The Mideast and Abroad
- Published on Sunday, 30 September 2012 03:54
Over the past two weeks, violence and protests have spread from Libya and Egypt to over two dozen countries, leaving dozens dead, including a U.S. Ambassador and other U.S. diplomats. The film that allegedly spurred these events has been the centerpiece of a raging debate about the use of free speech and the response from people targeted by those exercising their free speech.
- Published on Thursday, 27 September 2012 07:59
In Part 1, we met the UC-Irvine MSU, whose political outspokenness is inspired by their faith. In Part II, we see how participating in the group gives its young members confidence and awareness of their unity with Muslims around the world. In Part III, we find that their activism helps them deal with negative perceptions of Muslim Americans.
It was half way between a "busy MSU day." The group already held a teach-in to raise awareness of the repression of activists in Syria, and it still had another protest about Syria coming up, along with a presentation on Shariah to end the day. Having been refreshed by mid-day prayer, Aminah Galal, the group's vice president, picked up lunch and headed to the Da'wah table, also known as the "Ask a Muslim" booth.
- Published on Friday, 21 September 2012 06:46
Egypt’s People’s Assembly has historically served as a rubber-stamp parliament. It had little power to challenge Egypt’s former president, Hosni Mubarak, not that it wanted to do that in the first place.
As the late Anthony Shadid illustrated through the example of Kamal al-Shazli, members of parliament played a key role in the Mubarak regime’s extensive patronage network. Parliamentarians, often ambitious and wealthy elite (who were thus the most threatening to the regime), were instead co-opted by the regime by the prospect of gaining access to government services, which they could then distribute to the highest bidder.
- Published on Wednesday, 19 September 2012 10:54
The narratives spun by various media sources regarding the recent Muslim protests suggest a very simple and essentialist explanation for the reasons behind the demonstrations. This approach unfortunately fits all too well with one of the sadder findings modern cognitive studies have shown: that while we believe that we appreciate diversity and respect others’ points of views, the truth is that we are driven to create and form groups and then believe that others are wrong just because they belong to other groups.
- Published on Tuesday, 18 September 2012 05:04
A spiritual man, Fr. Mercurious knows the only guarantee is from the hand of God. At the same time, his surgery to prevent a heart attack was in the hands of Muslims.
A few weeks ago the forty year old monk in the Monastery of St. Makarious in Wadi Natrun had open heart surgery. Suffering from high cholesterol, his doctor advised this course of action at the earliest date possible.
- Published on Friday, 14 September 2012 10:02
This week, on the 11th anniversary of 9/11, another unnecessary confrontation between Muslims and non-Muslim Americans unfolded, quickly becoming an international incident. Within 24 hours, it had resulted in the deaths of four Americans. The situation began as a group of protesters scaled the walls of the U.S. embassy in Cairo and tore down the American flag. Media reports are connecting the attack to a trailer to a film titled Innocence of Muslims, produced by “Sam Bacile” (a pseudonym) in the U.S. that depicts the life of Muhammad in unflattering and vile ways. The film is allegedly connected to Terry Jones, the Florida pastor who made international headlines and helped fuel violence in the Middle East with his threats to burn a Qur’an, the sacred scriptures of Islam, but this is unconfirmed. What is clear is that in the wake of the uprisings in the Middle East over the film Jones has stated publicly that he supports the film, and that the Muslim protesters have connected him to it. In the most recent update, according to Religion Dispatches, a California man—named Nakoula Basseley Nakoula— claimed to be responsible for the film. He said that it was “intended to be a provocative political statement assailing the religion” of Islam. The possible connection to Jones, and related concerns, have been enough to lead not only to the attack in Egypt but also to an attack in Libya. There, eruptions over the film fueled an unstable atmosphere that allowed terrorists to attack and kill the U.S. ambassador. The violence has spread to Yemen, and perhaps sparked other protests across the Middle East as well.
- Published on Wednesday, 12 September 2012 08:59
To mark September 11, Muslims in Egypt stormed the US Embassy.
Actually, it is not that simple. Certain Copts who reside in the United States produced an amateur film purporting to expose the frails and falsities of Muhammad, and advertised its release for September 11. Word got back to Egypt, of course, prompting protest from religious institutions, Muslim and Christian alike. Salafi Muslims in particular called for a protest at the US Embassy, and they were joined by hardcore soccer fans in denouncing the film as well as the US government for allowing it to be made. The US Embassy, for its part, issued an official condemnation, calling the effort an abuse of freedom of expression.
- Published on Wednesday, 08 August 2012 16:19
Have you been following the London games? If so then you know that in the last few days there has been a turn of events for the Middle Eastern and North African countries who have managed to win a medal or two. Below, Aslan Media’s Eman Jueid, who has been covering the games, offers another summary of the events that have recently taken place:
- Published on Wednesday, 08 August 2012 15:46
Last Sunday morning, horrible news broke out of Oak Creek, Wisconsin and quickly spread through the media. As Sikhs gathered at the place of prayer and worship in a local gurdwara outside Milwaukee, a man walked through the parking lot and shot individuals before moving into the worship facility and shooting worshipers, including the community’s religious leader. At the end of the incident seven people were dead, including the suspect, who was killed by a police officer. Several others were wounded and three people remain in the hospital in critical condition.