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Table of Contents

ECHO of Islam

Zionist Regime’s Fiasco in 8-Day War in Gaza

Leader: US, Zionism Trying to Turn Muslim Youth against Each Other

The Muslim Brotherhood, Postmodernism and Future Challenges

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ISSN: 1019-0775

of Islam

No 248, December 2012

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ECHO

Egypt’s President and Future Challenges

www.echoofsalam.com

Thousands of Indonesians Protest U.S.-Made Film

The Muslim U.S. Judge OIC Mecca Conference Brotherhood, and the Issues of Rejects Call to Postmodernism and Ban Film on Net Bahrain and Palestine Future Challenges

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Managing Editor: Dr. Mahdi Goljan,

9/11: What Didn’t Change

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OIC Mecca Conference and the Issues of Bahrain and Palestine

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Editorial Board: Dr. A‘zam Hosseini, Mohammad Fakurpour, Abbas Keshavarz Public Relations Officer: Maryam Hamzelou,

14 Iran’s Leader: Enemies’ Chagrin Behind Blasphemous Movie

Design: U.S. Judge Rejects Call to Ban Film on Net

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Zionist Regime’s Fiasco in 8-Day War in

International organizations and several countries have condemned the Zionist regime’s attacks on Gaza, calling for immediate halt to attacks.

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By S. Musawi

everal international organizations such as Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) and a large number of countries including Iran, Russia, Egypt, Pakistan, Lebanon… as well as people across the world have condemned the Zionist onslaught against Gaza.

Iran, Inter-Parliamentary Union Condemn Israeli Attacks

Iran’s Majlis Speaker Ali Larijani in separate phone calls with a group of his counterparts, the political and parliamentary

personalities and other international political officials strongly condemned recent crimes of the Zionist regime of Israel in Gaza. In a phone call with Anders B. Johnsson, Secretary General of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), described as “shameful and deplorable” the Zionist regime’s wide-scale attack from air, sea and the ground on the innocent people of Gaza. “The time is now ripe for the IPU, as the hub of the world parliaments, to show serious reaction in this regard.” Johnsson said in reply: “The Islamic Republic of Iran’s concern over Israel’s attacks on Gaza is common source of concern by many of the world people and the

IPU is soon to issue a statement in this connection to closely follow up the issue.” He noted that an IPU delegation is soon to pay a visit to Gaza. Meanwhile, in a phone call with Professor Erol KiliÇ, Secretary General of the IPU, condemned the Zionist regime’s crimes and called on the Islamic states to take concrete action in that connection. Also in phone calls with Lebanese Speaker Nabih Berri, Algerian People’s National Assembly Speaker Mohamed al-Arabi Ould Khalifa, Fehmida Mirza, first woman speaker of Pakistan’s National Assembly, Syria’s parliament speaker, Jihad Laham, Osama Al-nujaifi Speaker of Iraqi


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Gaza

Council of Representatives, and Tunisia’s National Constituent Assembly (NCA) Speaker Mustapha Ben Jaafar, Larijani condemned the crimes. He called on Muslim states to take parliamentary measures to condemn the merciless crimes of the Zionist regime in launching air, ground and sea attacks on Gaza.

NAM Condemns the Zionist Regime

The Non-Aligned Movement, in a statement, condemned the Zionist regime’s military aggression on Gaza Strip and called on the international community, particularly the UN Security Council to bring an immediate halt to Israel’s crimes. The NAM statement said that the Zionist regime has once again heightened its military aggressions against the Palestinians, particularly on Gaza Strip. Iranian Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Mohammad Khazayee presided over the ambassadorial meeting of NAM in New York city held for reviewing the recent Israeli aggression against the defenseless Palestinians. NAM condemns the recent Is-

raeli military aggressions against the Palestinians and believes that the aggression of Israeli regime and resorting to force against the defenseless people needs immediate attention of the entire international community and firm measure of the UN Security Council as the sole responsible for protecting peace and international security, it added.

OIC Condemns Zionist Regime’s Attacks

The OIC Council of Foreign Ministers strongly condemned the dangerous Israel escalations against Gaza. “The council considers this barbaric aggression a continuation of the ongoing savage and devastating war waged by the Israeli occupation against the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip since 2008.” The council observes that these serious acts of aggression are being committed at a time when efforts are continuing to reach a military truce in the Gaza Strip and accomplish a comprehensive Palestinian reconciliation, the statement said. The council sees this premeditated wanton aggression as an attack on the entire Islamic world and warns against the continued

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Israeli escalation and the attempt to reinvade the Gaza Strip, which will further fuel the conflict and take the region to the brink of an explosion, the statement added. Meanwhile, the Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, condemned the Israeli aggression against the Gaza Strip, OIC said in its statement. The report says that Israel must stop shelling of the Gaza Strip, as air strikes kill civilians. Nasrallah to Arabs: Use Oil as Weapon to Pressure US on Israel Hezbollah chief says Palestinian militants’ long-range rockets are ‘very significant development’ in conflict with Israel.Palestinians firing long-range rockets from Gaza into Israel represents a “very significant development” in the conflict with the Zionist regime, Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah said. “The firing of Fajr 5 rockets on Tel Aviv shows the maturation, the wisdom and strength, and the courage of the Palestinian resistance in the Gaza Strip,” Nasrallah said in a speech. “The Israeli enemy was surprised and forced to acknowledge that its capital had been hit,” said the leader of Lebanon’s most


4 powerful military force, adding that the Iranian-made rockets have a range of 70 kilometers (44 miles) Gaza defenders defied a major Israeli bombing campaign, firing off volleys of rockets, one of which hit the sea near Tel Aviv, the farthest distance ever attained by fire from Gaza. This was the first time rockets had been fired at Tel Aviv since the 1991 Persian Gulf War, when the city was hit by Iraqi Scud missiles. “This is a very significant development in the history of

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the conflict between the resistance and the Israeli enemy,” Nasrallah said. Nasrallah called on Arab leaders to “make every effort to deter, prevent and stop the aggression on the Gaza Strip and protect the people of Gaza.” The only thing that can change the equation, is for the Arab League and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation “to take a genuine stand” and use oil as a weapon to push the United States to pressure its ally Israel. “We are all concerned in Lebanon to do everything in our power to help the situation,” he concluded.

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“This is not Gaza’s battle to fight alone, but belongs to all of us.”

Russia Is Concerned

Russia has strongly condemned the latest wave of Israel’s aerial attacks on Gaza Strip, which has killed over a dozen Palestinians in the besieged territory. “Further escalation of violence would be impermissible,” Russian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Alexander Lukashevich told reporters in Moscow. “The disproportionate strikes in Gaza Strip are totally unacceptable, especially when there are civilian casualties,” he added. “Moscow is deeply concerned with what is going on in Gaza Strip and calls for the bloodshed to end,”


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Gaza Lukashevich noted. The new wave of Israeli aggression on the Gaza Strip has claimed at least 17 lives since Wednesday. Ahmed al-Ja’abari, the popular and influential head of the Hamas military wing, the Ezzedeen al-Qassam Brigades, was assassinated in an Israeli attack on his car on Wednesday. The Israeli military frequently carries out airstrikes and other attacks on Gaza Strip, saying the actions are being conducted for defensive purposes. However, in violation of international law disproportionate force is always used and civilians are often killed or injured. Gaza has been blockaded since 2007, a situation that has caused a decline in the standard of living, unprecedented levels of unemployment, and unrelenting poverty. The apartheid regime of Israel denies about 1.7 million people in Gaza their basic rights, such as freedom of movement, jobs that pay proper wages, and adequate

healthcare and education. Egyptian President Slams Israel, Vows to Stand by Gazans Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi has condemned Israel’s ‘unacceptable’ airstrikes on the Gaza Strip, vowing to stand by the people of the beleaguered Palestinian territory. In a televised address, Morsi lashed out at Tel Aviv for killing over a dozen Palestinians, including senior Hamas commander Ahmed al-Ja’abari, during a series of strikes. “We are in contact with the people of Gaza and with Palestinians and we stand by them until we stop the aggression,” he vowed. Tel Aviv’s deadly strikes has sparked anti-Israeli protests in Egypt; and prompted Morsi to recall the Egyptian ambassador to Israel and to summon the Israeli envoy to Cairo. “We do not accept under any circumstances the continuation of this aggression on the Strip,” the

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Egyptian leader stressed, warning that the attacks will destabilize the region. “The Israelis must realize that this aggression is unacceptable and would only lead to instability in the region and would negatively and greatly impact the security of the region,” he stated. Hamas Will Rain Rockets on Israel If Strikes Continue A top Hamas official says the Palestinian resistance movement, Hamas, will rain down its rockets on Israel as long as the new wave of attacks by the Tel Aviv regime on the Gaza Strip continues. “If the Israeli aggression continues, it is clear that the Ezzedeen al-Qassam Brigades and Hamas will attack the Israelis, the Israeli soldiers and the Israeli decision-makers,” Fawzi Barhoum, a Hamas spokesman, said at a press conference in Gaza.


6 He added, “We will launch our rockets just like rain. Rains of rockets will pour down on them.” Meanwhile, another Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said they would not consider a truce with Israel for now.

British protesters condemn Israel’s aggressions on Gaza

A large-scale Pro-Palestinian demonstration was held outside the Israeli embassy in London to protest the ongoing strikes by the Zionist regime against defenseless Palestinians. Stop the War Coalition, a UK group that campaigns against what it believes are unjust wars had organized the protests. “Unless something is done to stop the violence…we could see yet another humanitarian

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crisis…,” the coalition warned amid the continuation of Israel’s new wave of attacks against the enclave. Meantime, an NGO that works on human rights issues in the Arab World, the Arab Organization for Human Rights in Britain called on Egypt to “take urgent action” to save the Gaza Strip in the face of Israeli strikes. The Israeli army military frequently conducts airstrikes and other attacks on the Gaza Strip, claiming that its aggressions are being conducted for defensive purposes. However, in violation of international law, disproportionate force is always used and civilians are often killed or injured. The attacks take place while Israel keeps up its crippling

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blockade on Gaza, which it imposed on the enclave in 2007.

Pakistan Slams Israel’s Offensive in Gaza

Pakistan has strongly condemned Israel’s new offensive in the Gaza Strip, and urged the Security Council, which met in a private emergency session, to demand an immediate cessation of its military action. Council sources said that Ambassador Masood Khan, the permanent representative of Pakistan to the UN, told the 15-member Council that the deadly Israeli offensive of more than 20 airstrikes in Gaza threatened international peace and security. “Grave developments today in Gaza portend to threaten international peace and security. The Council must play its part in arresting this trend,” he added. After the closed-door meeting that lasted nearly 90 minutes, Indian Ambassador Hardeep Singh Puri, who is the president of the Council for this month, said the upshot of the discussion was to seek de-escalation of the situation and to try and diffuse the tensions. “These are senseless killings,” he is understood to have told the Council. “The Israeli retaliation is excessive, the response disproportionate.” Khan said the excessive use of force by Israel on peaceful protesters in a number of Palestinian cities was unacceptable. “Israel should exercise restraint. The firing of rockets from Gaza should also stop,” he stated. “The international community should step in. The Security Council should ensure that hostilities cease forthwith and further escalation is arrested, without caveats and qualifications,” Khan added.


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Leader: Iran Plays Key Role in Global Transition

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he Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei said that the world is in the midst of a transition to a new political, economic, and social order and highlighted the role the Iranian nation is playing during the transition period. The Leader made the remarks during a meeting with a number of professors, academics, and researchers. Ayatollah Khamenei enumerated the signs indicating that a profound change is taking place in the world and said that the Islamic Awakening occurring in the region is one of the signs of this major change. “A sense of identity and an awakening based on Islam among various Muslim nations is an unprecedented sign of a profound change in the structure and geometry of the future world,” he stated. The failure of the efforts of the West, led by the United States, to gain control over the West Asia region, which became evident after the U.S. defeats in Iraq and Afghanistan, is another indication of a major change in the world, he noted. The Leader also cited the current situation in Europe, the uncertain future of powerful European countries, and the decline in the status of the United States in the world as additional evidence that a major change is occurring.

He went on to say that the Iranian people, especially the country’s intellectuals and officials, have a heavy responsibility and should play important roles during this period of transition. Ayatollah Khamenei also said that the awakening inspired by the Islamic Revolution and the stability and strength of the Islamic system, which are founded on belief, faith, and wisdom, are factors that have raised the status of Iran in current developments in the world. He added, “At this critical juncture in history, the country’s intellectuals can provide decisive assistance in elevating the status of Iran in the new world structure through fulfilling their highly important obligations.”

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Hamas Representative: Palestine and Quds Unite Muslims

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halid al-Qaddumi, the representative of Hamas in Tehran, said, “Imam Khomeini was right as he called Palestine the main cause of the Islamic world because only Palestine and the holy Quds can unite all Muslims.” Delivering speech in the Resistance, Islamic Awakening & Liberation of Palestine Conference held by the Islamic Culture and Relations Organization (ICRO) in Tehran, Khalid al-Qaddumi added, “The other side is waiting in ambush to steer the developments of the Islamic Awakening movement toward a direction that never reaches the Palestinian cause.” He described the Islamic Awakening as a golden opportunity for the Islamic and Arab states and continued, “The Islamic Awakening movement has provided us -- the campaign elite – with a historic opportunity and we should not be indifferent to it and wait for the history as it will show no mercy to us.” The representative of Hamas in Tehran said the ongoing developments in Arab states are positive and will take time to yield good results. The Resistance, Islamic Awakening & Liberation of Palestine Conference was held by the Islamic Culture and Relations Organization in the ICRO premise in August.


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The Muslim Brotherhood, Postmodernism and Future Challenges Egypt has gone through many ups and downs since 1952 when Gamal Abdel Nasser overthrew the monarchy in Egypt and announced a republic. By Mahdi Goljan (PhD)

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ndoubtedly, we can consider the Muslim Brotherhood as one of the most influential actors in Egyptian political scene. It was established in 1928 with the goal of establishing an Islamic government. In other words, the Brotherhood considers “religious law” as the pivot and foundation of all legislations and all governmental decisions. Americans also are aware that Egypt’s situation is significantly different from that of Mubarak’s era and that they can no longer influence regional policies or encourage Egypt to support the Zionist regime,etc. Egypt has gone through many ups and downs since 1952 when Gamal Abdel Nasser overthrew the monarchy in Egypt and announced a republic. Anwar El Sadat and Hosni Mubarak both were kings ruling over people under the title of president; but the Brotherhood led a a revolution beyond what had happened in 1952 and the result was the victory of Islamists over U.S.-backed monarchists. The Brotherhood is both affecting and affected by the revolution. In other words, they should carry out a revolution within and do not let Salafists,

American or Israeli thoughts take over them from within or without. Fortunately, after the revolution of January 25, 2011 and expansive role in the course of the revolution, particularly in parliamentary or presidency comptitions, they still follow their original policies to promote the global Islamic movement to achieve Islamic goals. Active presence in political arena is among the main achievements of the Muslim Brotherhood . Prior to the participation of Justice and Development Party in election campaign, and considering pessimism towards the Muslim Brotherhood, there was not much hope in triumph of the group. One of the unwritten obstacles in Arab and Middle East world (Turkey is also included) is that political parties and forces with religious attitudes cannot achieve success in political field, but the Muslim Brotherhood broke through the barrier and proved that to be successful in political field, it is necessary to use intelligent approaches. As an example, most of the Western media predicted that the Muslim Brotherhood would act similar to Al-Qaida whereas its policy had always focused on suppression of Al-Qaida-supported groups in

Egypt. At the same time, Al-Qaida leaders accuse the Muslim Brotherhood of putting aside Jihad and involving in political trends of Egyptian government. In fact, the Muslim Brotherhood’s success has invalidated Al-Qaida claim, because they believe that Jihad is the only way to success while the Brotherhood always avoids it and used political competition to come to power and finally achieved it. In regard to the Brotherhoods’ activities and their impacts on the future destiny of the country, it should be borne in mind that the Muslim Brotherhood is involved in different issues regarding the future course of its policies both inside the country and also in its foreign relations, particularly with the United States. While previous generation of such movements sought social role and conservative activities


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in the political scene, the new generation looks forward to a more serious presence in politics, and they have practically proved that they pursue this goal. In the aftermath of the Janu-

ary revolution, , continuity of military cooperation with the U.S. has turned out to a significant question. Egypt has

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great importance in the Arab world and its actions influence the region drastically. The United States owns security interests in Egypt and thus should be assured of them; but the interesting point is that U.S. influence in Egypt has dwindled recently. Meanwhile, the Muslim Brotherhood is among ardent critics of the U.S. military operations in the region and seeks reduction of U.S.-Egypt cooperation. Interestingly, the new Brotherhood is like a Pandora box for the U.S.: it can neither give it up nor accept it completely; thus, both sides are eager to cooperate with each other, because none will benefit from military confrontation, etc. First, the presence of Egypt’s president in Tehran was unpredictable after 30 years of severance of diplomatic ties. In fact, Morsi and his political Party (Freedom and Justice Party) and Muslim Brotherhood try to demonstrate a “new era” in Egypt foreign relations; the reason is that Mubarak’s foreign policy was unacceptable to almost all Egyptians. Morsi’s activities in recent months indicate that he will have hard days ahead in major policy issues. The Muslim Brotherhood is trying to formulate an independent foreign policy to let Egypt regain its regional influence. Iran-Egypt relations became critical during three decades of Mubarak’s rule; but President of Egypt and the Muslim Brotherhood believe that these relations, particularly diplomatic and strategic relations with Iran and all other Islamic countries should be resumed because the Persian Gulf region is very significant for


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Egypt. Also, Iran tries to keep its relations with the Brotherhood even if it is at the least possible level; since no side will benefit from severance of ties. The critical dialogue between Iran and the Brotherhood not only will contribute to preservation of the present level of relations, but also is important in effectiveness of such party in future. Iran could be the best ally of the Brotherhood in world today. It is not an enemy at all! The important point is that both the countries have a common enemy called Israel or better saying “the usurping Zionist regime”. The Brotherhood acts differently in each country. In other words, it has regional and local approaches within the framework of its general strategy. The Muslim Brotherhood does not act uniformly in Syria, Yemen or Bahrain which causes observers occasionally feel a sort of paradox in their policies. It seems that in Syria the prevailing discussions are about the stances of the ruling party, i.e., Baath Party and those of the Muslim Brotherhood, which is a longstanding difference. After Syria’s independence from France, both parties tried to come to power and finally the Baath party gained victory over the Brotherhood and that’s why they always feel sort of animosity toward Baathists, they believe that Bashar al-Assad should resign, either through reforms or otherwise, since he is a Baathist! Morsi wants to achieve what Saddam Hossein tried to achieve recklessly, that is, formation a powerful and effective Arab Union. One of the prerequisites of this union is omission of Syria. After the defeat of Brotherhood from the Baath party, the former launched two types of

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Iran-Egypt relations became critical during three decades of Mubarak’s rule; but President of Egypt and the Muslim Brotherhood believe that these relations, particularly diplomatic and strategic relations with Iran and all other Islamic countries should be resumed because the Persian Gulf region is very significant for Egypt. Also, Iran tries to keep its relations with the Brotherhood even if it is at the least possible level; since no side will benefit from severance of ties.


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Middle East campaign against the Baath government: reformist campaign along with political cooperation and military struggle, particularly by highlighting Assad’s Alawi affiliation and provoking Sunnis and even the attempts to assassinate Assad which caused severe suppression of the Brotherhood. Historical animosity between the Baath and the Muslim Brotherhood resulted in severe conflicts between Morsi and Bashar alAssad, and hence, Morsi considers Syria more dangerous than Israel. While the Muslim Brotherhood reacts to killing of opponents in Syrian, not only it is not neutral

towards killing of Bahraini prodemocracy Shias, but also openly supports the oppressing government of Bahrain. The Muslim Brotherhood’s stance towards Syria is based on some considerations regarding Arab history and Arab people. Certainly, the next Arab generation will pose questions about the Muslim Brotherhood’s stance and ask: why did not you act effectively when you could? Why Morsi did not support Syria and was certain about U.S. determination to wipeout Syria under any circumstances? It seems that Syria turned out to be an offside trap for the Muslim Brotherhood, challenging them with a significant historical test at early stages. A test which requires more thinking and the Muslim Brotherhood should be cautious not to be entrapped by the logic of opponents. They should not forget the fact that Islam’s opponents have always achieved victory through division. The Arab world is trying to organize a new league with the leadership of Egypt which has one of the most ancient civilizations and has been one of the most influential actors in the Middle East, Africa and the Arab world. Definitely Morsi intends to do what Saddam Hussein irrationally intended to do; in other words he intends to create a powerful and influential league. At the same time, the US wants the newly formed league to target Iran as its number one foe instead of Israel. To achieve such a goal, the Zionists are trying to fan the flames of Iranophobia instead of Israelophobia. This project has been planned in US-Israeli think tanks and costs arm and leg. One of the prerequisites of the formation of this union or league is to remove Syria. U.S. strategy is to fan the flames

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of a war between Arab league and Iran and attempts very hard to achieve this goal. Unfortunately, the Arab League is not aware of the fact that change in Syria does not benefit Arabs, but will weaken their situation vis-à-vis Israel. Now, Syria is considered to be the most serious threat to Israel. Therefore, Syria’s defeat means Iran’s defeat, thus to achieve its goal, the U.S. has mobilized all its means. In presidential elections, 48% of votes went to the previous regime’s candidate and the other 52% to the Muslim Brotherhood, and the gap was not very wide. Therefore, Egypt today is not a homogeneous society and it can create several troubles for the Muslim Brotherhood and even may force them to choose policies which are not always concomitant with their ideology. Mohamed Al-Morsi introduced himself as the president of all religious groups. In other words, he meant that he would cover the remaining 48% and assured that his policies will ignore them. On the other side, they are confronting Egypt’s military council which is to limit the president’s authority by enacting self-made laws. As I mentioned above, the Brotherhood are facing some political paradoxes among which Syrian crisis is the most important one. The significant point is the manner in which the Brotherhood will face such paradox. Is political post-modernism the solution? Perhaps in no period of time we have had such intermingling between the future of Egypt and the Muslim Brotherhood. The future of the Muslim Brotherhood and consequently that of Egypt depends on the ability of Muslim Brotherhood to adjust itself to domestic, international and the Middle Eastern developments.


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Qods, Factor for Strengthening Muslim Convergence Islamic states. What is the reason for such a prevalence and influence by the announcement made by the founder of Islamic Revolution of Iran in the heart of Muslims even beyond the borders of countries and beyond the differences between Shias and Sunnis? Speaking of the importance of the holy Qods, one should bear in mind the fact that despite the changing of Muslims’ Qiblah from al-Aqsa mosque to Mecca, on the eve of Ascent, the prophet of Islam began his Ascent from al-Aqsa mosque to the celestial world. Hence, when this profound political insight and the mystical philosophy of Imam Khomeini (May his soul rest in peace) becomes intertwined with the spiritual and sublime status of this land and the first Qi-

By Mohammad Sadegh al-Hosseini

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erhaps few people thought that the last Friday of the blessed month of Ramadan which was announced as the International Day of Qods by the founder of the Islamic Revolution of Iran 30 years ago would be so widely welcomed by Muslim nations and became so prevalent among the

blah of Muslims, it is natural that it will be widely welcomed by Muslims throughout the world. Today, the impact of Qods day has gone beyond the borders of Iran, Shias and even Muslims and will inspire every freedomseeking individual anywhere in the world. The message of Imam taught to the world people that their clinched fists are stronger than any weapon or army and the first and second Intifadas took shape in the occupied Palestine based on such self-reliance and more than ever before put on display the decline of the malicious Zionist regime. This apparently simple and at the same time insightful remark by the late Imam that Israel will be washed away if each Muslim merely pours a pail of water, is indicative of this very fact. Such factors have led to 70 Islamic states within the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) for the first time since the naming of the last Friday of the blessed month of Ramadan as the International Day of Qods to officially announce the holding of Qods Day rallies in these countries. It seems that concern over the spread of Islamic awakening to other countries inspired by Iran’s Islamic Revolution and the naming of the International Day of Qods


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It can be said that the late Imam’s wish has been fulfilled today and one can observe the materialization of Islamic convergence in support of the holy Qods and the occupied Palestine in different corners of the world.

have also been effective in the changing of standpoint. One should bear in mind the good relations existing between the Zionist regime and rulers of countries where the rulers lost their thrones in the course of popular revolutions inspired by Islamic awakening and such relations were one of the main reasons behind popular protests and the downfall of puppet regimes. Therefore, it can be said that the late Imam’s wish has been fulfilled today and one can observe the materialization of Islamic convergence in support of the holy Qods and the occupied Palestine in different corners of the world. Seyed Hassan Nasrallah has interestingly explicated the impact of the Qods day on the destiny of the Zionist regime by saying that it is not unlikely to see one day the convoys of Muslims and Palestinian refugees entering the occupied territories without any war. In other words, the Zionist regime that once had the dream of creating an empire extending from Nile to Euphrates has turned into a number of limited forces targeted by the detestation and hatred of Muslims and freedom-seeking nations of the world. All the wills have been concentrated on a focal point that will bring about valuable effects such as the strengthening of convergence and solidarity amongst Muslims.

Will Saudi Citizens Revolt? By Hassan Ahmadian

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ne of the main problems with Saudi Arabia’s political system is that there is no pre-defined mechanism for the transfer of power. Efforts by the ruling elite to resolve the problem, including Saudi King Abdullah’s formation of an allegiance council, have failed due to disputes inside the Al Saud family. The other major problem is the ambiguous nature of power sharing in Saudi Arabia’s political structure. The second generation of the Saudi monarchy is now embroiled in a power rivalry, which many believe will lead to the country’s collapse. Saudi rulers are trying to conceal the power struggle, but the recent escalation of disputes over choosing the crown prince and other major governmental posts clearly proves the political vulnerability of the leadership. In a move to counter the negative effects of the internal disputes, the monarchy has expanded its foreign policy interventions. This policy has failed to calm internal protests and people are

continuing to take to the street to express their legitimate demands. The extremist idea of Wahhabism and its influence on the ruling family is another major problem that seriously damages governance in the country. It is the main source of Saudi’s anti-Shia policies that have precipitated wide-spread concern among its religious minorities. Shias living in the eastern parts of Saudi Arabia are dissatisfied with the current political atmosphere and have repeatedly protested against the bias against them. The Saudi government preaches democratic values to other Arab states, while it remains busy suppressing calls for the recognition of people’s rights within its borders. Herein lies the paradox of a government that is seen by many to be the next place for a second wave of the popular Arab uprisings to take root. Hassan Ahmadian is a researcher at Center for Strategic Research of Iran’s Expediency Council and a specialist on Saudi Arabian politics.


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OIC Mecca

Conference and the

Issues of Bahrain

and Palestine

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he emergency meeting of the Islamic heads of states commenced its work in Mecca at a time when Saudi Arabia and its allies at the OIC sought to turn the issue of Syria’s suspension from OIC into the main subject to be addressed by the conference. Important matters such as the issue of Palestine, the crisis in Bahrain, the massacre of Muslims in Myanmar and destruction of mosques in Mali were marginalized at the OIC meeting, but the issue of Syria’s suspension at the OIC was put on the agenda. This is despite the fact that the Palestinian self-rule authority led by Mahmoud Abbas as well as the Hamas movement had called on the OIC to seriously address the issue of Palestine. The elected government of Palestine in the Gaza Strip called on the Mecca conference to adopt decisions in congruity with the status and prestige of occupied Qods city and al-Aqsa mosque. According to the Palestinian information center a political adviser to the elected prime minister of Palestine, Ismail Haniyeh had emphasized that the liberation of the occupied Qods city was a shared responsibility of all Muslims and not merely the Palestinian people and expressed hope

that the Mecca summit would adopt practical measures in this regard, because mere releasing of statements and expression of viewpoints would not hamper the Zionist regime’s activities aimed at Judaizing this Islamic city. Heedlessness to the strategic issue of the Muslim and Arab world takes place in spite of the fact that Saudi Arabia hosted the

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meeting at the level of heads of states for the aim of solidarity. In the meantime, the Zionist regime in the past few weeks decided to turn part of Muslims’ holy sites into a park for the Jews, destroying part of the surrounding area of al-Aqsa Mosque for constructing the Solomon Temple, expanding the Jewish settlements and impeding Muslims from going to al-Aqsa Mosque with the exception of certain occasions. These decisions were made simultaneous with the silence adopted by the media of Arab countries and the world of Islam and the inattention of Arab and Muslim states including Saudi Arabia as one of the strategic countries of the Arab world. At the outset of the meeting, the OIC Secretary General, Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu expressed concern over the Islamic identity of Qods city and al-Aqsa Mosque,


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Middle East calling for extraordinary measures to be adopted in the face of the Zionist regime’s activities. Another crisis that was not reflected by the media of Arab and Muslim countries is the ongoing clashes in Bahrain between the pro-democracy opposition groups and the ruling system. Within this framework, the biggest opposition group in Bahrain called on the participating countries in the Mecca conference to attach special significance to the Bahraini crisis. According to a website affiliated to the Bahraini al-Wefaq Society, the political group released a statement calling on Islamic states to present political solutions based on justice and in this way help the Bahraini people take steps for terminating the political crisis as well as its legal, economic and social consequences.

Meanwhile, a member of alWefaq Society, Hadi al-Mousavi referred to the detention of 1,400 political prisoners in Bahrain within one-and-a-half years describing it as the highest number of political prisoners in the world with regard to the less than a million population of Bahrain. But on the first day of the foreign ministerial meeting in Mecca, the foreign ministers offered the proposal for the suspension of Syria’s OIC membership. The OIC foreign ministers despite Iran’s protest to the proposal decided to suspend Syria’s membership in protest to what they described as the Syrian government’s handling of the current crisis in Syria. If the OIC continues its currents policies, not only it would not serve the Muslims, but also will do disservice to those who have pinned their hopes on this giant Islamic organization.

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At the outset of the meeting, the OIC Secretary General, Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu expressed concern over the Islamic identity of Qods city and al-Aqsa Mosque, calling for extraordinary measures to be adopted in the face of the Zionist regime’s activities. Another crisis that was not reflected by the media of Arab and Muslim countries is the ongoing clashes in Bahrain between the pro-democracy opposition groups and the ruling system. Within this framework, the biggest opposition group in Bahrain called on the participating countries in the Mecca conference to attach special significance to the Bahraini crisis.


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We Support the Syrian Nation, Oppose any Foreign Interference in Syria


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e support the Syrian nation and we are opposed to any kind of foreign activity and interference in Syria. Any kind of reform in that country should be carried out by the Syrian people and through completely domestic methods, Ayatollah Khamenei, said in his 2012 Hajj message which was released on October 21.

That international hegemons with the help of the obedient regional governments create crises in a country under certain pretexts and then use the existence of crises as an excuse to justify any crime they commit in that country, is a serious danger and if the regional governments fail to deal with it, they should expect that it will be their turn to suffer from this plot by the arrogant powers, the leader said. With the help of their agents in the region, they create crises in Syria in order to divert the attention of peoples away from important issues of their countries and the dangers that threaten them, trying to focus peoples’ attention on the bloody event that they have caused on purpose. The civil war in Syria and the killing of Muslim youth at the hands of other Muslim youth are crimes that have been started by America, Zionism and governments that take orders from them and they fan the flames of this civil war. Who would believe that governments that support wicked dictatorships in Egypt, Tunisia and Libya, have now become supporters of the Syrian nation’s call for democracy? The issue of Syria is about taking revenge on a government that has single-handedly stood up against the Zionist regime for three decades and has defended resistance groups in Palestine and Lebanon, he added. The full text of his message is given below. In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful All praise belongs to Allah, the Lord of the Two Worlds, and peace and greetings be upon the great and trustworthy Prophet, and upon his immaculate and chosen household and his blessed companions. The season of hajj, which

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is full of mercy and blessings, has arrived and once again the fortunate people, who have been blessed with the opportunity to be present in this brilliant meeting place, are showered with divine grace. Here, time and space call each and every one of you hajj pilgrims to spiritual and material perfection. Here, Muslim men and women with their hearts and tongues accept the call of Allah the Exalted to righteousness and salvation. Here, everybody finds the opportunity to practice brotherhood, sincerity and piety. This place is a camp for edification and learning. It is the exhibition of unity, greatness and diversity of the Islamic Ummah. It is the battlefield of fighting satan and taghut. Wise and Almighty Allah has made this place a site where believers will witness their interests. Once we open the eyes of wisdom and learning, these divine promises will spread into all parts of our personal and social lives. The characteristic of hajj rituals is that they connect this world to the next, and the individual to society. Pure and glorious Ka’bah, tawaf of bodies and hearts around a firm and eternal center, constant and regular efforts from a starting point to a destination, collective migration to the otherworldly arenas of Arafat and Mash’ar, and the atmosphere that imbues hearts with sincerity and liveliness in this great otherworldly arena, a collective rush to confront the symbol of Satan, and participation of all people from different places and races in this ceremony which is full of secrets, meanings and signs of guidance: these are the unique characteristics of this significant obligation. It is such a ceremony that joins hearts to divine remembrance,


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enlightens the solitude of one’s heart with the light of piety and faith, brings individuals out of the walls they build around themselves and absorbs them into the diverse company of members of the Islamic Ummah, provides members of the Islamic Ummah with clothing which protects them against poisonous arrows of sins, and provokes in them the spirit of attacking satans and taghuts. It is in this place that hajj pilgrims witness with their own eyes examples of diversity of the Islamic Ummah, realize the capacity and potential of the Islamic Ummah, become hopeful about the future

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and feel prepared to play a role in it. They reaffirm their allegiance to the Great Prophet, enter into a firm covenant with dear Islam providing that they benefit from divine blessing and assistance, and develop in themselves a firm determination to reform themselves and the Islamic Ummah and to promote the word of Islam. Both of these things – namely, reforming oneself and the Islamic Ummah – are two perpetual obligations. Thanks to their reflection on religious responsibilities and their wisdom and insight, it is not difficult for those who think and reflect to find ways of fulfilling these two responsibilities. Reforming oneself starts from fighting satanic passions and making efforts to avoid sins. And reforming the Islamic Ummah starts from identifying the enemy and his plots, and making efforts to render his blows, deceptions and enmities ineffective. Efforts to reform oneself and the Islamic Ummah are organized by the bond between the hearts, hands and tongues of Muslims and Muslim nations. At this juncture, one of the most important issues of the world of Islam, which is tied to the destiny of the Islamic Ummah, is the revolutionary events of North Africa and the Arabian Peninsula, which has so far resulted in the overthrow of several corrupt regimes that took orders from America and were accomplices to the Zionists and which has shaken the foundations of other such regimes. Missing this great opportunity and failing to use it to reform the Islamic Ummah are a great loss for Muslims. Currently, all efforts of the aggressive and interfering arrogant powers have been focused on diverting these great Islamic movements from their original path. In these great uprisings, Muslim men and women rose up against the tyranny of their rulers and the hegemony of the United States, which had resulted in humiliation of peoples and alliance with the criminal Zionist regime. They themselves believe that their savior in this life-and-death battle was Islam and its redeeming teachings and slogans, and they announced this in a clear voice. Defending the oppressed Palestinian nation and fighting the usurping regime were at the top of their list of demands. They extended a hand of friendship towards Muslim nations and demanded unity of


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IRAN the Islamic Ummah. These are the essential pillars of popular uprisings in the countries that have raised the flag of freedom and reform over the past two years and have been present in the revolutionary arenas with their hearts and souls. And these are the things that can strengthen the essential pillars of reforming the great Islamic Ummah. Insistence on these fundamental principles is the necessary requirement for ultimate victory of the popular uprisings in these countries. The enemy’s goal is to shake these fundamental pillars. Corrupt agents of United States, NATO and Zionism – through using certain people’s lack of vigilance and superficial outlook – are trying to divert the flood-like movement of Muslim youth and turn them against each other in

(fitna) among Islamic denominations and they are creating obstacles in the way of the unity of the Islamic Ummah through their plots to promote Shia- and Sunni-phobia.

Brothers and sisters, the season of hajj is an opportunity to reflect on important issues of the world of Islam. The destiny of regional revolutions and the efforts that are made by powers which have been harmed by these revolutions in order to divert them, are among these issues. the name of Islam. They are trying to turn the anti-colonialism and anti-Zionism jihad into blind terrorism in the streets of the world of Islam so that Muslims shed each other’s blood and give the enemies of Islam an opportunity to save themselves from this dead end and tarnish the name and image of Islam and its soldiers. After despairing of eliminating Islam and Islamic slogans, they have now turned to creating plot

Brothers and sisters, the season of hajj is an opportunity to reflect on important issues of the world of Islam. The destiny of regional revolutions and the efforts that are made by powers which have been harmed by these revolutions in order to divert them, are among these issues. Treacherous plots to foment discord among Muslims and create suspicion between the risen countries and the Islamic Republic, the issue of Palestine

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and the efforts to isolate Palestinian combatants and extinguish Palestinian jihad, anti-Islam propaganda of western governments and their support for those who insult the Great Prophet (Allah’s greetings be upon him and his household), preparing the ground for civil wars and dissolution of certain Muslim countries, making the revolutionary peoples and governments fear opposing the domineering western powers, promoting the illusion that their future depends on surrendering to those aggressors and other such important and vital issues are among the important matters that should be reflected upon during the opportunity that has been provided thanks to hajj and the solidarity and unity of you hajj pilgrims. Undoubtedly, divine guidance and assistance will show the safe paths to hardworking believers: “And those who struggle in Our way, We will certainly guide them to our paths.” [The Holy Quran, Sura al-Ankabut (29), Ayah 69] Was-salamu alaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh Sayyid Ali Khamenei Dhul Hijjah 5, 1433 October 21, 2012


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eader of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei said that the fact that the enemies have failed to keep pace with the Islamic Awakening in the region has prompted them to perpetrate crimes such as insulting Prophet Muhammad. The film, which insults Prophet Muhammad (S), was produced in California, cost $5 million, and was financed with the help of more than 100 Jewish donors. “Nations that have experienced anti-Islam hegemonic and Zionist policies have pointed a finger of blame at the United States and a number of European countries, and the leaders of these countries should prevent such insane actions in order to prove that they are not accomplices in this great crime,” he noted. “The leaders of hegemonic systems claim that they were not involved in this incident, while they refrain from condemning this crime and do not meet their duties in regard to this great crime,” he added. Ayatollah Khamenei also said that the claim that preventing people from insulting Islam infringes on their right to free speech is a false statement, noting that the red lines set in the West that prevent questioning hegemonic principles refute such claims. He said that the protest demonstrations held near political and cultural centers of the United States illustrate the deep animosity of the people of various countries toward hegemonic and Zionist policies.


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housands of Iranian schoolgirls gathered at Tehran’s Azadi Square on September 30 to voice their anger over the anti-Islam film which insults the Prophet Muhammad. More than five thousand female students formed a human chain around Azadi Square and chanted slogans against the United States and Israel. “Some of the protesters here are Christians, Jews or from other minorities that we have in our schools,” an official of Iran’s Education Ministry, Ali Ezzati, told Press TV. “I’ve come here today to say that we are all backing each other. We will not let anyone disrespect our Prophet. I’m backing my Prophet and our Leader to the end,” one of the students said. “We’re all angry over the film that disrespects our Prophet and we will not stay quiet,” another student said. Muslims in Iran, Turkey, Sudan, Egypt, Yemen, Tunisia,

Bangladesh, Malaysia, Indonesia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, India, Iraq, Morocco, Syria, Lebanon, Kuwait, Nigeria, Kenya, Mali, Nigeria, Australia, Britain, the United States, France, Belgium, and several other countries have held many demonstrations to condemn the blasphemous movie over the past two weeks. Protests were also held in Kashmir and the Gaza Strip. The anti-Islam movie is said to have been made with the help of the Zionist donations totaling 5 million dollars. On September 11, U.S. Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens and three other consulate staff members were killed in Benghazi after clashes involving a group of angry demonstrators near the consulate building. The sacrilegious movie was followed by the publication of several cartoons mocking the Prophet Muhammad in the satirical French weekly Charlie Hebdo on September 19.

Russian judge on October 1 banned the controversial film “Innocence of Muslims” that has flamed tensions and sparked protests over its portrayal of the Prophet Muhammad. Judge Yevgeny Komissarov read a ruling in which he said the court classified the ‘Innocence of Muslims’ movie as an extremist and banned its showing on Russian television or the Internet. The ruling follows a similar decision taken last week by a court in Grozny, the provincial capital of Russia’s Muslim-dominated province of Chechnya. Russia’s communications minister had warned that authorities would bar access to video sharing website YouTube if its owner, Google Inc., failed to abide by a court order to block access to the U.S.-produced film, which mocks Muslims and the Prophet Muhammad. Google in Russia has said it could restrict access to the video, if it received a court order outlawing it, but the company declined to discuss that issue with The Associated Press.Outrage at the film has spiraled into violent protests across several countries across the Muslim world. Some two dozen demonstrators have been killed in protests that attacked symbols of U.S. and the West, including diplomatic compounds.


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Pakistanis Stage Fresh Protest

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amiat Ulema Pakistan (JUP) observed a protest day against the blasphemous U.S. movie across Pakistan on October 12 and held rallies and protests demanding severing of ties with the U.S. on avoiding to take serious action against the blasphemers. Addressing protestors waving flags and chanting slogans, JUP Secretary General Qari Zawar Bahadur condemned the rulers for sitting idly as if devoid of courage and selfrespect while the blasphemers were hurling profanities

against the ideals of Islam. The protests against the movie have intensified in the Muslim and non-Muslim countries after French weekly Charlie Hebdo on September 19 published cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad in yet another proof of the West’s Islamophobia campaign. Demonstrations against the movie have been held across the Muslim world, with protesters in some countries marching on the U.S. embassies and torching U.S. flags. Protesters demand that Washington apologize to the

Muslim world over the film. They also call for the punishment of those behind the film. The anti-Islam movie is said to have been made with the help of Zionist donations totaling 5 million dollars. Muslims in Iran, Turkey, Sudan, Egypt, Yemen, Tunisia, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Malaysia, Kashmir, Pakistan, India, Iraq, Gaza, Morocco, Syria, Kuwait, Nigeria, Kenya, Australia, Britain, the United States, France, Belgium, and some other countries have held many demonstrations to condemn the blasphemous film.


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Afghans Stage Fresh Protests against AntiIslam Film, Cartoons

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housands of protesters have staged a demonstration in the Afghan capital to condemn the United States and France over recent anti-Islam moves that disrespect Prophet Muhammad (PBHU). The protesters took to streets in western Kabul on September 22 to express their outrage against the production of a blasphemous film in the United States and a French magazine’s recent publication of cartoons insulting the Prophet of Islam. Hundreds of Afghans protested for the first time against cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed published in France and staged fresh rallies against a US-made anti-Islam film. About 300 students chanted “Death to France, Death to America” in a western neighborhood of the capital Kabul. Nearby, hundreds more gathered on a flyover and chanted “Death to America” and “Long Live Islam, Long Live Afghanistan.” Both demonstrations were peaceful, condemning new Mu-

hammad cartoons published by a French satirical magazine and the low-budget film “Innocence of Muslims”, which has triggered protests around the world. Similar rallies have been held across Afghanistan in the last four days. A protest of more than 1,000 residents in eastern Kabul turned violent when the crowd set fire to cars and threw stones at police. About 50 officers were slightly wounded. Afghanistan is a devoutly Muslim nation and perceived insults to religion are taken very seriously, often with violent consequences. Earlier this year 40 people were killed in street unrest over the burning of copies of the Koran by U.S. soldiers on a base. The crudely made film produced by U.S.-based extremist Christians has triggered protests in at least 20 countries since excerpts were posted online. The French satirical magazine Charlie’s editor, Stephane Charbonnier, blamed the French government for criticizing him for being provocative.

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Hundreds of Afghans protested for the first time against cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed published in France and staged fresh rallies against a US-made anti-Islam film. About 300 students chanted “Death to France, Death to America” in a western neighborhood of the capital Kabul. Nearby, hundreds more gathered on a flyover and chanted “Death to America” and “Long Live Islam, Long Live Afghanistan.” Both demonstrations were peaceful, condemning new Muhammad cartoons published by a French satirical magazine and the low-budget film “Innocence of Muslims”, which has triggered protests around the world.


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Muslims in Sri Lanka Protest against an Anti-Islam Film

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undreds of Muslims in Sri Lanka’s capital protested against an anti-Islam film produced in the United States, burning effigies of President Barack Obama. About 300 protesters marched in Colombo, carrying signs and banners that read, “Ban Anti-Islamic Film All Over the World. U.S. should apologize to Muslims.” The protesters blocked traffic on Colombo’s main roads, but police did not allow them to go near the U.S. Embassy. Protesters burned two effigies of Obama and U.S. and Israeli flags during the demonstration, which was organized by the Islamic group Sri Lanka Thawheed Jamath. Abdul Razeek, a spokesman for the group, said the protests would continue until the film, “Innocence of Muslims,” is completely removed from YouTube.

Egyptians Protest French Cartoons Insulting Prophet

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ozens of protesters congregated in front of the French embassy in Cairo, on September 22, to protest against the decision to publish cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad in French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo. State security forces blocked Mourad Road leading to the Giza-based mission, in order to prevent the protesters from reaching the building. Protesters chanted “Wake up Egyptians, They Are Insulting Your Prophet.” Demonstrators complained that the West was deliberately provoking Muslims by printing offensive cartoons immediately after the anti-Islam film sparked protests across the Islamic world. Groups also threatened to boycott French produce. Most protesters stated that they were not part of any political group, however many are dressed in the traditional Egyptian Islamic attire. Coptic Christians also participated in the demonstration. “We are here to stand united togeth-

er,” the Christian individuals said. “Every religion has extremists and this person who created The Innocence of Muslims is trying to create sectarian strife between Egyptians.” The French Foreign Ministry announced that it would temporarily close its missions in Egypt and in 19 other countries, in addition to stepping up the security presence around French diplomatic sites. The French embassy in Cairo, for its part, announced that it would close all of its associated cultural centers and schools. France has five consulates in Egypt, in addition to its consulategeneral in the capital. Germany’s mission in Cairo is also taking precautions following a national debate in Germany on whether to allow public screenings of the nowinfamous short film The Innocence of Muslims. The cartoons were published in the wake of violent protests across the Islamic world against the release of the contentious US-made film.


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sy s a b m E n n a a m d r u e Sy in SuG n i e s an Embassof Kharo l C to he Germapital city n Sept. 22

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o c dan’s as closed e cartoon rw a h toum sts over t gazine Ch a e t nch m o pro due t ed in Fre en sh ve be isa h publi do. s tic m sure eb lie H urity mea r diploma ter “Sec d at othe ign Minis ore ene tight broad,” F le said. a l sions Westerwe Guido

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Tunisia Bans Demos

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eeking to avoid a repeat of what happened one week earlier, Tunisia’s Interior Ministry banned all demonstrations On September 22, the state-run Tunisian News Agency (TAP) reported, citing a statement from the ministry. The report said the protest ban was “in accordance with the provisions of the state of emergency” that has been in place since the ouster January of its longtime president, Zine el Abidine Ben Ali. Presidential spokesman Adnene Mansar denounced Charlie Hebdo’s publication of the cartoons as a “deliberate insult.” According to a TAP report, Mansar said, “We should not fall in the trap of provocation, we should rather denounce these acts by peaceful means.”

Muslims, Jews and Christians Hold Demo to Condemn Anti-Islam Film

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undreds of Brazilians have held a demonstration in Sao Paulo to condemn a recent film that disrespected Islam and Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). Anti-U.S. demonstrations, which began on September 11 over the blasphemous movie, which was made in the U.S., continued with protesters chanting slogans against Washington, marching on U.S. embassies and torching U.S. flags. About 500 people including Muslims, Catholic Christians and Jews congregated near Sao Paulo’s Shia mosque and marched peacefully towards a nearby church holding placards

and chanting anti-U.S. slogans, Reuters reported on October 22. Bilal Juma, the president of Brazil’s Islamic Association, said people from all religions participated in the demonstration. “We are Muslims, Catholics and Jews who came together to say no to those who insult prophets. We came here to defend all prophets and religions,” Juma said. Hassan Gharib, the organizer of the protest march, said Muslims and Christians should treat each other as brothers. He stated that the antiIslam movie was produced “to incite a dispute between

Muslims and Christians” but this will not happen since “the Muslims and the Christians are brothers; we come from the same source.” Muslims in Iran, Turkey, Sudan, Egypt, Yemen, Tunisia, Bangladesh, Malaysia, Indonesia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, India, Iraq, Morocco, Syria, Lebanon, Kuwait, Nigeria, Kenya, Mali, Nigeria, Australia, Britain, the United States, France, Belgium, and several other countries have held many demonstrations to condemn the blasphemous movie over the past week. Protests were also held in Kashmir and the Gaza Strip.


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Facilities Close in Indonesia

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he U.S. Embassy in Jakarta, U.S. Consulate General in Surabaya, U.S. Consular Agency in Bali and two other facilities were closed On September 22, officials said in a news statement. There were protests in Indonesia last week. About 100 demonstrators gathered near a U.S. diplomatic facility in Medan, Indonesia, the U.S. Embassy in Jakarta said.

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he worldwide Muslim protests against a film insulting the Prophet Muhammad reached London, when up to 1,500 people demonstrated outside the U.S. Embassy in Grosvenor Square. Protesters chanted slogans condemning the film and U.S. foreign policy, after Islamic leaders demanded more demonstrations throughout the week. The demonstration, which passed without incident, saw anger at the film mix with broader political points about Guantanamo Bay and drone strikes in Pakistan.

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Diplomatic Missions Close amid Fear of More Protests

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everal diplomatic facilities were shuttered On September 22 as many braced for intensified protests over the anti-Islam movie “Innocence of Muslims,� as well as recently published cartoons in a French publication of a figure resembling the Prophet Muhammad. Demonstrations have raged for days as many in the Muslim world are angry about the U.S.-made film that mocks Muhammad and about the French cartoon.


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Thousands of Indonesians

Protest U.S.-Made Film T housands of Muslims enraged over a film that denigrates the Prophet Muhammad marched through Indonesia’s capital Jakarta on September 30. Jakarta police spokesman Col. Rikwanto estimates at least 5,000 people joined the demonstration. They marched to the U.S. Embassy, which was guarded by hundreds of police, and staged a noisy but peaceful protest. Participants in the rally, organized by the Islamicbased Prosperous Justice Party, chanted anti-American

slogans and shouted “Allahu Akbar!” (God Is the Greatest). Many wore traditional white robes and held big banners reading, “Muslims unite against insults to Islam.” Men and women wearing Muslim headscarves and children assembled outside the building, while hundreds of police stood guard and four water cannon vehicles were at the ready. The protesters carried banners declaring “My life for the Prophet Muhammad”, “Stop the film, save the Prophet Muhammad” and “Go to hell

with the freedom of expression”. “It is very clear now that our real enemy is America,” a speaker told the crowd, who shouted “America and Israel are terrorists!” “Prosecute and jail the filmmaker and revoke the film from YouTube, otherwise we will boycott you America,” another speaker told the crowd who shouted back, “Allahu Akbar!” (God Is the Greatest). Protests against the film have also been held recently in other Indonesian cities.


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Over 50 Arrested in Bangladesh Anti-US Movie Protest

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efying a ban on rallies, thousands of people, most of them supporters of Islamic parties, on October 12 tried to stage a march in the Bangladesh capital in protest against an anti-Islam film, leading to a clash with riot police who took into custody over 50 demonstrators.

Witnesses said several thousand protesters, mainly from a 12-party Islamic coalition, gathered in front of Baitul Mokarram National Mosque in downtown Dhaka after the weekly Friday prayers and tried to stage a march against the film as well as what they called antiIslamic Internet campaigns. Police in armored vehicles tried to disperse the protesters using batons, tear gas and water cannons. Some 90 percent of Bangladesh’s 153 million people are Muslims. The impoverished South Asian nation is home to the world’s fourth-largest Muslim population. On Sept. 21, some 10,000 Bangladeshis took to the streets of Dhaka to demonstrate against the film outside the country’s largest mosque. The Bangladesh government has denounced the film and blocked YouTube, where the film has been posted.

Egypt’s Mufti Urges Muslims to Endure Insults Peacefully

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ondemning the publication of the cartoons in France as an act verging on incitement, Egypt’s Grand Mufti Ali Gomaa said it showed how polarized the West and the Muslim world had become. Gomaa said Mohammad and his companions had endured “the worst insults from the non-believers of his time. Not only was his message routinely rejected, but he was often chased out of town, cursed and physically assaulted on numerous occasions. “But his example was always to endure all personal insults and attacks without retaliation of any sort. There is no doubt that, since the Prophet is our greatest example in this life, this should also be the reaction of all Muslims.” His statement echoed one by

Al-Azhar, Egypt’s prestigious seat of Sunni learning, which condemned the caricatures showing the Prophet naked but said any protest should be peaceful. An official at the Coptic Orthodox Church in Egypt, whose population of 83 million people is 10 percent Christian, also condemned the cartoons as insults to Islam. Last week, some Egyptian protesters scaled the U.S. Embassy walls and tore down the flag. They clashed with police for four days, although most of the thousands of Egyptians who took to the streets did so peacefully. The cartoons in France’s Charlie Hebdo satirical weekly have provoked relatively little street anger, although about 100 Iranians demonstrated outside the French embassy in Tehran.


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France Bans Protests over Cartoons of

Prophet Muhammad F

rance confirmed on September 22 it would allow no street protests against cartoons denigrating Islam’s Prophet Muhammad that were published by a French magazine. Interior Minister Manuel Valls said prefects throughout the country had orders to prohibit any protest over the issue and to crack down if the ban was challenged. “There will be strictly no exceptions. Demonstrations will be banned and broken up,” he told a news conference in the southern port city of Marseille. The main body representing Muslims in France appealed for calm as the satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo put a new print run of the cartoons featuring Prophet Muhammad on the

newsstands. The drawings have fanned the flames over an anti-Islam film made in California that has provoked violent protests in Muslim countries, including attacks on U.S. and other Western embassies, the killing of the U.S. envoy to Libya and a bombing in Afghanistan. French embassies, schools, and cultural centers in some 20 Muslim countries were closed on September 22. Police were on alert in the French capital after protests planned by some Muslim groups were banned. Mohammed Moussaoui, leader of the French Muslim Council (CFCM), described both the film and the cartoons as “acts of aggression”, but urged French Muslims not to take to

the streets for unauthorized protests. “I repeat the CFCM’s call not to protest. Any protest could be hijacked and counterproductive,” he told French radio station RFI. Charlie Hebdo, an anti-establishment weekly whose Paris offices are under police protection, defied critics to rush out another run of the publication. President Francois Hollande’s government has sought to balance a cherished tradition of freedom of expression with security concerns, denouncing Charlie Hebdo as irresponsible. “When you are free, in a country like ours, you always have to measure the impact of your words,” French European Affairs Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said.


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Teachers Fighting for Educational Justice in Chicago The strike isn’t all about wages: Instead, the big sticking points are maintaining existing health benefits and standardized testing. By Dana Liebelson

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ore than 350,000 kids in the Chicago Public School district got to sleep in on November 10 because their teachers were up early striking for better benefits, job security, evaluations and training. The Chicago Teachers Union has been in contract negotiations with Chicago Public Schools since November 2011, but this is the first actual teachers’ strike to hit the Windy City in 25 years. There have been other teacher strikes this year in Oregon and Pennsylvania, but this latest movement has sparked a fierce debate about national education reform, raising questions about America’s emphasis on standardized testing. It has also pit public schools against charter schools, which are often non-unionized and “tend to favor rookie teachers who are younger and far less likely to be minorities” according to The Chicago Tribune. Stephanie Gadlin, a spokesperson for the  Chicago Teachers Union says “we are fighting for educational justice. We do not intend on taking this anymore.” But Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is characterizing the protest as “a strike of choice” because, he claims, the city has already made an offer that is close to the demands of the union. Here’s everything you need to know about the clash: Why are the teachers striking? The Chicago Teachers Union

is looking for a contract that includes the following (information courtesy of Gadlin): Pay Fairness: “CTU seeks a fairer distribution of pay [i.e. higher compensation for teachers] and to preserve the schedule for career advancement established 45 years ago in the Union’s first labor contract.”  Protection of Benefits: “Maintain our existing benefits and sick days without increasing the contribution rate [how much teachers have to pay out-of-pocket for health care].”  Fair Evaluation Procedure: “The Chicago Public Schools’ proposed evaluation procedures could result in 6,000 teachers, or nearly a third of all CPS teachers, facing discharge within one or two years. It places too much emphasis on standardized test scores, which diminishes children’s education and punishes teachers unfairly.” In other words, teacher performance will be judged by standardized test scores. Teacher Training: “Chicago Public Schools is imposing a new curriculum at all schools and a strict evaluation system. Teachers have asked for more training, but CPS proposes no increase, or in some cases decreased, teacher training.” Timetable for air conditioning: “Teachers insist that Chicago Public Schools agree to a reasonable timetable to install air conditioning in student classrooms. In July and August, students sit in sweltering 98-degree heat.”

(In case you’re wondering what students are doing in a classroom during the summer, Chicago has implemented some year-round public schools.) The union is also looking for a fair recall procedure for laid off teachers and fair compensation

Timetable for air conditioning: “Teachers insist that Chicago Public Schools agree to a reasonable timetable to install air conditioning in student classrooms. In July and August, students sit in sweltering 98-degree heat.” for a longer school year. How long will the strike last? No one is hazarding a guess: Emanuel told Time he will “work to end the strike quickly.” CTU spokesperson Gadlin says that “We are currently in negotiations as we speak” but “I don’t know, I don’t have a crystal ball.”  Where are the children going to go? Chicago Public Schools opened 144 “Children First” sites, September 10, with limited hours. These sites promise provide a safe environment, food, and things for kids to do. The school system is also working with libraries, non-profits, and church-


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International es.  What do the parents say? Needless to say, some parents are very upset, and have taken to Twitter to express their frustration: However, other parents are taking the opportunity to express their support for the teachers. What do Romney and Obama say? Obama hasn’t taken a firm stand on the strike one way or the other. However, at a White House press briefing, spokesman Jay Carney said that President Obama’s “principle concern is for the students and families who are affected by the situation. And we hope that both sides are able to come together and settle this quickly and in the best interest of Chicago’s students.” Here’s a video of the briefing:  GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney has taken a firm stance against the strike. He said in a press release: “I am disappointed by the decision of the Chicago Teachers Union to turn its back on not only a city negotiating in good faith but also the hundreds of thousands of children relying on the city’s public schools to provide them a safe place to receive a strong education. Teachers unions have too often made plain that their interests conflict with those of our children, and today we are seeing one of the clearest examples yet. President Obama has chosen his side in this fight, sending his Vice President last year to assure the nation’s largest teachers union that ‘you should have no doubt about my affection for you and the President’s commitment to you.’ I choose to side with the parents and students depending on public schools to give them the skills to succeed, and my plan for education reform will do exactly that.”

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Analyst:

Prophet Muhammad,

Muslims’ Red Line

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afar Bangash, director of Contemporary Islamic Thought Institute from Toronto, says, “I think there is no doubt that there is a concerted effort on the part of certain segments of the population in the U.S., in Britain, as well as in the larger European continent in order to demonize Islam, Islam’s revered personalities particularly the Prophet of Islam as well as desecrate the noble Qur’an. “In the U.S. or anywhere else, people cannot shout ‘fire’ in a crowded theater or in a shopping mall because that would lead to public disorder and chaos and yet when it comes to Islam and its revered personalities, unfortunately it appears to be a fair game and such activities and blasphemous acts are defended in the name of freedom of speech. “In the U, they have this curious notion that people are free to express their opinions in

whatever manner they like. This is what stated as an excuse for what these individuals have done and these excuses are obviously offered by U.S. officials. But when Muslims were to express their opinions against certain acts or policies of the U.S., then those freedoms of expression evaporate. “So, it is clear to those of us that are following not only this but U.S. policy for decades, we find this double standard that is applied constantly in terms of targeting Muslims and I think all U.S. officials whether they are in the Congress or in the government or elsewhere are quite familiar and aware of the fact that the honor of the Prophet of Islam is a red line for Muslims and that insulting him is basically taking a stab at the very core belief of the Muslims and that this kind of blasphemous act should not be permitted.


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9/11: What

Didn’t

Change By David Corn

The attacks altered the world. It changed everything–but not our politics.

Bush and Cheney notoriously misrepresented the WMD case for war to gin up popular support for the invasion. Afterward, they insisted for years— including in their recent memoirs—that they had not hyped the evidence. But prior to the invasion, they repeated falsehoods and exaggerated flimsy intelligence, and after they were proven wrong they dismissed the significance of their misleading assertions. And while greasing the way to war, both men also had insinuated that Saddam Hussein was in cahoots with Al Qaeda, when no intelligence backed up this emotion-stirring charge. In the years since, neither has confessed to leading the public astray on that front.

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hat’s the mantra that emerged from the horrific attacks of September 11, 2001. In certain areas of our collective lives, it was an accurate description. Security concerns increased. The United States went to war in two far-away lands. It engaged in brutal practices that amounted to torture and opened secret prisons and the ever-controversial Guantanamo facility. Ugly barriers went up around public facilities. Navigating airports became a new kind of nightmare. But as the dust was settling, commentators and pundits also applied the changed-everything observation to other aspects of our society. Americans would become more united as citizens and more engaged with the world beyond their national borders. (Students did flock to Arab studies programs; CIA recruitment soared.) Our national discourse would become more serious—and such obsessions as shark attacks and the tragic disappearance

of Capitol Hill intern Chandra Levy (the big stories during the summer of 2001) would be supplanted by more significant and important fare. Our politicians would devote more effort to advancing common interests rather than accruing political gain. We would all be better versions of ourselves. For a time, some of that happened—on both mundane and more notable levels. Americans, anecdotal evidence indicated, became a bit more contemplative about their lives and priorities. In the weeks after 9/11, people were more courteous drivers (at least in Washington, DC). They gave other motorists more room and yielded more readily. The media produced stories about America’s place in the world; they explored the simplistic question, “Why do they hate us?” And the politicians did seem to ponder how to govern in a less divisive manner. President George W. Bush’s approval ratings skyrocketed, as Americans of


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International various political bents, including those who had previously scorned the chad-enabled commander-inchief, rallied around him. But life often reverts to form, and change is fleeting and not necessarily a guarantee of progress. At some point, the old driving behaviors returned. Americans never did become very well informed about foreign affairs. A political culture of division and spin resumed. And these were all connected—well, maybe not the driving.  In the first week of September, the University of Maryland released a 9/11-related poll showing that many Americans remain ignorant about the link between 9/11 and the war Bush and Dick Cheney launched in Iraq. Nearly half of the respondents noted that Iraq was “directly involved” in the 9/11 assaults (15 percent) or gave “substantial support” to Al Qaeda without participating in those attacks (31 percent.). Neither is true. Iraq, as the 9/11 Commission reported, had not been in league with Al Qaeda. It had not provided “substantial” assistance—or any aid of note, for that matter—to Osama bin Laden and his mass-murderers. The same poll also found that about half of Americans (47 percent) believe that prior to the Iraq war, the regime possessed actual weapons of mass destruction or had a major WMD program under way. Again, not true. Obviously, the trauma of 9/11 did not cause Americans to become knowledgeable about the United States’ most significant overseas endeavor. But one reason for the widespread misbelief is that the political leaders of the country, in the aftermath of the attacks, soon resorted to the usual tactics to manipulate the public discourse, rather than

elevate it. Bush and Cheney notoriously misrepresented the WMD case for war to gin up popular support for the invasion. Afterward, they insisted for years—including in their recent memoirs—that they had not hyped the evidence. But prior to the invasion, they repeated falsehoods and exaggerated flimsy intelligence, and after they were proven wrong they dismissed the significance of their misleading assertions. And while greasing the way to war, both men also had insinuated that Saddam Hussein was in cahoots with Al Qaeda, when no intelligence backed up this emotion-stirring charge. In the years since, neither has confessed to leading the public astray on that front. Even though case-closing facts emerged to show that Bush and Cheney had distorted information to move the nation toward war, their actions appear to have indelibly shaped the false perceptions still held by about half the public. The shock of 9/11 did not cause Americans to be more discerning. September 11 was a missed opportunity for the entire nation. Within the political culture, we did not lift up the better angels of our nature. Moreover, the Bush administration did not refrain from exploiting 9/11 in the most direct political sense. Within months of the attacks, it was back to business as usual. In January 2002, Karl Rove suggested that Republicans should point out that Democrats would not protect Americans as well as GOPers in the so-called war on terror. Later that year, a private Rove PowerPoint included advice to candidates that they “focus on the war” in their campaigns. That September, as Congress was in the final stretch

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of the midterm congressional elections, Bush insisted that it quickly consider legislation permitting him to launch the Iraq war, guaranteeing that the run-up to the elections would be dominated by Iraq, not his tax cuts for the wealthy, the environment, health care, or anything else that Democratic candidates wanted to talk about. Two years later, the keynote speaker at the Republican convention, Sen. Zell Miller, an archly conservative Democrat supporting Bush, accused the Democrats of caring more about “partisan politics than national security” and making the nation “weaker.” He added that Democrats “don’t believe there is any real danger in the world.” He absurdly charged that Sen. John Kerry, the Democratic presidential nominee, “would let Paris decide when America needs defending.” This was an unprincipled swipe at the patriotism of an entire party. At the time, Slate’s Will Saletan wrote: Every one of these charges is demonstrably false. When Bush addressed Congress after 9/11, Democrats embraced and applauded him. In the Afghan war, they gave him everything he asked for. Most Democratic senators, including John Kerry and John Edwards, voted to give him the authority to use force in Iraq. During and after the war, they praised Iraq’s liberation. Kerry has never said that any other country should decide when the United States is entitled to defend itself. Miller’s fear-mongering and dishonest speech, vetted by Bush’s political team, was the epitome of the Bush-Rove (or Rove-Bush) effort to politicize 9/11 and the subsequent wars. In the years since, politics certainly has not improved. The


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bitter and divisive assaults from the right on Barack Obama of the past several years—he’s a secret, foreign-born, socialist, anti-colonialist, Kenyan-like Muslim who pals around with terrorists and wants to destroy the economy through Obamacare in order to wipe out Americans’ freedom and wealth—are proof that the very brief post-9/11, let’s-get-along glow is long gone. Some conservatives might argue that the left’s Bush-is-a-treasonous-warcriminal rhetoric was an equivalent debasement of the national debate. But such talk was hardly embraced or enabled by leading Democrats. When the health care reform tussle raged in the House of Representatives in 2009, Republican leaders hosted a tea party rally, where angry demonstrators chanted “Nazis, Nazis,” referring to Democratic House members. This brought no rebuke from Reps. John Boehner or Eric Cantor, the top two GOPers (who each attended). The event did

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not even spark a major controversy. The harsh discourse of the Bush years had become harsher. Anti-Bush partisans might be tempted to heap all the blame on W. Bush for having perverted a national moment for his own benefit. At that time of tragedy, there did seem an opening to nudge—or at least try to nudge— the national political discourse in a more principled and honorable direction. He chose not to do so. But the culpability extends beyond the guy who happened (due to the unusual circumstances of a Florida election and the iffy reasoning of five Republican-appointed Supreme Court justices) to be in the Oval Office when Bin Laden attacked. If most Americans had demanded more of Bush, he might not have been able to sidestep this obligation so easily. September 11 was a missed opportunity for the entire nation. Within the political culture, we did not lift up the better angels of our nature.

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Even though case-closing facts emerged to show that Bush and Cheney had distorted information to move the nation toward war, their actions appear to have indelibly shaped the false perceptions still held by about half the public. The shock of 9/11 did not cause Americans to be more discerning.


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‘There Is The Crazy Cost Ample Room of Becoming for Diplomacy’ President, From with Iran: Lincoln to Obama Chomsky By Dave Gilson

B

arack Obama spent $730 million getting to the White House in 2008—twice as much as George W. Bush spent 4 years earlier and more than 260 times what Abraham Lincoln spent in his first election (as measured in 2011 dollars). Looking at the total costs of presidential elections over the past 150 years, it would seem that the White House is the ultimate recession-proof commodity: So is the White House overpriced? Depends on what you’re comparing it against. The increase in campaign costs (measured in real dollars) significantly outpaced the price of gold’s rise over the 20th century. Yet between 1908 and 2008, real campaign costs did not keep up with real GDP growth. Election costs include all major candidates’ spending and cost of primaries, when known; they do not include outside spending. We’ll see if these trends hold; 2012 could beat all records for campaign spending—and that’s not counting super-PAC money. Sources: Center for Responsive Politics (election costs 1976-2008); George Thayer, Who Shakes the Money Tree?: American campaign financing practices from 1789 to the present (election costs 1860-1972); Bureau of Labor Statistics (CPI); Measuring Worth (pre-1913 CPI equivalents; GDP 1908-2008); World Gold Council (gold prices)

By Javad Heirannia

N

oam Chomsky says there is still great opportunity to resolve the standoff over Iran’s nuclear issue through “diplomacy”. “There is ample room for diplomacy,” Chomsky told the Mehr News Agency in a short interview. Following is the text of the interview: Q: What is your assessment of the recent meeting between Iran and the major powers? A: Unfortunately, it got nowhere. And prospects do not look good. Q: So do you think that such a situation may lead to a war and that the sides cannot resolve the dispute through diplomacy? A: We can be fairly confident that war will only make matters worse. There is ample room for diplomacy. In fact, one excellent opportunity is arising this December, when there will be a conference on establishing a nuclear weapons-free zone in the Middle East. The idea has enormous support, but probably, as in the past, it will be blocked by the U.S. (and Israel), with Europe toddling along politely behind the master. Unless, that is, there is a massive demonstration of popular support in the West. The lack of reporting is designed to undercut that threat. Noam Chomsky is an American linguist, philosopher, cognitive scientist, and historian.


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U.S. Judge Rejects Call to Ban Film on Net A US judge rejected a request by an actress in the anti-Islamic video that set off violent Muslim protests to ban YouTube from showing the trailer in the United States. Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Luis Lavin refused the request by lawyers for actress Cindy Lee Garcia for a restraining order to prevent the online video-sharing service from continuing to show the trailer. Garcia is one of three actresses in the film to have come forward with similar accusations since the explosion of violence that ripped through Muslim countries in the Middle East, Africa and Asia last week. She sued YouTube and its owner Google for releasing excerpts of the very amateurish film, which was later dubbed into Arabic. YouTube said it extended its restrictions on the

The U.S. actress also filed a lawsuit against the reported producer of the film, Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, on grounds of invasion of privacy, fraud, slander, and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

video to “countries where it is considered illegal by local authorities; that is, to date, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Saudi Arabia.” YouTube last week restricted access to the film in Egypt and Libya after unrest in those countries, and has been adding countries to the list. The U.S. actress also filed a lawsuit against the reported producer of the film, Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, on grounds of invasion of privacy, fraud, slander, and intentional infliction of emotional distress. The 55-year-old Egyptian Copt and convicted fraudster -- out on parole -- lives in Los Angeles and has admitted to working on the film, “Innocence of Muslims.” U.S. media says Nakoula wrote and produced the film, using the pseudonym Sam Bacile before being identified. He was questioned by police before going into hiding with his family.


Gaza