Archive for September, 2020

Explaining the Paradox in the New Muslim Poll

Wednesday, September 30th, 2020

Dalia Mogahedand and Azka Mahmood have released ISPU’s new annual poll on national conversations with the voices of everyday Americans (“American Muslim Poll 2019: Predicting and Preventing Islamophobia“). Their poll of Muslim attitudes includes a remarkable paradox: of all religious groups surveyed Muslims were least likely to approve of President Trump’s governance and most likely to report religious, gender, and sectarian discrimination, and yet they were the most likely to express optimism with the direction of the country.

I believe this paradox can be explained by the increasing sentiment among non-Muslim groups that Muslims are unfairly affected by policies such as the “Muslim ban.” In other words, the mere fact that non-Muslim groups are troubled by the very trends about which Muslims are concerned is good news for Muslims as regards the “trajectory” of America’s future. That Muslims are less alone in their indignation is cause for hope.

The rise in positive sentiment is the first since the studies began in 2016, but is still below 2016-2017 levels. Also the “positive sentiment about the country’s direction within the Muslim community is not uniform. Muslims are twice as likely to be satisfied than Black Muslims (20%). However, Black Americans who are Muslim report satisfaction at much higher levels than their non-Muslim counterparts in our sample (3%), as do white Americans in the general public (43% vs. 20%).”

It is particularly interesting in that “roughly 10% of all faith groups say they personally know someone who experienced unwanted sexual advancement [sic] from a faith leader in their community” but Muslims were most like to report the transgression to law enforcement.  This flies in the face of the submissive Muslim woman stereotype (see below), but is consistent with an understanding that Islamic morals tolerate neither sexual impropriety nor physical aggression. Conservative and progressive Muslims may disagree about the roles of women in Muslim society, but neither has grounds to tolerate, let alone to defend, sexual aggression against women.

“The notion that Muslim women have been socialized into expecting and accepting ‘second-class status’ crumbles under the weight of evidence that shows that they decry gender discrimination inside and outside their community. Moreover, the data show that Muslim women are four times more likely to have favorable opinions as unfavorable opinions (47% vs. 11%) of those who work for women’s empowerment.”

One thing that has not changed in the recent survey is that those who know a Muslim are more likely to be favorably disposed toward Muslims than those who do not.  Jews are among the most likely to know and be favorably disposed towards Muslims and Evangelical Christians most likely to not know them and fear them.

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

News and Analysis (9/29/20)

Tuesday, September 29th, 2020

Erdogan sides with Azerbaijan against Armenia “to boost his credentials with nationalists and distract from perpetual economic crisis at home” while Iran whose Azerbaijani community may be up to one fourth of its the population take a pragmatic approach:

“UAE served as the backbone of the coalition’s ground war in Yemen and was involved with allied Yemeni militias in running a series of secret torture facilities there,” and “past weapons transfers to the UAE have landed in the hands of extremist groups … rebels included”:

“[G]iven that the Taliban want to alter the current Afghan state into a theocracy while the other side wants to preserve as much of the current democratic setup as possible, the likely compromise will be a Sunni Afghan version of the Islamic Republic of Iran”:

The death sentence for praising an imam above the Prophet (as) has experts “‘deeply concerned over the lack of due process’ … including being held incommunicado and having no access to a lawyer during his initial trial, which was not open to the public”:

“It took just fifteen days for New Delhi to take steps to address the demand in Buddhist majority Leh for constitutional safeguards to protect [a population of 33,000] … but a similar demand for protection to [7 million Muslims in Kashmir Valley] has no takers” …

… while according to “[h]ighly placed sources … two persons have been arrested by the police for allegedly being part of a conspiracy that led to the killing of three labourers from Rajouri by the army” …

… and a former chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir continues to sit in jail six months after her six month detention order was set to expire:

“By allotting a fragile residency status in East Jerusalem, Israel has succeeded to revoke and subsequently uproot more than 14,200 Palestinians”:

“This rule is akin to telling Muslim girls that they need permission to be a Muslim” — Sabina Mohyuddin, executive director of the American Muslim Advisory Council:

News and Analysis (9/27/20)

Sunday, September 27th, 2020

Two SFSU professors expect the university to “seriously and publicly challenge Zoom’s attempt to control higher education and the content of our curriculum and classrooms”:

Mohammed Ali al-Houthi says that “the word terrorism is a floating term that the United States could not define” but raises against “those who reject America’s policies in killing and injustice,” now even against its “own citizens demonstrating in the United States”:

The human rights activist has always been provacative. “Shouted at, he would shout back. More than once, an angry host kicked him off the air. ” But on Modi’s watch he was “shot …in the head and chest in the courtyard of his home in … the capital of Kashmir”:

The “director general of the Israel Water Authority, said that there is no blanket policy against selling [Palestinian] water [back] to Palestinians and that no requests to buy it have crossed his desk in his three years in charge,” as if such requests would be granted:

As Iraqi-Iranian relations continue to warm, Pompeo issues new threats:

A five-star hotel claims it gave the Muslim raffle winner of an expensive bottle of cognac a cheap box of chocolates out of respect for his religion, but a court awards the man 2,000 pounds in compensation, alleged good intentions notwithstanding:

“[T]he 2020 election is the first election in decades about which candidate ‘would most quickly end’ America’s wars, with both Biden and Trump looking ‘to be the “peace candidate” despite having track records that make it hard to claim such a title'”:

“There is no justification for the repeated violent treatment against those who seek to eke out a living for their children” — Hamas statement:

“[N]othing testifies to the decline of Saudi Arabia more than the abrupt rise of its junior partner as a bellicose regional power, interfering in Libya and Tunisia and supporting dictators and war criminals”:

News and Analysis (9/24/20)

Thursday, September 24th, 2020

“Israeli law works in favour of settlers by allowing only Jews to claim property they owned prior to 1948, while denying the same right to Palestinians. In Silwan, some of the families have been in their homes for up to 60 years”:

An Indian-American Congressional candidate in Texas has a real chance of defeating the incumbent, unless his diverse coalition is unraveled by his failure to denounce the “violence and the exclusionary politics of Hindu nationalism and PM Modi” …

… but the supporters of India’s policies in Kashmir press Joe Biden to win back “Indiasporans” who have gone over to Donald Trump:

“During the past year, the Knesset has shot down numerous proposals to amend the National Law to forbid discrimination against non-Jews”:

“The real bottom line here is that funding that was meant to counter ISIS propaganda was morphed into funding to silence activists and experts who want to reform U.S. policy on Iran”:

Invoking the image of the murder of George Floyd, Rouhani said, “We instantly recognize the feet kneeling on the neck as the feet of arrogance on the neck of independent nations”:

“Polls will be scheduled within six months under a deal agreed by Fatah, Palestinian Authority (PA) leader Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas political chief Ismail Haniya”:

The U.S. now claims the right to overrule the Iranian judiciary on domestic criminal convections in Iran,  Perhaps Iran would like to overrule the U.S. courts that refused to indict the murder of Breanna Taylor?

Tehran’s “nuanced, sometimes humorous, and often moving portrayal of Israeli-Iranian connections” reflects a growing Israeli interest in connecting with their Muslim neighbors and vice versa”:

News and Analysis (9/21/20)

Monday, September 21st, 2020

A Scottboro school board candidate wants to “ban Islam,” insists that the Constitution prohibits Muslim s from holding public office, and accuses Jewish-Hungarian holocaust survivor George Soros of being a Nazi:

No longer satisfied to claim that the Constitution gives him dictatorial power over the United States, Trump now issues an executive order to force the United Nations to impose sanctions on Iran:

American Jews resist the “anti-Semite” slur, with 31% saying they “would vote for either [Ilhan] Omar or [Rashida] Tlaib outright, [and] with another 23% saying that Israel would not be the deciding factor if they were not in agreement with the candidate on other issues”:

Khamenie did not mention that when Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein attacked Iran, the U.S. armed both sides of war, a “dual containment strategy” intended to help Muslims kill one another.  This time around they would arm only the Arab dictators and their Israeli ally:

After the UAE has knuckled under to U.S. pressure to formalize its alliance with Israel, Iran can no longer count on the UAE’s central bank closing its eyes to circumventions of American sanctions:

Discrimination against “Dalits does not end if they convert  to another religion,” but their few privileges, such as reserved seats on elected commissions, do:

“Historically, regime change in Afghanistan has been decided not so much by overwhelming military force as through key defections”:

News and Analysis (9/18/20)

Friday, September 18th, 2020

That Jacob Blake’s father recited a Muslim prayer after the “police gunned down his son in Kenosha” evokes “just how deeply embedded Islam is within the Black community”:

If Pompeo “intends to enforce the non-existent U.N. sanctions at midnight GMT on September 20′ … [that[ would entail U.S. warships attacking and confiscating Iranian cargo ships in international waters — as well as non-Iranian vessels suspected of carrying Iranian goods”:

“If we put the two texts of the normalisation announcement and the deal of the century together, it’s not hard to understand what they mean by saying that Muslims will be praying [only] in the al-Qibli chapel with the lead dome” — Ziyad Ibhais, a researcher on Jerusalem affairs:

There is no evidence that the rumors of an Iranian plan to assassinate  a U.S. diplomat are true, but if they were true, they would be yet more evidence that the Trump policies are failing:

News item for Anglo-American bigots, Muslims came here first, accompanying Spanish conquistadores:

With the courts cracking down on the Trump administration’s illegal actions …

… will Trump resort to an executive order to implement his “withdrawal from” (i.e., breach of) the JCPOA?

Like Iran, Saudi Arabia has a nuclear energy program.  Unlike Iran, the Saudis have never agreed to international inspections:

Police prevented her from commenting “on a deadly LAPD shooting the year prior” when three of then “aggressively manhandled” her “without any warning,” pushed her to the wall, handcuffed her] and shoved her into another room to humiliate her by stripping off her headscarf:

Continuing oppression of Jammu and Kashmir includes crackdowns on journalists, on commerce, and on foreign relief efforts, military murders, and police killings and cover-ups:

… but Kashmiri’s must blame themselves for their denial of women the property rights conferred upon them by Islam:

News and Analysis (9/15/20)

Tuesday, September 15th, 2020

Cleared of all charges by the courts, he was sucked into a nightmare “beyond the reach of the U.S. judiciary. Within the realm of ICE, there would be no public documents, no legal hearings;” yet he held onto his faith that “[a]n innocent, independent, wise individual will prevail in any situation”:

The so-called “peace” agreement actually smooths facilitates Trump administration sales of “sophisticated weaponry to the Persian Gulf states” that could as easily be used against Israel as against Iran …

… yet even as he arms Arab states, “Pompeo vowed Tuesday that Washington would prevent Iran from purchasing ‘Chinese tanks and Russian air defence systems’ as the end of the UN arms embargo against Tehran approaches”:

Joe Biden has a “track record of viewing authoritarian leaders in Egypt, Saudi Arabia and elsewhere as moderate Arab allies’ who guarantee ‘stability’ in the region”:

Some pundits excused Trump’s withdrawal form JCPOA on the grounds that it wasn’t a treaty, but the 1955 Treaty of Amity is a treaty confirmed by the Senate and Trump has withdrawn from that as well, illogically claiming that JCPOA supersedes it:

“The museum was meant to showcase the arms, art and fashion of the Mughals” but Hindu nationalist officials “hostile to recognizing the country’s Muslim history” plan “a complete overhaul of the museum … [to] instead celebrate India’s Hindu majority, leaders and history”:

Celebrating the power of non-violent Palestinian resistance, Bacha chronicles the ways that grassroots engagement has produced creative movements of social solidarity and enduring personal self-transformations:

The settler murdered “a Palestinian toddler and his parents in an arson attack” that burned a four-year-old boy as well, but he could be released in as little as fifteen years:

Pro-Israeli PACs have poured over $1.5 million into the coffers of 2020 Congressional candidates. A lot o money, yes, but a tiny fraction of the U.S. taxpayers’ money it buys for Israel, so, all-in-all, a lucrative investment:

News and Analysis (9/12/20)

Saturday, September 12th, 2020

There are still some “progressives” who deny the Israel’s apartheid and settler colonialism, but after decades of persistent oppression of the indigenous people of Palestine, that’s become a harder row to hoe:

Bahrain, where a Sunni monarchy rules over a Shia majority, joins the UAE in abandoning the demand that Israel conform to international law in its treatment of the Palestinians before normalization in order to advance a coalition with Israel against Iranian regional influence:

“To win the support of the pro-Israeli constituencies … Joe Biden, and his running mate, Kamala Harris, have deviated even further from the low standards set by the Democratic Obama administration”:

The Taliban want “an ‘inclusive Islamic system,’ and the release of at least 8,000 more Taliban prisoners,” while the U.S.-backed government calls for a ‘humanitarian cease-fire'”:

“[T]he E3 feel frustrated the US has not yet shown a willingness to negotiate a compromise on the ban’s extent”:

“Akbar Tabari received the jail term after being convicted of ‘setting up and heading a bribery network'”:

His defenders say, and the courts deny, that the executed man claimed his confession was extracted by torture; his “attorney accused authorities of denying his client a family visit before the execution, as required by law”:

[R]esearch and waves of protests and crackdowns indicated massive disappointment among Iranians with their political system. This steadily turned into a deeply felt disillusionment with institutional religion”:

News and Analysis (9/10/20)

Thursday, September 10th, 2020

Only one of the public officials asked to dissociate themselves from the hate group have done so:

Should government dictate the language of a people?

As women have taken their case to social media,” police have announced they have taken action against at least one suspect. Many women hope this will be just the beginning of a broader movement against sexual violence”:

“The … price of government patronage is high for ulema (religious scholars) in the Middle East. Generally speaking, they have to openly support or maintain silence about autocracy at home, while speaking of democracy, pluralism, and minority rights to Western audiences”:

A legislator says “that the military should take control of all internet activities in Iran — ‘for the protection of citizens, like all over the world.’ Anonymity on the internet would be a thing of the past as the military would determine users’ identities and monitor them”:

“COVID-19 restrictions have contributed to Palestinians being unable to travel outside Gaza for medical treatment”:

“The head of the country’s aviation authority said restitution talks would begin on October 18 … [and] told IRNA news agency that Iran is open to paying “full compensation for what it has done”:

“There was no mention of a military partnership in the reported draft agreement, … and speculation that Iran could lease strategic Gulf islands to China was spread by former-president … Ahmadinejad and … parliament [members ]suspicious of Beijing’s intentions”:

“Tehran’s continuous efforts to market the regime to its own citizens command disproportionately little attention beyond cursory media coverage of the routine passion plays that pass for pro-regime rallies” until now:

News and Analysis (9/7/20)

Monday, September 7th, 2020

Muslim minorities in Montenegro … felt threatened” and Muslims in neighboring states feared “another genocide” when the then incumbent, now defeated, Democratic Party of Socialists “inflamed ethnic tensions to take attention away from corruption scandals”:

“Dr Kafeel Khan was released on Tuesday after spending seven months in jail for criticising anti-Muslim citizenship law.” He accused his captors of “physical torture”:

An inconsistently applied concern for aesthetics is the government’s transparent excuse to deprive Athwajan miners their livelihood:

The “rallying cry of violent Hindutva action and has preceded several lynchings” on the 40-minute long recording of the transmission from the victim’s phone clearly points to murder, yet “the police has only registered a robbery case”:

“The Israeli government is opposing a petition in the country’s Supreme Court by 40 citizens which says officers responsible for severe rights violations must not be given training by the Israeli Police”:

“Conflating Jewish people with the state of Israel as if we are one in the same is itself anti-Semitic” — Stephanie Fox, executive director for Jewish Voice for Peace:

The House-passed “version of the Defense Spending Bill … repeals the 2002 Iraq Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF), which the administration has already used to justify the killing of an Iranian general”:

India and Iran share concerns over “the prospect of the Taliban regaining their dominant position in Afghanistan and what that would mean for regional security … [a]s the US pushes the intra-Afghan dialogue in Qatar between the  Taliban and the Afghani government”:

“Supreme Court lawyer Fuzail Ahmad Ayyubi … was surprised to see ‘Tablighi members are prosecuted for provisions regarding the “spread” of a life-threatening disease when most of them never tested positive for COVID-19′”: