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Total number of comments: 270 (since 2013-11-28 14:42:52)

Saf

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  • Lone Wolves and Soft Targets: Or how our Press, Politicians are being Played by ISIL
    • The French suspect has been questioned before for alleged links to Islamist extremists apparently.

      While independent, I wouldn't dismiss the global religo-political pattern, be it Western jihadists to Boko Haram to the Taliban, etc. At least these 3 countries are shook, with 2 of them, France and Tunisia, battling militancy or religious-political radicalism.

      It shouldn't matter if the Shia mosque was political or not, its another sectarian attack by Sunni extremists, this one aligned with ISIL, who are looking to cleanse rather than anything else. This supposed blowback isn't hurting the GCC as bad as their Shiite citizens.

  • Pres. Erdogan sees Syrian Kurds' advance against ISIL as "danger" to Turkey
    • "Erdogan has been mysteriously unconcerned by the rise of Daesh, and hasn’t given the US much help in rolling it back."

      Its not a mystery. Besides that Kurdish animosity, his religo-political ideological leanings makes him have affinity with even the most extremist Sunni Islamist militants in ISIL, seeing them as assets to achieve a singular objective in removing Assad from power, ignoring crimes they commit on others. Not exactly the same, but something similar to Pakistan's Afghan Taliban rationale.

  • US Air Force Absent as Daesh/ ISIL advances on North Aleppo against Sunni Rebels
    • ISIL and the regime did avoid fighting earlier but with the recent loses of Palmyra and one of the border crossings, ISIL is now confronting the regime.

  • Did the US DIA see ISIL as a strategic Ally against al-Assad in 2012?
    • Surprised at the assumption that the regime will survive.

      The Gulf states and Turkey got their nightmarish Salafist principality in ISIL.

  • Israel, fearing EU Sanctions over Apartheid, backpedals on Segregated Buses for Palestinians
  • Daesh/ ISIL blows up Shiite Mosque in Saudi Arabia, seeking Sectarian Civil War
    • The date of the attack was also deliberately chosen. It wasn't just a Friday prayer gathering but also suppose to be the day of celebrating Imam Hussain's birthday.

      I think ISIL's simply thinking to cleanse Saudi Shias, (like other Sunni extremist groups frequently do in sectarian attacks in Pakistan) while undermining Saudi govt's authority. This is new to KSA, but not unexpected given ISIL's earlier threats that they would attack Shiites. Elsewhere its been a normal occurrence like in Iraq, way before ISIL, targeting a Shiite majority by AQI who earlier instigated the sectarian war.

      With a small Shiite minority population that's already oppressed, it'll hardly be a civil war and there's no way the Saudi kingdom will pardon al-Nimr, to maintain an image that they still religiously adhere to their hardline Wahhabi beliefs and not soft on the Shias despite the recent attack in which they are condemning.

      link to bbc.com

  • ISIL beheaded Dozens in Palmyra, but how Strategic is the City?
    • That maybe more of a symbolic victory, however, BBC is reporting that ISIL has seized a key Syria-Iraq border crossing too which sounds like a strategic victory.

      "Islamic State militants have seized the last Syrian government-controlled border crossing between Syria and Iraq, a Syria monitoring group says."

      "Government forces withdrew from al-Tanf - known as al-Waleed in Iraq - crossing as IS advanced, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) said..."

      "The seizure of al-Tanf, in Syria's Homs province, enables IS to link up its positions in east-central Syria more directly with the ground they hold in Iraq's western Anbar province..."

      link to bbc.com

  • As Palmyra Falls, Who Supports Bashar al-Assad in Syria? (Charles Glass)
    • Yes, pretty much the same way, as there were mass beheadings of Shia residents in Iraq too.

  • Obama: No Mideast NATO, but US committed to Security of Arab Gulf States
    • Great observations and report on the forum in The Nation article, Professor. One thing...were Iraqi voices, either Sunni or Shia Arab, not there?

  • Palestinians welcome Pope's Recognition of their State
  • Over 40 Ismaili Shiites shot down by Sunni Extremists in Pakistan
    • There was a guest named Shahid Qureshi on BBC World News' Global program with Matthew Amroliwala, who was from the London Post and spouted nonsense about whose behind such sectarian or terrorist attacks.

      He claimed an Iran-India nexus and the local ethnic political party MQM behind the attacks. Some of the Pakistanis in the majority still are in denial, prejudicial, delusional and hypocritical about whose behind the attacks.

  • Are the Houthis in Yemen really Iranian "Proxies"? What does that even Mean?
    • Proxy war between Saudia Arabia and Iran was how the 80's 90's sectarianism in Pakistan was described, which was true during a time of Islamist transformation in the region (Iran revolution, the Afghan mujahideen, Zia-ul-Haq, KSA, etc), with the rise of Wahhabism winning out. It has long since stopped being that and now the sectarianism is self-perpetual, emanating mostly from Sunni extremists.
      Some majority Pakistanis still hold on to that 'proxy' excuse to deny the local reality of sectarianism and rather pass the blame of the social ill and violence to higher powers who have since exited the scene.

  • Saudi Arabia as the Incredible Hulk: King Salman snubs Obama's Gulf Summit
    • Abu Dhabi is just as paranoid as Riyadh is about Iran. On the whole Gulf military expenditures have been substantial that they're emboldened enough to start ventures such as Libyan air bombings or the attack on Yemen. Still its peanuts to what the States can offer.

  • Palestinians: ""The face of a new form of racist, discriminatory Israel has been revealed"
    • Israel just gets worse and worse for the Palestinians...

      The other article that touched on Indian colonialism was a good example.

  • How Muslim-Americans can avoid being Trolled by Israel-Firsters: Look again at the Prophet's example
    • Well said with great historical examples to practice which goes hand in hand with a lecture I listened to recently that addressed this in regards to Charlie Hebdo and had the similar historical points and meaning. The Prophet endured it and showed us how to just move on. Unfortunately the gunmen made things worse by giving them undeserved attention.

      They had Robert Spencer on CNN but barely a difficult question about how they're deliberately offensive to Muslims or being hateful though did mention baiting.

  • Tom Cotton's 'Chickenhawk' Taunt at Iran FM Demeans Jeb Bush, GOP Field
    • Guy has the gall to mention the Iraq Iran war and disregard the US tyranny, treachery and terror behind a certain monster that helped kill peasants and kids.

  • Fatal Triangle: Saudi, Iran, US Tensions spike over continued Yemen Airstrikes
    • Western news in general has been lazy in describing the conflict. The Saudis not keeping their word is not surprising, neither is their ideological hate being root and exported everywhere. But to be fair, the Houthi rebels overstepped with trying to control the capital and expand.

      The US didn't get dragged in, its a choice made in supporting such allies. After everything in Egypt, Libya and Syria, the Gulf states are likely to ignore US pressure and flex their muscles. There's no winning in this for Iran who can do nothing for Yemen. There's literally a coalition of Sunni states with US backing involved in hammering the Zaidis with more enthusiasm than against extremists in ISIL.

  • Don’t Be Fooled by Saudi’s Reshuffle
    • Don't think anyone is really being fooled, even the allies, who'll cover it up with praise.

  • Iran's Khamenei weighs in on Baltimore: 'Hollywood-style Policing'
    • Where's the statistics and how many security men in Iran get convicted for wrong-doing, when there's been cases against them, only to end up blaming the victim or making up the death as an 'accident', or for committing brutality during the elections protesters and then go into propaganda and intimidation mode against the deceased or their families?

      The moral values in censorship, suppression of the general public or abuses against minorities like the Bahai? Must be Iranian movie style policing.

  • Syria: Al-Qaeda takes Jisr al-Shughur, threatening Key Port
    • Turkey's behaviour and willingness to have links with, or support, religious-political extremist militants to remove Assad, kind of highlights the ideological mindset of the current govt, no different than the sectarian sided Gulf Arab states support of the same or similar fundamentalist militants.

  • 115 Children Killed: Saudi Arabia's War on Yemen by the Numbers
    • Since the Saudis are considered 'allies' to the US they won't be questioned or scrutinized by the mainstream media, and of course, outright supported by the US govt and politicians.

  • US admits it has no Idea who it is Assassinating by Drone
    • Just to add and note, except for some of the population and views of specific targets, overall the US drone program is more unpopular with the masses in Pakistan.

    • But it was the militant kidnappers' compound, which included 2 Al Qaeda leaders. That was the intelligence and they don't take into account surrounding civilians to get to them. The only other solutions would have been boots on the ground, like done for OBL, which too is/was controversial and had its difficulty and risks, or continuous negotiations with militants who constantly threatened an Al Qaeda/ISIL spectacle if no ransom.

      It reminds me of the ethics in targeting Baitullah Mehsud. Intelligence knew his wife and child were in the vicinity, but killed them anyways. He was wanted so badly by the Pak govt and public for his atrocious bombings against civilians in Pakistan that they were willing to cross that line to kill him, and he was killed. Unfortunately the terrible Hakimullah Mehsud took over briefly, but too also got killed by US drone to most of the Pak public's glee, except for some sympathizers.

  • Blood Money? After Bombing Yemen, Saudis offer $274 mn. in Humanitarian Aid
    • The indiscriminate bombing, and then throwing of money, shouldn't come as any surprise...none of these countries are champions of human rights, the US included...

  • Pakistan as Hong Kong West: China's New Silk Road & US Failure
    • Great insight. The US with its 'aid' never understood the 'trade' part. The Gwadar port dream is almost being realized now. China is now Pak's saviour...or master...brings hope for the future than it is now. Not without risks though...

  • Should Formula 1 be held in Major Human Rights Violator Bahrain?
    • Glad at least VICE remembers...its virtually forgotten and out of the news with all the conflicts in the region.

  • How Iran won Bush's Iraq War
    • Don't think its winning when you're bogged down in messes in Iraq and Syria. Everyone seems to mistake it as 'flexing their muscles', when its about survival from threats. There is no win in Yemen. Giving too much credit and making Iran out to be too opportunistic or nefarious compared to the US and its regional allies, regardless of all the consequences.

  • ‘It’s like a war here’: Saudi police raid defiant Eastern Province amid wider conflict with Shia
    • I mentioned it in an earlier comment, that things would get worse for other (non-Iranian) Shia populations in the region, and am not surprised by the Saudi authorities supposed pre-emptive attack on their Saudi Shia citizens. I worry about even wider attacks elsewhere, like in Pakistan, by extremists taking cue from the Saudis, though they're already in full swing in Pak and don't need the extra motivation from elsewhere.

  • The War in Yemen is Political, Ecological: Forget Sunnis and Shiites
    • "Over the years, the Shi’as (nearly 35% of the 26 million people) had to conceal their religious identity and redefine their individual ties with the Sunni dominated state institutions."

      Honestly can't dismiss and say 'forget' the Shia Sunni angle in all of this. Its like saying one has to ignore the racial divide and attitudes between white and black in regards to marginalization. You simply can't. Maybe it may have started out as purely a political thing, but with the current intervention and past Saudi involvement, its definitely taken a more sectarian tone.

  • Lebanon's Shiite Hizbullah slams Saudi attack on Yemen
    • If it wasn't sectarian before, it is now. Regardless of the little support given to the Houthis, Shia Iran has become isolated. The US, if not international community, are siding with the majority Sunni states who hold the narrative that even accuses Iran for the uprisings of Shia populations in their own states, glossing over their own rule and Sunni extremism or militancy elsewhere for the conflicts.
      The anti-ISIL alignment is a short one, while in the long-term consider Shiite populations to be at the losing end of the conflicts in the region either politically or violently one way or another.

  • What's Religion Got to do with it? German Co-Pilot as Terrorist
  • Washington's 2 Air Wars: alongside Iran in Iraq, Saudis in Yemen
    • Houthis shot themselves in the foot by choosing to go with a full coup and extending themselves forcefully to the South.

      The US doing the bombings in principle for supporting the national unity govt is one thing, but taking out the anti-Al Qaeda Houthis will not stop Al Qaeda and would rather end up helping them.

      Pakistan and Sudan's roles shouldn't be surprising. Pak has always worked for the Gulf or non-Gulf Arabs militarily regardless of whatever relations with Iran, who matter less when it comes to petro-dollars and slight edge in sectarian affinity since Pak is mostly a Sunni nation. Sudan was being strong-armed by Saudi Arabia for quite a while with pulling out needed investments and freezing Sudan out politically for their relationship with Iran.

  • Yemen Bombing: It's not ISIL and it's not Sunni-Shiite Conflict
    • I find that statement not quite right too. Shiism was hated well before the Houthi takeover by Sunni fundamentalist groups. The Houthis taking over inflamed and added religo-political motivation to these already existing certain groups, but not necessarily all other Sunni populations who do view it in political ethnic terms mostly.

    • Sorry, but that's not a solid answer about it being 'revenge' by 'Pakistanis' (who are actually certain militants that attack other Pakistanis) for the drone bombings. There's been bombing and gunmen attacks on Christians and Churches or other groups well before the drones or even pre-9/11 in Pakistan.

  • Iraq: Shiite Militia atrocities During Fight Against ISIL & Iraq's Response
    • The Iraqi govt are just shooting themselves in the foot, sabotaging long-term security and continuing on the sectarianism with these possible war crimes by Shiite militias, failing to rein them in, relying on them instead of strengthening the national army by integrating them. What does it say of the Iraqi govt when Muqtada Al Sadr seems more accountable.

  • Tom Friedman & funding ISIL: Israel/Iran Derangement Syndrome
    • Always considered him as a right-wing hawk than a liberal. Not surprisingly he blames Hamas for the last war and the Palestinians for rejecting terrible bad faith deals from past Israeli leaders.

      His prejudiced thinking is just twisted and dangerous. Unfortunately the threat of violence from the US and Israel, given their history and backers, is very real, and reminds me of the song by David Bowie 'I'm afraid of Americans'.

  • Ghosts of Saladin, Saddam & Khomeini: Tikrit Campaign's Historical Meaning
    • Its just Saf. If not all Shias? I'm sorry, but that's less unlikely as compared as their Sunni counterparts in terms of bigotry, and yes, one population is more likely to be steeped in prejudice than the other way, even well before these wars. I'm not being sectarian here, or the one wearing my sect on my sleeve. Its like comparing Democrats and Republicans and the false equivalence. All bad, only one is depressingly more so partisan, or in this case, sectarian. For all the things that Shia radicals have done, there's nothing like global Sunni extremism.

      Even when PEW did a survey of global Muslims, Arab and non-Arab, their narrative of the question asked was whether Sunnis saw their Shia counterparts as Muslim. Not the other way round.

      Your point on Shias seeing ideological Wahhabis (note: not Sunnis) as that is true. But there's a major difference and the origin of that belief isn't from the Shias. Wahhabis are less likely to be called out as infidels to be cleansed by Shias (at least mainstream), which is actually a hallmark in Wahhabi fundamentalism that sees Shias as heretics, infidels, and liable to be killed, which is an ideology adopted in every global Sunni extremist group, who do indeed see Shias as vermin to exterminate.

      And I'll mention it again. Canada, despite being right-wing, did accurately name its top foreign and domestic terrorist threat as being Sunni Islamist terrorists, particularly radicals of the ideological Wahhabi/Salafi kind. You can take it up with them why they specifically named those ideological strands negatively too.

    • He's been continuously been calling for unity and praised the residents for fighting against ISIL recently. He's condemned attacks by Iraqi forces on civilians and stealing their properties not too long ago.

    • "He feels the symbolic insult to the Sunni Arab world."

      A Sunni Arab world that backed Iraqi psycho Saddam in the past against the Shiites, and now created the monsters that has made it a need for the Shiites to oust them, which they lack the motivation to do so themselves against ISIL which shows a lack of seriousness against extremism, regardless if the militants are a rationale for them for Syria or just against the Iranians, what it comes down to is the overt sectarianism where they find it an insult that Shiites have influence or a role or even exist.

  • Bombing Iran: What would Happen if the Hawks got their Way?
    • Doubt Saudi Arabia, despite their recent tantrum or financing to fundamentalists, would risk their ties with the US by pointing nukes at Israel (even the thought that KSA or Iran would is ridiculous considering that the Palestinians, besides Jerusalem, still exist there).

      There's that mutual destruction, since Israel is a nuclear state, which isn't the case with Iran that can be attacked with no nuclear retaliation, and who KSA immensely hate. The animosity against Israel isn't even close to that level. They probably have better understanding and civil relations than most think, such as suspected intelligence sharing.

      KSA's even supporting Netanyahu's crazy war mongering speech against Iran, delivered to Congress earlier. So KSA's hardly an opponent that Israel needs to worry about compared relative to other surrounding Arab states and especially Iran (who support militant resistance to Israel), hence why they don't publicly harp much on KSA's deal with Pakistan, though still a worrisome development to Israeli hegemony.

  • Syria: As al-Qaeda defeats 'moderate' US allies, will US ally with al-Qaeda?
    • What is the US end goal? Removing Assad from power and replacing it with a pro-US regime is unlikely to succeed now. Its probably Turkish, Israeli and Arab states' insistence that the US support ANY militant resistance to Assad, which helped feed ISIL and other Sunni fundamentalist groups in the first place. While difficult to accept Assad's cruel rule, the status quo (at least for now) maybe more sound than further instability, as seen as how it spread to Iraq and even attacks overseas.

  • US Gen.: Iran's Role In Iraq's Fight Against Islamic State Might be Positive
    • A good deal of Sunni Iraqis and other Sunnis globally just won't see it that way and see it all in a sectarian lens, regardless if it were restricted to what they see or don't see as tackling Sunni extremists in ISIL. An outside Shia intervention is simply deemed as unacceptable, particularly with what has unfolded in Syria.

      The narrative isn't an ISIL thing, as the earlier Sunni Iraqi insurgents were already overtly sectarian with many in the populace sharing the same sentiments. Unfortunately there are indeed revenge attacks by some Shia Iraqi militias, besides the previous sectarian state abuses, that feeds it.

  • Yemen: Saudi backs Sunni revolution against Shiite Houthi Rebels linked to Iran
    • Not just the ME alone. Many believe half the mess in Pakistan of Sunni fundamentalists and extremists for decades is thanks to KSA, besides the Pak govt/military's geo-political attacks, religious sect leanings and prejudicial apathy for minorities.

      The Pak Shia minority face a program of sectarian cleansing since the 80's. It became a proxy war with Iran, like in the 90's, but Iran has since left the theatre where sectarian violence is dominated by Sunni militants and now self-perpetual. Some attack the state and majority Sunni too, seen as blowback. Still Shiites, and other minorities, take the brunt of it as seen with the recent bombing, gunmen and target killings.

      Wahhabi/Salafi influence spread far and wide like Indonesia, and Canada named it being responsible for most militant's ideology. Yemen is KSA's backyard, but meddling may cause more harm than good like how they helped ruin the Syrian revolution. Calling it a Sunni revolution sounds problematic.

    • Not to defend KSA's paranoia and animosity, but an Iranian official also exaggerated their support for the Houthis and arrogantly declared that Yemen was theirs too. You can bet such statements raised alarm bells for KSA.

      The Houthis overplayed this and could have been more pragmatic, and frankly still can considering that they still negotiate with the UN and the West at least. Can't say the same for the other groups.

  • 'Lone Wolf,' 'Self-Radicalized': Islamophobic Buzzwords never applied to White Terrorists
    • For what's it worth, according to the father of the female victims, when the male victim (his son-in-law) moved in the neighbourhood, there wasn't a problem. When the female victims with their head scarves came by, the animosity started. The daughter said she believed he didn't like them because of that, being visible Muslims.

      It can be a fine line sometimes in hating an ideology and the 'ideologues', and yes, some atheists can get nasty towards the practitioners, no different than the religious far right.

    • It really was horrific and has sent chills in the community. For some reason it sounds like the authorities are hesitant to call it a hate crime too...

  • Syria: Dear Bashar al-Assad: Barrel Bombs Are No Laughing Matter
    • Always been a monster...I can see how the moderate opposition find it difficult to even consider a political settlement with him.

  • 2nd Iranian Commander killed in Iraq defending Samarra Golden Dome
    • They can't get over that the shrines or holy places as being targets by Sunni fundamentalists, which have been targeted, besides being targeted themselves in other bombings. The comment is unfortunately justifying further sectarian violence and generalizing. Surprised it got through.

      While its wrong generalizing about all Sunnis being terrorists wanting to kill Shias, unfortunately this comment does the same and considers all Shias killing Sunnis. So lets put a mirror and ask the same questions. Do Sunnis consider Shias as anything than legit targets always (which Shias should get over and understand apparently)? Should Sunnis expect flowers too when there are attacks by Sunni extremists (or lets also generalize them as Sunnis who threw their lot with ISIL, which some did) against Shia neighbourhoods in this violent cycle?

      Is it just Shias (which is really some Shia militias or extremists) that are involved in slaughters or have we forgotten earlier Sunni insurgents (or should we say all Sunnis), particularly the extremist kind locally and globally, targeting Shias (or lets not forget other non-Sunni denominations, like from Mosul, who should probably also 'get over it' and 'understand') that put the whole initial sectarian civil war in full swing there that lead to a sectarian cleansing, which too is not justified, but in your own reasoning, Maybe Sunnis should get over this and understand....but that would be wrong, wouldn't it?

      That comment did not mention killing Sunnis, an unfortunate hyped up sectarian narrative that sees what it wants to, and the article noted that they've been blaming IS. Maybe not Tehran, but a takeover of Baghdad to have sole rule again and maybe belligerent against its neighbour...that is in swing.

  • Ironies of Empire: US now Allied with Shiites Trained by Assassinated HIzbullah Leader
    • I think US security or intelligence circles, whether right or left, still hold to past beliefs and consider Shiites as radicals and not allies, like Sunni govt counterparts. The alliance based on aligned interests in Iraq or global terrorism due to the situation of the extremists is temporary. There's still conflict of interests such as on Syria.

  • Attn. Tea Party: 'How Immigrants (yes, Muslims and Latinos) can save Detroit & other Cities'
    • While large, they're not a majority in Detroit and as the article concluded, there's way too much to fix, such as law and order, which still makes it difficult for even past and new Muslim Americans to revive, like any other American group.

      Regardless Muslim groups have alleviated some of Detroit's miseries, such as the water crisis donation and economically overall, where the city hasn't sunk completely, despite the flight of other residents.

      They're dispersed across different parts of Detroit and surrounding areas or suburbs, such as Dearborn, which function well, and other affluent areas. They are doing well.

  • Twitter mirth after Steve Emerson's Fox Nonsense re: Birmingham as Muslim 'no-go' Zone
    • Must be Rupert Murdoch's advisor. Hilarious responses though. Unfortunately these are the 'experts' the US govt and security are listening to and tells you the alarming level of ignorance and how that could affect ordinary citizens.

  • Hezbollah's Surprising Denunciation of Paris Attacks: is it Courting the West?
    • Well put. However, I do believe there's been some permanent change in thinking dictated by the Syrian war. Sunni Islamist militants became their top dangerous threat, realizing their Shia identity and population vulnerability (though still appealing to Sunnis, and still tied with Palestinian Hamas Islamists, at some point they probably realized their partnership with rare geo-political and sectarian ally Assad was detrimental despite their desperation and calculation against a Saudi backed rebellion and Israel on the other side).

      Instead of the West being an enemy, even though they participated in the Syrian end game, the West now seems possibly 'approachable' via Iran and situation with ISIL in Iraq, but Israel is still considered a threat by virtue of borders.

      Pretty much repeated most of what was said

  • After Paris attacks, could David Duke style Racist Parties Sweep to Power in Europe?
    • Don't know if 'sweep' into power, but growing in power, yes. It really is going to get difficult for European Muslims. The political right in the US were/are quite active in their anti-Muslim measures too.

  • Saudis torture jailed Liberal Blogger w/ 1000 lashes for... Blogging
    • "sentenced to two years in prison and 200 lashes for, in part, visiting prominent Shia figures in the eastern province as a good-will gesture"

      Apart from the other political or religo abuses and suppression (which another article around here noted that ISIL seemed like only an extension to Saudi doctrine) didn't realize relations with the Shia minority's leaders were this bad.

      Still, a valuable US, or overall Western, ally, who'll stay mute.

  • What Black & White thinking misses about ISIS/Daesh & why it Matters to us All
    • Rejecting tattoos is a sign of radicalism...that's new. But true. A lot of radical mothers out there...

      It was Caliph Ali, and not Prophet Ali, the Kharajites rebelled against. They were under his camp initially during the wars against his rival Muawiya, who claimed or sought the caliph title himself. But they got disillusioned with the fight over the legitimacy of the leader of the Ummah, and instead believed it was God alone, not men, who'd decide who the caliph would be - so they decided to do their puritanical extremist thing...

      The real, not real Muslim inquisition of others has been a rather divisive problem for quite sometime in the mainstream, highlighting everyday prejudices and intolerances.

  • Gaza's 6-yros Struggle with Nightmares of the 3 Israeli Wars they've Already Experienced
    • We don't really realize how traumatized the population is there. The injustice affects them deeply.

  • Turkey again goes down Path of the One-Party State
    • Pls read the 'About' section of this site.
      link to juancole.com

      If you sincerely look through the blog, you'll note the Professor regularly posts about minorities in the US, such as Muslims and black Americans, apart from other US and global issues. So there is quite a good deal of concern there.

      So, pls give this informed article by the author who researches in this field, its due, rather than dismissing or evading it, and show concern to the issues in Turkey which isn't as rosy as you like to believe in.

  • Not the Onion: Pakistanis Demand arrest of Cleric for not Condemning "Jihadis"
    • link to tribune.com.pk

      The brave Laal Masjid protesters receive threats from the new TTP faction.

      This is not just any Taliban apologist. He's the notorious cleric of Laal Masjid. If anyone remembers, they defied the state, holding the area around hostage for over a year and eventually were put down after military operation under Musharraf. However he was eventually released by the courts and been untouched since.

      Despite the recent death penalty and hangings, the military, govt and civilian courts are still unable or unwilling to convict or bring down some big name extremists and terrorists such as Lashkar e Jhangvi's Malik Ishaq who has been released again.

  • Blogging Colbert (In honor of the Finale of the Colbert Report)
    • Congrats, Professor and glad some of your insight got a wider platform and that too at the closing chapter of this great show and personality.

  • 3 Problems Pakistani Politics has to Resolve after Grisly School Attack
    • To add, the different militant groups the Pak military appealed/appeal to were/are generally religious fundamentalist or extremist groups on both sides of the border.

      Imran Khan has seriously disappointed and been detrimental...

  • Even Other Terrorists Denounce Taliban School Attacks In Pakistan
    • Its not surprising and needs to be put in context. Leader Hafiz Saeed and JuD (supposedly banned militant LeT's civil arm) have always been pro-Pak, regardless of whatever inner violent crimes, and protected by the state as militant assets. They're a terrorist group to India (and perhaps the US, considering their past Al Qaeda support/relations) and show solidarity with the Afghan Taliban (who also disowned the attack, though they have their own hypocritical history)...while not in direct conflict with TTP, they're on different sides.

  • Saudi Arabia at the G20: Is it waging Econ War on Iran, Russia and N. Dakota?
  • Daesh (ISIL) Loses Refinery City in Iraq to Iraqi Army, Shiite Militias
    • Not sure if the then Shiite militias were ever put on a terrorist list or described as such in the classical terrorist term such as the Mehdi army or Badr brigade, considering they were also tied into the government fabric and more paramilitary. The current ones are clearly not considered terrorist organizations either, though if we're going by official named terrorist groups, regardless of how they see themselves as a resistance or political entity, Shia Hezbollah could be considered quite rich....

  • Can't We all Get Along? Sunni-Shi'a Commonalities
    • Very inspiring. The political or religo-political situations didn't help though polarizing wrong views.

      However, heard one of the best poetic unity speeches by a linguistic Urdu/English speaking Sunni scholar, invited as a guest speaker in our local Shia mosque commemorating Ashur the other day...

  • Iraq: US dismayed Shiite Gov't hasn't Armed Sunni Tribes fighting ISIL
    • The dismay is surprising. The mistrust cuts both ways, and not everyone has the moral fibre that Ayatollah Sistani displays who'd go as far as helping a potential enemy against him before committing an unethical action.

      The earlier, well armed, Sunni rebellion after Al-Maliki's own govt sectarian state abuses, were lead by non-ISIL Sunni Iraqis from the restive provinces, who wanted to march all the way to Baghdad, which was seen as sectarian provocation (even if Baathists), bringing back memories of the sectarian terroristic Al Qaeda inspired Sunni insurgency post-2003 invasion, which was still ongoing with frequent bombings in Shia areas and elsewhere by Sunni extremists (Al Baghdadi's AQI) targeting Shiites, after the US left.

      An earlier article how some affected Sunni Iraqis were still unwilling to oust ISIL on anyone's behalf, as well as joining ISIL after losses doesn't help in easing the Shiites fears and bring confidence, and vice versa by Shia militia killings. There needs to be some sort of serious guarantees by the US and regional players on harbouring unity and stopping retaliations.

  • The Kobane Crisis: Where are Turkey, the PKK and the Kurds Going?
    • Didn't realize the death toll from the Kurdish protests were higher, highlighting a lack of restraint on suppressing the ethnic Kurdish minority. Guess it didn't have that Arab spring atmosphere for major networks to cover it, like the last anti-AKP protests.

      The paragraph in the middle of the story about a squandered opportunity is dead on. Instead there's been bad faith from Ankara on their international role, regardless of their historic animosity with the PKK whom they have had talks with and dishonestly equate with ISIL.

      These stubborn pre-conditions on everything by Turkey, including Syria (the demands are not unreasonable. The priority is), is costing lives and giving ISIL an advantage, which they're not immune from and will only end up hurting them too but show some sort of confusion or fear about it one way or another.

  • Why is this Man Smiling? Iranian Officials say Confidant of US Deal on Nuclear
    • Observing how the terminology and meaning is used is interesting. 'Shia crescent', a term coined by a Sunni head of state, popular amongst growing anti-Iran, if not anti-Shia, Sunni citizens, as well as hawkish 'expert' US TV pundits. Why elicit such a rejection from the US public, which even 3 years or so into the Iraq invasion couldn't tell what a Shia or Sunni is? Does the US public accept only 'Sunni allies' then? Are there any 'Shia allies'? Are Iraq and Lebanon or their populations left out in the cold? Are we going by regimes or populations, such as Bahrain?

      If the US needed to set a precedent it could have started with Israel. However, Iran is cooperating. As much as equally, if not more, fundamentalist Saudi Arabia and right-wing Israel's fears may hype it, there's better faith seen in believing the Iranians are using it for civilian purposes. They already built the infrastructures and sticking with the technology, like most other nations do. They are however also expanding to other renewable energy sources like the other Gulf or regional states are doing, but as you correctly point out, already allegedly have or seeking to have weapons, regardless of international laws.

    • Sounds hard to believe when there was such strong opposition from other embraced allies such as Saudi Arabia or Israel for any sort of reasonable nuke or peace deal.

      The US actually embraced Russia's bail out as an action. Sunni bloc unfortunately didn't provide much confidence earlier by allowing Sunni radicals (same ideological types that are a threat globally and who Iran are naturally opposed to) free hand in the area which made such military action to intervene difficult to contemplate (and US reluctance to do so again), due to wide-spread consequences and sectarian optics, possibly messier than Iraq 2003, which is still what's unfolding.

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