Iranian News Sites

April 27th, 2012

Here are links to the top news sources pertaining to Iran: (in Farsi)

Arab-Israeli Conflict Timelines

April 26th, 2012

The following timelines outline events between the Balfour Declaration of 1917 and the September 11, 2001 attacks:

Perspectives on a One-State Solution

April 26th, 2012

Two op-ed pieces, one in Haaretz and the other in the Washington Post, in support for a unitary Israel:

Iranian Nuclear Sites

April 26th, 2012


 This map published by the Russian International News Agency shows the locations of Iran’s nuclear research centers, uranium enrichment sites, nuclear power plants, and uranium mines. Iran’s recent activity regarding its nuclear program is eliciting increased scrutiny from much of the west, with further questions being raised over Iran’s claim that the nuclear program is for peaceful purposes to meet the country’s energy needs.

Iran’s Quest to Possess Nuclear Technology

April 26th, 2012

The Washington Post has provided a timeline of Iran’s efforts to possess nuclear technology. Iran has recently announced that it has begun enriching uranium as part of a major expansion of its nuclear program, drawing U.N. sanctions and condemnation from the West. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has said that Iran is now capable of enriching nuclear fuel “on an industrial scale.” In light of accusations from the west that Iran is pursuing a nuclear weapons program, Ahmadinejad said recently that “foreign nations were determined to dominate the region, which shouldn’t be allowed.” Six world powers have since demanded that Iran allow international inspectors to visit military installations where explosive tests aimed at developing atomic bombs are believed to have taken place.

Israel via the CIA World Factbook

April 25th, 2012

Above is the CIA factbook database on Israel. In addition to information on the Government and infrastructure of the country, the Factbook outlines recent disputes and estimates of refugees coming into the country.


Weaknesses of Islamic Movements

April 25th, 2012

Here is an excerpt from Islamic Movement: An Overview, published by the Shah Foundation.

Eminent Iraqi scholar Dr. Taha Jabir al Alwani in his monograph Missing Dimensions In Contemporary Islamic Movements has highlighted some of the very fundamental weakness of the Islamic movements:

1.      The Islamic movements have become tainted with a partisan mentality; they have allowed themselves to turn into groups at odds with the higher interest of Islam. Indeed they have become incapable of carrying out any form of collective work within the body politic. That is why they have become easy targets of others to isolate or destroy them.

2.       Some of the Islamic movements are confused about distinction between the sacred texts with human interpretation and jurisprudence of ijtihad based on these texts.

3.      This confusion of the divine and the human has resulted in some of these movements claiming that they are the sole possession of the Truth, thus conferring on their own human thought and ijtihad the sanctity of fundamental texts. By the same token, they have expropriated the historical achievements of the Muslim community as a whole and credited it to themselves through the claim that they are the only extension or embodiment of the historical reality.

4.      Some Islamic movements have deluded themselves into believing that they could do without intellectual effort or ijtihad so long as they had the Quran and the Sunnah to hand. By thinking along these lines they have failed to link the Islamic text with the real world and lost the ability to actualize the faith. Some of them have indeed launched themselves as full-fledged organization well before determining or reforming the world of their thoughts. It followed that they began to haphazardly select notions from the real world and Muslim tradition in order to respond to the requirements of their organizations and everyday activities instead of proceeding in the light of sound and rational judgment.

5.      Besides their claim to encapsulate, through their ideological platforms, the whole faith, many of these movements have claimed to embody, through organization and membership- and to the exclusion of all other groups- the whole Muslim community. This cannot but be the result of intellectual immaturity and a juvenile fondness for exclusiveness and theatrics.

6.      Despite their untiring verbal commitment to the Quran and the Sunnah, these movements have failed to draw up appropriate programmes for themselves, thus reflecting a poor grasp of the methodological foundations of Islamic doctrines and Shariah. Indeed methodology constitutes the cornerstone towards the development of comprehensive Islamic discourse capable of implementing the ultimate objectives of the Islamic message.

7.      Since the beginning of modern contacts with the West, the Islamic discourse has been marching on the spot, stranded as it were, between high and low tide, between progression and retrogression. At times when all-out mobilization of effort and resources was needed to ward off an outside danger, it rose to the occasion; however, during times of construction and development, the Islamic discourse seemed – almost everywhere- pathetically lacking in vigour and wholeness. Be that as it may, an analysis of the silent characteristics of the present Islamic discourse ought to instill among the Islamic activists more awareness towards rectifying the form and content of Islamic discourse to make it more viable in an age fraught with intellectual and other challenges.

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Arab Spring

April 25th, 2012

Want a broken down, straightforward, and hilarious way to define the countries involved in the Arab spring? Look no further.

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UChicago: Islamic Movements in South Asia

April 25th, 2012

Although it’s a bit lengthy, this lecture presented by the University of Chicago’s Center for International Studies is really very informative, and presents the often overlooked social and political aspects of Islamic Movements.


Islam, the Modern World, and the West

April 25th, 2012

Modern Islamic Movements have been sprouting all over the Middle East, especially since the Arab Spring. But what are the the movements in different Islamic States and why are they happening? You can find all this out here, on a great website which organizes Islamic movements in different countries by their regions.

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