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Journal of America Team:

 Editor in chief: 
Abdus Sattar Ghazali

 Managing Editor:
Mertze Dahlin   

Senior Editor:
Arthur Scott

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March 2011

Senate hearing on the civil rights of American Muslims virtually ignored by media
By Abdus Sattar Ghazali: On March 29, Democratic Senator Dick Durbin held the first-ever Congressional hearing on the civil rights of American Muslims by saying a "backlash" which began after the attacks of September 11, 2001, continues against "innocent Muslims, Arabs, south Asians and Sikhs." American Muslims are entitled to the same constitutional protections as other Americans, Durbin said, adding that this is an issue of "not just free exercise of religion but freedom of speech." The hearing, largely ignored by the media, came just a few weeks after a controversial high-profile hearing held by Representative Peter King chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, on the so-called Muslim radicalization. The New York Republican has accused the Muslim community of refusing to cooperate with law enforcement and charged that preaching in some U.S. mosques was leading to radicalization. Read More

Obama's veto on Israeli settlements demonstrates contempt
for international humanitarian law
By Prof. Stephen Zunes: Largely overlooked with all the attention being given to the pro-democracy uprisings and related unrest in the Middle East was President Obama’s decision last month to veto a mildly-worded UN Security Council resolution demanding an end to Israeli colonization of the West Bank and reiterating the illegality of the settlements.   Despite great disappointments, I had in many respects given Obama the benefit of the doubt regarding both his foreign and domestic policy decisions.  I can no longer do that.   As I describe in this article, his veto raises serious questions as to whether he is really interested in Israeli-Palestinian peace and appears to indicate that he shares the Bush administration’s contempt for international humanitarian law. Read More

Has US accepted the Sharia principle by securing
Raymond Davis’ freedom under a controversial Diyat law?
By Abdus Sattar Ghazali: Has US accepted the Sharia principle by securing Raymond Davis’ freedom under a controversial Diyat law? By accepting the controversial Diyat law the US has lost its moral authority to criticize harsh laws introduced in Pakistan and elsewhere under the rubric of Shariah laws by such dictators as General Ziaul Haq of Pakistan and General Nimery of the Sudan to exploit the religion for political purposes. If Diyat law is acceptable then why not the blasphemy law of Pakistan? Read More

Peter King’s hearings stoke Islamophobia
By Abdus Sattar Ghazali:
In Fairbanks, Alaska, five people were arrested on March 10 by state and federal law enforcement on charges connected with a plot to kidnap or kill state troopers and a Fairbanks judge. Tellingly, the arrest of the Fairbanks-based Alaska Peacekeeper's Militia leaders happened the day when Rep. Peter King, head of the congressional Homeland Security Committee held a controversial hearing on what he calls the "radicalization" of the American Muslim community.
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America blows it on Bahrain
By Stephen Zunes:
The Obama administration’s continued support of the autocratic monarchy in Bahrain, in the face of massive pro-democracy demonstrators, once again puts the United States behind the curve of the new political realities in the Middle East. For more than two weeks, a nonviolent sit-in and encampment by tens of thousands of pro-democracy protesters has occupied on the Pearl Roundabout. This traffic circle in Bahrain’s capital city of Manama – like Tahrir Square in Cairo – has long been the symbolic center of the city and, by extension, the center of the country. Though these demonstrations and scores of others across the country have been overwhelmingly nonviolent, they have been met by severe repression by the U.S.-backed monarchy. Understanding the pro-democracy struggle unfolding in this tiny island nation requires putting into context the country’s unique history, demographics, and its historically close relations to the United States. Read More

Lessons and signs of hope amidst the carnage in Libya
By Stephen Zunes:
Gaddafi’s violence is backfiring as many of those who work for his regime—from pilots to soldiers to diplomats—are refusing to continue. The civil insurrection in Libya has been far more violent, and forces loyal to the dictator far more violent still, than the recent successful unarmed revolutions against the dictatorships in neighboring Tunisia and Egypt. Still, there are signs of hope and important lessons to be learned in the ongoing struggle against the 42-year regime of Muammar Gaddafi, whose days appear to be numbered. The regime has few options left but brute force—exactly what Gaddafi has been turning to.
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