Revised New Emphasis

Here’s a general outline of  what readers can expect  from Rob for the foreseeable future:

Afghanistan/Pakistan 25%:  This might be the #1 challenge the new administration will face.   Readers can expect to hear about trends/ analysis coming out of the Arabic press. 

Islamist Political Movements 25%: top priority being Al-Qaeda, but also the Brotherhood and Salafist movements

 Egypt 25% : 1/3 of the Middle East can’t be ignored

Whatever else is important at the moment  25%:  especially as relates to Lebanon and Syria

The Blind Sheikh Wants to Go Home

Recent media reports (Al-Dostor, 11/3, p.2)  are saying that Omar Abdel_Rahman‘s health is declining.   Rahman is the former Mufti of Egypt’s Islamic Group and is currently serving a life sentence in a US jail for plotting to blow up tourist sites in the NYC area in the early 1990s.  Several Middle Eastern groups are trying (probably in vain) to have Rahman finish his sentence in a Middle Eastern jail.

The Islamic Group just issued a statement accusing Al-Azhar  (the official Islamic institution) of abandoning Rahman.  By contrast, they praised Yusuf Al-Qaradawi and the government of Qatar for trying to convince the US to let Rahman to finish his sentence in a Qatar jail but the Bush administration did not respond to the offer.  Doing so, according to IG would have allowed them to improve America’s image in the eyes of Arabs and Muslims.