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Total number of comments: 35 (since 2013-11-28 15:36:25)

Sulayman F

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  • Descent into Bigotry: 21st Century Americans increasingly negative toward Muslims, Minorities
    • There have been over 900 movies involving an Arab or Muslim villain or negative stereotype. How many movies have a Muslim as a hero or a positive role? That's one of the reasons we have such bigotry.

    • The problem is that there's a small but loud group of politicians that demonize Muslims, and both parties are loath to actually defend American Muslim citizens. Bush was pressured to condemn anti-Muslim rhetoric, but only did it pro forma twice, and Obama won't go near the topic (probably because he doesn't want people to think he's Muslim).

  • Egypt's Counter-Revolution: 21 Women and Girls Harshly Sentenced, Liberal Bloggers to be Arrested
    • The NYTimes editorial agrees with you:

      "Egypt’s military strongman, Gen. Abdul-Fattah el-Sisi, owes his present power to such protests. Military leaders mostly stood aside in January 2011 when weeks of protest and sit-in vigils at Tahrir Square in Cairo forced Mr. Mubarak to resign. More recently, General Sisi approvingly cited even larger street protests against Mr. Morsi as his main justification for the July 3 military coup. And after that coup, he himself summoned millions of Egyptians into the streets to give advance approval to his violent crackdown on Morsi supporters.

      But from now on, it seems, only public demonstrations that support General Sisi and his allies will be tolerated. "

  • Commemoration of Kristallnacht in Berlin
    • This is an important part of history that is ignored, especially in today's climate where minorities are still attacked today, in places like Russia and Burma. Heck, even after the Fort Hood shooting, there was a pundit on Fox News who called for a backlash against all American Muslims that evoked memories of Kristallnacht.

  • Egyptian Backlash against Sheikh Yusuf Qaradawi's Call for foreign Intervention in Egypt
    • This is overrated. Michael Moore asked the UN to get involved when George W. Bush "stole" the 2000 election via Florida and the Supreme Court. I don't view that as unpatriotic, and neither is Qaradawi's statement in defense of democracy.

  • Middle East Regional Contention over Egypt's New Government
    • Reminds me of the fabled "crab mentality," in reference to the phrase crabs in a bucket. It describes a way of thinking best described by the phrase "if I can't have it, neither can you." The metaphor refers to a pot of crabs. Individually, the crabs could easily escape from the pot, but instead, they grab at each other in a useless "king of the hill" competition which prevents any from escaping and ensures their collective demise. The analogy in human behavior is that members of a group will attempt to "pull down" (negate or diminish the importance of) any member who achieves success beyond the others, out of envy, conspiracy or competitive feelings.

  • Top Ten Most Distasteful things about Romney Trip to Israel
  • Is Michele Bachmann an agent of the Muslim Brotherhood?
    • Bachmann needs some anti-psychotic meds.

      She also wrote a separate letter to the Justice Department criticizing why it prioritizes investigating hate crimes against Muslims, Sikhs, and South Asians.

  • Is Anti-Immigrant, Islamophobic Campaign Rhetoric fomenting Antisemitism in France?
    • The problem is that these things don't occur in a vacuum. If nothing changes aside from arresting the individual, then there will be more attacks like this.

    • So far, I imagine the Far Right is urging people not to point the finger at them until they catch the actual perpetrator. If it's a Muslim extremist, then they'll breathe a sigh of relief and step up the demonizing rhetoric again, unrepentant. If it's a French xenophobe they'll take pains to show how he doesn't represent them. Let's take this opportunity to condemn them while they can't hide behind the "it wasn't one of us" argument.

  • Iran Hype undermined by Obama Administration Admissions
    • Interesting, that would seem to buttress the idea of "Nuclear Latency" or the Japan option that Prof. Cole has spoken about in the past. The idea being that if war was imminent and inevitable, Iran would have the existing technology to create nuclear weapons from scratch in only a few months.

  • World's Stupidest Guerrillas Kill over 70 Shiite Pilgrims in Iraq
    • I think this is all a matter of speculation. How do we know this was Baathists, and not anti-Shiite Salafis?

      I agree with you that it's warped thinking that leads to such terrorism, but I dontthink most believe they can topple the regime. It's likely their belief in revenge for being marginalized and in response to Maliki's attempt to arrest Sunni leaders. However, they haven't caught the perpetrators so this is all guesswork.

  • Gingrich slots MEK terrorists' supporter John Bolton for State
    • Well according to the debated new National Defense Authorization Act in Congress, the President can arrest and hold indefinitely these people, with no evidence or trial, until the end of the war on terror. Heck, the military is obligated to detain them outside of the Courts' jurisdiction unless President Obama issues a waiver allowing them access to civilian courts.

  • Did the Muslim Brotherhood Threaten to Kill "All Jews"?
    • Thank you for writing this. I'm not a native Arabic speaker, so unfortunately much of my news is filtered through news sources, but you provide a lot of context and better translation that others don't bother to explain.

  • Why a No-Fly Zone won't Work in Syria
    • Yes, it really is an all-or-nothing shot. However, the odds seem bleaker from my outsider view. Can we just tighten the sanctions, massively embargo them, or something to help encourage it?

  • China and Iran, Green Together
    • Excellent analysis!

      I'm sure the Fukushima accident caused many Iranians to think twice about the nuclear program. However, I wonder if Iran still desires nuclear latency as a secondary goal? (which Prof. Cole mentioned several years ago; the idea being that Iran could convert existing nuclear powerplants into a rush nuclear weapons program in the event that war became imminent)

  • Ten Years after 9/11, Do the Arabs value Democracy more than We do?
    • Excellent post but I feel you're sugarcoating the American response a bit with regards to American Muslims. Hate crimes against Arabs and Muslims (and Sikhs) skyrocketed over 1000% percent. While Bush on 9/13 visited a mosque to show that Islam was peaceful and shouldn't be targeted, Congressman Cooksey made comments about people with diapers on their heads. I give politicians the credit for trying to calm the public, including Giuliani for saying don't attack innocent New Yorkers on account of this)

  • State of Alert in Egypt after Breach at Israeli Embassy
    • I don't view winners here, I view losers. Everyone had something to lose.

      The protestors lost some prestige in the eyes of Americans and Europe by attacking Israel's precious embassy. Israel lost even more of their sense of security, which will prompt the public to support any irrational policy responses. The Egyptian military and temp politicians lost further legitimacy if their soldiers can be massacred with impunity and are seen as beholden to foreign powers.

      More chaos and division were sowed. It's a step backwards for everyone.

  • Ridge Alleges Bush Political Pressure for Terrorism Alert
    • Bit of a surprise considering how strongly he denied it when interviewed on The Daily Show. However, there was a high-level officer in the talks who said Rumsfeld et. al wanted to raise the alert with flimsy justification

  • An Open Letter to the Left on Libya
    • Extremely well-said. It's a thoughtful and cogent argument, and I hope it gets spread around the Left blogosphere.

      It is quite odd for me to suddenly endorse a military action when I've been a staunch opponent of the US campaigns in Iraq, but you are correct that we need to be able to reason through these and pay close attention to the principles we hold and their consequences.

      I do take one issue: "The other Arab Spring demonstrations are not comparable to Libya, because in none of them has the scale loss of life been replicated." The first place that comes to mind is Bahrain, which is being brutally repressed by the government (as you mentioned in earlier posts). It's scale of casualties is smaller because Libya is 8x the size in population. I think it should get a similar amount of our attention. The fact that the government is calling in foreign troops from Saudi to help put the protests down is worrisome. International action won't work the same way, but I'd like to see either international action to prevent Saudi (and Iran) from stepping in, or at least some US pressure to get both sides to back off.

  • Top Five Myths about the Middle East Protests
  • Wael Ghonim vs. Barack Obama: Change we Can Believe in, Yes we Can
    • Obama is "the Establishment President."

      He is trying, among other things, to prove that a Black President can do just as good of a job as a white one. Ergo, don't rock the boat too much. That would not be a problem in a bipartisan environment, but when people are so divided he's not going to take any risk. Case in point, he doesn't want to be known as "that president who tried legalizing weed" or "the president who strengthened the terrorists" and ruin his reputation.

  • Death of Pakistani Secularism Much Exaggerated
    • Very informative, as usual.

      I agree that secularism isn't dead, despite the "sky is falling" rhetoric from pundits and career islamophobes. I mean, is secularism/peace in Israel dead after Rabin was assassinated?

  • DOJ Subpoenas Twitter Account of Wikileaks Volunteer and now Iceland MP
    • "reading leaked US government cables is not illegal"

      I know they can't prosecute the sheer number of people reading it, but isn't it still technically illegal?

  • Wainwright: Taseer's Assassination Lays Bare Contradictions in Pakistani Islam
    • I wouldn't call it a contradiction in Pakistani Islam, more like a disagreement or diversity of opinion. Islam isn't monolithic.

    • "Humanistic spirit?" That's probably a bad description, and the idea of using humanism is a non-starter for many Muslims. The Quran is supposed to supersede all, human conscience takes a third place.

      There are many things to tease out of this discussion. At the very least, Malik Qadri committed an act of vigilantism, something Islam does not approve of. Any crime must go through a judge. Second, even among hardline interpretations blasphemy isn't necessarily a capitol offense in Islam, people can recant and often do.

      There's plenty of blame to go around. Which countries gave General Zia money and diplomatic support to continue his dictatorship? One that eventually led to his creation of the blasphemy law to get public support? (Zia's creation of blasphemy law reminds me of Bush's sudden campaigning against gay marriage or Blair's ban on Fox hunting)

  • Palin Fear-Mongers on Iran, Sharia
    • She implies and other right-wingers say that Bin Laden is attacking America mainly because they're not Muslim. To them, its not just "convert or die," but "adopt sharia or be terrorized." It's a total Straw-Man Argument.

  • Americans are always Shouting About Religion But Don't Know Much About It
  • Afghans Demonstrate Against US Quran-Burning That Never Happened
    • Terry Jones may have called it off, but Fred Phelps decided to take up the slack. Plus, there was at least one dude ripping up a Quran at Ground Zero on 9/11 during that protest

  • Top Ways 9/11 Broke Islamic Law
    • Well put!

      I should also add that whole books have been written on Islamic laws of war, and they predated the Geneva conventions by centuries. When Muslims took prisoners of war, they freed them if they could teach at least 10 (or was it 20) people to read first. They were better fed than the Muslim citizens.

      Another way the attacks violated Islamic law, in addition to the non-harming of civilians, according to Hamza Yusuf is that people burned to death in the attack, which is a completely forbidden act in islam.

  • Matthews Takes Down Lazio over Half-Truths and Scapegoating of Muslims
    • The whole speech of his is a mess. He's playing fast and loose with the truth.

      Disgusting that republicans are using 9/11 backdrops in their ads. Can you imagine the outcry if democrats were to do the same? What if Kerry ran ads like that against Bush?

  • Dear Rev. Graham: Obama was not born a Muslim and neither is anyone else
    • Your point is good, but your title is incorrect. Muslims believe that all of creation is Muslim, as it obeys God (either via instinct or obeying Physics etc.). All people are thus "born" Muslim, until they are raised by their parents into a different religion.

      I agree with your post, but technically, your headline is incorrect. Obama is born Muslim like all human beings, but was raised Christian. He is not Muslim.

  • US Ally Maliki & Octavia Nasr Both Praised Fadlallah
    • This is so silly. If a Catholic said it's a shame Pope John Paul II died, does that automatically mean that he or she supports the Catholic church's anti-gay, anti-birth-control stances and the exclusion of women from the clergy? I feel like America has a double standard for Muslims, maybe because they are seen as different and demonized to a ridiculous extent.

  • Police: Shahzad has no Links to Taliban; Clinton Remarks Produce Firestorm in Pakistan
    • I think Clinton is a little too afraid of the far right in America, and (like many democrats) tries to posture herself as tougher and more towards their side. That's not moderate, but those in the FOX News world will see it as such, sadly.

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