Israel provocatively detained a waqf official after the Jordanians, fearing tensions will be escalated by Kushner’s  soon-to-be announced “Deal of the Century,” added Palestinians to the administration of Muslim holy sites:

Amid rising cow-related violence, a dairy farmer with two cows and seven children is murdered on suspicion of intending to kill his stock for meat. Was he killed by vigilantes or by the police? …

… “According to one survey, it is found that hate speeches by elected leaders increased by five times since BJP came to power in 2014. A report … says that in most of the mob lynching cases culprits remain unpunished”:

Getting permission for an emergency landing in Iran was easy, but getting an American waiver of the Iran sanctions to enable a repair for the plane to return to Norway took over two months:

“In its obsessive campaign of stoking maximum hostility toward Iran, the Trump administration is isolated except for partnering with Iran’s regional rivals, which means Israel, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates”:

China offers its concentration camps as a model for the rest of the world. “Diplomatic sources told Reuters last week that Western diplomats would attend” its outreach program :

News and Analysis (2/21/19)

Thursday, February 21st, 2019

A database “tracking the movements of more than 2.5 million people in a region where authorities have waged a crackdown on Muslim minorities … was left unprotected for months” …

… while in the U.S. “a federal official recently acknowledged in a court filing that more than 1,400 private entities received access to” a terror watch list that “the government had insisted that it did not generally share”:

“A US court of appeals has resuscitated a civil damages lawsuit by a group of Palestinians claiming support for genocide against tycoon Sheldon Adelson, … Elliot Abrams, … and a range of banks”:

“Muslim female narratives are often co-opted by everyone who isn’t a Muslim – rarely will you hear authentically, or in an unfiltered way from Muslim women, and it is really unfair” …

… “Whenever Islam takes centre stage in national conversations, it’s always the views and opinions of Muslim people – women in particular – who are considered last or not even entertained at all” …

… so pay attention to the exception, as Anila Baig explains “that in the Koran there are strict rules about warfare. You are not even allowed to harm a tree, so targeting children at a pop concert is completely unthinkable”:

“Members of the Trump administration have been providing support to a political sect that … [f]ormer members say it subjected followers to torture and psychological terror”:

“Can it really be in the United States’ rational policy interest to try to get Iran to resume all of the nuclear activities that are prohibited by the agreement?”

“It’s not just a basketball game for you guys; this is real life. You’re doing something super important. I don’t think you realize you’re changing the opinions of people who have never seen a Muslim person before”:

“[T]he community is politically diverse, with conservatives … and liberals…. But post-9/11 ‘Islamophobia’ is the biggest unifying issue”:

News and Analysis (2/19/19)

Tuesday, February 19th, 2019

Dr. Merkel’s “uncharacteristically passionate speech … received a standing ovation … in sharp contrast to the polite near-silence that greeted Mr Pence’s address “:

“[T]he commander sat in the same vehicle with his soldiers, watching them, without telling them to stop, as they beat the two Palestinians who were handcuffed and blindfolded … with hard objects”:

“Decades of Israeli efforts to demolish, destroy, rename, rewrite and erase everything Palestinian have been in vain”:

“In a stark departure from past programs focused on strengthening ties with Israel and Judaism, the new crop of rabbinical students is reaching out to the Palestinians”:

For the hypocritical political class, the interfaith wedding of their own children is a private concern exempt from the charges of “love jihad” that has been leveled at interfaith marriage among the masses ..

… and has sparked open hate crimes about which the perpetrators boast:

“[T]here is no binding mandate being produced that Iran could theoretically violate,” yet American media “parroted Pompeo’s reimagining of the … language … claiming the resolution opposes any ballistic activity”:

A “chaplain in 2013 told Maye he would only attend Eid if he changed his religion from Nation of Islam to Al-Islam. Another chaplain denied Maye’s request to participate in Eid in 2014 ‘without offering any justification'”:

About 32% of the population believes that “Britain has ‘no-go areas’ where non-Muslims cannot enter and where Shariah law rules” despite repeated debunking “by mainstream media reports and … law enforcement”:

“For the first time, Palestinian Authority officials and religious leaders were installed in the body, which has historically been made up of individuals close to the Jordanian monarchy”:

Anwar Ibrahim on Conscientious Governance

Sunday, February 17th, 2019

[This is a summary of Anwar Ibrahim’s remarks on Conscientious Governance at the International Institute of Islamic Thought. It is not a transcript, but a summary of my impressions of his presentation and the discussion.]

Hisham Altalib (Introduction). Anwar Ibrahim was chairman of ABIM when UNMO asked him to join in 1982. He rose to be deputy prime minister of Malaysia. Politically he is pro democracy, rule of law, anti-corruption, and for the eradication of poverty. Margaret Thatcher said if she had to appoint a team of finance ministers she would appoint Anwar as the captain of that team. When urged to lie low in the 1980s he said, “Silence mow is a betrayal.” Later urged to leave the country, he refused to let down his supporters. He is a man to forgive and forget and when Muhatir invited him to join the coalition he said I forgive and forget. He said his country cannot spend its tax money on defense and military because it could never compete with his neighbors, but instead put 25% of the budget into education saying it is in trade and technology that Malaysia could compete. When Anwar was pardoned he was to be moved, like Prophet Yusuf, from prison to power. Somebody had a theory that the enemies of truth slander the good people with fake news. Yusuf of scripture was accused of adultery. The modern charge was sodomy. Like Yusuf, Anwar is honest and professional. Bad governance is easy. Conscientious government is hard.

Anwar Ibrahim. We have united Muslims, Christians, Hindus, and Buddhists in Malaysia behind the call for change going against a time in which the appeal of racism around the world is pronounced. We are making change in a majority Muslim country without the loss of a single life.

Academics and elites think they have all the answers, but their ideas do not connect with the aspirations of the masses. It is not enough to understand liberty and equality and democracy unless we understand the atrocities committed against certain groups. Not just democracy, but accountability, is required. It is a strong part of our religious tradition even if not observed in practice. I am less concerned with the designs of the West than with the dynamics within our own societies.

We were raised to admire Salahuddin because he defeated the Westerners, but he also created a new level of conscientious governance. For the first ten years his concern was not expanding territory, but strengthening society by enhancing trade relations and promoting education. It is important for our intellectual leaders to reintroduce these great leaders, not just as military heroes, but also as pioneers of good governance. Without good governance who will provide an environment of free flow of ideas necessary for education and creative thought? Who decides whether creative thinking will be allowed in educational institutions? Who disburses money to the educational institutions? Ali ibn Abu Talib’s letter to the governor of Egypt deserves republication with fresh notes. I encouraged Muhathir to use this letter to emphasize the importance of ethics to governance.

Soon after the elections Yusuf Qaradawi called me and said the last few years have been news of despair, gloom, and destruction, until this news of change in Malaysia. People expect you to immediately rid the county of corruption and bring in economic reform and growth. Beyond the problem of high expectations, the environment has changed: some people are not ready to see the prime minister criticized. The problem of freedom of speech has been replaced by the problem of freedom after speech. Muslims, Christians, Buddhists and Hindus all believe that marriage must be between a man and a woman, but one must allow those who disagree to express their views. There are different views of economic policies and their cost, but the problem of grinding poverty must be addressed. The needs of every citizen must be addressed, and Umar ibn Abdul Aziz is the best example of caring about this. We have reduced poverty from 40% to 15% but if you are in the 15%, it is still a problem for you. The same for those without access to medical care, etc. As long as there is injustice to one person I think it is the duty of government to deal with it. In my mind that is economic and social stability.

I would end by emphasizing the need to change our traditional views. In Malaysia we have been relatively successful in encouraging Islamic banks, and they have become effective and influential, but they have been criticized for making halal conventional instrument. But such questions must be addressed according to the maqasid ash shariah, the higher objectives of the Islamic Law, to guarantee peace, security, and social justice.

Ovamir Anjamin. The Prophet is reported to have said that to be given the duty of ruling is to have been slaughtered with a blunt knife, but who manages to rule with justice will be in the highest rank of the afterlife. Since the Arab spring, the view that Islam can only prosper in the modern world under force has become the dominant view. The alternative of a just distribution of wealth is seen as unislamic and Marxist. How is social justice viewed as undercover Marxism? How can ‘adl be seen as unislamic? Abdul Malik ibn Marwan had been known as the pigeon of the mosques, but once he became Khalifah, he eliminated people who stood in the way of his power and et aside the demands of his din when necessary. There were idealists like Ali and Abdullah ibn Zubaid who failed in practice while trying to lead Arab tribes who thought their own customs and Islam were the same thing. Umar ibn Abdulaziz was able to implement his ideals opposing a kind of Arab racism and putting the life of a single Muslim above the winning of any territories. The example of the Khalifah Rashidun serves not only the Medina city-state but the needs of empire.

Kamran Bokhari (Center for Global Policy). Skillful leadership manages the expectation of the public while dispensing justice. In Muslim majority countries it is intrareligious rather than interreligious diversity that is the challenge. In the West we like categories, and we speak of secularists and Islamists as categories, whereas in the Muslim world they are poles and most people fall between those poles. The people who want to overthrow the autocrats have autocratic tendencies themselves. There should be confidence to let people talk, but for a level playing field, conscientious governance is a prerequisite. Turkey was once put forward as a model, but they now fall back into autocracy. All ideals of conscientious governance are great, but we must aware of the underlying constraints on the ground where people are on the verge of giving up hope. All incoming governance inherits a situation. You need both to mobilize people and to manage their expectations.

Anwar Ibrahim. This session has been too serious. Remember the movie love story: where do we begin? Even the most secular Malay will pray and will not insult Islam. This is not laïcité. Who wants to be unfree? Jeffersonian or Islamic, who wants to be dictated to? People who contrast my current language with that I used in my youth must understand that then I was 21 and now I’m 71. I am called a hypocrite for quoting Shakespeare in New York and the Qur’an in the villages, but I would be stupid to quote the Qur’an in New York and Shakespeare in the villages. The core of my message is the same. Shakespeare is not just the core of Western literature, he is a universal man. Appreciating him is not to reject the Islamic classics.

Imad-ad-Dean Ahmad. No one rejects `adl; the problem is in defining it. It encompasses both social justice and the prohibition on theft. How do you propose to establish justice.

Anwar Ibrahim. While we depend on trade with China we need to review some dubious dealings with particular companies. When the economy does not allow us to afford huge price increases we have a right to review, we will honor all commitments, but when we have compelling questions about the legitimacy of agreements, we have a right to renegotiate. You cannot discriminate on the basis of race or religion. It is a difficult position because some Malay demagogues will say, “He has given up on the Malays.” We also need judicial independence. What is religion after all if it is not about justice and compassion, about peace, security, and justice for everyone. Let us remember Umar’s advice: “Do not be hasty my son.”

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

News and Analysis (2/16/19)

Saturday, February 16th, 2019

The man who happens also to be the personal attorney of the President of the USA, suggested that peace in the Middle East “would only come when Iran was ruled instead by his clients,… an exile group of former terrorists”:

With the FMs “of three Arab countries … harshly attacking Iran and defending Israel, and in one case saying that confronting the Islamic Republic is more pressing than solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict” …

… sharing “the stage with an Israeli prime minister at a summit that didn’t even pretend to address the Palestinian issue clearly signaled that autocratic Arab rulers have openly abandoned the Palestinians”:

Washington decision-makers seeking  to affect the future of Iran court disaster if they fail “to understand that the Iranian regime is extremely complex and that there is immense diversity among the Iranian people”:

Judges unanimously “rejected US claims the case should be thrown out because Iran had ‘unclean hands’ from alleged links to ‘terrorism’, and the international tribunal in The Hague did not have jurisdiction”:

“An assignment or presentation may be poorly phrased, but it does not rise to the level of being unconstitutional unless it’s part of a clear pattern”:

“[E]viction may amount to a forcible transfer, which is a grave breach of the fourth Geneva Convention”:

“Armed with video cameras and donning blue vests, the activists say they will replace the Temporary International Presence in Hebron” …

“Movement and life in the West Bank are governed by the whims of the Israeli security apparatus, which has set up hundreds of checkpoints, gates, … barriers, forbidden and segregated roads and … [an] apartheid wall”:

“We represent Islam … that is … tolerant, liberal, plural, and even accept some of the values of the west” –Anwar Ibrahim:

“The Iranian government is engaging with blockchain startups that are laying what could be the groundwork for a new token ecosystem” …

… but while “[s[ome recent media reports claim that Iran has /launched’ a state cryptocurrency based on gold called the Peyman. What really is happening, however, is less dramatic”:

News and Analysis (2/13/19)

Wednesday, February 13th, 2019

“Although the Trump v. Hawaii decision was a setback, the Supreme Court did not settle the question of whether the ban violates the Establishment Clause in that decision”:

“[C]ontributions from AIPAC members [have] often constituted roughly ten to fifteen per cent of a typical congressional campaign budget,” but there was no stopping the “cascade of charges that Omar is anti-Semitic” …

… and the “critic who provoked … [Omar’s] tweet … ironically charged that Michael Bloomberg, George Soros and Tom Steyer, prominent wealthy Jewish-Americans, were trying to ‘buy’ the election”:

From Christians and Muslims, from liberals and conservatives, comes widespread horror at the Supreme Court decision to prefer the convenience of executioners over freedom of religion:

“The Muslim Association of Puget Sound (MAPS) provided hotel rooms for all 28 residents of Tent City 4, an encampment in Issaquah”:

The author of Islam for the Politically Incorrect argues that Joram van Klaveren’s conversion to Islam less like a vegan becoming a carnivore and more like “a committed soda drinker switching from Coca Cola to Pepsi“:

A Palestinian and an Israeli advocate “a shared struggle against powerful institutions and systems of violence” instead of a coexistence between “white saviors” and their “black/brown victims”:

“Muslim women have always interpreted the call for modest clothing in diverse ways, with styles that allows for personal creativity and social commentary”:

The photographer says her “picture was for her people and not for ‘men in Washington'”:

News and Analysis (2/10/19)

Sunday, February 10th, 2019

In a 5-4 vote the Supreme Court denied a Circuit Court’s wish to  hear the condemned Muslim’s plea for religious equality “with little briefing and no argument — just so the State can meet its preferred execution date”:

Musawwsah, a global movement for equality and justice in the Muslim family, has produced a video on why it is essential to distinguish between “Shari’ah, Fiqh and State Laws”:

“There is no room for the government in a woman’s closet” – National Council of Canadian Muslims Montreal representative Razia Hamidi:

Muslims in America and Turkey oppose Chinese concentration camps:

Sunni’s initial reaction that “the tyrants can be brought down,” was succeeded by “divisions … inflamed by the sectarian bloodshed that followed the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003, Syria’s long civil war and the regional rivalry between Iran and Saudi Arabia:

The Muslim ban inadvertently helped a Muslim woman filmmaker break Hollywood barriers:

Although Shahid  Shafi calls the  139-49 vote “to keep [him] as one of the party’s vice chairmen” … a stand ‘against bigotry of all kinds,'” he insists, “I hold no animosity toward anybody in this group”:

News and Analysis (2/7/19)

Thursday, February 7th, 2019

“[H]alfway through writing an anti-Islam book[, t]he work ‘became a refutation of objections non-Muslims have’ against the religion”:

“American weapons sold to the Saudi-led coalition are in the hands of hardline militias, al Qaeda-linked groups, Iranian proxies and numerous other unchecked factions in Yemen’s civil war”:

“A three-judge panel of judges” overcame its reticence to judge prison procedures because “looks substantially likely to us that Alabama has run afoul of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment”:

“Despite the diversity of cultures and traditions, the Christian and Islamic world appreciate and protect common values: life, family, religious sense, honor for the elderly, the education of young people, and still other things”:

“If you were being threatened with a needle of hallucinogenic drugs [hovering] above your arm, you would also confess to whatever they wanted you to confess”:

It is not known if any of “several dual citizens with Western nationality [held] on allegations of threatening national security … will be” among the pardoned:

“Local commanders told CNN … that the Saudis and the United Arab Emirates are using U.S. weapons as currency to buy off different factions and militias in the Yemeni conflict – including Iranian-backed fighters”:

“On Aug. 19, 2013, the CIA publicly admitted for the first time its involvement in the 1953 coup against Iran’s elected Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadegh”:

News and Analysis (2/4/19)

Monday, February 4th, 2019

“Iran hopes to develop and implement the free circulation of fiat-backed crypto, which could be used by ordinary citizens and banks in financial operations”:

Omar, “one of only two members of Congress to openly support the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement, serves as a member of the House of Representatives’ Foreign Affairs Committee”:

“Leaders said the group is self-funded and used donations to purchase the cars and navy blue uniforms for its members, many of whom are involved with the Muslim Community Centre in Sunset Park”:

Concerns over the return to power of a supporter of the MEK terrorists, a supporter of “enhanced interrogation,” and a man “convicted of lying to Congress over “illegal financing of Nicaragua’s Contra rebels”:

A strong central government, exclusion of Muslims and Christians from an otherwise broad definition of “Hindu,” protection of cows contribute to the disadvantage of religious minorities and outcasts:

Populations of Muslim majority countries have a more favorable view of Christianity than the population of Christian majority countries have of Islam:

The Iraqi president “said on Monday that the US … should stick to fighting terrorism and not pursue other agendas”:

The OIC called Israel’s “decision to suspend operations of an international observer force in the city of Hebron, after 20 years … a blatant violation of the Geneva Conventions and the international law”: