News and Analysis (3/21/14)

“On Friday, Turkish President Abdullah Gul tweeted his own thought on the matter, quite different from Erdogan: “One cannot approve of the complete closure of social media platforms,” he wrote, adding that only individual web pages should be blocked if a court order is in place specifically regarding the violation of an person’s privacy” …

…. “Turkey’s main opposition party said it would challenge the ban and file a criminal complaint against Erdogan on the grounds of violating personal freedoms. The country’s bar association filed a separate court challenge. Twitter users called the move a ‘digital coup'” …

… but as coups go it wasn’t very effective and “Twitter use breaks new record in country as Turks defy purge of social media platform by Ankara:

“[M]ale MPs voted to amend the new marriage bill to allow men to take as many wives as they like without consulting existing spouses. Traditionally, first wives are supposed to give prior approval”:

The haul of handwritten notes, letters, computer files and other information collected from Bin Laden’s house during the raid … revealed regular correspondence between Bin Laden and a string of militant leaders who must have known he was living in Pakistan…. [Such] correspondence … with Bin Laden would probably have been known to their ISI handlers”:

“Experts traced [John Walker] Lindh’s path to Afghanistan back to his mother taking him, at age 12, to see Spike Lee’s film Malcolm X, after which he read Alex Haley’s Autobiography of Malcolm X and began listening to hip-hop. After this episode, American and European officials began to speak of rap’s potential to radicalize”:

According the lawsuit obtained by The Huffington Post, the Tirmizis say their First and Fourteenth Amendment rights were violated when they were “assaulted, battered and forcibly removed” from the building’s observation deck on July 2, 2013 as they peacefully recited evening prayers”:

Among the absurdities in the script, calling an abaya a burka, a Muslim woman implausibly named after a Hindu goddess, and an ambassador’s daughter attending a  “makeshift school for girls” despite “the existence of an American International School in Riyadh,” but most disturbing is the pitting of “Islam against American values”in a story about an American Muslim:

“What’s most Muslim about Kismet, though, is his admirable purity…. In a time where even Batman or Superman let criminals fall to their deaths, Kismet never takes an opponents’ life…. Kismet challenges himself to avoid adding to the body count; to never be the aggressor or an instrument of punishment. Kismet leaves his enemies’ fates to Allah’s wishes, to Fate itself” …

… and the most recent Muslim superhero “finds the courage to use her newfound, not-quite-under control powers to save another girl after she remembers a passage from the Quran: ‘Whoever saves one person, it is as if he has saved all of mankind….’ Kamala is a superhero because she’s both Muslim and American at once”:

“[T]he first openly gay persons appointed to a senior role in a mainstream, non-gay Muslim organisation” says, “[B]y taking up this position I can help build bridges between the Muslim and LGBT communities. We share a similar experience of intolerance and victimisation” and wants to work “so that we can live together in a society without hatred, discrimination and violence”:

“Killings continue on a daily basis, rapes and other forms of sexual violence are rising and an estimated 15,000 Muslims trapped in enclaves in Bangui and other locations in the west and north of the country are in danger”:


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