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Items tagged with International Affairs

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  • October 2

    According to the United Nations, Rohingya Muslims are considered to be the most persecuted minority group in the world. These unfortunate people are an ethnic Muslim minority numbering around one million living in the Buddhist majority country of Myanmar. The Rohingya have been residing in the northern parts of “Rakhine”, which is a geographically isolated state in western Myanmar. The word “Rohingya” is considered taboo in a country where they have been residing for more than a century. The continued victimization of Rohingyas at the hands of the Myanmar government is not a contemporary issue. The former British colony after achieving independence in 1948 has been struggling with armed ethnic and religious conflict.

  • June 20
    The United Nations (UN) has long characterized the Rohingya Muslims as one of the world’s most persecuted minorities, with anti-Rohingya and anti-Muslim sentiment tainting Burma’s political and social spheres.  In contravention to international human rights law, Burmese officials subject Rohingya Muslims to a spectrum of human rights violations including the denial of citizenship rights, restrictions on religious freedom, forced displacement, gender-based violence and the arbitrary deprivation of life.
  • May 19
    Hassan Rouhani may prevail in tomorrow’s presidential elections. Whether he can continue on the path to reform is uncertain.
  • April 18
    On March 10, the eve of the Commission on the Status of Women’s 61st session in New York, Penn Law, UN Women, UNESCO, The UN Sustainable Development Goals Fund, and the International Law Development Organization (IDLO) convened leading women jurists, legislators, policymakers and advocates engaged in legislative and policy drafting for a High-Level Roundtable on Women and Legislative Reform hosted by Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen and Katz. Against the backdrop of the CSW’s annual two-week session when representatives of UN Member States, civil society organizations and UN entities gather to shape global standards on gender equality, thirty women and men representing over twenty countries analyzed the legal implementation gap through the prism of representative case studies on gender equality, violence against women and personal laws.
  • April 7
    A new round of chemical attacks in Syria has not only shocked the world, but it has also moved President Trump. And after years of war in Syria, Trump pulled the trigger. On Thursday night at the President’s orders, U.S. warships launched 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles.
  • March 13
    In discussions of the global migration crisis, women have been portrayed as under threat from “dangerous” Muslim men—first in Europe, and now in the United States. President Donald Trump’s difficult relationship with women and Muslims has set the tone for his presidency. His so-called “Muslim Ban,”  released in the first weeks of his presidency, triggered a flood of international xenophobic messages on the internet. Messages on social media stated specifically that “rapefugees” should not be welcomed,  and included that “[t]he Somalis are the most dangerous to women and children. #Rapefugees.” 
  • February 23
    Last month, Senators Cruz, Hatch, Inhofe, and Roberts introduced the Muslim Brotherhood Terrorist Designation Act in Congress. Proponents of the bill cite similar decisions in Syria, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Russia, and Bahrain to support a designation under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). At first blush, these determinations seem like damning evidence, but a closer look reveals that they are largely politically motivated attempts to chill political speech and dissent.
  • February 17
    The discussions with in-country experts and spontaneous interactions with Cubans enriched my understanding of the treatment of rights and the prospects for reform in Cuba. I was particularly struck by the complexity of the economic challenges facing the country. In 2011, the Cuban government issued 311 guidelines (referred to as Lineamientos) on reforms to the country’s economic model.
  • February 13
    With June 20 marking World Refugee Day, Tala al-Jabri, a Syrian-Palestinian strategist in development economics, calls upon the GCC states that have not ratified the 65-year-old U.N. refugee convention to modernize their immigration policies.
    This piece was originally published in Refugees Deeply.
  • February 8
    Through a global research seminar at Penn Law, I was able to travel to Cuba for a week to speak to a variety of individuals about Cuba’s past, modern reforms, and future government without a Castro at the head. This is a crucial transition period for Cubans as they face the prospect of an increased role of the private sector domestically and await the implications of a Trump presidency on the previously thawing U.S. – Cuban relations.
  • February 3
    In recent weeks, there has been an uptick in anti-Sharia legislation, an Executive Order implementing a de facto Muslim ban, and the introduction of a bill in Congress seeking to designate the Muslim Brotherhood a foreign terrorist organization.  So-called “alternative facts” informed by anti-Muslim prejudice and hatred are the commonality threading these legal developments together.
  • January 30
    In response to President Donald J. Trump’s executive order on immigration ordered late Friday, Dr. Haleh Esfandiari addresses the lasting repercussions that this order will have throughout the Muslim world and recalls her own experiences as an Iranian forced to leave her homeland for America in her article for The Atlantic.
  • November 7

    Contemporary references to “radical Islam” generally trigger associations with terrorism perpetrated by non-state actors or organizations such as ISIS and al-Qaeda. A closer examination of the term’s root origins and evolution reveals that this has not always been so. This article provides a brief historical overview of “radical Islam” from an American perspective. It also highlights myriad social, political, and legal implications that such language carries.

  • October 25
    Two titans of the global human rights movement reflected on the challenges facing women’s human rights, on September 20, before a packed room of students and faculty at Penn Law. Associate Dean for International Programs Rangita de Silva de Alwis moderated the conversation between former United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary General on the Situation of Human Rights Defenders Hina Jilani and former United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay.
  • October 14
    Penn Law Global Affairs Blog Assistant Editor and SJD Candidate Amal Sethi sits down with Penn Law Professor Jean Galbraith to discuss the role of the United States on the global stage and what this election could mean for U.S. foreign policy.
  • October 13
    This summer saw a firestorm of controversy surrounding the so-called “burkini ban” on French beaches. While French courts quickly stopped the local prohibition on modest swimwear, unjust laws, policies, and practices are nothing new to Muslims in France or elsewhere in Europe. In fact, according to legal research and analysis forthcoming from the Journal of Islamic and Near Eastern Law at UCLA School of Law, hatred of Muslims as a people continues to grow in the region, as evidenced by, among other trends, increasing acts and threats of violence against the minority faith group.
  • September 28
    Transnational terrorist groups, from al Qaeda to the Islamic State, complicate this framework in numerous ways, in no small part by making it difficult to ascertain when and where armed conflict exists such that wartime targeting and detention rules apply.
  • September 19
    The fight against bribery and corruption is rightly a global cause. This fight requires the corporate world’s active participation. Companies must make the effort to ensure their employees and agents around the world do the right thing. But sometimes the legal system gets in the way.
  • September 16
    Should the AIIB apply standard conditionality rules? The short answer is “yes,” in light of the AIIB’s financial and institutional interests and for the sake of China’s own reform. Conditions from procurement guarantees to environmental protection should be implemented. However, considering China’s traditional stance on sovereignty and its political system’s incompatibility with that the West, political conditionality will likely be excluded.
  • August 4
    With the recent publication of Sir John Chilcot’s report criticizing the decisions by then British Prime Minister Tony Blair that led to the 2003 invasion of Iraq, the debate over war crimes has taken a new turn. One hundred years ago, what Blair did might have seemed senseless but it would not have been a crime. But, over the last century, international law has increasingly criminalized individual actions. So in 2016 (or 2003), what Blair did might be deemed not only injudicious but also criminal.
  • August 1
    Read Professor Jacques deLisle’s piece originally published on Foreign Policy Research Institute’s website.