Free Breech!

Long ago, I learned that “the mere tendency of speech to encourage unlawful acts is not a sufficient reason for banning it” (Ashcroft vs. Free Speech Coalition). But, many incidents over the last decade or so have made me wonder: what if someone is intentionally trying to solicit a violent response to serve a particular political agenda that has nothing to do with freedom? Continue reading

Ammar Abdulhamid Emerges as Face of the Syrian Revolution, according to Washington Times

Joshua Landis, Syria Comment

Ammar Abdulhamid has emerged as the “unofficial spokesman” and most visible face of the Syrian revolutionary movement.

One of the great weaknesses of the protest movement sweeping Syria has been the absence of any recognizable leadership. Syrians have been asking, “Shoo al-Badiil? – What is the alternative [to Bashar al-Assad]?” Today, one of the faces behind the extraordinary revolutionary movement sweeping the Middle East and driving the social media protest movement has emerged in an extended profile by Eli Lake in the Washington Times. Continue reading

Heresy Justified?

It is nice to see science lending some justification to heresy, especially that variety of it that claims to be more objective and rational. I have always observed in the process of my occasional debates with Muslim believers that the Golden Age of Islam in the Middle East coincided by most accounts with the First Abbasid period – a time that witnessed the flourishing of both heresy and traditional faith. Continue reading

We, the Barbarians!

Have all leaders, religious and political, in the so-called Muslim World, become illiterate all of a sudden? Or are they intent on using every little opportunity that presents itself to prove in deed what they continue to deny in words, namely: that Islamic civilization and culture are dead, and that Muslims are adamant on continuing their head-long descent into barbarity? Continue reading

The Islamic Reformation!

While Graham Fuller, former top Middle East analyst for the Central Intelligence Agency, isquoted in this article as saying that “Resistance rises above sectarianism” in the region at the moment, al-Arabiya.net isreportingon rising sectarian tensions among Sunnis and Shiites in Lebanon at this stage, in particular on rising Sunni resentment and suspicions with regard to the increasing role of the Shiites in Lebanon, and the role of Hezbollah in instigating the current round of conflict. So, what’s really going on here? Continue reading

The Struggle for Syria’s Body & Soul!

According to Shaaban Abbod of An-Nahar, thestrugglebetween Islamists and secularists in Syria is intensifying. The recent sign in this regard can be seen in the open Letter to the President sent by Syria’s foremost Islamic scholars and Imams proclaiming the existence of an official conspiracy against Islamic education in the country. The leaders of this conspiracy seem to the secular forces in the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Religious Endowment (?), where the new Minister has just issued an edict against admitting students into religious schools at the preparatory level. Continue reading