News and Analysis (4/3/15)

In the two years after Dick Cheney smugly refused to talk to Iran in 2003 their centrifuges increased from 164 to 3000, and now have 22,000. Now, thanks to President Obama’s willingness to negotiate, for the “first time that the number of centrifuges Iran operates will have been reduced”; …

… “[t]he most severe restrictions on Iran’s uranium enrichment capacity would be imposed for 10 years, with some measures lasting a quarter century and beyond” …

… memo to Congressional Republicans: “President Hassan Rouhani vows Iran will abide by the terms of the preliminary nuclear agreement with six world powers, so long as they do too” [emphasis added] …

… while in Iran the reaction is as expected, an ecstatic populace and unhappy hardliners:

Any reasonable person can see the important difference between saying that Muslims are 70% of the victims of conflict and saying that Muslims are responsible for 70% of conflicts, but to Ayan Hirsi Ali its “potayto” and “potahto”:

So how does a Muslim portray Jesus? “To play Jesus, Sleiman said, he simply focused on the divinity that he believes is available to all human beings…. Jesus himself didn’t look like the dominant culture of his day, and he practiced a religion that the Romans did not understand or respect”:

“It was very important to Aasif that you don’t water down the funny. We weren’t making a PSA (public service announcement). We wanted to make a really comic piece that would move people” — Lillian LaSalle, manager and collaborator on Daily Show veteran Aasif Mandvi’s new project …

… while a London Metropolitan Police officer sees a role for comedy as an anti-radicalisation initiative “so successful that the authorities are considering taking it nationwide” …

… but in Malaysia a cartoonist “faces up to 43 years in jail … on … nine charges under the colonial-era law… The nine tweets criticizing the judiciary were posted Feb. 10 when opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim began serving a 5-year prison sentence after losing his final appeal of a sodomy conviction”:

“Our family believes that one needs to respect and accept all religions. No religion preaches hatred or wrong. However, there are some members who have misguided us. Before these have a bad influence on the children, we need to talk to them and make them understand what is right”:

“[T]hey’re trying to do is drive a wedge between Kenya’s Muslim population, and the Kenyan government and the rest of Kenyan society…. They also are trying to grab some media attention.  They have been completely eclipsed by ISIS over the past year and have lost recruits and interest”:

Amid wins and losses in the fight against ISIS …

… “Tunisian concerns about home-grown militants have been heightened by last month’s attack on a Tunis museum”:

“Yemeni Houthi fighters and their allies seized a central Aden district on Thursday, striking a heavy blow against the Saudi-led coalition that has waged a week of air strikes to try to stem advances by the Iran-allied Shi’ite group”:






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