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.


How Many Juan Williams Are Out There?


by Barbara Nimri Aziz

I’m not suggesting he’s a bad guy. Although his remark about “feeling uncomfortable in a plane with people wearing Muslim garb” is disappointing as well as loathsome. National Public Radio’s senior correspondent’s ‘slip’ follows that of several prominent journalists—Helen Thomas of the White House Press Corps, and Octavia Nasr and Rick Sanchez of CNN.

Yes. I know Thomas and Octavia got the boot because they dared to express solidarity or sympathy with America’s adversaries--Palestinians in the case of Thomas and a Hizbullah luminary in Nasr’s statement. In Sanchez case, he made remarks suggesting what everyone knows about the power of Jewish individuals and media in the US.  

Williams’ remarks, by comparison, exposed his bias against Muslims. Hitherto, comments against Islam and Muslims went unchallenged. What has changed? Does Williams’ expulsion mean the Muslim lobby is making some gains? Does it signify a growing commitment by media bosses to ensure political correctness, even when it comes to Muslims?

Or are we all so closely and scrutinized that any show of personal preferences or fears are swiftly challenged and condemned? Perhaps media personalities are so influential today that they dare not say anything that exposes this very condition. They must appear neutral. (Of course none of this applies to Jewish individuals in the US, in or out of media; viz NYT’s Tomas Freedman, PBS’s Charlie Rose, or NPR’s own Terri Gross and Daniel Shorr. Although the famous Dr. Laura who remained an unchallenged radio host for years, was recently forced out due to anti-Black references, finally despite her record of racist offences.)

Perhaps there a campaign underway to root out certain media voices in preparation for a media compliant new war? US media has already shown its reliability at times of war, especially in the early days. Patriotism rules the airwaves; public opinion is needed to pull off an assault that is either illegal or unnecessary. Later, when some begin to question a war, some media resume a critical role. By then the forces are already well entrenched with unremitting support from Congress guaranteed.

There is another explanation for the string of purges: a campaign by people like O’Reilly of Fox News to entrap influential individuals from the less right wing news organizations, and thereby weaken their institutions. (Williams has been signed up with the Fox TV network!)

Noteworthy is how little we heard about those fired individuals fighting back—from Thomas to Williams. They slip away quietly and without a fight. Why?

I listened to Williams’ NPR reports, first his news stories then his comments as a senior commentator, for many years. He is good, but like most NPR reporters, not extraordinary and not cutting edge. Williams was careful never to go too far on taboo subjects such as Palestinians rights or Muslims rights. Or Venezuela’s rights, or Cuba’s or Iran’s sovereign rights for that matter. This, although he eventually became known as NPR’s ‘rights’ expert.

The question is not, in my view, has political correctness got out of hand? It is rather how and why was Williams caught and so swiftly dispatched? Bill O’Reilly is well known for his provocations and his skill in disarming guests. Williams is not the first victim of O’Reilly’s wily ways.  O’Reilly’s positions are so well known, moreover, that you have to be very practiced if you dare enter a debate with him.

In the case of Thomas and Nasr, they may well have been entrapped. But as I wrote about Helen Thomas (in this blog) at the time of her banishment from Hearst and from White House press conferences, an old Washington hand like Thomas had to be ready for anything. If she wanted to say something strong and eloquent against Israeli policies, she should have used better discretion. Thomas, so admired for her assault on US presidents, could have chosen her time, prepared her justification, and had her supporters and Hearst Syndicate ready for the inevitable attack.

Nasr too is a politically savvy lady. The term ‘Twitter’ may sound innocent and ephemeral. But Twitters are very public. Really; how important was it for her to express public sympathy for the passing of a Muslim cleric? If it really was essential to her, she too could have chosen a more effective and timely venue.

Is there a housecleaning going on here? Or is our media business such that only official positions, even loathsome ones-- or those passed by Israel-- are acceptable?

In the meantime, while this purge is underway, how ironic that the forces of the right, represented by the likes of Beck, O’Reilly and other Republican or T-Party leaders, are able to say offensive things with impunity? Their proposals, accusations and exhortations border on incitement to violence and seem directed to deepening the racism that already weakens US society.

It seems that as the right wing interests and advocates get bolder, those representing moderation and deliberation become more timid. This will mean that good leadership, whether by President Obama, or journalists and professors is slipping away from our future.

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