Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Not Islamophobia in America

I generally point out instances of Islamophobia in the United States, but this is a case where it wasn't Islamophobia.  Several Muslims were arrested at an amusement park in New York, because they wanted to go on rides, but no head scarves were allowed.  This started a big confrontation and police were called in.  Now, this is not an anti-hijab rule.  This is a rule that the amusement park passed that covers hats, scarves, head scarves, whatever is on your head.  Because on certain rides they can fly off or maybe even get caught somewhere.  Unfortunately, several of the women involved seemed to think this was about their hijab.  The newspaper covering the situation also phrased it as a "head scarf ban," further inflaming the situation.

This is a secondary problem that I haven't really talked about before.  After being discriminated against for a while, some people will start to view any kind of problem as discrimination.  For instance, if you ask someone the time and they ignore you, it's not necessarily because you have a different skin color or religion.  It could be something as simple as the person didn't hear you, or was having a really bad day.  But if you face discrimination all the time, then that is the first thing you think of.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Turkish Government Returns Property

In 1936, the Turkish government issued a proclamation that ended up with the government claiming property that belonged to minority foundations in Turkey.  Now the government is returning property that was "registered as public or foundation property."  Any foundations that lost property have 12 months to apply for a return of their property.  According to the article:
Some of the property set to be returned to Armenian, Greek and Syriac foundations include schools, churches, stores, hundreds of houses, buildings and apartments, cemeteries, factories, and even nightclubs.
I think this is definitely a step in the right direction.  Addressing past wrongs will only help Turkey's future.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Top Stories August 29, 2011

ArabNews (Saudi Arabia):  Mataf expansion to accommodate 130,000 pilgrims - The Kingdom is expanding the area around the Kaaba, so that more pilgrims can walk around it during the tawaf.

Lebanon Daily Star:  Syria snubs friends' advice - Syria is at odds with the Arab League, which wants the violence to stop.

Haaretz (Israel):  Terror attack in Tel Aviv leaves seven wounded - A West Bank man stole a taxi, ran over 2 people, then stabbed 5 more.  It's being called a "terror attack," but it's unclear at this point if perhaps the Palestinian man responsible is simply a common criminal.

Turkish Daily News:  Gul: We all lost trust in the Syrian regime - The Turkish president is calling for an end to authoritarian rule.

Gulf Daily News (Bahrain):  Clamp on violence - The security forces will "deal firmly" with "saboteurs" creating fear in Bahrain.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Women's News August 25, 2011

More problems with women being forced to work in the Middle East.  See previous posts.  This time the woman was from Madagascar.  She spent 15 years as basically a slave in Lebanon, before a welfare agency tracked her down.  And for anybody out there who thinks this is a Middle Eastern problem, or a problem for "dark-skinned" people, it even happens in the United States of America (see report).

A Muslim woman is suing retailer Abercrombie & Fitch.  She claims she was fired because she wouldn't take off her hijab at work.  Another Muslim woman filed a lawsuit against them in 2009, for a similar reason.

In July, several women reporters had to remove their bras for a security check, so they could meet with the Israeli prime minister.  The Foreign Press Association (FPA) denounced the incident.  The same thing happened to a pregnant Al-Jazeera reporter in January.  The FPA is concerned about sending correspondents to events where this could happen to them.  Unfortunately, that may be precisely why it is happening.  It's degrading and humiliating but if you give in to it, then they've won.  Maybe at the next press event, the reporters should ALL be women.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

YemenWatch: Wednesday August 24, 2010

AQAP is still causing problems in Yemen.  Two suicide bombers blew themselves up in Abyan province, and a military camp was attacked too.  You may remember that AQAP and possibly another group took over part of Abyan and are calling it an Islamic emirate now.  The Yemeni military is fighting back, near Zinjubar.

The Yemeni PM just returned from Saudi Arabia, where he had medical treatment.  He was injured during an assassination attempt on President Saleh, when the presidential palace was bombed in June.  Also, the head of the Shura Council just died from injuries from that June bombing.  The government is now blaming the attack on two of the opposition leaders.

The Yemen Observer reports that the FBI may be re-opening 9/11 investigations to see what part Anwar Al-Awlaki played in them.  They cite a Fox News article which says that the US House of Representatives Homeland Security Committee is interested in Al-Awlaki.  In May of this year, Fox News reported that Al-Awlaki was a key player in 9/11.  This is interesting.  I haven't really heard anything about this, except on Fox News, which is a right-wing, conservative news source.  If I was a conspiracy nut, I'd say that someone is laying the ground work for a US invasion of Yemen.  Since I'm not a conspiracy nut, I'll just say that it makes me suspicious.  It wouldn't surprise me in the least to find out that Al-Awlaki was involved in 9/11.  But the timing, as Yemen is disintegrating, and AQAP is going strong, and we approach the 10th anniversary of 9/11, is suspicious to me.

Tribesmen stopped a military shipment of Russian tanks from reaching Sana'a over the weekend.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Ramadan in America

You may have seen this already, but I thought it worth mentioning.  A Muslim teenager in Florida is observing Ramadan while he practices football.  And it is very hot and humid in Florida.  It would be really easy to either give up football or simply not observe Ramadan, but he's choosing to do both.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Top Stories August 22, 2011

ArabNews (Saudi Arabia):  Libya rebels in Tripoli, Qaddafi defenses collapse - Looks like the rebels have finally gotten into Tripoli.  Here's hoping for a Free Libya!

Lebanon Daily Star:  Libyan rebels enter Tripoli, arrest Gadhafi's son - Hopefully Qaddafi is next, inshallah.

Haaretz (Israel):  Libya rebels: Two of Gadhafi's sons captured, presidential guard surrenders - Everyone is watching Libya tonight!

Turkish Daily News:  Libya rebels launch final push to oust Gadhafi - More news on Libya.

Good luck to the people of Libya, and to their future.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011


Hello everyone.  I'm still here, just incredibly busy.  I've barely been keeping up with Monday Top Stories (and obviously missed this week).  I'm taking a break now, before school starts at the end of August, but I should be back then.