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Marine murder case reveals US-Philippine sore spot

October 24th, 2014 No comments

FILE - In this Wednesday, Oct. 22, 2014 file photo, U.S. Marine Pfc Joseph Scott Pemberton, a suspect in the gruesome killing of a transgender Filipino woman, is escorted to his detention as he arrives inside the compound of the Camp Aguinaldo military headquarters in suburban Quezon city, north of Manila, Philippines. American forces are guarding Marine Pfc. Joseph Scott Pemberton, yet a ring of Filipino troops surrounds them. The seemingly redundant security effort around the suspect in a Philippine murder case reflects Manila's uneasy ties with Washington, its former colonial master. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila, File)MANILA, Philippines (AP) — American forces are guarding Marine Pfc. Joseph Scott Pemberton, yet a ring of Filipino troops surrounds them. The seemingly redundant security effort around the suspect in a Philippine murder case reflects Manila's uneasy ties with Washington, its former colonial master.

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Jailed Bangladesh ex-Islamist leader dies

October 24th, 2014 No comments

FILE - In this Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2012 file photo, former chief of Bangladesh's largest Islamic party Jamaat-e-Islami, Ghulam Azam, waves from inside a car on his way to a court in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Azam, 91, died late Thursday, Oct. 23, 2014 after life support was removed at the Bangabandhu Sehikh Mujib Medical University in the capital, Dhaka, said hospital spokesman Abdul Majid Bhuiyan. (AP Photo/Shawkat Khan)DHAKA, Bangladesh (AP) — A former Bangladeshi Islamist party leader, whose imprisonment on war crimes charges triggered violent protests last year, has died of a heart attack in a prison cell of a government hospital.

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Saudi Arabia’s Shi’ites fear they are at mercy of region’s tumult

October 24th, 2014 No comments

By Angus McDowall RIYADH (Reuters) – The Shi’ite Muslim minority in Saudi Arabia’s Eastern Province have long felt marginalized by the Sunni ruling dynasty, and protests for greater rights as part of the 2011 Arab Spring brought a crackdown on both protesters and demands for reform. But now, death sentences for three Shi’ite Muslims including a prominent dissident cleric suggest that the region’s wider turmoil is further hardening attitudes toward the sect at home. …
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Khamenei’s Shadow Has a Mind of its Own

October 24th, 2014 No comments

This picture of Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei appeared on the Facebook Page of al-‘Ahed News, one of Hizbullah’s outlets:

Among the online commentary I’ve seen so far:

Ottoman Sultans used to style themselves “the Shadow of God on Earth,” but I’m pretty sure their shadows pointed the right way.

Perhaps Khamenei is brighter than the sun? I will resist any “brighter than a thousand  suns” remarks while the nuclear talks continue, however.
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Latest Issue of Dabiq Defends Enslavement of Yazidi Women

October 23rd, 2014 No comments

As Matthew Barber recently noted at Syria Comment, the Islamic State’s English magazine Dabiq, which we’ve discussed here before,  has not only acknowledged enslaving Yazidi women, but has justified it. The article in Dabiq’s issue 4 is entitled “The Revival of Slavery Before the Hour.” Besides spending many paragraphs defending enslaving and selling women, they conclude, “May Allah bless this Islamic State with the revival of other aspects of the religion at its hands.”

(If you must, you can find the issue many places online, among them here, with the slavery article on pages 14-17.)

The main theme is “The Failed Crusade,” meaning the West’s anti-ISIS effort. As you can see, the cover shows an ISIS flag flying over the Vatican.

If you’re thinking that they’re just messing with our minds at this point you’re probably right. But the enslavement and sale of Yazidi women is real.  Meanwhile Lizbeth Paulat calls them out by citing the Qur’an, Surat al-Nur (XXIV), 33 (here in the Yusuf ‘Ali translation):

And if any of your slaves ask for a deed in writing (to enable them to earn their freedom for a certain sum), give them such a deed if ye know any good in them: yea, give them something yourselves out of the means which Allah has given to you. But force not your maids to prostitution when they desire chastity, in order that ye may make a gain in the goods of this life.

Similar arguments against slavery by Muslim authorities can be found here.

It also says something about the times we live in that in almost six years of blogging, this is the first post with the tagline, “slavery.” I’d like it to be the last, but . . .


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France sends police reinforcements to Calais after migrant clashes

October 23rd, 2014 No comments

Policemen search a truck bound for Britain at the ferry terminal of the port of Calais on October 23, 2014Calais (France) (AFP) – France's interior minister said Thursday he had dispatched 100 extra police to the northern port of Calais where an influx of illegal migrants trying to get to Britain is causing more and more havoc.

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US: IS earns $1M per day in black market oil sales

October 23rd, 2014 No comments

In this Dec. 1, 2011 file photo, Treasury Undersecretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence David S. Cohen testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington. The Treasury Department says Islamic State militants are amassing wealth at an unprecedented pace, earning about $1 million a month from black market oil sales alone. Cohen said Thursday that the militant group also has taken in at least $20 million in ransom payments this year from kidnappings. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)WASHINGTON (AP) — Islamic State militants are amassing wealth at an unprecedented pace, earning about $1 million a day from black market oil sales alone, a U.S. Treasury Department official said Thursday.

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Turkey’s U.S. relations show strain as Washington’s patience wears thin

October 23rd, 2014 No comments

Turkey's President Tayyip Erdogan addresses the Turkish Parliament during a debate marking the reconvene of the parliament in AnkaraBy Jonny Hogg ANKARA (Reuters) – The U.S. decision to air-drop weapons to Kurdish forces in Syria on the same day Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan dismissed them as terrorists is the latest false note in the increasingly discordant mood music coming out of Washington and Ankara. No matter how much officials on both sides publicly insist there is harmony, differences in strategy over the fight against Islamic State and the fate of the beleaguered Syrian border town of Kobani are straining relations between the Washington and its key regional ally, leaving Turkey increasingly isolated. …

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US-led Syria strikes ‘kill hundreds’

October 23rd, 2014 No comments

US-led air strikes against Islamic State (IS) militants in Syria have killed 553 people since September, including 464 IS fighters, activists say.
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Rights group: Migrant workers abused in UAE homes

October 23rd, 2014 No comments

MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Many Asian and African women working as domestic workers in the United Arab Emirates have reported being overworked, beaten or sexually abused by their employers but are often trapped in slave-like conditions because they’re excluded from the country’s labor law protections, a rights group said Thursday.
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