News and Analysis (2/21/15)

Humorist Bassem Youssef has a surprising recommendation for how the US can help solve the crises in the Middle East: Do Nothing! …

… and policy wonk Graham Fuller reached a similar conclusion, calling on Washington to end “the actions that have been so incendiary in the region. First and foremost, begin with the removal of US boots on the grounds in Muslim lands”:

The Tennessee legislator who “introduced a bill in 2011 that would make following components of the Islamic code of Shariah law, like praying, a crime punishable by 15 years in prison” is back with a bill to ban non-existent “no-go zones”:

“[S]ince 2011, Yemen’s politics have been continually negotiated by a complex (often opaque) web of actors stretching from Riyadh in Saudi Arabia and Tehran to Washington and London … [largely] driven by anxieties over or misunderstandings of Islamic republicanism” …

… “Yemen’s … house of representatives … thought to be sympathetic to the Houthis, will stay in place. Instead of the traditional upper house, a new transitional council …. will consist of traditionally unrepresented sectors among Yemen’s formerly independent South, women and young people”:

“While [Graeme] Wood is correct to push back against the flawed notion that Islamic State has absolutely no relation to Islam, he neglects to engage the predominant view that the group embodies one of the heretical versions of the religion that have cropped up periodically [in] history” …

…  “Identity-based extremism and millenarian apocalyptic cults provide a far more useful framework for understanding ISIS than Islam does”:

“[A] parent governor at Bethnal Green Academy, said there was “absolutely not” any radicalisation at the school.” I believe it, but not actively radicalizing is not enough. The needs and concerns of the children must be met by relevance in education or they will turn elsewhere (remember the 60s?) …

… but in the US, “[s]ome Muslim reformers who have been struggling to combat radicalism in their mosques and communities have been willing to talk about the extremist ideologies they encounter“:

A “longtime promoter of Jewish-Muslim dialogue in Denmark, Naveed Baig … was part of a march by tens of thousands of Danes, including countless Muslims, who were shocked by an attack seen as underscoring the growing threat of anti-Semitic violence in the region”:

“Holocaust recognition among Arabs and Muslims, less noticed but equally divisive [than Holocaust denial], has … served as a means of delegitimizing Israel and Zionism. By this line of reasoning, … the Holocaust was a crime inflicted by Europeans for which Palestinians paid the price”:

The leader of “a group of teenage boys with weapons …, blocking the road[, …] said, ‘Every day we watch your car come and visit your centers for women and girls. They are learning to read. What about us? We have been fighting and living in caves since we were little boys … but we want to study”:

“The circumstances of their release are unclear but they were eventually handed over to the state authorities for counselling and rehabilitation…. 200 girls [kidnapped] from a boarding school in Chibok in Borno state, have yet to be rescued … despite [foreign] military” intervention:

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