News and Analysis (01/5/15)

Free speech requires readers be allowed to judge Houellebecq’s claim that although his novel uses “scare tactics … it’s not clear what we are meant to be afraid of, [white far-right] nativists or Muslims;” but then that same freedom should be extended  Roger Garaudy’s The Founding Myths of Israel:

“In effect, HarperCollins[, part of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation,] achieved what the former Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad threatened at the stroke of a pen: wiped Israel off the map” – Alex Brummer – “HarperCollins author and vice-president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews”:

“Al-Azhar’s newly formed Monitor of Infedilizing Fatwas Dept., which responds to radical Islamists’ fatwas labeling other Muslims apostates, has already issued many articles slamming the ‘extremist opinions’ of ‘non-specialized’ sheikhs” and its “Facebook page in English … has 56,050 likes thus far”:

“Over the long term, the United States’ years-long campaign to put down the al-Qaida branch is likely to suffer, warns Bill Roggio from Long War Journal, which chronicles militant activities”:

After attacks on a mosque in Sweden, “[r]esidents of Uppsala, Sweden’s fourth-largest city, have gathered to show their support for the local Muslim community after a local mosque was attacked by a petrol bomb”:

“Habib Essid, 65, who has a month to form a coalition and name a Cabinet, occupied several posts under former dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, including in the Interior Ministry, which manages the police” but his party “ust form a coalition with several other parties in the parliament to gain a majority”:

“Last month the village was the scene of one of Nigeria’s most deadly incidents since the Islamist insurgency began in 2009, with locals saying 185 of their kin died, most of them civilians and most of them burned to death. That figure has been disputed by the military”:

“[T]he jets struck the tanker twice Monday in Darna before his government was informed that it was commissioned by the local power station…. Darna is a base for Islamic extremists who have pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group” …

… but as Western interest in intervention mounts, “the speaker of Libya’s internationally recognized parliament spoke out Monday against any Western military intervention in his country”:

Muslims in Kenya celebrate “Mawlid i- Nabi” or the birth of the of the prophet Muhammad (PBUH). “Songs were played in the procession, which also included dance performances carried out by children enrolled in schools teaching Muslims’ holy book, the Quran”:











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