News and Analysis (8/5/13)

“There was no public debate and no public vote when one of the most contentious topics in American foreign policy was decided – outside of the view of constituents, who oppose the president’s plan to aid the [Syrian] rebels by 54 percent to 37 percent, according to a Gallup Poll last month”:

The State Department said Sunday that it was extending the closure of 19 embassies and consulates in the Muslim world through next Saturday … not solely because of heightened concerns about terrorist attacks … [but] because many … were going to be closed anyway for much of the period because of the Eid holiday” …

… but in a tacit acknowledgement that the U.S. knew something big was scheduled for 9/11/2001, Sen. Saxby Chambliss [R-Ga] defended Obama administration actions by saying that “‘the chatter’ intercepted by U.S. intelligence agencies [is] very reminiscent of what we saw pre-9/11”:

“We refused to treat members of Mubarak’s regime this way after they were ousted from power. How can we support such treatment of the Brotherhood now? … [T]he government is exerting control over the media…. I … fear that I may be accused of terrorism if I criticize the new regime” — Egyptian youth activist Ahmad Maher:

“The government officials did not say why Burns and the other diplomats visited [Muslim Brotherhood deputy head Khairat] el-Shater, … [b]ut Burns and the three other diplomats are in Egypt as part of international efforts to end a standoff between Morsi’s supporters and the military-backed interim government”:

“‘We are Mustafa Kemal’s soldiers,’ the defendants and defence lawyers chanted in reference to Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, founder of the modern secular republic. ‘Damn the AKP,’ they chanted of Erdogan’s [democratocally elected] ruling Islamist-rooted AK Party”:

“[T]he part-time wife trend in Britain would seem to be less of an expression of religious conservatism and more a reflection of what could be described as Muslim libertarianism. The professional Muslim women say they are adapting Islam for their purposes”:

Sworn in pledging to “to fight poverty, corruption and discrimination,” Rouhani will not cave-in to pressure to abandon its peaceful nuclear development:

“The court sentenced 48-year-old Ne Win on Tuesday after he was convicted of attempted murder, causing serious injury and possession and use of illegal drugs” …

… but in Burma it is left to punk rockers to speak out against the mobs whose beatings and murders of ordinary Muslims who do not use drugs or engage in violence against the Buddhist majority continue to go unpunished:

One side says, “Anybody who treats God’s creatures with kindness should be given credit, rather than hauled up for questioning. There is nothing insulting about being kind to God’s creatures including dogs,” but another insists, “Islam only allowed Muslims to keep dogs for security and hunting purposes and not for pleasure”:

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