Can be found here, at the Financial Times:


by Sarah Posner, for the Religion Dispatches:

The emails started popping into my inbox: First, supposed “ex-terrorist” Walid Shoebat would be available for an interview about how “regime change” in Egypt would elevate the Muslim Brotherhood. “The Muslim Brotherhood, a group to which I once belonged, is supporting these protests,” says Shoebat, “and when you know what the long term goals of the Brotherhood are, you come to realize it’s not good.” He then goes on to compare what’s happening in Egypt to the Islamic revolution in Iran — a theory that Haroon Moghul has ably debunked here at RD. Then Christian talk radio host and evangelist Michael Youssef announced that he would be appearing on CNN through out the day:

“Before you judge the motives of the protesters, you must know who is really behind those young people on the streets,” stated Michael Youssef, Ph.D. “The Muslim Brotherhood has been thirsting for power in Egypt for many, many years. Should they succeed, it will not only spell disaster to the west and to Israel, but also to the Christians and the secular-minded Muslims.”

By John Esposito, for the Washington Post:

One of the frequent battle cries raised by those who warn that Muslims want to overwhelm the West is that that Muslims want to impose Shariah in America and Europe. Just as critics of Islam in the West question whether Islam is compatible with democracy and Muslims can be loyal citizens, many Muslims, in light of the rise and increase of Islamophobia and threats to their civil liberties, ask if democracy can accommodate Islam. Others, Some Muslims in the West in light of have also questioned, for different reasons, whether they could be both good Muslims and loyal citizens in of “foreign” non-Muslim states based on a Western secular laws? More isolationist and militant Muslims tend to associate Western countries and societies with kufr, unbelief, and look upon its citizens as unbelievers to be avoided, converted or attacked.

While devout Jews can follow Jewish law and Christians follow their doctrines and laws and be at the same time fully American citizens, can Muslims? What is the relationship of the need to follow Shariah to Muslims living in non-Muslim societies? Is there something peculiar about Islam that presents Muslim from living in a secular pluralistic America or Europe?


Kinda old news, but still relevant. From CNN:

(CNN) — The terrorist threat posed by radicalized Muslim- Americans has been exaggerated, according to a study released Wednesday by researchers at Duke University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

A small number of Muslim-Americans have undergone radicalization since the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, the study found. It compiled a list of 139 individuals it categorized as “Muslim-American terrorism offenders” who had become radicalized in the U.S. in that time — a rate of 17 per year.

That level is “small compared to other violent crime in America, but not insignificant,” according to the study, titled “Anti-Terror Lessons of Muslim-Americans.”

To be included on the list, an offender had to have been wanted, arrested, convicted or killed in connection with terrorism-related activities since 9/11 — and have lived in the United States, regardless of immigration status, for more than a year prior to arrest.

Of the 139 offenders, fewer than a third successfully executed a violent plan, according to a Duke University statement on the study, and most of those were overseas. Read the report:”Anti-Terror Lessons of Muslim-Americans”


Image from the United Nations Development Programme

By Syed Barez, for the United Nations Development Programme:

The Government of Afghanistan is tapping mullahs and religious elders to make people aware of the rights women are entitled to in accordance with Islamic Laws through a programme supported by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

The national programme, which is being implemented by the Ministry of Haj and Religious Affairs and the Ministry of Women Affairs, is requiring mullahs and other Islamic leaders to raise awareness on the consequences of early marriage, forced marriage and gender-based violence. Participants also discuss inheritance issues, including a comparison between what Islamic Law says about a woman’s right to inheritance and what happens in practice.

“In Afghanistan, when people are given instructions based on their religious values, they will easily listen and accept them,” said Mawalwi Abdul Hanan, a participant. “We believe that by involving religious leaders such programmes will reduce domestic violence.”


(Image from the NYT)

By David E. Sanger and Eric Schmitt, for the New York Times:

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration is accelerating the deployment of new defenses against possible Iranian missile attacks in the Persian Gulf, placing special ships off the Iranian coast and antimissile systems in at least four Arab countries, according to administration and military officials.

The deployments come at a critical turning point in President Obama’s dealings with Iran. After months of unsuccessful diplomatic outreach, the administration is trying to win broad international consensus for sanctions against the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps, which Western nations say control a covert nuclear arms program.


by Rami G. Khouri, for the New York Times:

BEIRUT — This week will see the close of one of the most dramatic decades in recent history, and much of the action — mostly for worse — has taken place in the Middle East.

A journalist colleague from Europe asked me the other day whether I agreed that nothing much had changed in the Middle East since 2001 — because the region continues to be dominated by autocratic and dictatorial leaders and the rippling tensions of the Arab-Israeli conflict persist.

I disagreed, suggesting that the events of Sept. 11, 2001, and their aftermath had brought about significant changes in the region, mostly negative ones.

The most important single policy change has been the normalization of foreign military powers entering the region and attacking at will under the guise of responding to the 9/11 terror attack against the United States.