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July 30, 2010

Michael Winship: The Right Manipulates Muslims - and Boy Scouts

(Photo by Robin Holland)

Below is an article by Public Affairs Television senior writer Michael Winship.


The Right Manipulates Muslims - and Boy Scouts

By Michael Winship

I was never a Boy Scout but I was a helluva Cub Scout.
Pack 30, First Congregational Church. I rose through the ranks: Bobcat, Wolf, Bear, Lion. I accumulated Gold and Silver Arrow Points, the Cubs' junior varsity version of merit badges. My mom was a Cub Scout den mother and spent a lot of time teaching fake Indian campfire songs and decorating various arts and crafts with poster paint.

But when the time came to transfer to the big guys, the Boy Scouts, I saw years of knot tying and helping little old ladies across the street ahead of me and opted not to re-up. Nonetheless, I feel my time served qualifies me to have an opinion about President Obama not appearing in person at this week's National Scout Jamboree in Caroline County, Virginia.

Continue reading "Michael Winship: The Right Manipulates Muslims - and Boy Scouts" »


August 22, 2008

UPDATE: Alive in Baghdad: Iraqi Children Speak Out

UPDATE: Brian Conley, of Alive in Baghdad, has recently been detained by the Chinese authorities while reporting on pro-Tibet demonstrations in Beijing. Family members, who have not heard directly from Brian, believe that he has recently been sentenced to 10 days of detention for "upsetting public order".

Read more at The New York Times and Boing Boing.

And read more about China and human rights here.


This week on THE JOURNAL, NPR's Deborah Amos, just back from Damascus, explains:

I keep saying I cover Iraq - I just don't ever go there. But to do Lebanon, Jordan and Syria is essentially to cover Iraq, because the issues that are roiling Iraq are the same issues that now are playing out. Everything is hooked to everything else.

And according to a recent mid-year review by the International Organization for Migration:

Iraq is experiencing the worst human displacement of its history, with almost 2.2 million persons displaced within its borders and an additional two million who have fled the country to the surrounding region. This mass displacement is fast becoming a regional and ultimately international crisis.

Continue reading "UPDATE: Alive in Baghdad: Iraqi Children Speak Out" »


February 25, 2008

Bill Moyers Rewind: Seyyed Hossein Nasr on Finding Peace in the Middle East (1990)

In a conversation with Bill Moyers on WORLD OF IDEAS in 1990, three years before the first attack on the World Trade Center, Mideast scholar Seyyed Hossein Nasr discussed the prospects of achieving regional peace given increasing unrest in parts of the Islamic world, rising anti-western sentiment, and the first Gulf War.

"[The symbolism of American and other western troops being stationed near Mecca and Medina] in many Muslims' eyes is kind of a final desecration of things Islam, the final humiliation that Muslims can't defend even the center of their world."

Click below to watch the interview:


We invite you to respond by commenting below.


January 18, 2008

Democratization, U.S. Foreign Policy, and The Middle East

In his conversation with Bill Moyers on this week’s JOURNAL, journalist Craig Unger said:

“It does seem at times we don’t seem aware of the consequences of our actions. We go around talking about democracy, but the Saudis, of course, are a brutal theocracy. There’s not much in the way of human rights there. The whole vision of democratizing the Middle East, I think, really, in practical terms, has fallen by the wayside. And America’s objectives really, when it comes down to it, seem to be Israel’s security and oil... The whole vision is in tatters right now. And it’s very unclear what options the United States has... Our policies are so full of contradictions. And I think if you go back to the roots of it, it was built on so many misconceptions that a lot of this is coming home to roost.”

What do you think?

  • Is Unger correct that Israel’s security and oil are the foundations of America’s policies in the Middle East?

  • Does U.S. involvement with and support of non-Democratic regimes undermine the goal of “democratizing the Middle East?” Is that an appropriate objective of American foreign policy?

  • How would you reformulate American foreign policy to fit the world of 2008?

    (Photo by Robin Holland)


  • October 12, 2007

    Difference, Dissent and Tyranny

    This week on THE JOURNAL, Anouar Majid, professor of English at the University of New England, explains that dissent in communities is vital to maintaining social, cultural and intellectual curiosity. Stifling disagreement and smothering debate, he believes, can have dangerous effects on a civilization:

    People who cannot live comfortably with differences always have a tendency to slide into tyranny. That's why we have to maintain vast differences within every society...to prevent those practices from ever taking root.

    Yet even though constructive conversation is often desirable, is it always possible? As Bill Moyers asks Professor Majid:

    You can't have a conversation with somebody who doesn't think you're human, a conversation with somebody who wants to kill you, somebody who thinks you're subhuman, somebody whose purpose is to manipulate you, right?

    How would you answer Bill Moyers' question? We invite you to respond by commenting below.

    Photo: Robin Holland


    July 25, 2007

    Preview: Al Qaeda, Earmarks

    Watch the video

    This Week on Bill Moyers Journal:

    As the Bush administration promotes the idea that Al Qaeda is the enemy in Iraq, the Journal analyzes the facts on the ground to explore who the U.S. is really fighting. Also on the program, a report on the hidden spending provisions used by Congress known as earmarks—“pipelines of cash” added to legislation without any debate, public hearing or oversight—which are often used as payback for political contributions. As Congress works to put reforms in place, is it business as usual?


    Check Your Local Listings here and we'll see you on the blog after the show.


    June 25, 2007

    Extended Interviews with Four Muslim Women

    As you saw in last week's interview with Imam Zaid Shakir, Journal Producer Candace White spoke with four Muslim women in the San Francisco Bay area about being a Muslim woman in America:

    Saliah Shakir is the wife of Imam Zaid Shakir. Like him, she converted to Islam during a tour of duty with the Air Force.

    Sadaf Khan studied at Zaytuna for four years and is now the Institute's Office Manager. She is also the Institute's fundraising coordinator and at the start of the 2007 school year, will assist in coordinating school curriculum.

    Marwa Elzankaly is a litigation attorney and currently a provisional partner in her firm. She earned her law degree from Santa Clara University in 1999 and passed the bar the same year.

    Uzma Husaini works as an editor in Zaytuna's publications department which includes SEASONS Journal and the Zaytuna Curriculum Series. She received her ijazah (license) to teach tajweed from Shaykh Muhammad al-Yaqoubi. She teaches a weekend class in Qur'anic recitation at Zaytuna as well as a class in Islamic studies at Las Positas Community College in Livermore, CA.

    For extended interviews with all four women, click here. And as always, please join the conversation by commenting below.


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