Confronting Religious Extremism – Reza Aslan


Syria ‘in a state of complete war’ with terrorism – Assad (FULL INTERVIEW)


Obama to detail groundbreaking ‘immigration overhaul’ tonight


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Tonight is of great importance to the immigrants of America, however tonights speech by President Obama and the subsequent policy changes and announced reforms will have far-reaching implications that extend beyond the borders of America; even beyond the confines of the immigration issue itself.

It will affect the economy certainly. In the bigger picture, this effect will likely be positive.

More importantly, this will affect the lives of human beings who have been ostracized from society and even their families. Basic human rights which they have been denied will finally be directly addressed by the President of the United States.

Clarifying the Qur’an


The Closet Republican


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Bill Maher is a closet republican. The article below elaborates.

Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2014/10/bill-maher-ben-affleck-radical-islam-111601.html#ixzz3FDVcUmml

Political comedian Bill Maher got into a heated back and forth Friday with Ben Affleck over radical Islam, with the actor saying comments Maher made about the religion were “gross and racist.”

On HBO’s “Real Time,” Maher said he and author Sam Harris, who both identify as atheists, had been trying to make the case “that liberals need to stand up for liberal principles. This is what I said on last week’s show, obviously I got a lot of hate for it.”

Maher pointed to such principles as freedom of religion and speech as well as equality for women, minorities and homosexuals.

“These are liberal principles that liberals applaud for but then when you say in the Muslim world, this is what’s lacking, then they get upset,” Maher said.

Harris added that, “I would argue the liberals have failed us. The crucial point of confusion is that we have been sold this meme of Islamophobia where every criticism of the doctrine of Islam gets conflated with bigotry towards Muslims as people. That is intellectually ridiculous.”

Affleck interjected, “So you’re saying that Islamophobia is not a real thing.”

“I’m not denying that some people are bigoted against Muslims as a people and that’s a problem,” Harris replied.

“That’s big of you,” Affleck shot back.

Maher asked Affleck, “But why are you so hostile about this?”

“It’s gross, it’s racist,” the actor said. “It’s like saying you’re a shifty Jew.”

Maher said Affleck wasn’t listening to the argument he and Harris were making.

New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof, also appearing on the panel, said that tolerance is also basic principle of liberalism, to which Maher replied, “but not for intolerance.”

“The picture you’re painting is to some extent true,” Kristol said, “but it’s hugely incomplete.”

Kristof added that while “plenty of fanatics and jihadists are Muslim,” there are many who are standing up to them as well.

While Kristof said the divide is between fundamentalists and moderates in any faith, Harris replied, “We’re misled to think the fundamentalists are the fringe.”

Former RNC chairman Michael Steele also agreed that there are people who are not subscribing to radical Islam within the religion, but they don’t receive the same coverage. Maher argued it’s because people are scared.

The panelists continued to argue over each other, before Maher eventually turned the subject to ISIL and the United States’ involvement in the region.

Affleck acknowledged radical groups such as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant and jihadists.

“The question is the degree to which you are willing to say, because I’ve witnessed this behavior — which we all object to — on the part these people, I’m willing to flatly condemn those of you I don’t know and never met,” Affleck said.

Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2014/10/bill-maher-ben-affleck-radical-islam-111601.html#ixzz3FDVcUmml

On Obama & ISIS


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Most political critics won’t even hold an opinion anymore – they prefer to hold grudges. All the modern Middle Eastern conflicts could bend in the direction of justice today and yet it is almost as if they’d be disappointed – they’d have nothing left to criticize. It is one thing to constructively criticize a political tyrant – it is another thing to criticize whatever you feel like criticizing for your own agenda.

Obama is attacking ISIS. Why is that a bad thing? Because Bush did it? Remember guys – Bush is a conservative. His motive was different. His tactic was different. His execution was different. Stop generalizing.

Saudi Arabia might be a hub for fundamentalism. So is America – Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin, Rush Limbaugh, to name a few (who are politically influential).

Ultimately can we always blame Arab governments (and government in general) for the choice of their constituents to rise in ideologically fanatical insurgency? Is it not individual choice that lead to the rise of groups like ISIS? But what unit of measure do you perceive the world by – the individual, or else?

On US and Arab ‘Coalition’ Attack ISIS in Syria


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It is either imperialism carving its route, or correctional measures to counter Bush’s imperialism. If Saudi & Qatar are among the sponsors of ISIS, how does this make sense? Israel is quietly involved, as usual. Some would argue Assad is more convenient for Israel, Saudi and other Arab governments – others would argue otherwise, that Assad is the anti-imperialist, anti-destabilizing force. A third perspective is that all the alternatives are culpable in tyranny, marginalizing the moderate voices of the Middle East, voices that would echo the common human qualities of freedom, dignity and fulfillment. Alliances are forged and broken within minutes in politics – what is constant is motive; which is the security of ‘arbitrary’ power. Who stands on the side of justice, and not just on vague, pretentiously ambitious political concepts?