30 April 2017
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  • 29/04/2017 - INDONESIA

    Citizens want to express their admiration. Each day thousands go to the town hall. The area in front of the palace flooded with signposts and floral decorations. Radical Islamist group's initiatives against the Christian governor continue. On 9 May the verdict of the blasphemy trial. Ahok: "Disliked and hated because of my faith and my ideas."


    by Mathias Hariyadi

    29/04/2017 - EGYPT - VATICAN - ISLAM

    Pope in Egypt: Enthusiasm and admiration online and in press

    by Loula Lahham

    Four significant moments marked the first day of Francis in Egypt. Admiration and appreciation for the courage shown by the pontiff: "Thank you for having risked your security for us." And some would like an Egyptian capital, as it is today, "clean, uncrowded and of a particular beauty. Reminiscent of the past."


    28/04/2017 - EGYPT - VATICAN

    Pope in Egypt: the ecumenism of blood unites Copts and Catholics


    Francis and Patriarch Tawadros II want to move on the path of full unity. They prayed in the church attacked in December. “[J]ust as the heavenly Jerusalem is one, so too is our martyrology; your sufferings are also our sufferings.”


    28/04/2017 - EGYPT – VATICAN

    Pope in Egypt: Egypt called to condemn violence and poverty in the Middle East


    In his address to Egyptian authorities, Francis stressed Egypt’s role and responsibility in the future of the region. "In the fragile and complex situation of today’s world, which I have described as ‘a world war being fought piecemeal’, it needs to be clearly stated that no civilized society can be built without repudiating every ideology of evil, violence and extremism that presumes to suppress others and to annihilate diversity by manipulating and profaning the Sacred Name of God.”


    28/04/2017 - INDONESIA

    Indonesian women slam child marriage, sexual violence, and pollution as sinful


    National conference of female religious scholars issues three fatwas. Child marriage is against Islamic law. Marriage age for women should be raised from 16 to 18. Every year, 340,000 girls are married. Sexual violence should also be banned, even in marriage. In Indonesia, 16,217 cases were reported in 2016. Environmental destruction for economic development should also be illegal.


    28/04/2017 - EGYPT – ISLAM

    Al-Azhar conference in Cairo tries to decouple Islam and violence

    by Fady Noun

    Egyptian president al-Sisi forcefully backed the meeting to fight the ideology of the Islamic state. Coptic Orthodox Bishop of Tanta says that terrorism has to be fought with peace. Violence binds fundamentalism and relativism. Qur'anic exegesis remains a problem.


    28/04/2017 - EGYPT - VATICAN

    Pope in Egypt: The future depends on the encounter of religions and cultures


    Francis in Cairo intervenes at the Peace Conference organized by Al-Ahram. Never commit violence in the name of God. "Without giving in to forms of facile syncretism,  our task is that of praying for one another, imploring from God the gift of peace, encountering one another, engaging in dialogue and promoting harmony in the spirit of cooperation and friendship."


    28/04/2017 - ISLAM – VATICAN – EGYPT

    A Muslim writes to the pope: Dear Pope Francis . . .

    by Kamel Abderrahmani

    He admires the charity shown by the pontiff towards Syrian Muslim refugees, and his push in favour of love and against hatred. Islamic scholars are not like this, he says, they do not denounce Daesh’s hatred and do nothing for Christians. He calls on the pontiff to press President to Sisi and Al Azhar to reform Islam. Without this Al Azhar risks being the academy of world fundamentalism. Here is the letter from our friend and collaborator Kamel Abderrahmani.


    28/04/2017 - EGYPT - VATICAN

    The modern day plagues of Egypt

    by Guy Djandji*

    The country that Pope Francis will visit is afflicted by a failed economy, overpopulation, corruption, pollution, terrorism and fatalism. But it is home to a much bigger treasure than its millennial history: the joyous heart of its people.


    28/04/2017 - EGYPT - VATICAN - ISLAM

    Egypt is in festive mode (and on full alert) ready to welcome Pope Francis

    by Loula Lahham

    The President of the Republic al-Sisi personally supervising the security apparatus. Cairo wants to show itself as a tolerant, fraternal and welcoming country. Today, the intervention at al-Azhar peace conference. Over 35,000 people (accredited) for tomorrow's Mass at the aeronautics academy. More extremist threats against Christians in Minya.


    27/04/2017 - EGYPT – VATICAN

    For Indian Jesuit, the pope’s visit of peace in Egypt will make history


    Fr Bimal Kerketta has lived in Egypt for 14 years. Pope Francis is a "man of peace. He has resisted terror and extremism [. . .] with great courage and wisdom.” Egyptians love him because despite threats and the tragic attacks against the two Coptic churches, he has not postponed his visit.


    27/04/2017 - INDONESIA

    West Java, Muslim women conference rejects polygamy


    The meeting aimed at boosting the role of female clerics in spreading Islamic teachings. Participants discussed and issued some fatwa. Broadening the role of women in Islam can counter extremist groups' propaganda. Muslim women can be "agents of change." Polygamy causes violence and is not part of Islamic teachings.


    27/04/2017 - ISRAEL – SYRIA

    Former Israeli minister confirms contacts between IS and the Jewish state


    Former Israeli Defence Minister Moshe Ya'alon said that the Islamic State group apologised for firing on an Israeli military unit. The reference is bout an incident last November in the Golan Heights. Officially Israel is neutral in the Syrian conflict, but it has helped anti-Assad and anti-Iran groups, including Jihadis.


    27/04/2017 - GERMANY - SYRIA - ISLAM

    The Sword and Kalashnikov do not lead to God, says former Isis jihadist, convert to Christianity

    by Pierre Balanian

    Hassan Abu Hamza wanted to be called Paul, in memory of the saint who, like him, is of Syrian origin. He intends to retrace his footsteps of tolerance after being a fierce persecutor. Online there are those who accuse him of having betrayed Islam. Others think it is a "Daesh attempt to infiltrate" fighters in Europe.


    26/04/2017 - LEBANON – EGYPT – VATICAN

    Francis in Egypt to strengthen Benedict XVI's "healthy secularism" in order to fight extremism

    by Fady Noun

    A recent conference in al-Azhar renewed the bases of the traditional relationship between the material and spiritual domains in Islam. Clearer bases are needed in the dialogue between Muslims and Christians. Benedict XVI’s teachings are important to understand the relationship between religion and politics and the difference between Christianity and the West.


    26/04/2017 - EGYPT - VATICAN - ISLAM

    Emeritus of Giza: beyond violence, the Pope comes to Egypt as a messenger of dialogue and encounter

    by Loula Lahham

    In an exclusive interview with AsiaNews Msgr. Antonios Aziz Mina describes a country, and a Christian community, still wounded by recent attacks, but ready to welcome the pontiff. The pain of Muslims for attacks on churches. Egypt capable of breaking the backward-looking bonds of the Islamic State. In the East, there are economic interests that revolve around oil.


    25/04/2017 - EGYPT – VATICAN – ISLAM

    Catholic patriarch of Alexandria: Pope Francis’s visit will mark a renewal of the Church in Egypt

    by Loula Lahham

    Anba Ibrahim Isaac Sidrak describes his joy for Pope Francis’s visit and his uneasiness towards his country, hit by terrorism. He talks about the fraternal relations with Tawadros II and those with Al Azhar and President el-Sisi, as well as the renewal of the Church with new bodies, social tasks, and enhanced role for the lay men and women.


    25/04/2017 - VATICAN-EGYPT

    Pope Francis in a video message: Dear people of Egypt ...

    by Papa Francesco

    To mark his upcoming visit to the country (28-29 April), Pope Francis today sent a video message to the Egyptian people. " Our world, torn by blind violence, which has also afflicted the heart of your dear land – needs peace, love and mercy; it needs workers for peace. "


    25/04/2017 - VATICAN - EGYPT

    Pope Francis in Egypt, without an armored car. Program of visit


    Plans for Pope to tour among faithful in a golf car. The theme of the visit is "The Pope of Peace in Egypt of Peace". After visiting Al-Sisi and the great imam of Al Azhar, Francis will participate in the International Peace Conference organized by Al Tayyeb. A prayer for the martyrs of terrorism near the Coptic cathedral, where there was an attack in December. A meeting with the children of Cairo and with young pilgrims.


    25/04/2017 - ISLAM

    The roots of violent Islamism are in Islam, the words of a Muslim

    by Kamel Abderrahmani

    After every terrorist attack, there is the tendency to say, "This is not Islam." Yet those criminal acts are justified and inspired by texts that are the reference point for Muslims and Islamic institutions worldwide. There is an urgent need to reform Islam from within, by the Muslims themselves. Coexistence with other religions is the way to remove Islam from sclerosis and stagnation.


    25/04/2017 - ISRAEL - PALESTINE

    Gaza in the dark "paying” for power struggle between Hamas and Fatah


    The energy crisis is worsening after shutdown of only power station in the Strip. Fuel donated by Turkey and Qatar has run out. Palestinians in Gaza also struggling because of the cuts decided by the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah. The Gaza and Ramallah authorities blame each other. The UN warns of 'uninhabitable' by 2020


    24/04/2017 - TURKEY

    Republican Turkey and the Erdogan phenomenon (Part Two)

    by NAT da Polis

    The current Turkish President has favoured a new, mostly Anatolian middle class through neo-liberal policies at the expense of Kemalist statism. in doing so, he has allowed its members to express their religiosity more openly, but has himself also become more authoritarian.


    24/04/2017 - LEBANON - SYRIA

    Beirut Bishop Kourie says the two bishops abducted in Syria in 2013 are still alive

    by Fady Noun

    The Lebanese Syriac Orthodox bishop made the claim during the celebrations for the 47th anniversary of Virgin's apparitions. The portraits of the two bishops were displayed inside the church and taken in procession. The prelate appealed to the Lebanese government to make the case a "national cause".


    24/04/2017 - BANGLADESH - SAUDI ARABIA

    Riyadh donates 10.8 billion euros to 560 mosques in Bangladesh: Muslims split

    by Sumon Corraya

    The agreement was signed between Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and the Saudi king last year. The mosques will teach lessons to more than 150,000 children. They will have a daily capacity of more than 450,000 men and 30,000 women. "Imams must be controlled." "These mosques will not teach true Islam. People will learn extremism. "


    24/04/2017 - SAUDI ARABIA - EGYPT

    Al-Sisi meets King Salman to relaunch relations between Cairo and Riyadh


    Tensions shelved, the Egyptian president receives a warm welcome when he arrives in the Saudi capital. The two leaders speak of "strong and fraternal" bonds and intention to "strengthen strategic relations". In addition to the economy, the unresolved knots of the fight against terrorism and control of the controversial islands.


    22/04/2017 - AFGHANISTAN

    Taliban attack on military base kills 140 in worst attack ever


    Disguised as soldiers, a Taliban commando penetrated an Afghan base in Mazar-i-Sharif, northern Afghanistan. They attacked soldiers leaving the local mosque after Friday prayers. The base serves as headquarters for the Afghan National Army’s 209th Corps. It also houses 70 NATO advisers and German soldiers.


    21/04/2017 - TURKEY

    Republican Turkey and the Erdogan phenomenon (Part One)

    by NAT da Polis

    The changes to the Constitution, through a popular referendum, fertile ground to claim and exercise power, in an authoritarian and personal context, like a new Kemal Ataturk.


    21/04/2017 - IRAQ

    Chaldean Priest: April 24, "symbolic" date of the reconstruction of the Nineveh plain


    Fr. Paul confirms the beginning of the reconstruction of homes in Qaraqosh, Bartella, Karamles. It is "important" to hurry to prevent the hemorrhaging of other Christian families from the region. A fund is made available by the Chaldean Church, but more funding is needed. Displaced people from plain employed in reconstruction.


    21/04/2017 - PAKISTAN

    Punjab, three sisters kill a Shiite accused of blasphemy, fomented by an Imam


    Fazal Abbas was 45 years old. In 2004 he attended a demonstration and had been denounced for offending the prophet. He had fled abroad and had recently returned to Pakistan to face trial. Between 1987 and 2015, at least 62 people were assassinated for alleged blasphemy.


    21/04/2017 - IRAN

    Rouhani and Raisi to contest presidential elections in Iran, Ahmadinejad excluded


    The Guardians Council approved six names out of a total of 1600 aspiring presidents. The nomination of 130 women rescinded, the 2017 vote men only. Economy and nuclear agreement remain the hot topics. Third-term for the former ultra-conservative president blocked, considered a figure "divisive" by Khamenei.






    Editor's choices

    EGYPT – VATICAN
    Pope in Egypt: Egypt called to condemn violence and poverty in the Middle East



    In his address to Egyptian authorities, Francis stressed Egypt’s role and responsibility in the future of the region. "In the fragile and complex situation of today’s world, which I have described as ‘a world war being fought piecemeal’, it needs to be clearly stated that no civilized society can be built without repudiating every ideology of evil, violence and extremism that presumes to suppress others and to annihilate diversity by manipulating and profaning the Sacred Name of God.”


    ISLAM – VATICAN – EGYPT
    A Muslim writes to the pope: Dear Pope Francis . . .

    Kamel Abderrahmani

    He admires the charity shown by the pontiff towards Syrian Muslim refugees, and his push in favour of love and against hatred. Islamic scholars are not like this, he says, they do not denounce Daesh’s hatred and do nothing for Christians. He calls on the pontiff to press President to Sisi and Al Azhar to reform Islam. Without this Al Azhar risks being the academy of world fundamentalism. Here is the letter from our friend and collaborator Kamel Abderrahmani.


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