Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Iranian Newspaper Calls Hamas Terrorists, Gets Banned

First, a Palestinian president blames Hamas for setting off death and destruction in the Gaza strip.

Now, an Iranian newspaper (accidentally) prints a piece which says that Hamas is a terrorist organization - just because it hides behind civilians.

Sure, the newspaper has been banned, and there's probably a fatwa or two ordering the death of President Mahmoud Abbas: but I'm still impressed that anybody in such a staunchly 'Islamic' part of the world would suggest that an organization dedicated to wiping Israel off the map isn't acting properly.

Iran's Well-Regulated Press and Criticism of Hamas

The chief of domestic media at Iran's culture ministry, Mohammad Parvizi, told IRNA that the Kargozaran newspaper was banned. Iran's government has a perfectly good reason for turning the reformist paper over to the courts.

Mohammad Parvizi said the ban was ordered because of "a piece yesterday which justifies the Zionist regime's crimes against humanity in Gaza and portrays the Palestinian resistance as terrorists who cause the deaths of children and civilians by taking up position in kindergartens and hospitals." (AFP)

The ban may be temporary. Turns out, publishing the piece was a mistake in more ways than one. Kargozaran's director, Morteza Sajadian, said that the offending piece written by the Office to Consolidate Unity, a radical pro-reform student group.

"The statement was not supposed to be carried, it was mistakenly printed," Sajadian told AFP. He hopes the ban will be temporary. (AFP)

Cracks in 'Islamic' Unity - and It's About Time

I've written before about the wildly different versions of Islam practiced around the world. I get the impression that many Muslims don't think it's polite - or safe - to suggest that killing Jews and other non-Muslims might not be nice.

Can't say that I blame them. It can feel awkward, criticizing someone who claims to share your beliefs.

On the other hand, the excesses of groups like Hamas may be an opportunity for Muslims to decide whether they want Islam to be a respectable major religion, or a weird and destructive atavism from the seventh century.

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Note! Although I believe that these websites and blogs are useful resources for understanding the War on Terror, I do not necessarily agree with their opinions. 1 1 Given a recent misunderstanding of the phrase "useful resources," a clarification: I do not limit my reading to resources which support my views, or even to those which appear to be accurate. Reading opinions contrary to what I believed has been very useful at times: sometimes verifying my previous assumptions, sometimes encouraging me to change them.

Even resources which, in my opinion, are simply inaccurate are sometimes useful: these can give valuable insights into why some people or groups believe what they do.

In short, It is my opinion that some of the resources in this blogroll are neither accurate, nor unbiased. I do, however, believe that they are useful in understanding the War on Terror, the many versions of Islam, terrorism, and related topics.