June 2009

The turmoil erupting in Iran, after the much-anticipated election results, has garnered world attention, and has galvanized questions about the legitimacy of the Iranian political system. But before jumping to any conclusions about the future of Iran, it is important to analyze the election results, the responses to these results from Iranians in Iran and in other parts of the world, and last but not least, the reactions of the Western media and it’s commentators on global politics. From this close analysis, one can better obtain a holistic picture of the situation as well as a practical solution.


An interesting four-part series by Al-Jazeera about the views and political influence of the right-wing in Israel:


IFC has created an interesting segment on the Western media’s coverage of Somali piracy, which has, for the past few months, been headline news in the United States. Here it is:

PBS aired a documentary called “The Mosque in Morgantown”, which follows Asra Nomani, a progressive Muslim “activist”, who fights for the rights of Muslim women, particularly in mosques. My own personal view of the film can be pretty much  summed up by this excellent review from Fatemah of Muslimah Media Watch:

Mosque in Morgantown, a documentary about Asra Nomani’s quest to eradicate gender segregation in the mosque, airs tonight on PBS at 10 pm EST.

I watched the film this weekend. Twice. I took three pages of notes, but still had a difficult time writing a review. This could be because my head has been in another place this weekend with the aftermath of Iranian elections.

But the reason could also be that the documentary just didn’t work. It begins with Asra Nomani, sharing her personal stories. Then the film is about the Morgantown mosque. Then the film is about Asra. Then the film is about Asra and the mosque. Then the film is about Asra’s book tour and “trouble-making” at mosques around the country. Then the film is about the Morgantown mosque again. Then the film is about banning Asra from the mosque. You can see a trailer here:

On Thursday, June 4th, 2009, President Obama delivered his much-anticipated speech to the Muslim world in Cairo, Egypt. It was a momentous occasion for all the Muslims around the world, for it marked a divergent approach to the issues of terrorism, Palestine and Israel, Iran’s nuclear energy program and the United States’ wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, from his maniacal predecessor, George W. Bush. The speech itself is now at the center of discussion between liberals and conservatives of both, the Muslim and Western world, with each side shedding some hope and pessimism. Whatever the opinions of both sides may be, the content of President Obama’s speech, undoubtedly, creates the opportunity for a stronger relationship between the United States and the Muslim world, by focusing on mutual respect and interests.