News and Analysis (6/5/15)

“A revealing light on how we got here has now been shone by a recently declassified secret US intelligence report, written in August 2012, which uncannily predicts – and effectively welcomes – the prospect of a ‘Salafist principality’ in eastern Syria and an al-Qaida-controlled Islamic state in Syria and Iraq”:

Two of the demonstrators who had worn profanity-laced T-shirts to the anti-Islam demonstration in Phoenix explain how a visit to the mosque has changed their hearts. They still believe in the right to vile speech, but they no longer want to engage in it against Islam or Muslims themselves …

… and even the organizer of the event now thinks both the obscene T-shirts and the draw-Muhammad contest were “distasteful” and “stupid”:

“United Airlines says the flight attendant who allegedly denied a Muslim woman an unopened can of soda will no longer serve customers on their planes” …

… while Jon Stewart congratulates another victim of anti-Muslim discrimination on having “won the right to spend eight hours a day in a cloud of cologne selling pink polo shirts to guys named Chad”:

“If Myanmar can insist that the Rohingya must call themselves  Bengalis until granted citizenship by the Buddhists, maybe white Americans should call themselves ‘Europeans’ until granted citizenship by the Native Americans”:

“One of Daesh’s strategic objectives appears to be to take the area north of Aleppo, stretching to the Turkish border, including the major checkpoint there[, to] cut Daesh’s rebel rivals off from resupply via Turkey in that area, allowing Daesh to finish them off[, by] … starving them of key military supplies”:

Houthis and their domestic opponents have agreed to join U.N. peace talks amid unverified reports that coalition “bombings killed around 58 people across Yemen on Wednesday and Thursday … [including] 48 people, most of them women and children … in the Houthi heartland in the rural far north …

… as “twenty million Yemenis, nearly 80% of the population, are now in urgent need of food, water and medical aid, in a humanitarian disaster which aid agencies say has been dramatically worsened by a naval blockade imposed by an Arab coalition with US and British backing”:

“In a world in which we hear much about conflict, differences and divisions, this story of a truly loving relationship between an elderly Jewish lady and her Muslim neighbours has succeeded in lifting my spirits and renewing my faith in the essential goodness and kindness of human beings” …

… but while Britain frees itself of the imposition of one interpretation of Jewish law on its Jewish citizens, we must ask why does Saudi Arabia, alone among Muslim majority countries, still impose that law on its Muslim citizens:

[M]ore countries ban forms of Muslim veils than the number of countries which force women to wear them…. Women of all different backgrounds, ages, countries, and different careers” feel frustrated at “being kept out of the very narratives that purport to be about [them] and [their] supposed ‘oppression’”:

“President Erdogan … has suggested that higher interest rates cause higher inflation. He has also described the defence of higher rates as treason.” The former claim is the reverse of what economists and investors generally believe while the later is seen as part of his move to “effectively ‘Putinise’ Turkey”:






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