“We have a system of justice in this country that treats you much better if you're rich and guilty than if you're poor and innocent”. from civil rights attorney Bryan Stevenson

“This Fourth of July is yours, not mine. You may rejoice, I must mourn. To drag a man in fetters into the grand illuminated temple of liberty, and call upon him to join you in joyous anthems, were inhuman mockery and sacrilegious irony. Do you mean, citizens, to mock me, by asking me to speak today?” Frederick Douglass, WHAT TO THE SLAVE IS 4TH JULY? 07.05.1852 (full text in blog)

Senator Elizabeth Warren "We're a country that is built on our differences; that is our strength, not our weakness"


Nov 5, 2018 A report on two pstate NY races:--CD 19, and NY State Senate 42. From Egypt and Tunisia new films by and about women-- "Youm el-Setat" and "El-Jaida"

Sept 24 Do war memoirs really advance education? Attacks on BDS and Americans' freedom of speech continues.

Sept 17-- Sport stars and politcal dissent stemming from Kaepernick's actions. NY State's Sept 13 Primaries

Sept 10  Assessing Muslim Americans' ongoing fight for Muslim rights, and in the context of today's election cycle.

Aug 27, Where are Muslim Americans in the US administration's immigrant purge?

Aug 20 Celebrating achievements-- Sam Anderson and Rosemari Mealy. And still more published memoirs fro Middle East peoples

August 1- The inexorable struggle for Palestinian rights

July 2, WBAI Radio  Exploring EXILE in American literature:--  "Hope and Other Dangerous Pursuits", and "In The Light of What We Know".

June 25 EXILE in literature: a review of the novels "Cutting For Stone" and "A Thousand Years of Good Prayers".

June 18, The vicissitudes of Nepal's fledgling democracy. And a review of White House Ramadan "iftar" ceremonies.

June 11 The rentier economy of Jordan and current public protests. How the UK and US use Jordan. And celebrities' role in news.,

June 4 "Naila and The Uprising" a film memory of Palestinian resistance. And: why is Tariq Ramadan imprisoned?

April 30 How could detante in Korea affect other conflicts? And a look at our own role in plastic pollution.

April 23  The US mission creep into Syria, and more reviews of children's books about refugees. 

April 16  Why are Islamist rebels are being escorted out of the so called liberated areas, and where are they going? and a review of new Arab American memoirs 

April 9; Saudi Arabia's long and deep times with the US film industry. And we review the plethora of Arab women's memoirs

April 2 documenting war trauma. Do some war traumatized matter more than others? 

March 26 Iraq's neglected agricultural industry, and the persecution of Swiss-Arab Muslim scholar Tariq Ramadan

March 19, Iraq today. And the legal challenges facing Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against apartheid Israel.

March 12,Commentary on the fall of Myanmar's Ang Sang SuKyi; and recent observations for Iraq.

Jan 8, 7:45 am Film review of "Land of the Pomegranates", and an introduction to the American organization "Muslimish"

Nov 27, Russia and Syria: commentary on this longstanding relationship in the current international scene

Nov 20. A look at the new crisis created around Lebanon PM Hariri's resignation. Comments on a culture that's infused and spilling over with sexual predators.

Nov 13 Update on Kirkuk, Iraq. Veterans Day USA: Is celebration of war heros increasing?.

Nov 6, WBAI  News of Kirkuk, N. Iraq after the failed Kurdish referendum; Accusations towards male religious figures in ongoing sexual abuse exposes.

Sept 25: Syria update: the changing status quo and resulting change in US media coverage.. The Kurdish referendum

Sept 18: Myanmar's Ang San Su Kyi's eary history; beware of simplistic sectarian analyses

Sept 11: women as pawns in justifying American "wars to protect"

August 28, 7:45 am WBAI. Linda Sarsour, Arab American and US Muslim community leader: in her defence. Margo Shetterley author of "Hidden Figures"

Aug 21, WBAI Palestinian-American Rasmea Odeh, stripped of citizenship and deported this week.

Aug 14: BN Review of the anti-Israel boycott action in the US Congress. WBAI, 90.5 fm

July 10:  Nepal just completed its first election in 20 years for nationwide local admin posts.

July 3, WBAI Radio. "All politics is local":-- the hard work of using local news resources.

June 26: WBAI Radio We ask why is there no anti-war movement in the US? And: “Martyrdom”—an archaic phrase but a concept we need to think about today.

June 19  On the 50th anniversary of the 1967 war, and Israel's seemingly unstoppable political, diplomatic and territorial march, it’s remarkable that the Palestinian voice is heard at all.

June 12  The dilemma of 'moderate Amercian Muslims; following ReclaimNY , a child of Steve Bannon and Robert Mercer.

May 1, Workers Day, WBAI 99.5 fm. BN Aziz highlights the rise of the 'gig economy'

April 24, 7:45 WBAI 99.5 fm. A check on our progress as American Muslims; and, Lynne Stewart: the Peoples' Lawyer. 

See Ramzy Baroud's assessment on how our Muslim community misuses celebrity Muslims as surrogates for their own stuggle.


Monday April 17 WBAI Radio, NYC. Why is there essential no anti-war movement in the USA?

April 10;  A critical look at media coverage of the US assault on Syria; and an update on ReclaimNY.

B. Nimri Aziz weekly radio commentary on events around the globe and in the USA. Listen in at 99.5 fm, or online where we are livestreamed.

"We are more alike than we are different"

  Maya Angelou

March 8, Women's Day Radio Specials  10-11 am on WJFF Radio, 90.5 fm, and 11:am on WBAI, 99.5 New York: B. Nimri Aziz interviews director Amber Fares about her new film "Speed Sisters" and exerpts from 2009-2010 interviews with professional women in Syria, Nadia Khost and Nidaa Al-Islam.



As a Black writer, I was expected to accept the role of victim. That made it difficult in the beginning to be a writer.      James Baldwin

I often feel that there must have been something that I should’ve done that I didn’t do. But I can’t identify what it is that I didn’t do. That’s the first difficulty. And the second is, what makes you think you’re it?   

         Harry Belafonte, activist and singer at 89


It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble; It's what you know for sure that just ainst so.

Mark Twain


You can't be brave if you've only had wonderful things happen to you.

Mary Tyler Moore


 You can’t defend Christianity by being against refugees and other religions

Pope Francis:


"I don't have to be what you want me to be". Muhammad Ali

"The Secret of Living Well and Longer: eat half, walk double, laugh triple, and love without measure"  attributed to Tibetan sources

Recent audio posts include interviews with Rumi interpreter Shahram Shiva, London-based author Aamer Hussein, South African Muslim scholar, professor Farid Esack, and Iraqi journalist Nermeen Al-Mufti's brief account of Kirkuk City history. Your comments on our blogs are always welcome.


Why Am I Watching These Phony Campaign Debates?


by Barbara Nimri Aziz

Some friends have given up watching televised news programs altogether. They’re disgusted by what our election has become: a spectacle. “I’ll check the highlights of this charade tomorrow”; “It insults our democracy”; “It’s all rigged”, they claim. “It’s only about money.”

I confess, I’m still watching. If it’s a choice between the Grammy awards and these debates, both viewed by millions of Americans, I’ll choose the latter. I’m more engaged by the insults, the claims and these personalities on the US political stage than by any other kind of entertainment.

Never before have I followed political campaigning with such keenness. Others say the same. But then, did US networks sponsor so many debates in the past? And have we had such a colorful lineup?

Yes, our media generate this pizzazz for their own profit and to maintain political clout. We recognize how candidates’ statements and banter are thin on substance. But the process offers wonderful opportunities for post-debate reviews and analyses by battalions of wise (sic) consultants, correspondents and news anchors. Yes, we acknowledge that we’re witnessing what may be a performance staged and managed by party bosses-- Democrat and Republican-- to proffer the semblance of a genuine competition for public consumption, while their nominees are already decided.

Soooo: why am I following these debates? Frankly, I don’t know why. Normally I prefer radio and print over television. Until these debates, I was unaware which networks favor which candidates and slant their commentaries and pick their guests to reinforce their editorial position.

There’s the additional dilemma of where to assign my humble vote. I still believe everyone counts-- at our local level if not the national. I’ve argued that state elections—choosing people who represent my state and congressional district in the US Congress, and my county in New York’s legislature-- are more important than the presidential campaign.

Local campaigns will get underway much later. Meanwhile I’m faced with this noisy presidential lineup. I wouldn’t support Clinton (although I’m her generation) because, while she may seem “experienced”, she didn’t achieve anything noteworthy during her political career. I can’t support a woman just to help the US prove it is as enlightened as the rest of the world.

I was ready to back Elizabeth Warren. But after she decided against entering the race, I moved towards Sanders by default. (I’m still waiting for him to explain exactly how he’s going to win US Congress’ support for the commendable socialist platform he promises to unleash on America. If Republicans continue to dominate the US Senate and House, they will surely thwart Sanders as effectively as they have Obama.)

Back to the media circus of our debates: I admit the process unfolding day by day is packed with suspense. I’m as engrossed with the media maneuverings and mutterings as much as with individual candidates. Besides the money flowing into networks’ bank account, journalists’ careers are being made, among them a new crop of capable young women.

Scanning news coverage by 7 channels, I’ve become an admirer of Rachel Maddow on MSNBC. Maddow uses the campaign to teach us about our American political process; she draws attention to what isn’t discussed; she reviews US election history and explains regional differences.

Then there are the absences: absent from all discussions among candidates are US-Israeli policy, US-Saudi policy, and US-India policy. Not only is Israel a taboo subject for candidates, it’s also absent in discussions of voters’ values. Among all the talk about interest groups, do you hear anything about Jewish voters? Candidates are wooing Asian voters, Latino voters, young voters, elderly voters, the Evangelical vote, the Catholic vote, the Muslim vote, the Mormon vote, the gun owner vote, the farm vote, the urban vote and the unions. They are shamelessly courting the Black vote. But the Jewish vote? Not a whisper.

Our Jewish citizens are unarguably involved. Any serious political candidate must court the Jewish American vote. But it’s not discussed publically along with other ethnic voting patterns. Competing candidates do not mention this constituency, and thus far, media analysts and polls avoid it. Why? I don’t know.

I’m not unhappy with the excessive positions and behavior of Trump, or Cruz, or Carson. We need to witness their frightening opinions and thereby face the reality of American extremism. These men inadvertently expose the ugly but undeniably ugly underbelly of America.

Finally I enjoy watching because, I believe, even if party bosses are manipulating the process, no one-- no senior pundit, no rookie correspondent, no veteran host, no millionaire donor, no political science professor-- knows the final outcome. No one’s sure how this game will end. Which reminds me: I must check when the next debate airs, and which party’s performing.  

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