Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Rival second Libyan assembly chooses own PM as chaos spreads

    Tuesday, August 26, 2014   No comments
By Feras Bosalum and Ulf Laessing

The Libyan parliament that was replaced in an election in June reconvened on Monday and chose an Islamist-backed deputy as the new prime minister, leaving the chaotic country with two rival leaders and assemblies, each backed by armed factions.

As political unrest mounted, U.S. officials said two series of air strikes in the past week on armed Islamist factions in the capital, Tripoli, were the work of Egypt and the United Arab Emirates.


The officials said the two countries, both of which have cracked down on Islamists, used aircraft based in Egypt and acted without consulting Washington. The details were first reported by the New York Times.

Egypt has denied conducting air strikes or other military operations in Libya.

At a meeting of Libya's neighbours on Monday in Cairo, Libya appealed for international protection of its oilfields and airports, saying it lacked the power to stop armed groups.

read more >>

Can a religious/ethnic state be democratic? Can a religious state be anything but genocidal?

    Tuesday, August 26, 2014   No comments
 




Can a religious/ethnic state be democratic? Can a religious state be anything but genocidal?
Are there "small potatoes" and "big potatoes' in the context of genocide, ethnic cleansing, war crimes, ...

Sunday, August 24, 2014

German minister accuses Qatar of funding Islamic State fighters

    Sunday, August 24, 2014   No comments
German Development Minister Gerd Mueller accused Qatar on Wednesday of financing Islamic State militants who have seized wide areas of northern Iraq and have posted a video of a captive American journalist being beheaded.

"This kind of conflict, this kind of a crisis always has a history ... The ISIS troops, the weapons - these are lost sons, with some of them from Iraq," Mueller told German public broadcaster ZDF.

"You have to ask who is arming, who is financing ISIS troops. The keyword there is Qatar - and how do we deal with these people and states politically?" said Mueller, a member of the Christian Social Union (CSU), the center-right Bavarian sister party of Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats.

Mueller did not elaborate and presented no evidence of a Qatari link to Islamic State. A German government spokesman said he was checking whether Mueller's remarks reflected the official view of Berlin.

Officials at the Foreign Ministry of Qatar, a wealthy Gulf Arab state, did not immediately respond to requests for comment on his accusation.

Qatar has denied that it supports Islamist insurgents in Syria and Iraq. Diplomats and opposition sources say that while Qatar supports relatively moderate rebels also backed by Saudi Arabia and the West, it also has backed more hardline factions seeking to set up a strict Islamic state.



Also read:




Saturday, August 23, 2014

Saudis Must Stop Exporting Extremism; ISIS Atrocities Started With Saudi Support for Salafi Hate

    Saturday, August 23, 2014   No comments
Founder of Wahhabism
ALONG with a billion Muslims across the globe, I turn to Mecca in Saudi Arabia every day to say my prayers. But when I visit the holy cities of Mecca and Medina, the resting place of the Prophet Muhammad, I am forced to leave overwhelmed with anguish at the power of extremism running amok in Islam’s birthplace. Non-Muslims are forbidden to enter this part of the kingdom, so there is no international scrutiny of the ideas and practices that affect the 13 million Muslims who visit each year.

Last week, Saudi Arabia donated $100 million to the United Nations to fund a counterterrorism agency. This was a welcome contribution, but last year, Saudi Arabia rejected a rotating seat on the United Nations Security Council. This half-in, half-out posture of the Saudi kingdom is a reflection of its inner paralysis in dealing with Sunni Islamist radicalism: It wants to stop violence, but will not address the Salafism that helps justify it.

Let’s be clear: Al Qaeda, the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, Boko Haram, the Shabab and others are all violent Sunni Salafi groupings. For five decades, Saudi Arabia has been the official sponsor of Sunni Salafism across the globe.

Most Sunni Muslims around the world, approximately 90 percent of the Muslim population, are not Salafis. Salafism is seen as too rigid, too literalist, too detached from mainstream Islam. While Shiite and other denominations account for 10 percent of the total, Salafi adherents and other fundamentalists represent 3 percent of the world’s Muslims.
Unlike a majority of Sunnis, Salafis are evangelicals who wish to convert Muslims and others to their “purer” form of Islam — unpolluted, as they see it, by modernity. In this effort, they have been lavishly supported by the Saudi government, which has appointed emissaries to its embassies in Muslim countries who proselytize for Salafism. The kingdom also grants compliant imams V.I.P. access for the annual hajj, and bankrolls ultraconservative Islamic organizations like the Muslim World League and World Assembly of Muslim Youth.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Was Putin right about Syria?

    Friday, August 22, 2014   No comments
Now, the U.S. is contemplating extending airstrikes on Islamic State militants operating in Iraq in Syria — fighters belonging to a terrorist organization that is leading the war against Assad. The Islamic State's territorial gains in Iraq and continued repression and slaughter of religious minorities there and in Syria have rightly triggered global condemnation. "I am no apologist for the Assad regime," Ryan Crocker, a former U.S. ambassador to Syria, told NPR. "But in terms of our security, [the Islamic State] is by far the greatest threat."

The irony of the moment is tragic. But to some, it doesn't come as much of a surprise. Many cautioned against the earlier insistence of the Obama administration (as well as other governments) that Assad must go, fearing what would take hold in the vacuum.

One of those critics happened to be Russian President Vladimir Putin, who warned against U.S. intervention in Syria in a New York Times op-ed last September. He wrote:

    A strike would increase violence and unleash a new wave of terrorism. It could undermine multilateral efforts to resolve the Iranian nuclear problem and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and further destabilize the Middle East and North Africa. It could throw the entire system of international law and order out of balance.

Some of the crises Putin catalogs have worsened anyway, no matter American action or inaction. But Putin's insistence was couched in a reading of the conflict in Syria that's more cold-blooded than the view initially held by some in Washington. "Syria is not witnessing a battle for democracy, but an armed conflict between government and opposition in a multireligious country," Putin wrote, suggesting that the nominally secular Assad regime, despite its misdeeds, was a stabilizing force preferable to what could possibly replace it.

Putin decried the growing Islamist cadres in the Syrian rebels' ranks:

    Mercenaries from Arab countries fighting there, and hundreds of militants from Western countries and even Russia, are an issue of our deep concern. Might they not return to our countries with experience acquired in Syria?

That's a concern very publicly shared now by U.S. and European officials, who are alarmed by the considerable presence of European nationals among the Islamic State's forces. A British jihadist who spoke with a London accent is believed to have carried out the shocking execution of American journalist James Foley this week.

read more >>

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

James Foley 'beheading': West condemns 'barbaric' murder

    Wednesday, August 20, 2014   No comments
UK, France and other Western governments implicitly and explicitly supported jihadists in Syria, or looked the other way as Gulf rulers supported Nusra and ISIL to expedite the overthrow of Assad. They also looked the other way when their own citizens traveled to Syria to join ISIL. Nusra, and other violent groups. Listening to a likely British citizen carrying out this horrible crime highlights the gravity of that policy. We can now see the fruits of that short-sided, foolish policy. However, it is journalists, civilians, women, and minorities who are paying the heavy price. It is clear now that the West cannot fight ISIL in Iraq and support it or ignore it in Syria. It is about time that they develop a comprehensive strategy to overcome this global threat.


James Foley 'beheading': West condemns 'barbaric' murder

The US, UK and France have expressed abhorrence at the apparent beheading of American journalist James Foley by an Islamic State (IS) militant.

The jihadist group released a video of Foley, missing in Syria since 2012, saying his killing was revenge for US air strikes on its fighters in Iraq.

France said, if confirmed, it was barbaric; the UK said it was depraved.

Foley's mother Diane said he "gave his life trying to expose the world to the suffering of the Syrian people."

President Barack Obama is due to give a statement later. But White House National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden said: "If genuine, we are appalled by the brutal murder of an innocent American journalist."

Foley, 40, has reported extensively across the Middle East, working for US publication GlobalPost and other media outlets including French news agency AFP.

In a statement, GlobalPost asked for "prayers for Jim and his family", adding that it was waiting for the video to be verified.
British accent

In the video, titled A Message to America, a man identified as James Foley is dressed in an orange jumpsuit, kneeling in desert-like terrain beside an armed man dressed in black.

He gives a message to his family and links his imminent death to the US government's bombing campaign of IS targets in Iraq.

Clearly under duress, he says: "I call on my friends, family and loved ones to rise up against my real killers, the US government, for what will happen to me is only a result of their complacency and criminality."

Then the masked militant, who speaks with a British accent, delivers a warning to the US government: "You are no longer fighting an insurgency. We are an Islamic army and a state that has been accepted by a large number of Muslims worldwide.
Jump media player
Media player help
Out of media player. Press enter to return or tab to continue.

The apparent murderer speaks with a British accent, as the BBC's Frank Gardner reports. Some listeners may find parts of this audio disturbing.

"So any attempt by you Obama to deny the Muslims their rights of living in safety under the Islamic caliphate will result in the bloodshed of your people."

read more >>

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Saudi Top Cleric and Salafi Wahhabi authority: Qaeda, ISIL “Enemy No 1” of Islam

    Tuesday, August 19, 2014   No comments
Saudi Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdul Aziz al-Sheikh on Tuesday blasted Al-Qaeda and the Takfiri group, ISIL, as "enemy number one" of Islam, in a statement issued in Riyadh.

"The ideas of extremism, radicalism and terrorism... have nothing to do with Islam and (their proponents) are the enemy number one of Islam," the kingdom's top cleric said. Saudi Mufti Abdul Aziz al-Sheikh

He cited Takfiris from the Islamic State, which has declared a "caliphate" straddling large parts of Iraq and Syria, and the global Al-Qaeda terror network.

"Muslims are the main victims of this extremism, as shown by crimes committed by the so-called ISIL, Al-Qaeda and groups linked to them," the mufti said, quoting a verse in the Quran urging the "killing" of people who do deeds harmful to Islam.

"In the circumstances the Islamic nation is living through, several countries have been destabilized" by extremists, who "divide Muslims" in the name of religion, the mufti said.


He warned: "In Islam, after heresy, dividing Muslims is the greatest crime."
The mufti urged "tolerance, which was at the origin of Islam's growth and longevity."

The ISIL had pronounced its “caliphate” last June. The Takfiri group has been widely known for its brutal crimes against civilians in Iraq and Syria.

Damascus has repeatedly accused the Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states of destabilizing Syria through funding and arming Takfiri groups like ISIL and Nusra Front.

Last Week, Hezbollah Secretary General, Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah warned that several countries, including Saudi Arabia fear the threat of ISIL.

During an interview with Lebanese daily al-Akhbar, the resistance leader highlighted that some countries know what they have created and raised, and that's why their diagnosis of ISIL risk is the most accurate of others because they know what they have had, speaking about the "real horror" inside the Gulf countries and the Saudi Arabia because this thought have been taught for decades for people, schools and in the curriculum.

"Turkey and Qatar are backing ISIL, and I am convinced the Saudi Arabia's fear of it," Sayyed Nasrallah told al-Akhbar.

read more >>

Monday, August 18, 2014

The Coming Race War Won’t Be About Race

    Monday, August 18, 2014   No comments
Will the recent rioting in Ferguson, Missouri, be a tipping point in the struggle against racial injustice, or will it be a minor footnote in some future grad student’s thesis on Civil Unrest in the Early Twenty-First Century?

You probably have heard of the Kent State shootings: on May 4, 1970, the Ohio National Guard opened fire on student protesters at Kent State University. During those 13 seconds of gunfire, four students were killed and nine were wounded, one of whom was permanently paralyzed. The shock and outcry resulted in a nationwide strike of 4 million students that closed more than 450 campuses. Five days after the shooting, 100,000 protestors gathered in Washington, D.C. And the nation’s youth was energetically mobilized to end the Vietnam War, racism, sexism, and mindless faith in the political establishment.


You probably haven’t heard of the Jackson State shootings.

On May 14th, 10 days after Kent State ignited the nation, at the predominantly black Jackson State University in Mississippi, police killed two black students (one a high school senior, the other the father of an 18-month-old baby) with shotguns and wounded twelve others.

There was no national outcry. The nation was not mobilized to do anything. That heartless leviathan we call History swallowed that event whole, erasing it from the national memory.



Sunday, August 17, 2014

David Cameron: [War on ISIL] is a battle against a poisonous ideology that is condemned by all faiths and by all faith leaders, whether Christian, Jewish or Muslim

    Sunday, August 17, 2014   No comments
 Stability. Security. The peace of mind that comes from being able to get a decent job and provide for your family, in a country that you feel has a good future ahead of it and that treats people fairly. In a nutshell, that is what people in Britain want – and what the Government I lead is dedicated to building.

Britain – our economy, our security, our future – must come first. After a deep and damaging recession, and our involvement in long and difficult conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, it is hardly surprising that so many people say to me when seeing the tragedies unfolding on their television screens: “Yes, let’s help with aid, but let’s not get any more involved.”

I agree that we should avoid sending armies to fight or occupy. But we need to recognise that the brighter future we long for requires a long-term plan for our security as well as for our economy. True security will only be achieved if we use all our resources – aid, diplomacy, our military prowess – to help bring about a more stable world. Today, when every nation is so immediately interconnected, we cannot turn a blind eye and assume that there will not be a cost for us if we do.


The creation of an extremist caliphate in the heart of Iraq and extending into Syria is not a problem miles away from home. Nor is it a problem that should be defined by a war 10 years ago. It is our concern here and now. Because if we do not act to stem the onslaught of this exceptionally dangerous terrorist movement, it will only grow stronger until it can target us on the streets of Britain. We already know that it has the murderous intent. Indeed, the first Isil-inspired terrorist acts on the continent of Europe have already taken place.

Our first priority has of course been to deal with the acute humanitarian crisis in Iraq. We should be proud of the role that our brave armed services and aid workers have played in the international effort. British citizens have risked their lives to get 80 tons of vital supplies to the Yazidis trapped on Mount Sinjar. It is right that we use our aid programme to respond rapidly to a situation like this: Britain has given £13 million to support the aid effort. We also helped to plan a detailed international rescue operation and we remain ready and flexible to respond to the ongoing challenges in or around Dahuk, where more than 450,000 people have increased the population by 50 per cent.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Maliki and other Iraqi policians are bickering about their rights to power while poor Iraqis are struggling to say alive; Yazidi victims of ISIS dying of thirst on mountains

    Monday, August 11, 2014   No comments
ISR Comment: While thousands and thousands of Iraqis are victimized by ISIL and its affiliates, Iraqi politicians are fighting about who has the right to form a government. Those politicians should be sent to live in these mountains, not these poor, vulnerable people. Shame on you Maliki, shame on you all politicians.

******
Yazidi victims of ISIS dying of thirst on mountains
Stranded on a barren mountaintop, thousands of minority Iraqis are faced with a bleak choice: descend and risk slaughter at the hands of the encircled Sunni extremists or sit tight and risk dying of thirst.

Humanitarian agencies said Tuesday that between 10,000 and 40,000 civilians remain trapped on Mount Sinjar since being driven out of surrounding villages and the town of Sinjar two days earlier. But the mountain that had looked like a refuge is becoming a graveyard for their children.

Unable to dig deep into the rocky mountainside, displaced families said they have buried young and elderly victims of the harsh conditions in shallow graves, their bodies covered with stones. Iraqi government planes attempted to airdrop bottled water to the mountain on Monday night but reached few of those marooned.

“There are children dying on the mountain, on the roads,” said Marzio Babille, the Iraq representative for the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). “There is no water, there is no vegetation, they are completely cut off and surrounded by Islamic State. It’s a disaster, a total disaster.”

Most of those who fled Sinjar are from the minority Yazidi sect, which melds parts of ancient Zoroastrianism with Christianity and Islam. They are considered by the al-Qaeda-inspired Islamic State to be devil worshippers and apostates.
The dramatic advance of the extremist Sunni fighters has torn the ethnic and religious fabric of the country, with Christians and Shiites also uprooted from cities and towns.

The Islamic State’s takeover of Sinjar, the first major setback for Kurdish forces protecting the country’s north, sent about 200,000 people fleeing, according to the United Nations. Some 147,000 have arrived in the semi-autonomous Kurdish region, flooding refugee camps.


read more >>

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Hillary Clinton: 'Failure' to Help Syrian Rebels Led to the Rise of ISIS

    Sunday, August 10, 2014   No comments
President Obama has long-ridiculed the idea that the U.S., early in the Syrian civil war, could have shaped the forces fighting the Assad regime, thereby stopping al Qaeda-inspired groups—like the one rampaging across Syria and Iraq today—from seizing control of the rebellion. In an interview in February, the president told me that “when you have a professional army ... fighting against a farmer, a carpenter, an engineer who started out as protesters and suddenly now see themselves in the midst of a civil conflict—the notion that we could have, in a clean way that didn’t commit U.S. military forces, changed the equation on the ground there was never true.”


Well, his former secretary of state, Hillary Rodham Clinton, isn’t buying it. In an interview with me earlier this week, she used her sharpest language yet to describe the "failure" that resulted from the decision to keep the U.S. on the sidelines during the first phase of the Syrian uprising.

“The failure to help build up a credible fighting force of the people who were the originators of the protests against Assad—there were Islamists, there were secularists, there was everything in the middle—the failure to do that left a big vacuum, which the jihadists have now filled,” Clinton said.

As she writes in her memoir of her State Department years, Hard Choices, she was an inside-the-administration advocate of doing more to help the Syrian rebellion. Now, her supporters argue, her position has been vindicated by recent events.

read more >>

Saturday, August 09, 2014

Around 20,000 protesters marched through London waving Palestinian flags and chanting anti-Israel slogans

    Saturday, August 09, 2014   No comments

 Thousands of demonstrators descended on the streets of central London this afternoon to protest at the bombing of Gaza by Israeli forces.

Waving placards and the black, white, green and red flag of Palestine, the marchers converged on the BBC's Broadcasting House near Oxford Circus.

Chants of "Free, Free, Palestine" were shouted across London's busy West End as marchers then made their way to Hyde Park to be addressed by speakers including George Galloway and Diane Abbott.

Organised by the Palestinian Solidarity Campaign and Stop the War, the march passed peacefully, according to most onlookers.

Pupils from Ed Miliband's old school, Haverstock, in Chalk Farm, north London, joined the march, accompanied by a samba band.


read more >>

Friday, August 08, 2014

Hard choices for a gun-shy President: How Obama Evolved on the Issue of ‘Genocide’ in Iraq

    Friday, August 08, 2014   No comments
As a first-time presidential candidate in 2007, Barack Obama built his campaign around a U.S. withdrawal from Iraq. Nothing could shake him from his plan to end what he called a “dumb” war. At a New Hampshire campaign stop that July, Obama was asked whether he might delay a pullout if it meant preventing outright genocide in Iraq.

No, Obama said. “[If] that’s the criteria by which we are making decisions on the deployment of U.S. forces, then by that argument you would have 300,000 troops in the Congo right now — where millions have been slaughtered as a consequence of ethnic strife — which we haven’t done.”

Almost exactly five years later, Obama has ordered military action in Iraq “to prevent a potential act of genocide,” as he put it in his public remarks Thursday night.

For now, that action will consist of airlifting supplies to thousands of members of Iraq’s Yazidi religious sect, trapped atop a mountain and surrounded by the fanatical Sunni militants of the Islamic State of Iraq and greater Syria (ISIS). But it could also include air strikes against those ISIS fighters.

Did Obama flip-flop on a matter as serious as genocide? 


read more >>

Thursday, August 07, 2014

Gaza is a crime made in Washington as well as Jerusalem: The carnage unleashed on the Palestinians is part of a decades-old routine that depends on western support

    Thursday, August 07, 2014   No comments

by Seumas Milne
Global revulsion at the mind-numbing carnage of Israel’s onslaught on Gaza seems finally to have spurred some of the western political class to speak out. The resignation of Sayeeda Warsi, Britain’s first Muslim cabinet minister, in protest against her government’s “morally indefensible” stance, emboldened Nick Clegg, the deputy prime minister, to demand the suspension of arms export licences to Israel.
Last week it was Ed Miliband who condemned Israel’s invasion and the prime minister’s “silence on the killing of innocent Palestinian civilians”. Even the United States administration denounced its strategic protege’s “disgraceful” bombardment of a school, while Barack Obama described Palestinian suffering as “ heartbreaking” – as if he had nothing to do with it.

Now that Israelis and Palestinians have arrived in Cairo to turn the ceasefire into something more long-lasting, perhaps it feels safer to take a stand. But a month of indiscriminate brutality in which 1,875 Palestinians and 67 Israelis have been killed is still presented, grotesquely, as a war of Israeli self-defence – rather than as a decades-long confrontation between occupier and occupied, in which western governments stand resolutely on the side of the occupier.
And while the overwhelming majority of Palestinian dead are civilians – 430 of them children – and 64 of the Israeli dead are soldiers, it is Hamas that is branded terrorist, rather than the Israeli armed forces armed with the most sophisticated targeting technology in the world.

read more >>

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

Who started the Gaza war, why, and how, Uri Avnery's account from inside Israel

    Wednesday, August 06, 2014   No comments
BOMBS ARE raining on Gaza and rockets on Southern Israel, people are dying and homes are being destroyed.
Again.

Again without any purpose. Again with the certainty that after it’s all over, everything will essentially be the same as it was before.

But I can hardly hear the sirens which warn of rockets coming towards Tel Aviv. I cannot take my mind off the awful thing that happened in Jerusalem.


IF A gang of neo-Nazis had kidnapped a 16-year old boy in a London Jewish neighborhood in the dark of the night, driven him to Hyde Park, beaten him up, poured gasoline into his mouth, doused him all over and set him on fire – what would have happened?

Wouldn't the UK have exploded in a storm of anger and disgust?

Wouldn't the Queen have expressed her outrage?

Wouldn't the Prime Minister have rushed to the home of the bereaved family to apologize on behalf of the entire nation?

Wouldn't the leadership of the neo-Nazis, their active supporters and brain-washers be indicted and condemned?

Perhaps in the UK. Perhaps in Germany.

Not here.

THIS ABOMINABLE atrocity took place in Jerusalem. A Palestinian boy was abducted and burned alive. No racist crime in Israel ever came close to it.

Burning people alive is an abomination everywhere. In a state that claims to be “Jewish”, it is even worse.

In Jewish history, only one chapter comes close to the Holocaust: the Spanish inquisition. This Catholic institution tortured Jews and burned them alive at the stake. Later, this happened sometimes in the Russian pogroms. Even the most fanatical enemy of Israel could not imagine such an awful thing happening in Israel. Until now.

Under Israeli law, East Jerusalem is not occupied territory. It is a part of sovereign Israel.

THE CHAIN of events was as follows:

How to Fix It: Ending this war in Gaza begins with recognizing Hamas as a legitimate political actor.

    Wednesday, August 06, 2014   No comments
by Jimmy Carter , Mary Robinson
Israelis and Palestinians are still burying their loved ones as Gaza's third war in six years continues. Since July 8, when this war began, more than 1,600 Palestinian and 65 Israeli lives have been sacrificed. Many in the world are heartbroken in the powerless certainty that more will die, that more are being killed every hour.

This tragedy results from the deliberate obstruction of a promising move toward peace in the region, when a reconciliation agreement among the Palestinian factions was announced in April. This was a major concession by Hamas, in opening Gaza to joint control under a technocratic government that did not include any Hamas members. The new government also pledged to adopt the three basic principles demanded by the Middle East Quartet comprised of the United Nations, the United States, the European Union, and Russia: nonviolence, recognition of Israel, and adherence to past agreements. Tragically, Israel rejected this opportunity for peace and has succeeded in preventing the new government's deployment in Gaza.


Two factors are necessary to make Palestinian unity possible. First, there must be at least a partial lifting of the 7-year-old sanctions and blockade that isolate the 1.8 million people in Gaza. There must also be an opportunity for the teachers, police, and welfare and health workers on the Hamas payroll to be paid. These necessary requirements for a human standard of living continue to be denied. Instead, Israel blocked Qatar's offer to provide funds to pay civil servants' salaries, and access to and from Gaza has been further tightened by Egypt and Israel.

read more >>


Out of a Job: Gaza war and academic freedom

    Wednesday, August 06, 2014   No comments
By Scott Jaschik
Many faculty job offers (which are well-vetted by college officials before they go out) contain language stating that the offer is pending approval by the institution's board of trustees. It's just a formality, since many college bylaws require such approval.

Not so with a job offer made to Steven G. Salaita, who was to have joined the American Indian studies program at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign this month. The appointment was made public, and Salaita resigned from his position as associate professor of English at Virginia Tech. But he was recently informed by Chancellor Phyllis Wise that the appointment would not go to the university's board, and that he did not have a job to come to in Illinois, according to two sources with knowledge of the situation.

The university declined to confirm the blocked appointment, but would not respond to questions about whether Salaita was going to be teaching there. (And as recently as two weeks ago, the university confirmed to reporters that he was coming.) The university also declined to answer questions about how rare it is for such appointments to fall through at this stage.

Salaita did not respond to numerous calls and emails.



Tuesday, August 05, 2014

The Chancellor has criticised Lady Warsi's decision to resign over Britain's "morally indefensible" policy on the conflict in Gaza

    Tuesday, August 05, 2014   No comments
The Chancellor has criticised Lady Warsi's decision to resign over Britain's "morally indefensible" policy on the conflict in Gaza

 George Osborne has condemned Baroness Warsi’s “disappointing and frankly unnecessary” decision to resign over the situation in Gaza.

Lady Warsi, Britain's first female Muslim Cabinet minister, announced her resignation on Twitter on Tuesday morning, calling Britain’s policy on Gaza “morally indefensible”.

In her resignation letter, she was also highly critical of David Cameron’s recent reshuffle, making reference to the sackings of Ken Clarke, the former minister without portfolio, and Dominic Grieve, the former attorney general.
read more >>

Outrage in Saudi Arabia at appearance of female newsreader without headscarf on state television

    Tuesday, August 05, 2014   No comments
The unprecedented appearance of a female newsreader on Saudi state television without a headscarf has caused a scandal in the deeply conservative Islamic state.

The unnamed anchor, who has previously worn a hijab in clips circulated online, was reading a bulletin from London for the Al Ekhbariya channel.

Strict Islamic dress codes in Saudi Arabia require women to dress “modestly” – usually with headscarves, veils and full-length abayas.

While women do sometimes appear without head coverings in programmes broadcast by state-controlled channels, newsreaders are never seen without the hijab.

Saleh Al Mughailif, a spokesman for Saudi radio and television, told Al Tawasul news the correspondent was reading the news from the broadcaster's British studio.

"She was not in a studio inside Saudi Arabia and we do not tolerate any transgression of our values and the country’s systems," he added.

He promised that all measures would be taken to ensure there is no repeat of the incident after many viewers expressed outrage.

read more >>

Monday, August 04, 2014

Parliament was scene to yet another physical fight on Aug. 4, which apparently erupted due to tension stemming from the government’s policy regarding Iraqi Turkmens

    Monday, August 04, 2014   No comments
During a General Assembly meeting, lawmakers from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) eventually came to blows, leaving some deputies bleeding.

Following the fight, MHP deputy Sinan Oğan posted Tweets on his personal account, saying it was the AKP deputies who started the fight by attacking him.


The tension erupted after he questioned why the government has not been lending support to Iraqi Turkmens, according to Oğan. Yet, the messages on his account were not less strong than the tension that led to deputies harming each other.

“Sixty AK [AKP] dogs attacked at the general assembly. They were snubbed. They are only able to attack an ‘Ülkücü’ when they are 60 in total,” Oğan said.

“Ülkücü” means “Idealist” and is the name of the political movement that MHP members support.

AKP's Muhittin Aksak, who punched Oğan on his nose during the fight, was pictured in the past while watching boxing games during General Assembly sessions.

UN chief: Gaza school attack a 'criminal act'; Ban Ki-moon tells Israel to 'end this madness' after bombardment kills at least 10 people and injures dozens

    Monday, August 04, 2014   No comments
A third deadly attack on a United Nations school sheltering people fleeing bombardment in Gaza was strongly condemned by both the UN and the US on Sunday, with UN chief, Ban Ki-moon, calling it a "moral outrage and a criminal act" and pleading for an end to "this madness".

The Israeli defence ministry said on Sunday night that Israel would hold a truce in most of Gaza for seven hours on Monday for humanitarian aid and to allow displaced Palestinians to return to their homes, but would fight back if attacked.

The humanitarian truce, beginning at 10am (0700 GMT), would not apply in areas of Rafah, the ministry said, because Israeli forces are remaining on the ground in and around the southern Gaza town to destroy a cross-border tunnel.

The US said it was appalled by the "disgraceful" school attack, which killed at least 10 people and injured dozens just days after the shelling of two other UN schools in Gaza caused international shock and anger.

A hospital near the site of the attack, in the southern town of Rafah, was overwhelmed with the dead and injured. Children's bodies were stored in an ice-cream freezer as the morgue ran out of room.

It was, said Ban, "yet another gross violation of international humanitarian law, which clearly requires protection by both parties of Palestinian civilians, UN staff and UN premises, among other civilian facilities". He called for a swift investigation, saying "those responsible [must be] held accountable. It is a moral outrage and a criminal act."

The Israel Defence Forces (IDF) had been "repeatedly informed of the location of these sites", Ban added.

In an unusually severe statement, the US state department called on Israel to do "more to meet its own standards and avoid civilian casualties".

Sunday, August 03, 2014

Israel's military censor wanted prior review of the New York Times' article on Second Lt. Hadar Goldin, a missing Israeli officer now believed dead

    Sunday, August 03, 2014   No comments
In the New York Times' August 1 article, "Gaza Fighting Intensifies as Cease-Fire Falls Apart," the newspaper revealed that it was the first time "in more than six years" Israel wanted prior review.

The Times said it didn't fully comply with the order. Instead of sending "a draft of this article," they just "summarized" the section of its article about Goldin in a phone call. The Times's report reads, as of August 2:

"Israel’s military censor informed The New York Times that material related to the missing officer had to be submitted for review, the first such notification in more than six years. International journalists must agree in writing to the censorship system in order to work in Israel. The Times did not send the censor a draft of this article before publication, but summarized over the phone its biographical references to Lieutenant Goldin."

Interestingly, the Huffington Post noted that the Times didn't include that paragraph about the censor until "nearly six hours" after publication, pointing to News Diffs' record of changes to the article. That may have been because the prior review request came after publication for future reports.

read more >>

Brian Eno on the Israel-Gaza crisis: How can you justify images such as this? and Peter Schwartz responds to Brian Eno's open letter on Israel-Gaza crisis

    Sunday, August 03, 2014   No comments
Dear All of You,

I sense I’m breaking an unspoken rule with this letter, but I can’t keep quiet any more.

Today I saw a picture of a weeping Palestinian man holding a plastic carrier bag of meat. It was his son. He’d been shredded (the hospital’s word) by an Israeli missile attack – apparently using their fab new weapon, fléchette bombs. You probably know what those are – hundreds of small steel darts packed around explosive which tear the flesh off humans. The boy was Mohammed Khalaf al-Nawasra. He was four years old.

I suddenly found myself thinking that it could have been one of my kids in that bag, and that thought upset me more than anything has for a long time.

Then I read that the UN had said that Israel might be guilty of war crimes in Gaza, and they wanted to launch a commission into that. America won’t sign up to it.

What is going on in America? I know from my own experience how slanted your news is, and how little you get to hear about the other side of this story. But – for Christ’s sake! – it’s not that hard to find out. Why does America continue its blind support of this one-sided exercise in ethnic cleansing? WHY? I just don’t get it. I really hate to think it’s just the power of Aipac [the American Israel Public Affairs Committee]… for if that’s the case, then your government really is fundamentally corrupt. No, I don’t think that’s the reason… but I have no idea what it could be. The America I know and like is compassionate, broad-minded, creative, eclectic, tolerant and generous. You, my close American friends, symbolise those things for me. But which America is backing this horrible one-sided colonialist war? I can’t work it out: I know you’re not the only people like you, so how come all those voices aren’t heard or registered? How come it isn’t your spirit that most of the world now thinks of when it hears the word “America”? How bad does it look when the one country which more than any other grounds its identity in notions of Liberty and Democracy then goes and puts its money exactly where its mouth isn’t and supports a ragingly racist theocracy?


read more >>


Dear Brian and friends,

I am writing to respond to your note about Gaza and how America is responding. It deserves a response.

My feelings and the actual realities are complex on several levels; the realities of the Arab-Israeli history and conflicts, global politics and modern American history/demographics. All three levels interact to create the current situation. And to understand the US posture you have to consider the history. Let me say, that, as you know, I am an immigrant and child of Holocaust survivors. I am culturally Jewish, but with no religious or spiritual inclinations, an atheist. And I believe that creating the Jewish state of Israel was a historic mistake that is likely to destroy the religion behind it. The actions nation states take to assure their survival are usually in contradiction to any moral values that a religion might espouse. And that contradiction is now very evident in Israel’s behaviour. Israel will destroy Judaism.


read more >>

SPIEGEL has learned from reliable sources that Israeli intelligence eavesdropped on US Secretary of State John Kerry during Middle East peace negotiations

    Sunday, August 03, 2014   No comments
SPIEGEL has learned from reliable sources that Israeli intelligence eavesdropped on US Secretary of State John Kerry during Middle East peace negotiations. In addition to the Israelis, at least one other intelligence service also listened in as Kerry mediated last year between Israel, the Palestinians and the Arab states, several intelligence service sources told SPIEGEL. Revelations of the eavesdropping could further damage already tense relations between the US government and Israel.
[...]
Still, there are no doubts about fundamental support for Israel on the part of the United States. On Friday, the US Congress voted to help fund Israel's "Iron Dome" missile defense system to the tune of $225 million (around €168 million).


read more >>

Saturday, August 02, 2014

More than 1,000 Turks fighting for ISIL, "the Islamic Caliphate"

    Saturday, August 02, 2014   No comments
The number of Turkish citizens fighting under the umbrella of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) is slightly more than 1,000, according to Turkish officials, who admit that they are unable to learn the exact number. The estimated number of armed ISIL fighters is around 12,000 to 15,000, which shows that Turks make up just less than 10 percent of the jihadist group.


Turkey has long been accused of not efficiently controlling its borders to prevent those foreigners joining the jihadist extremist groups and stop the flow of weapons into Syria. In response to these criticisms, Turkish officials have noted the difficulty of controlling a nearly 900-kilometer-long border while blaming Western countries for not sharing intelligence on potential recruits for the jihadist groups.


read more >>

Friday, August 01, 2014

American media's new pro-Israel bias: the same party line at the wrong time Evolving conversations on the ground demand probing questions on-air; So why does TV news look like a Netanyahu ad?

    Friday, August 01, 2014   No comments
Here are a few questions you won’t hear asked of the parade of Israeli officials crossing US television screens during the current crisis in Gaza:
  • What would you do if a foreign country was occupying your land?
  • What does it mean that Israeli cabinet ministers deny Palestine’s right to exist?
  • What should we make of a prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, who as opposition leader in the 1990s addressed a rally under a banner reading “Death to Arafat” a year after the Palestinian leader signed a peace accord with Israel?
These are contentious questions, to be sure, and with complicated answers. But they are relevant to understanding of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict today. They also parallel the issues routinely raised by American journalists with Palestinian officials, pressing to consider how the US would react if it were under rocket fire from Mexico, to explain why Hamas won’t recognise Israel and to repudiate Palestinian anti-Semitism.
But it’s a feature of much mainstream journalism in the US, not just an issue of coverage during the last three weeks of the Gaza crisis, that while one set of questions gets asked all the time, the other is heard hardly at all.
In years of reporting from and about Israel, I’ve followed the frequently robust debate in its press about whether Netanyahu really wants a peace deal, about the growing power of right-wing members inside the Israeli cabinet opposed to a Palestinian state, about the creeping air of permanence to the occupation.
So it has been all the more striking to discover a far narrower discourse in Washington and the notoriously pro-Israel mainstream media in the US at a time when difficult questions are more important than ever. John Kerry, the US secretary of state, and a crop of foreign leaders have ratcheted up warnings that the door for the two-state solution is closing, in no small part because of Israel’s actions. But still the difficult questions go unasked.
Take Netanyahu’s appearance on CBS’s Face the Nation on Sunday. The host, Bob Schieffer, permitted the Israeli leader to make a lengthy case for the his military’s ground attack, guiding him along with one sympathetic question after another. Finally, after describing Netanyahu’s position as “very understandable”, Schieffer asked about dead Palestinian civilians – but only to wonder if they presented a public relations problem in “the battle for world opinion”.

read more >>

Most popular articles


ISR +


Frequently Used Labels and Topics

A Week in Review Academic Integrity Adana Agreement afghanistan Africa al-Azhar Algeria All Apartheid apostasy Arab Spring Armenia Arts and Entertainment Asia Bangladesh BRICS Brotherhood CAF Canada Caspian Sea Chechnya China CIA Civil society colonialism communism Conflict Constitutionalism Contras Corruption Coups Crimea Crimes against humanity Democracy Despotism Diplomacy Dissent Dmitry Medvedev Economics and Finance Economy Education and Communication Egypt Elections energy environment Erdogan Europe Events FIFA FIFA World Cup FIFA World Cup Qatar 2020 Food Football France freedom of speech Gaza GCC GDP Genocide geopolitics Germany Global Security Globalism globalization Greece Grozny Conference Hamas Health hijab History and Civilizations Human Rights Huquq Ideas IGOs Immigration Imperialism Imperialismm india Indonesia Instrumentalized Human Rights Inter International Affairs International Law Iran IranDeal Iraq ISIL Islam in America Islam in China Islam in Europe Islam in Russia Islam Today Islamic economics Islamic law Islamic Societies Islamism Islamophobia Jordan Journalism Khamenei Kurdistan Law and Society Lebanon Libya Majoritarianism Malaysia mass killings Media Media Bias Middle East Military Affairs Morocco Muslim Ban Muslim Women and Leadership Muslims Muslims in Europe Muslims Today Nationalism NATO Nelson Mandela Nicaragua Nigeria North America North Korea Nuclear Deal Nusra OPEC+ Pakistan Palestine Poland Politics and Government Populism Poverty Propaganda Prophet Muhammad Protests Public Health Putin Qatar Quran Racism Raisi Regime Change religion and conflict Religion and Culture Religion and Politics religion and society Resistance Rohingya Genocide Russia Salafism Sanctions Saudi Arabia Science and Technology SCO Sectarianism security sharia Sharia-compliant financial products Shia Soccer socialism Southwest Asia and North Africa Space War Sports Sports and Politics Supremacy SWANA Syria terrorism Tourism transportation Tunisia Turkey Turkiye U.S. Foreign Policy UAE uk ukraine UN United States Uprisings US Foreign Policy USA Volga Bulgaria wahhabism War and Peace War Crimes West Western Civilization Western Sahara WMDs women rights World and Communities Yemen Zionism

Search for old news

Find Articles by year, month hierarchy

_______________________________________________

Copyright © Islamic Societies Review. All rights reserved.