News and Analysis (5/19/11)

Obama’s call to push the Palestinian right of return to the back burner is a step backwards, but the fact that he mentioned that Palestinians have a right to return at all is a step forward:

The measure would force Muslims and Jews to defer circumcision to age 18 when healing takes four to six times as long;  “I’m not going to stop doing circumcisions, and this would never pass the First Amendment test” —  Dr. Laurence Baskin, chief of pediatric urology at the University of California, San Francisco Benioff Children’s Hospital:

Anti-Muslim legislators push a video smearing not only Muslims, but “two esteemed Tennessee institutions of learning in Vanderbilt and TSU”:

The al-Jazeerah journalist says she was treated well by the Iranians, but not at the Syrian “mini-Guantanamo”:

The FBI and NYPD disagree with the NYU’s Center for Human Rights and Global Justice’s findings that  “surveillance, informants and invented plots fails to enhance public safety and instead prompts human rights concerns” beyond the three particular cases studied and creating misleading perception of “perception of a homegrown terrorism threat”:

“Interest among war-weary Taliban foot soldiers and low-ranking commanders in switching sides is at an all-time high … but the Afghan government’s inability to provide safe houses, job-training classes and other services aimed at reintegrating former combatants has prevented local authorities from offering amnesty to many fighters”:

“[T]he all-day seminar in Southern California to tackle three topics that Muslim women face daily: self-esteem, media literacy, and health and wellness”:

“When I was a teen, I thought my skin color, my religion, my heritage, would prevent me from being a part of the American theater experience…. Now, young Muslims ask me the same things I used to ask myself: ‘Can a Muslim be a theater artist?’ I tell them … ‘Focus on your craft, and leave the rest to God.”:

Pakistani lawmakers are stunned to learn that “a remote southwestern airfield long suspected of housing U.S. drones used in missile strikes was actually under the control of the United Arab Emirates”:

use of surveillance, informants and invented plots fails to enhance public safety and instead prompts human rights concerns

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