Weekly News Round-Up 8/25/14-8/29/14: In The Darkness, Light

 

 

Dr. Kent Brantly is released from Emory University hospital following his battle with Ebola.
Dr. Kent Brantly is released from Emory University hospital following his battle with Ebola.
Michael Brown Sr. yells out as his son's casket is lowered into the ground at St. Peter's Cemetery in St. Louis, Mo., on Aug. 25. Family, politicians and activists gathered for the funeral of teen Michael Brown on Monday following weeks of unrest and at times violent protests.
Michael Brown Sr. yells out as his son’s casket is lowered into the ground at St. Peter’s Cemetery in St. Louis, Mo., on Aug. 25. Family, politicians and activists gathered for the funeral of teen Michael Brown on Monday following weeks of unrest and at times violent protests.
Relatives mourn during the funeral of two brothers, 16-year-old Omar and 12-year-old Mohammed Breem, who were killed by an Israeli airstrike in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip on Aug. 27. A long-term truce was agreed upon between Israel and the Palestinians, ending the deadliest violence in a decade with Israel and Hamas both claiming 'victory' in the 50-day war.
Relatives mourn during the funeral of two brothers, 16-year-old Omar and 12-year-old Mohammed Breem, who were killed by an Israeli airstrike in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip on Aug. 27. A long-term truce was agreed upon between Israel and the Palestinians, ending the deadliest violence in a decade with Israel and Hamas both claiming ‘victory’ in the 50-day war.
Damaged items lie in a kitchen in downtown Donetsk, Ukraine, on Aug. 26. Ukraine said it had captured Russian soldiers engaged in combat on Ukrainian territory, a claim that could complicate efforts to end fighting between government forces and separatist rebels in the east of the country.
Damaged items lie in a kitchen in downtown Donetsk, Ukraine, on Aug. 26. Ukraine said it had captured Russian soldiers engaged in combat on Ukrainian territory, a claim that could complicate efforts to end fighting between government forces and separatist rebels in the east of the country.

photos / nbcnews

Assorted Stand-Outs:

Continue reading “Weekly News Round-Up 8/25/14-8/29/14: In The Darkness, Light”

Weekly News Round-Up 8/18/14-8/22/14: Diplomacy, Legitimacy, & Loss

Protesters march in the street as lightning flashes in the distance in Ferguson, Mo. on Aug. 20. The Aug. 9 shooting of Michael Brown by a Ferguson police officer has sparked nightly clashes between protesters and police.
Protesters march in the street as lightning flashes in the distance in Ferguson, Mo. on Aug. 20. The Aug. 9 shooting of Michael Brown by a Ferguson police officer has sparked nightly clashes between protesters and police.
Indian youth make a human pyramid to reach and break the “Dahi Handi,” an earthen pot filled with yogurt, as they celebrate Janamashtami in Mumbai, India, on Aug. 18. Janmashtami is the festival that marks the birth of Hindu god Krishna.
Indian youth make a human pyramid to reach and break the “Dahi Handi,” an earthen pot filled with yogurt, as they celebrate Janamashtami in Mumbai, India, on Aug. 18. Janmashtami is the festival that marks the birth of Hindu god Krishna.
A health worker disinfects a corpse after the man died in a classroom now used as an Ebola isolation ward on Aug. 15 in Monrovia, Liberia. People suspected of contracting the Ebola virus are being sent by health workers to the center, a closed primary school originally built by USAID. The Ebola epidemic has killed more than 1,000 people in four West African countries.
A health worker disinfects a corpse after the man died in a classroom now used as an Ebola isolation ward on Aug. 15 in Monrovia, Liberia. People suspected of contracting the Ebola virus are being sent by health workers to the center, a closed primary school originally built by USAID. The Ebola epidemic has killed more than 1,000 people in four West African countries.
Palestinians perform Friday prayers outside a mosque which witnesses said was destroyed by an Israel air strike, on the second day of a five-day ceasefire in Gaza City on Aug. 15.
Palestinians perform Friday prayers outside a mosque which witnesses said was destroyed by an Israel air strike, on the second day of a five-day ceasefire in Gaza City on Aug. 15.
Bangladeshi boatmen navigate through dense water hyacinths over the Buriganga river in Dhaka on Aug. 21. Water hyacinths, an invasive plant species, can quickly cover huge swathes of water bodies which hampers the movements of boats.
Bangladeshi boatmen navigate through dense water hyacinths over the Buriganga river in Dhaka on Aug. 21. Water hyacinths, an invasive plant species, can quickly cover huge swathes of water bodies which hampers the movements of boats.
A mother is embraced by a pro-Russian rebel as she grieves over the body of her daughter, who died next to two other people after reported shelling by Ukrainian troops near a railway in Makiivka, about 10 miles east of Donetsk, in eastern Ukraine, on Aug. 19. Civilians have increasingly become trapped in the midst of fighting between the pro-Russian rebels and the Ukrainian military. Fighting in Ukrainian villages near the Russian border has left at least 2,086 dead and more than 5,000 wounded, according to the United Nations’ human rights office.
A mother is embraced by a pro-Russian rebel as she grieves over the body of her daughter, who died next to two other people after reported shelling by Ukrainian troops near a railway in Makiivka, about 10 miles east of Donetsk, in eastern Ukraine, on Aug. 19. Civilians have increasingly become trapped in the midst of fighting between the pro-Russian rebels and the Ukrainian military. Fighting in Ukrainian villages near the Russian border has left at least 2,086 dead and more than 5,000 wounded, according to the United Nations’ human rights office.

photos courtesy of nbcnews

Assorted Stand-Outs:

Continue reading “Weekly News Round-Up 8/18/14-8/22/14: Diplomacy, Legitimacy, & Loss”

The Constitution of Madina: The Beginning of Muslim-Jewish Relations

Hamid Mahmood

The City of Madinah - Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)'s final resting place and where the 'Constitution of Madinah' was written. The City of Madinah – Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)’s final resting place and where the ‘Constitution of Madinah’ was written.

By Hamid Mahmood

The Constitution of Madina:  The Beginning of Muslim-Jewish Relations

ھذا کتاب من محمد النبی [رسول اللٰہ] ۔ انھم امۃ واحدۃ من دون الناس ۔[1]

This is a prescript (kitāb) of Muḥammad [2]…. Verily they constitute an ‘ummah’ (political unit) as distinct from all the people (of the world).[3]

و ان یھود بنی عوف امۃ مع المومنین ۔ للیھود دینھم و للمسلمین دینھم۔۔۔[4]

And verily the Jews of Banū ’Auf shall be considered as an ummah (community) along with the Believers, for the Jews being their religion and for the Muslims their religion…[5]

Introduction

 

In contemporary society one is bewildered and bemused at the arguments and sources presented by Islamists and puritans in order to justify their hate for the ‘other’.  I always believe…

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Weekly News Round-Up 8/11/14-8/15/14: No Countries For Good Men

Continuing a trend of sad weeks, this one had few happy tidings. However, a happy Independence Day to Pakistan and India (belated for the former) and positive thoughts going into the weekend ahead.

Lesley McSpadden drops rose petals on the blood-stained street where her 18-year-old son Michael Brown was shot and killed by police in Ferguson, Mo., near St. Louis on Aug. 9.
Lesley McSpadden drops rose petals on the blood-stained street where her 18-year-old son Michael Brown was shot and killed by police in Ferguson, Mo., near St. Louis on Aug. 9.
Indonesian villagers walk to the crater during the Kasodo ceremony at Mount Bromo, Probolinggo, Indonesia, on Aug. 12. The Kasodo ceremony is a way of Tengger Hindus to express their gratitude to the gods for good harvest and fortune that have been bestowed on them.
Indonesian villagers walk to the crater during the Kasodo ceremony at Mount Bromo, Probolinggo, Indonesia, on Aug. 12. The Kasodo ceremony is a way of Tengger Hindus to express their gratitude to the gods for good harvest and fortune that have been bestowed on them.
A protester shouts as she moves away from a line of riot police in Ferguson, Mo., on Aug. 13 as unrest continued over the police killing of an unarmed black teenager. Police have not released the name of the officer who shot and killed the teenager, Michael Brown, on Saturday.
A protester shouts as she moves away from a line of riot police in Ferguson, Mo., on Aug. 13 as unrest continued over the police killing of an unarmed black teenager. Police have not released the name of the officer who shot and killed the teenager, Michael Brown, on Saturday.
An Indian sweets vendor shouts at a laborer who is pulling a cart through a street flooded due to monsoon rains in New Delhi on Aug. 10. The vendor was reacting angrily since the ripples created by the cart’s movement caused the floodwater to enter his shop.
An Indian sweets vendor shouts at a laborer who is pulling a cart through a street flooded due to monsoon rains in New Delhi on Aug. 10. The vendor was reacting angrily since the ripples created by the cart’s movement caused the floodwater to enter his shop.
An Afghan refugee child chases bubbles released by other children, while playing on the outskirts of Islamabad, Pakistan, Aug. 8. For more than three decades, Pakistan has been home to one of the world’s largest refugee communities: hundreds of thousands of Afghans who have fled the repeated wars and fighting in their country
An Afghan refugee child chases bubbles released by other children, while playing on the outskirts of Islamabad, Pakistan, Aug. 8. For more than three decades, Pakistan has been home to one of the world’s largest refugee communities: hundreds of thousands of Afghans who have fled the repeated wars and fighting in their country

pictures / nbcnews

Assorted Stand-Outs:

Continue reading “Weekly News Round-Up 8/11/14-8/15/14: No Countries For Good Men”

Weekly News Round-up 8/4/14-8/8/14: Stranded On A Mountain

 

Ultra-Orthodox Jewish boys climb a wall to watch the scene of an attack in Jerusalem on Aug. 4. The driver of a construction vehicle slammed into a bus and overturned the empty vehicle on Monday, interrupting a brief cease-fire between Israel and Hamas. Israeli police described the incident as a possible terrorist attack.
Ultra-Orthodox Jewish boys climb a wall to watch the scene of an attack in Jerusalem on Aug. 4. The driver of a construction vehicle slammed into a bus and overturned the empty vehicle on Monday, interrupting a brief cease-fire between Israel and Hamas. Israeli police described the incident as a possible terrorist attack.
Palestinians mourn over the Nigim family killed in a reported Israeli airstrike in Jabaliya on the Gaza Strip, on Aug. 4.
Palestinians mourn over the Nigim family killed in a reported Israeli airstrike in Jabaliya on the Gaza Strip, on Aug. 4.
Family members mourn during the funeral of Staff Sgt. Guy Algranati on July 31, in Tel Aviv, Israel. Since the beginning of Operation Protective Edge in Gaza, more than 50 Israeli soldiers have been killed along with over 1000 Palestinians.
Family members mourn during the funeral of Staff Sgt. Guy Algranati on July 31, in Tel Aviv, Israel. Since the beginning of Operation Protective Edge in Gaza, more than 50 Israeli soldiers have been killed along with over 1000 Palestinians.
Vehicles lie abandoned in a road on Aug. 1 which collapsed from gas pipeline explosions in Kaohsiung, Taiwan. The five blasts tore through streets in the city around midnight on July 31, flinging cars into the air and blasting cement rubble at passers-by, many of whom were out late at a nearby night market. At least 28 people were killed and 286 injured.
Vehicles lie abandoned in a road on Aug. 1 which collapsed from gas pipeline explosions in Kaohsiung, Taiwan. The five blasts tore through streets in the city around midnight on July 31, flinging cars into the air and blasting cement rubble at passers-by, many of whom were out late at a nearby night market. At least 28 people were killed and 286 injured.
Jorge, an immigrant from Mexico dressed as Elmo, rests in New York City's Times Square, on July 29. The recent antics of New York street performers dressed as beloved Sesame Street characters have drawn the ire of city officials and now the show's producers. Sesame Workshop, which owns the rights to the assorted puppet monsters on the 45-year-old program, said it was drafting plans to stop performers who dress up as the characters from appearing in Times Square, where they pose for photos with tourists and then demand tips.
Jorge, an immigrant from Mexico dressed as Elmo, rests in New York City’s Times Square, on July 29. The recent antics of New York street performers dressed as beloved Sesame Street characters have drawn the ire of city officials and now the show’s producers. Sesame Workshop, which owns the rights to the assorted puppet monsters on the 45-year-old program, said it was drafting plans to stop performers who dress up as the characters from appearing in Times Square, where they pose for photos with tourists and then demand tips.
An injured girl cries in the corridor of the Ludian hospital in Zhaotong, China on Aug. 4. Sunday's 6.1-magnitude quake that struck in a mountainous part of Yunnan province left 589 dead as of Wednesday, and brought forth a massive effort to clear roads and enter isolated mountain communities where people were still feared to be trapped in collapsed homes.
An injured girl cries in the corridor of the Ludian hospital in Zhaotong, China on Aug. 4. Sunday’s 6.1-magnitude quake that struck in a mountainous part of Yunnan province left 589 dead as of Wednesday, and brought forth a massive effort to clear roads and enter isolated mountain communities where people were still feared to be trapped in collapsed homes.

images – nbcnews

Assorted Stand-Outs:

Weekly News Round-Up 7/28/14-8/1/14: Somewhere Between A Rock, A Hard Place, And A Harder Place

Another long and hard week. However, a belated Eid Mubarak to all who celebrated! Revisiting this week, this blog has little to say that isn’t rooted in pessimism and sadness. However several fantastic op-eds have really captured how those who struggle with their support for Israel and their not mutually exclusive concern for human rights feel, including one below by Roger Cohen, and this piece by Ezra Klein:

I don’t equate support for Israel with support for the current policies of any particular Israeli government, any more than I equate support for America with support for the particular policies of President Bush or President Obama. My definition of being pro-Israel was always more basic, and, admittedly, more subjective: I want to see Israel succeed. I want to see it thrive. And that makes this moment in Israeli history painful to watch.

The state of Israel is supposed to make Jews safer. But Israel itself is terrifyingly vulnerable: it is home to 6 million Jews in a tiny sliver of land surrounded on all sides by enemies. Israel is a fortress built in hostile territory. Its survival, and its strength today, is something of a miracle. But the nightmares are easy to conjure: the Six-Day War ending another way, or a dirty bomb detonating in Tel Aviv.

Israel’s political ideals are similarly imperiled: it is a liberal democracy that intends to remain a Jewish state. The problem is that Jews might become a minority in the territory they control (though there’s disagreement about the demographic projections behind that fear), and even if they don’t, liberal democracies do not deprive millions of their native residents of a say in their government.

 

A family hides in the basement of their house which they converted into a bomb shelter, in the town of Horlivka, Ukraine, on July 29. According to reports, the Ukrainian army has taken measures to regain control over Horlivka, a town considered a separatist stronghold.
A family hides in the basement of their house which they converted into a bomb shelter, in the town of Horlivka, Ukraine, on July 29. According to reports, the Ukrainian army has taken measures to regain control over Horlivka, a town considered a separatist stronghold.
Protesters barricade themselves against water cannon spray during President Benigno Aquino's annual State of the Nation address on July 28, in Manila, Philippines. Thousands of government protesters staged a rally to protest the alleged corruption of Aquino involving the Disbursement Allocation Program, a $3.34-billion fund to boost public spending but some of the funds went to favored allies in the Lower House of Representatives, reports say.
Protesters barricade themselves against water cannon spray during President Benigno Aquino’s annual State of the Nation address on July 28, in Manila, Philippines. Thousands of government protesters staged a rally to protest the alleged corruption of Aquino involving the Disbursement Allocation Program, a $3.34-billion fund to boost public spending but some of the funds went to favored allies in the Lower House of Representatives, reports say.
Pharaoh Haywood plays with his daughter Isis, 2, during a "Get On the Bus" visiting day to Folsom State Prison on July 26. The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) and the Center for Restorative Justice Works (CRJW) organized free bus trips for children and their caregivers to two prisons, part of an outreach program to reunite children with their incarcerated fathers.
Pharaoh Haywood plays with his daughter Isis, 2, during a “Get On the Bus” visiting day to Folsom State Prison on July 26. The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) and the Center for Restorative Justice Works (CRJW) organized free bus trips for children and their caregivers to two prisons, part of an outreach program to reunite children with their incarcerated fathers.
Israeli soldiers, family and friends mourn over the grave of Sergeant Sagi Erez, an infantry soldier training to be a squad commander, during his funeral at the military cemetery in Haifa, Israel, on July 29. Erez, 19, was killed Monday in combat after Gaza militants used a tunnel to sneak into Israel.
Israeli soldiers, family and friends mourn over the grave of Sergeant Sagi Erez, an infantry soldier training to be a squad commander, during his funeral at the military cemetery in Haifa, Israel, on July 29. Erez, 19, was killed Monday in combat after Gaza militants used a tunnel to sneak into Israel.
A Palestinian father of one of eight dead children cries outside the morgue of the Shifa hospital in Gaza City, on July 28.
A Palestinian father of one of eight dead children cries outside the morgue of the Shifa hospital in Gaza City, on July 28.

Assorted Stand-Outs:

This corrosive Israeli exercise in the control of another people, breeding the contempt of the powerful for the oppressed, is a betrayal of the Zionism in which I still believe.

Continue reading “Weekly News Round-Up 7/28/14-8/1/14: Somewhere Between A Rock, A Hard Place, And A Harder Place”