Archive for September, 2019

News and Analysis (9/30/19)

Monday, September 30th, 2019

Serb separatist hate speech includes mocking the SDA’s embrace of liberal reforms and sparks a rise in hate crimes:

“A 60-year old woman and 13-year old boy were killed and three wounded in shelling over the Line of Control (LOC), near the informal border with India, on Saturday and Sunday” …

… and “19 people interviewed by The Washington Post across 13 villages in southern Kashmir … alleged abuses by the armed forces in the days after India launched a crackdown in the disputed region” …

… as “Modi’s hard-right agenda is rolling on, unimpeded by significant opposition in India. His latest attack: on 1.9 million undocumented people, with the intention of displacing Bengali Muslims from northeastern India”:

“Kenneth Katzman, the Congressional Research Service’s Iran analyst, [says] that predictions of the imminent meltdown of Iran’s economy are unfounded”:

“Apparently, Montazeri has missed the point that Iran, as a member of FIFA, has accepted the rules and regulations of the international soccer body” …

… as Trump has missed the point that the U.S. accepted the Iran nuclear deal:

Finding no books in the public library on “Muslim women in history who inspired” them, the young women “realised that there was a lack of representation and diversity in the books we had access to”:

“The basis of all religion is compassion and justice”:

“Israel sealed off the West Bank and Gaza Strip for three days for the celebration of the Jewish new year, according to the military on Sunday”:

“Arbeed was … was harshly beaten by the Israeli forces using their guns. He was then taken to the al-Mascobiyya interrogation centre in Jerusalem and an order was issued, banning him from meeting his lawyer”:

“The man the LA Times once hailed as ‘the finest rock songwriter after Dylan'” says the implication that if “you are not a white Christian … you’re not a real American … [is] incredibly destructive, divisive, and harmful”:

News and Analysis (9/27/19)

Friday, September 27th, 2019

“India is being governed today by Hindu ethno-nationalists who seem to regard the country’s minorities—Muslims, Christians and other non-Hindus—as inferior, anti-national, and not deserving of protection” …

… “I am disappointed by the international community. If eight million Europeans, or Christians or Jews or Americans were put under siege well even if eight Americans had been put under siege … imagine the reaction”:

Claiming that the second largest religion on earth is not a religion is as dangerous as it is absurd:

The minister says that “even though French law did not ban mothers in headscarves from going on school trips as volunteers, he wanted to avoid this ‘as much as possible'”:

“Anyone who is in any way associated with the PA in Jerusalem, they’re routinely arrested because Israel wants to make sure that there is no Palestinian representation in Jerusalem”:

Her brother and the “brother and sister of her former husband … were all  arrested last night” and “authorities have refused to disclose the whereabouts of” the latter two or “the reason for their arrests”:

When she said she didn’t need a two hour lunch break and asked for two five minute prayer breaks instead  “she was brought before [Fast Track’s] CEO” who launched “tirade” against “religious shenanigans”:

“The Stena Impero was detained by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards in the strait of Hormuz waterway for alleged marine violations two weeks after Britain seized an Iranian tanker off the territory of Gibraltar”:

“Today people in Palestine, Kashmir, and Hong Kong see themselves as stateless nations ruled with brutish military occupation. In the postcolonial game of state formation, they have been denied their national sovereignty”:

News and Analysis (9/24/19)

Tuesday, September 24th, 2019

“Kashmiris’ rights were at the forefront … [and] intricately linked to the fear many Muslims continue to have under the current US administration, given the leaders of both countries are known for their anti-Muslim stances”:

“Researchers found that, of 549 collected cases, 26% were children who were separated from their parents due to the travel ban. An additional 37% were partners who were split apart” …

… while at the U.N. the author of the “ban on Muslims coming to America, vowed without a hint of irony at the United Nations to protect freedom of religion”:

“‘The Secret History of the Push to Strike Iran’ … tells the story of hawks in Israel and the U.S. spending more than a decade agitating for war against Iran” …

… but while the public is loathe for U.S. involvement in any military response to the attack, one survey suggests public support could be rallied by fooling Americans into believing “Iran’s nuclear capabilities as a threat”:

O’Brien’s attempts to effect prisoner swaps with Iran stalled because Iran would negotiate only “with higher-level U.S. officials. Suddenly it would appear that O’Brien fits that description almost perfectly”:

“FIFA said on Saturday it would be working with the Iranian football federation to develop plans for women to attend domestic matches in the Iranian league as well”:

“[I]t was important to stand up to … their agenda of intolerance. “We should always be able to engage in civil discourse, even the most difficult or sensitive topics without resorting to violence”:

In cancelling the award the German city declared Shamsie’s opposition to Israeli occupation and apartheid “is clearly in contradiction to the statutory objectives of the award and the spirit of the Nelly Sachs Prize”:

Protest IS a form of jihad:

“The oil tanker is ‘now free to leave the Southern Iranian port of Bandar Abbas, as the legal formalities have been observed and completed,’ according to Iran”:

The U.S. “will stand behind whatever actions the Israeli government takes, … [and] Congress is poised to lay the ground for a American peace plan that will only guarantee perpetual conflict”:

News and Analysis (9/20/19)

Friday, September 20th, 2019

It would be wrong to go to war without certainty as to who launched the attack, a treaty obligation to interfere, well-defined goals and plans, a national interest, and, above all, a declaration of war by the U.S. Congress …

… “Holding Iran responsible for the actions of a militia” would logically require holding the U.S. “responsible for massive human casualties in the Yemen war resulting from Saudi use of American weaponry “:

“We don’t want to engage in a military confrontation. We believe that a military confrontation based on deception is awful, will have a lot of casualties. But we won’t blink to defend our territory”:

“The odor of right wing political correctness that comes through this definitely could have a chilling effect” — Henry Reichman, American Association of University Professors …

… “Betsy DeVos‘s investigation into the consortium began after Rep. George Holding (R-N.C.) sent her a letter condemning the program for holding a conference with “severe anti-Israel bias and anti-Semitic rhetoric”:

PM Prayuth Chan-ocha says that the fact that the government suspects Muslims for “a series of bomb blasts in the capital Bangkok in August” justifies spying on all Muslim university students:

With the “inconsistency and lack of transparency in granting visas, there is no definitive way to track visa application approvals and rejections” so some have called the approach a “mockery of the rule of law” and “a sham”:

Donald Trump said on Wednesday that ‘if it was up to’ him, he would allow Rouhani and his foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, to come….” Does that mean Pompeo is in charge?

“[H]undreds of locals, mostly Muslims, took to the streets … [in] solidarity with the Hindu community … after a mob vandalised a temple and a school run by a Hindu principal … accused of committing blasphemy”:

American Airlines “has faced accusations of discrimination in the past”:

A “proposal to require congressional authorization for any attack against Iran. And their amendment is now a major flash point in negotiations with the Senate that kicked off Thursday over a final defense bill”:

News and Analysis (9/17/19)

Tuesday, September 17th, 2019

Blaming Iran for a Houthi attack is “a pretext … to make war on Iran,” that ignores that MbS attacked Yemen “because Saudi Arabia had been used to having major influence on Yemen through dictator Ali Abdullah Saleh” …

… They claim photos show “points of impact … that appear to have originated from the north or northwest” ruling out Yemen as the source but “some of the strikes in the images appeared to have come from the west” …

… but “other nations have not supported Pompeo’s assertion that [Iran] was responsible” and “the Houthi rebels … claim that their forces fired the drone without any external help save that from Houthi inside Saudi Arabia” …

… and a West Point study showing the Houthis are now the “most powerful military entity in [their] country” contradicts claims that the Houthis are incapable of the such an attack:

“Prime Minister Youssef Chahed, a presidential hopeful whose popularity has been tarnished by a sluggish economy and the rising cost of living, could well turn out to be the election’s biggest loser”:

“Joseph Cecil Vandevere directed a tweet at Virginia state senate “candidate Qasim Rashid. The tweet included a picture of a lynching and read, ‘VIEW YOUR DESTINY'”:

One co-founder dared to write “about a 2001 FBI investigation of five Israeli nationals who were witnessed smiling and celebrating and taking pictures of the burning Twin Towers … [who were] deported without charge”:

A social media manager who had put quotes of Prophet Muhammad on the site was shocked to find her overlords had removed it all saying “they wanted to do away with anything overtly Islamic”:

“Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said last month that Iran has no immunity anywhere and that the Israeli military forces “will act — and currently are acting — against them”:

“The expelling of Qaterji’s group and the bold move by the Iranian militias reveals a deepening conflict within the camp of the Assad regime and its allies consisting of Iran, Russia and various Arab tribes”:

“Mr. Netanyahu is shameless. Mr. Gantz is blind. Palestinians see no prospect in this election. How could they?”

News and Analysis (9/14/19)

Saturday, September 14th, 2019

“[T]he peaceful handover of power, a rarity in the Arab world, belies the political instability and economic stagnation that have plagued the country” which still has no constitutional court to resolve ambiguities:

“The national security adviser departed abruptly after President Trump suggested he might lift some sanctions as an incentive for Tehran to get to the negotiating table” …

… but Bolton’s exit comes too late to prevent China from capitalizing on America’s sabotage of Iranian-European relations:

Is there any hope the Canadian courts will seize Israeli assets to compensate the American victims of terrorism by the IDF and Israeli subsidized settlers?

“CAIR’s litigation director Ahmed Mohamed slammed CBP in a statement to, accusing the agency of ignoring the need for “reasonable suspicion” to conduct searches”:

Annexation would horrify the international community and formalize for a Jewish minority to rule a non-Jewish majority, but Netanyahu thinks he can get away with it while Donald Trump is President of Israel’s strongest ally:

“The refusal to grant permits to Palestinian residents has confined them to crowded, poorly served neighborhoods, with around half the population believed to be at risk of having their homes demolished”:

“Over 310 Palestinians have been killed and about 18,000 others injured by Israeli forces since the outbreak of the Great March of Return protests at Gaza border on March 30, 2018”:

Iran promised only not to sell the oil directly to EU-sanctioned countries. It sold the oil to without strings to a private company which then likely sold it to Syria:

News and Analysis (9/11/19)

Wednesday, September 11th, 2019

“The chapel’s most frequent users, according to chaplain Monica R. Lawson, are the Catholics who attend daily Mass there and the Muslims among the Pentagon’s massive workforce”:

The U.S. “was born out of a series of colonial boycotts against British merchants,” yet several states have tried to stop the movement to boycott Israeli apartheid threatening the free speech rights of Americans:

“Trump announced … that national security advisor John Bolton would be leaving the White House, tweeting that he ‘disagreed strongly’ with many of Bolton’s views” …

… “when it comes to Iran, the Trump administration’s hands are no longer tied by Bolton, an ideologue who views diplomacy as a weakness rather than a tool” …

… but “Iran has rejected talks unless sanctions are lifted first. It said on Wednesday that Bolton’s exit had not changed that position”:

“During the first week of September 2019, Israeli forces … killed Palestinian children, destroyed Palestinian property, stormed a Palestinian village, stole Palestinian land, and assaulted, detained, and abducted Palestinians”:

The author of Islam and Good Governance says that until Muslims will never have good governance until they abandon their medieval understanding of Islamic law for to “take pride in service as they do in their ritual devotions”:

She preferred to kill herself than be denied the right to attend a soccer match:

News and Analysis (9/8/19)

Sunday, September 8th, 2019

The federal judge ruled that “the standard for inclusion in the database was too vague” to prevent “erroneous deprivation of plaintiffs’ travel-related and reputational liberty”:

“Yesterday you killed our children in Gaza. Today our heroes responded in Qalqilya, and then our resistance sent a pilotless drone sending a clear message: Our people’s blood is precious, don’t get close to it” — Hamas:

The hospital was not allowed to remove the mother as her child’s representative for obtaining a fatwa “that it would be a ‘great sin’ and ‘absolutely impermissible’ … to consent to the removal of life support”:

This “isn’t about free speech or trying to police what people are saying” but is about how inappropriate it is for a teacher to publish “overtly fear-mongering material online that has no evidence” in an academic lecture …

“Islam … [is] a way of thinking. You could almost be a Muslim without actually being a Muslim. A Muslim is only a person who believes that nothing in the universe should be worshipped except God”:

“Iran’s Civil Code sets the marriage age at 13 for girls and 15 for boys – if they have their parents’ consent” but a girl under 13 or a boy under 15 may wed if a judge rules then to be “intellectually mature”:

Erdogan’s contempt for the international order fits in a world where the USA walks away from treaties and “China and Russia are willing to sell nuclear technology as well as arms with fewer, if any, safeguards”:

CAIR “argued that meals provided to the men during … Ramadan did not meet [federal] caloric … health guidelines [and] meals were cold when others received hot meals and sometimes contained pork”:

“Just over a thousand guerrillas are turning in 940 weapons in a single day, in a graduated decommissioning process that aims to turn … the country’s largest rebel force, into a regular political party”:

News and Analysis (9/5/19)

Thursday, September 5th, 2019

A “student … organized … petition supporting him … garnered more than 7,000 signatures” and his plight “elicited … support from … organizations including … the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education”:

The true purpose of the movement to equate any criticism of Zionism as anti-Semitic is to sparer Zionists of the impossible task of refuting the charge that Zionism is unjust:

“Hawks in Israel and America have spent more than a decade agitating for war against the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program. Will Trump finally deliver?” …

… “[I]t is incumbent upon journalists to do in 2019 what we collectively did not do in 2003 [in the build-up to the Iraq invasion]: Check the facts, challenge the lies, debunk the myths”:

He was prepared to die defending his country, but ended up with PTSD from persecution by the Department of Justice:

The man who wrote what is “perhaps the most famous translation of the” Qur’an had an “understanding of Islam [that] was very liberal. He wanted a reconciliation between the Muslim and Western philosophy”:

“David Parnham’s campaign calling for Muslims to be ‘butchered’ sparked increase in hate crime” …

… while Vincent Vetromile, 20, was sentenced to seven years in state prison with five years of post-release supervision for his role in the plan to attack Islamberg, … located approximately 50 miles northeast of Binghamton”:

“The courier behind that intrusion … was an inside mole recruited by Dutch intelligence agents at the behest of the CIA and the Israeli intelligence agency, the Mossad”:

“[How long will we] accept the authenticity of hadiths that lack a chain of transmission [leading back to] the Prophet even though they contradict the Quran? Who benefits from [including] this hadith in our curricula…?”

Islam and African Americans

Tuesday, September 3rd, 2019

[A student interviewed me on Islam in the African-American community. Here are his questions and my responses.]

Q. Who are some African American Muslims that you’ve heard of, what did you learn.

A. Warith Deen Mohammed (one of the handful of powerful people in history to voluntarily give up power for the sake of his people), Hajj Malik El-Shabazz ([a/k/a Malcolm X] a figure of such charisma and integrity that people of radically different backgrounds and views seek to co-opt his legend), Hisham Tawfiq (an actor whose authentic articulation of Islam is so compelling that the non-Muslim creators of “The Blacklist” incorporated the backstory he developed for what was originally intended to be an unidentified body guard of no particular religion into a Sudanese Muslim refugee character that was so compelling it became a part of the story so popular that fans are calling for a spin-off centered on him), Omar Ibn Said (the slave whose “autobiographical manuscript has been translated from its original Arabic and housed at the Library of Congress, where it ‘annihilates’ the conventional narrative of African slaves as uneducated and uncultured”), Muhammad Ali (at one time the most popular athlete in the world, and forever to be remembered for courageously standing up to the American War machine). There are way too many others to mention, but I will mention the chief case manager at the Islamic-American Zakat Foundation who is also Treasurer of our Masjid, and my friend Br. Yusef Amin (who not only evaluates the applications for assistance and provides them with practical advise for attaining self-sufficiency, but counsels them spiritually with sensitive Islamic guidance.

Q. Who are some people who have influence you in a good way, what did they do?

A. Warith Deen Mohammed was a member of the board of advisers for the non-profit think tank I founded (Minaret of Freedom Institute) and spoke on the Importance of Liberty to Muslims at our fourth annual dinner.

Q. What teachings of Islam resonate with you most and why?

A. Above all, that there is NOTHING AT ALL worthy of worship except the Creator of all things who is not only the God of Abraham but also the Lord of all the worlds. After that, its corollaries that the rule of law applies equally to all and that aggression against anyone is prohibited.

Q. Can you speak to why many African American Muslims who grew up in poverty converted to Islam?

A. There are multiple reasons.  The two that I think are most pronounced are: (1) the realization that they had been stripped of their historical identity and a reversion (rather than conversion) to Islam is an important step in reclaiming that identity and (2) a desire to take pride in the spirituality of their culture  while at the same time embracing and promoting the  intellectuality and rationality that was actually part of their heritage as well, but of which they had been deprived by the stereotypes imposed upon, and the discrimination against, them.

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