Archive for August, 2022

News and Analysis 8/31/22

Wednesday, August 31st, 2022

Choosing patriotism over power, the opponent of both American and Iranian intervention says, “This is not a revolution because it has lost its peaceful character” …

… but a former Iranian diplomat has his doubts:

Among the existential threats to Israel are human rights workers, teachers, brides, and little children …

… this is not a war against armed opponents, but “an all-out colonial assault on Palestinian society”:

“Google systematically silences Palestinian, Jewish, Arab and Muslim voices concerned about Google’s complicity in violations of Palestinian human rights”:

Amnesty International is accusing Iran and Turkey of “unlawfully opening fire on men, women and children”:

The incident is the latest in a flurry of clashes:

News and Analysis 8/28/22

Sunday, August 28th, 2022

The arrest of the former PM “fuels Khan’s populist message which is rooted in the notion that the current government’s power was won sneakily rather than through popular mandate”:

To Meta Ukrainian posts of  their “suffering or humiliation” by Russians is “raising awareness” but Palestinians posting pictures of their “suffering or humiliation” by Israelis “glorifies violence”:

When Biden broke his campaign promise for a swift unconditional return to JCPOA Biden “deepened mistrust … around the world, about Washington’s ability to uphold international agreements”:

Israel boasts to Americans of “pinpoint attacks” on that kill children as it pushes other Palestinians into the stone age:

We were in Afghanistan “to prevent Al Qaeda from striking our country[, but] … it grew into something much larger: an attempt to impose a form of government”:

Expelled by Israel, his grandfather was less than 1 km away from his home and they seized the house on the grounds that he was an “absentee”owner:

News and Analysis 8/27/22

Saturday, August 27th, 2022

“Under the 1947 agreement … the host nation guarantees rights of entry, movement and residence to those invited to U.N. meetings”:

“More Muslim marriages end with khhula, the woman’s inalienable right to instant divorce, and not as it’s widely perceived through [the rightly derided] instant triple talaq”:

“[T]he Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process … urged delegates to turn their attention to the broader strategy of ending the occupation”:

Iran accuses Biden of attacking troops fighting against ISIS to sore domestic political points:

Dr. Mehmet Oz’s religion isn’t a factor for Muslims because “the issues Muslims care about are not limited to ‘stereotypical “Muslim issues”‘:

“In the face of persecution and violence, [working-class Muslim women] sat peacefully for 100 days, protesting by way of theatre, poetry and prayer”:

“Although there is no official ban on women going to sporting events in Iran, it is rare for them to attend as they are often refused entry”:

“[T]he public art project ‘I Witness Silwan’ depicting the eyes of local and international figures, including George Floyd”:

News and Analysis 8/24/22

Wednesday, August 24th, 2022

Iran gives conflicting signals on dropping the demand that the IAEA “close its investigation of undeclared nuclear material found at Iranian sites in 2019”:

If Ben and Jerry wanted to protect their reputation, they should have never sold out to a soulless corporation like Unilever:

For “political elites who … think that they’re invincible and above the law, … now, the message is very clear”:

“The decision gave the army the green light to completely raze eight villages in Masafer Yatta to the ground … and demolish hundreds of other structures … including four school”:

When she first sought a career in athletics she was offered every job for which she was interviewed; now, she has been blacklisted:

“Mo” is “committed to exploring the intricacies of Muslim-American life, furthered by the specific slice of multiculturalism that informed Amer’s life”:

Prof. Donner argues that a 7th century Arabic letter supports the Qur’an’s claim that Jews and Christians can be considered part of the “community of believers”:

Sadr’s “supporters camped outside the Supreme Judicial Council demanding it dissolves parliament – a power the body insists it does not have”:

Forced to choose between modesty and education, India’s Muslim schoolgirls fight back:

News and Analysis 8/22/22

Monday, August 22nd, 2022

The general director of Defense of Children International – Palestine was interrogated for two hours without legal representation:

A video showing that it was Israeli police that attacked the Palestinians “forced prosecutors to drop the investigation” …

… but conviction of the aggressors may be too much to hope for:

“The Israeli onslaught in the West Bank continues … as hundreds of settlers descended on the city under military protection to make a provocative visit to Joseph’s Tomb” …

… and “Ahmad Ayyad was on his way to work in Israel to help out his family in Gaza when he was attacked by Israeli soldiers and beaten to death”:

The ministry of culture and Islamic guidance has “threatened more than 100 film industry figures to withdraw their signatures from a May statement titled ‘Lay Down your Gun’ or be banned from working”:

“Religious and intellectual issues, including phrases that may read in full or partly as offensive, cannot never be dealt with in these violent ways”:

“Most of the workers do not have bank accounts and putting their salaries on the books would create a new revenue source for the … [PA], while bringing a windfall in service fees for Palestinian banks”:

Irfan Ahmad argues that the letter to Modi blaming Muslim terrorism on Maududi was aimed not at Maududi, but at Islam itself:

This “native-born Mandarin” speaking intellectual finds the religion of Islam to be “very friendly” and “very flexible”:

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong announced in his National Day Rally speech on Sunday that the Government will repeal Section 377A of the Penal Code, revoking a colonial-era law that criminalises sex between men:

News and Analysis 8/20/22

Friday, August 19th, 2022

Gill’s assertion that good Muslims should disobey illegal military orders (as per Nuremberg) was deemed treasonous by the army which his former accuses of taking part in a plot that ousted him:

The EU and the UN both decry Israel’s crackdown on civil society premised on unfounded accusations of PFLP ties. In July, nine E.U. countries said they would continue to work with the organizations”:

“The US will have to pay a fine in the event it withdraws from the nuclear agreement again” but the US classification of IRGC as terrorist and IAEA concerns over old nuclear particle traces remain obstacles …

… and “a group of [U.S.] senators has introduced a bill making sanctions ‘permanent'”:

“Muslims have been Europeans for almost 14 centuries – longer than white people have been Americans”:

“Some Iranian media said the man was arrested for holding a picture of Qassem Soleimani, a commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps killed in a U.S. drone strike in January 2020”:

Palestinians endure not only murder, but life-threatening “surveillance”:

Critics say the San Francisco School Board decision to close schools on the two  Muslim holidays is “well-meaning” but illegal:

News and Analysis 8/18/22

Thursday, August 18th, 2022

Which is more cowardly: the murder of children or the attempt to blame those murders on your opponents?

The release of 11 “Hindu men jailed for life for the gang-rape of a pregnant Muslim woman during Hindu-Muslim riots in 2002 … [has drawn] condemnation from the victim’s husband, lawyers and politicians”:

More deaths from Israel’s near-daily raids …

… and a raid on a human rights organization ends with the main gate closed with iron plate and the organization declared “unlawful”:

“Israel is ‘unlawfully depriving Palestinian civilians of property’, reads the complaint to the International Criminal Court”:

In July alone there were fifty “digital violations of Palestinian content” on Facebook, five on TikTok, three on Instagram; YouTube deleted three channels and Twitter deleted two accounts”:

“Allowing non-locals to vote is obviously to influence election results. Real aim is to continue ruling J&K with an iron fist to disempower locals” — Former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti:

The model turned actress says praying with the star of the Hulu series “Ramy” during Ramadan “was one of the most beautiful moments of my adult life”:

“Abdullah chose Louisville, in part, because of its Muslim population and because it is boxing legend Muhammad Ali’s hometown … to carry his legacy of being a Muslim in America and being a top Muslim athlete”:

“Visitors to the mosque-cathedral have never failed to be impressed by its beauty and the way it embraces the visual styles of two separate faiths”:

News and Analysis 8/15/22

Monday, August 15th, 2022

Israel’s relentless serial murders …

… finally  produce their desired result of a Palestinian retaliation:

While denying Iranian involvement in the despicable attack on author Salman Rushdie, the spokesman of Iran’s Foreign Ministry threw the blame on Rushdie and his supporters:

The defendant’s attorney objects that absent “sufficient evidence even to charge Defendant with any involvement in the murders, Defendant should not be detained based on supposed involvement”:

An opera based on the autobiography of “a 19th century Muslim scholar stolen from Senegal and sold into slavery in America … [tells] a largely-forgotten story, informing the history of our multicultural nation”:

Resentment against removal of cultural artifacts takes on a special edge when art protesting the occupation ends up in a gallery of the occupying power:

India’s “economic pain has not been evenly distributed, and Muslim Indians are far more pessimistic about their future prospects”:

“Israelis aren’t shy about speculating that Yair Lapid is using the attack on Gaza to convince doubting Israeli voters that he is bellicose enough to continue leading the country, but US media failed to mention this”:

Combining religion and state results in “a blind, implicit obedience to civil magistracy” that  holds people “in a state of servile dependence” totally ignorant “of every thing divine and human”:

Innocent Until Proven Muslim

Saturday, August 13th, 2022

[On August 10, 2022 the International Institute of Islamic Thought presented a book forum featuring Dr. Maha Hilal on her book Innocent Until Proven Muslim: Islamophobia, the War on Terror, and the Muslim Experience Since 9/11. The panel was Moderated by Mohammed Abu-Nimer (American University). Here follows our summary of highlights from that presentation. It is not intended as a transcript of the event.]

It is imperative to address the role of Islamophobia in “the war on terror.” The phrase was first used by George W. Bush in a speech given Sept. 20, 2001. Twenty years later, Joseph Biden continues to use the same theme, of the United States as victim, in a process that has had bipartisan support throughout that time. This U.S. victimhood justifies and legitimizes the tactics used throughout. The extra-judicial assassinations of Bin Laden by Obama, Baghdadi by Trump, and now Zawahiri by Biden reflect that justice is whatever the U.S. says it is.

Dr. Hilal defines institutional Islamophobia as “a phenomenon whereby officially constructed hate and fear of Muslims are built into structures of the state and society for the pursuit of power and for the justification of war and repression.” Positioning Muslims outside of moral boundaries “results in consequences ranging from prejudice and discrimination to detention and death.”

The war on terror is a weaponized and violent narrative that dehumanizes Muslims and legitimates violence against them. It positions the United States as responsible for bring civilization and freedom to the Muslims world while exempting the American government from any responsibility for the immorality of their tactics. The state defines terrorism and excludes its  own behavior from the definition.

An essential element of the narrative is that Muslims are inherently angry.  This both means that no grievances lie behind their anger and that their anger cannot be dealt with in any rational manner, but only by brute force. The line that separates the violence of Muslim groups from that of the U.S. is not that innocent civilians are victims (which is true in both cases) but that violence by Muslim non-state actors cannot be rationally explained and violence by the state against them need not be. In other words, violence by Muslims cannot be defended and the violence by the U.S. government need not be. Muslims are irredeemable, and the U.S. state is exceptional. When the war crimes at Abu Ghuraib were revealed, the U.S. reaction ignored the injustice to the victims, and focused only the redemption of the image of the American state.  When the suicides at Abu Ghuraib were revealed, it was depicted not as an act of desperation but as an act of asymmetrical warfare, minimizing the unbearable conditions imposed upon them.

Dr. Hilal has identified five dimensions to the war on terror: militarism and warfare; draconian immigration policies; surveillance; federal terrorism prosecutions; and detention and torture. Corresponding to these dimensions are five modes of violence: corporeal (physical harm and death); border (control of physical borders leveraged against targeted groups); panoptic (using surveillance as a tool of oppression, such as the arrest of a boy who designed a clock for a science project on the grounds that clocks can be used in bombs); juridical (in which targeted groups are denied the use of the judicial system in there defense and/or wielding the system as a means of their persecution); and carceral (in which the state’s physical control over the bodies of victims to inflict various forms of harm from indefinite detention without cause to physical harm).

When Muslims internalize Islamophobia, they absorb the dominant narrative about Islam and Muslims. For example, those Muslims who overcompensate in condemning acts of violence by Muslims while minimizing violence against them. Even in contradicting the narrative, Muslims will sometimes inadvertently legitimize it as when they say “I’m Muslim, but I’m not (angry/violent/intolerant/misogynistic, etc.).” Even worse are Muslim organizations that participate in the state’s apparatus (e.g., inviting the FBI into the mosques).

Dr. Hilal concluded, “Whoever has the power to construct the terms in which the war is fought has the power to legitimize the violence that is inflicted. In the case of the war on terror that squarely fallen on the United States.”

In response to the question whether Islamophobia a form of racism or a tool that promotes racism, Dr. Hilal says it is not either or. Islamophobia is rooted in black suppression (we must remember the history of enslaved black Muslims brought to the United States) but it is also a tool for promoting racism against black and brown people. Muslim and Arab are often conflated. A comprehensive understanding of Islamophobia requires recognizing the differences of impact of Islamophobia on different groups. The fear that calling Islamophobia racism constitutes a racialization of Muslim is valid, but we cannot and must not avoid addressing the racial dimension.

The most powerful form of resistance is when different communities come together to confront state violence. Muslims are a very diverse community and bringing together the multiple constituencies is important because the same weapons are being used against all our communities. We must understand how immigration policy affects both Muslim and non-Muslim Latinx communities. Before it was used to detain and oppress Muslims, Guantanamo was used to detain and oppress other communities.

In response to a question about the Albuquerque murders, Dr. Hilal said we must address head-on the context of anti-Shia bigotry and how such problems are used to divide the Muslim community. We must address the marginalization and demonization of Shia in many Muslim spaces. It is an example of the internalization of Islamophobia, as is the use of the anti-terrorism narrative by Muslim states to repress their own populations.

Prof. Abu Nimer asked whether there is a link between Islamophobia and the pro-Israel lobby. Dr. Hilal said Israel will use any tool, including Islamophobia and the war on terror, to advance its anti-Palestinian agenda, but the focus in her book is on United States.

In conclusion Dr. Hilal said she finds it hard to be hopeful, but she does see hope in the fact that many more Muslims are becoming politically educated and active in combating all systems of oppression.

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

News and Analysis 8/13/22

Saturday, August 13th, 2022

Although “Iran’s government … distanced itself from [the threat to Rushdie] …, a semi-official Iranian religious foundation raised the bounty for Rushdie from $2.8m to $3.3m.” His condition is unknown:

“He told officers that he was driving to Houston ‘to find a new place for his family to live because the situation in Albuquerque was bad’ and mentioned the recent shootings” with which he has now been charged …

… “a professor at New York University and the leader of NYU’s Islamic Center, has … cautioned [fellow Sunnis] against the marginalization of Shias by the majority Muslim sect”:

“Active trials per year for Iran ranged from 58 in 2015 to 115 in 2019, with the next highest trials per year for a country being the US in 2016 at 22 trials”:

The West’s reaction to Russian aggression in the Ukraine has “set the scene for [SCO]  expansion into the Middle East as well as agreement on the construction of a crucial Central Asian railroad”:

What are the prospects for the EU’s effort at compromise over one of two major remaining stumbling blocks for a return to the deal that diplomatically guarantees no nukes for Iran?

On receiving U.S. citizenship, the basketball star changed his name to “Freedom” in honor of the liberties he was denied in Turkey, but when he criticized China, the hammer came down:

“It is very traumatic that you can see your relatives across but can’t talk to them, meet them”: