In Memorium: Mahmoud Ayoub, Robert Crane, and Safei El-Deen Hameed

January 1st, 2022

Among the remarkable Muslims who passed away in 2021 were three who, in different ways, supported the Minaret of Freedom Institute.

Dr. Mahmoud Ayoub, one of the most outstanding scholars of his time, was knowledgeable in both Islamic jurisprudence and in Sufism.  We were honored to work with him on a number of occasions and to benefit not only from his knowledge and insights but from his profound love. His work advanced both inter-faith and intra-faith cooperation. His ideas are often cited on our website, including his insistence that no matter how much he disagreed with the words or actions of anyone who called himself a Muslim, he would never deny the he is Muslim, but only say he is wrong or mistaken.

Dr. Robert Farooq Crane was an enthusiastic cheerleader for the work of the Minaret of Freedom Institute. An old-fashioned paleoconservative who converted to Islam while he was a diplomat in the Muslim world, he despised seeing traditional institution being hijacked for imperialistic purposes or to justify oppression. He saw in Islam’s commitment to social justice, as he saw in his own Cherokee heritage, an expression of commitment to “every person’s human right to ownership of the means of production,” which he called “the just third way.” His motto was “own or be owned.”

Dr. Safei El-Deen Hameed was most intimately connected with the Minaret of Freedom Institute, having served on our Board of Directors from 2016 until his death. He was especially interested in the relationship of Islam and science. His concerns for the difficulties of civil society in his native Egypt helped him to appreciate how our work on Islam’s encouragement of rationality and inductive science was related to our concerns over human rights abuses against and within the Muslim community. His passing is a personal loss for us.

May Allah forgive them all and grant them paradise and comfort their family and loved ones.

Imad-ad-Dean Ahmad, Ph.D.
Minaret of Freedom Institute
www.minaret.org

News and Analysis 12/31/21

December 31st, 2021

Transporting “Noureddine Bhairi and his sister-in-law … to an unknown destination” is President Kais Saied’s latest move to drag Tunisia into tyranny:

At one point Facebook blamed the “widescale deletion of Palestinian posts” on “a technical bug that it sought to fix,” but, to the alarm of rights groups, the deletions persist:

The Gujarat High Court rejects the claim that Islamic law grants power to a husband to force a woman to cohabit with him against his will:

Supporters say Modi’s policies have decreased violence, but a more careful look shows a “re-militarisation of the Valley has since been swift and comprehensive” and bodes ill:

Unsatisfied with Taliban assertions that restrictions are “recommendations, not compulsory,” the Biden administration refuses to release the Afghani government’s funds, even in the face of some Democratic dissent in Congress:

“The petition cited inflammatory speeches made by … [the] priest of Dasna temple, the anti-Muslim slogans made at the Jantar Mantar rally” and disruptions of Friday prayers at which protesters spread cow dung and issued “threatening slogans”:

“The liberal Zionist vision of partition has been outmaneuvered and defeated by its [right-wing] opponents”:

News and Analysis 12/29/21

December 31st, 2021

That Tunisian President Kais Saied’s plan for a return to democracy is disturbingly unpromising is no surprise, but the U.S.’s “tepid” response is simply disgraceful:

Not satisfied with their violence against Palestinians, settlers now expand their sights to include members of the Israeli government itself:

“[P]olitical parties across the mainstream-separatist spectrum in the Kashmir Valley” see the MOUs coming out of the conference as a nail in the coffin of their autonomy intended to transfer land from locals to owners from outside the once semi-autonomous region:

The UAE is changing its laws out of consideration for the foreigners who comprise 90% of it spopulation:

“Israel collects hundreds of millions of dollars worth of taxes on behalf of the Palestinian Authority …, but Israel has withheld funds over the Palestinian Authority’s payment of stipends to thousands of families that have had loved ones killed, wounded or imprisoned in the conflict”:

“The ban, which will be in place until March 6, will free up 209 megawatts of power for consumption in the household sector”:

News and Analysis 12/27/21

December 27th, 2021

“Israel refused to grant Archbishop Tutu and Professor Chinkin authorisation to enter Gaza, but they were eventually able to travel to the besieged territory via Egypt”:

The Sangh Parivar seeks to claim exclusively for Hindus a shrine belonging to both Islamic Sufi and Hindu Avadhuta traditions,  which has been “a symbol of Hindu-Muslim amity for centuries”:

Israel illegally annexed Syria’s Golan Heights in 1981:

“Most Christians in Iran are ethnic Armenians who celebrate Christmas on January 6” …

… but  foreigners are not included in the leave:

“While Kashmiri parties are disappointed that six of the seven proposed new seats in the state assembly have been allocated to Jammu, Jammu parties were unhappy that Kashmir continues to have a greater share of total assembly seats”:

There was no steal in Iraq, either:

Ten Palestinian civilians and one Israeli soldier have been wounded at the site of the unauthorized settler outpost:

“The stakes extend well beyond Iran. The world’s nuclear order, already perilous, is now at risk of unravelling”:

If you think UAE kowtowing to Israel is something new. think again:

News and Analysis 12/24/21

December 24th, 2021

As targeting nuclear development has become more difficult, Israel has turned to “conducting massive cyberattacks on sensitive civilian targets like dams, gasoline stations and power plants to foment nationwide riots with the objective of toppling the regime or keeping the rulers busy with day-to-day, endless riots”:

Local Muslims have welcomed the reopening of Srinagar’s 125-year-old St. Luke’s Church which was “closed in the early 1990s when an armed rebellion against Indian rule started in the Muslim-majority region“:

The Gurgaon government’s refusal to permit building more mosques as Muslim population has grown “has forced the community to hold Friday afternoon prayers — the most important of the week for Muslims — in open spaces”:

The organization “which has challenged Triple Talaq and the Ram temple verdict, has now decided to publish a monthly journal on Muslim religious law “to remove falsehoods about Sharia” and explain its position on matters such as women’s rights, marriage, mosques barring entry of women, adoption and inheritance”:

Special Rapporteurs allege, “The Islamic Republic of Iran executed Mr. Ghorbani in secret, on the basis of overbroad provisions, following a deeply flawed process, and while his case was still under consideration by the Supreme Court”:

The attorney for the student’s family said the white teacher demanded “to see tears” from the student he forced to kneel and beg:

News and Analysis 12/22/21

December 22nd, 2021

At the “religious parliament,” the general secretary of the Hindu Mahasabha made a direct call for mass murder:  “Be ready to kill and be ready to go to jail. Even if 100 of us are ready to kill 20 lakhs of them (Muslims), then we will be victorious, … [defending] Hindutva from every demon who is a threat”:

“The Bosniak member of the country’s tripartite presidency, Sefik Dzaferovic” refuted Orban’s “shameful and rude” statement, saying, “It is not a challenge for the EU to integrate 2 million (Bosnian) Muslims, because we are an indigenous European people who have always lived here and we are Europeans”:

Democracy before partisanship. The “commander in Iran’s elite Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) who heads its foreign military operations, told the leaders of two [pro-Iranian] militias” to accept their loses in the recent Iraqi election:

Sri Lanka will not let it lack of cash pervent it from paying its debt to Iran:

“Palestinian homes, paved roads and water cisterns are repeatedly demolished thanks to a near-total ban on construction, while illegal Israeli settlements flourish,” yet, a local community movement of “non-violent Palestinian activism … has often worked hand in hand with the anti-occupation movement in Israel”:

“On the basis of population, Kashmir deserves more seats, however the delimitation commission has proposed more seats for Jammu as per geography”:

Although the court had already “ruled that Arzoo … was a minor and could not enter into a legally valid marriage as her consent had no legal value” she had refused to return to her parents until last Wednesday:

“According to Israeli Public Broadcaster, Kan, the new rules give occupation forces the right to shoot Palestinian stone throwers even as they are fleeing”:

“Those who advocate strikes against nuclear sites are underestimating the risks and overestimating the benefit”:

News and Analysis 12/19/21

December 19th, 2021

“[A]round 20,000 employees of Jammu and Kashmir’s Power Transmission and Distribution Corporations went on an indefinite strike on Saturday to protest … the merger with the central government entity”:

“After three weeks of talks, discussions on the Iran nuclear deal are essentially back to where they were at the beginning of summer. Yet, diplomats said, even that reflects progress”:

“We are Muslims,” Ghalib said, sitting in the council chamber at city hall where he will soon preside. “We are proud of our beliefs and values. But we are not going to try and impose them on others” — Mayor-elect Amer Ghalib:

The OIC wants to prevent a bad situation becoming worse, but it is “difficult for the West to engage with the Taliban,” as it fears “that such an interaction would be tantamount to admitting defeat in the 20-year war”:

The Supreme Court order directs “that people from other faiths already holding shop licences in the temple premises must not be barred from participating in the auction for shops”:

“The Associated Press news agency said one of its photographers, Mahmoud Illean, was ‘pushed and beaten by Israeli police in an unprovoked attack’ while covering the protests, requiring hospital treatment”:

News and Analysis 12/16/21

December 16th, 2021

“[A]lmost no Israeli officer or settler has been held accountable for” the 2,206 Palestinian children killed In the past twenty years:

“The Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act effectively bans all imports from China’s Xinjiang region, where the U.S. government has said that the Chinese Communist Party is perpetrating a genocide against the religious minority, including slave labor, forced sterilizations and concentration camps”:

The racialization of Islam is a deliberate attempt to immunize Islamophobes from charges of religious discrimination by reframing “Muslims as not a religious minority, but a national security threat and a suspect race:

In only fifteen months Kashmir’s mai city has gone from being a “‘militancy-free zone’ with no locally recruited militants” to “to the highest number of allegedly targeted killings of policemen and civilians, including members of the minority community” …

… its main mosque “has largely remained closed for the past two years” and its chief imam “has been detained in his home almost nonstop throughout that time”:

It is unclear why Trump thought giving Netanyahu everything asked for in advance of a peace deal would lead to one, but … it didn’t:

CAIR-OH’s “longtime executive and legal director, Romin Iqnal, … admitted to leaking information to … a Washington DC-based non-profit group that  … uses ‘unsubstantiated threats that portray Muslims as dangerous to accrue funding'”:

News and Analysis 12/12/21

December 12th, 2021

Conservative Texans take note: You governor is making a lie out of America’s promise. “If I don’t want to buy anything at WalMart, who are you to tell me not to shop at WalMart? Why do I have to pledge allegiance to a foreign country?”:

Israeli analysts and Middle East countries weary of Iran realize the U.S. pullout from a nuclear accord was a huge mistake, that Israel is no longer in a position to attack Iran, and that Iran’s economic position may improve despite sanctions:

After “a report last month about a 2019 incident in which US airstrikes killed scores of civilians,” U.S. evasiveness about civilians killed or wounded in last week’s attack is provoking concern:

“The United Nations Development Program projects that the war in Yemen will have killed at least 377,000 people by the end of this year. … [A] staggering 70% of the total casualties are children under the age of five”:

Palestinians hold municipal elections without national elections to great controversy:

News and Analysis 12/6/21

December 6th, 2021

White House press secretary Jen Psaki announced that the Biden administration “will not send any diplomatic or official representation” to the Olympics due to China’s “ongoing genocide and crimes against humanity in Xinjiang and other human rights abuses”:

Bennett confirms that extrajudicial execution is no fluke, it is official Israeli policy, with his “full backing,” adding, that there be no misunderstanding, “That is how our forces are expected to act”:

A constitutional scholar weighs in on the abortion of Tunisia’s constitutional democracy:

Political interests, not democratic principles, drive U.S. Middle East policy:

The U.S. can stand up to Russia and insist on having its way with France, but when it comes to Israel, a powerful foreign lobby makes cowards of American politicians:

Detained without charge or trial, “Kayed al-Fasfous, 32, ended his hunger strike after reaching an agreement with Israeli authorities to end his administrative detention”: