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QUICKTAKE: Osama Bin Laden – More Fatal in Death?

Today marked the second anniversary of the death of Osama bin Laden – instigator and mastermind of the 9-11 attacks in the United States in 2001.  Nearly 3,000 people were killed when al-Qaida hijackers crashed two planes into the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York City and one into the More »

INSIGHT: The Middle East Distraction That’s Obscuring Asia

Asia specialists will not openly admit it, but they hate the Middle East. To them, the Middle East is the great distraction that keeps people from focusing on what’s really important – their own area in the Western Pacific. The media are primarily to blame, according to this narrative. The media love sudden drama, even More »

INSIGHT: Obama’s Win – What It Means for the Middle East

With President Barack Obama’s re-election, many people across the Middle East are contemplating what this region might expect from his second term. Over the next four years, Obama will likely continue the policy directions set in his first term: by completing the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, for example, and reaching out to global players like More »

INSIGHT: Malala Yousafzai and the Role of Women in Muslim History

As someone who writes and lectures about women and gender in Islam, I am often asked if women had any role in the making of the Islamic tradition. Happily, the answer is always yes. There were in fact many prominent women in the early history of Islam. At the top of the list would have More »

‘Let Girls Be Girls!’ – UN Marks First-ever Day of the Girl Child

October 11, 2012, marks the United Nation’s first-ever observance of the International Day of the Girl Child. According to the U.N., selected as this year’s theme was “Ending Child Marriage.” Organizers say it was chosen because the practice is seen as a phenomenon that violates millions of girls’ rights, disrupts their education, jeopardizes their More »

The World Reacts to Anti-Muslim Film

Probably not since the notorious Quran burning calls by controversial Florida pastor Terry Jones in 2010/2011 have relations been so tense between the United States and the Muslim world in what seemingly boils down to a conflict between perceived blasphemy and free speech. Still sore wounds were reopened earlier this month by a YouTube More »

INSIGHT: It’s Not Just the Sparks That Caused This Fire in the Middle East

Precisely eleven years after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, the question of U.S. relations with Islamic countries and communities is once again at the top of the foreign policy agenda. As violent anti-American protests rage around the world, the Obama administration has focused on safeguarding U.S. citizens and installations on one hand, and More »

Middle East Monitor: Militancy and Extremism in the News

-       African Union forces are bearing down on al-Qaida linked militants in Somalia -       Afghanistan is the latest country to be hit with the global backlash to an anti-Islamic video -       A prominent U.S. imam has strong words about the video and reactions to it -       And a legal expert explains how America’s free speech laws protect More »

Middle East Monitor Podcast: Syrian Refugee Exodus Mounts

-The United Nations refugee agency says the Syrian refugee exodus is escalating, especially in Aleppo. -We hear reaction to the U.N. Security Council decision to let the mandate for the U.N. observer mission in Syria to expire Sunday. -The United States says it is concerned about new restrictions on freedoms of expression in its Mideast allies More »

Middle East Monitor Podcast: Bahraini Activist Sentenced to Three Years in Prison

-A court in Bahrain has sentenced Nabeel Rajab, a prominent rights activist, to three years in prison for his role in unauthorized protests. We talk to Brian Dooley, director of the Human Rights Defenders Program at Human Rights First, about the case. -Fears are growing that Lebanon could be drawn further into Syria’s conflict, as More »

AT ISSUE: Are US Drone Strikes in South Asia, Middle East Ethical?

For many Americans, the use of armed drones is a necessity of our times. According to survey data, most see them as an integral part of the war on terror launched more than a decade ago in response to the September 11, 2001, attacks on the United States. On a global scale, however, Americans More »

Tensions Simmer Between Iran, Afghanistan

Iran’s influence in Afghanistan is set in concrete: new roads crisscross the country, power grids supply remote cities with electricity, and planned railways form ties that bind. Tehran’s also leaves its mark in less obvious ways, for example through its export of cultural and political views, strong media presence, and the funding of religious schools. But More »

Seized Letters Reveal Frustrated Bin Laden

A study of newly declassified documents recovered from Osama bin Laden’s compound in Pakistan last year reveals a terrorist leader frustrated with regional jihadi groups and his own inability to exercise control over them. The Combating Terrorism Center at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point says the late al-Qaida leader’s frustration is the “most More »

Reuters: Afghan Schoolgirls Poisoned in Attack Blamed on Extremists

In Afghanistan, about 150 Afghan schoolgirls were poisoned Tuesday after drinking contaminated water in an attack that is being blamed on conservative radicals opposed to female education. According to Reuters, some of the girls, who suffered from headaches and vomiting, were in critical condition, while others were able to go home after treatment in hospital. The More »

LA Times: US Soldiers Pose With Body Parts of Afghan Bombers

Only months after a YouTube video showing U.S. soldiers urinating on the bodies of slain Afghan insurgents went viral, new images of American servicemen allegedly defiling enemy bodies appear in the media. According to the Los Angeles Times, after inspecting the mangled remains of an Afghan suicide bomber, soldiers of the 82nd Airborne division posed More »

AGREE? Radical Muslim Americans Are Hardly A Threat to United States: Study

Ten years after the terrorist attacks of 9/11, a sociological study released today claims that Muslim Americans are a “minuscule threat to public safety.”  The report was written by Charles Kurzman for the Triangle Center on Terrorism and Homeland Security. The study, which appears to counter current public opinion and government security concerns, indicates that More »

POLL: What Arabs Really Think About Turkey

A newly-released survey finds that majorities across the Middle East have positive views about Turkey and its role in the region.  This according to the Turkish Economic and Social Studies Foundation (TESEV), which yesterday released its third annual Perception of Turkey in the Middle East survey. Out of more than 2,300 respondents  TESEV surveyed across More »

Social Media – Recruitment Tool for Terrorists?

The recent headlines were enough to concern even the most cynical reader. “Terrorist groups recruiting through social media,” blared the headline at the CBC’s website.  “Social Media Gave Terrorist Groups Second Wind,” read the report at “Terrorists making ‘friends’ on Facebook,” topped the Digital Journal story, underscored by an image of a masked More »

VOTE: What Does Purported Video of U.S. Marines Urinating on Taliban Say to You?

U.S. investigators believe they have identified and questioned at least two of the four Marines seen on video urinating on the bodies of dead Taliban fighters. Senior Marine officials with knowledge of the investigation say the four were members of a 1,000-man battalion from Camp LeJeune, ((in the southern U.S. state of )) North Carolina.  More »

US Defense Chief Deplores Alleged US Abuse of Afghan Corpses

U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta (file photo)

U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta is promising a full investigation after seeing a video that shows four men dressed in U.S. Marine uniforms urinating over what appear to be the bodies of dead Afghans. The video on various Internet websites shows four men dressed in U.S. Marine combat uniforms, standing in a half-circle and urinating More »