03/27/2015YEMEN-MIDDLE EAST Saudis continue raids against Shiite rebels. A religious war, but also a question of power by Paul Dakiki The military operation "Firmness Storm " has already caused 39 civilian deaths. Saudi Arabia (Sunni) along with Sudan, Turkey and Pakistan against Iranian influence in the Middle East. Objectives include: to ensure Bab-el-Mandel Strait; undermine the agreement on the Iranian nuclear question. Inter-Arabian military force launched to fight Islamic State terrorists. Beirut (AsiaNews) - For the second consecutive day Saudi and Arab/ Shiite coalition aircraft bombed rebel positions near Houthi Sana'a and Aden. According to media estimates, operation "Firmness Storm" has already...
03/27/2015UNITED NATIONS – MIDDLE EAST Patriarch of Baghdad addresses UN, calling for new laws against states or individuals who support terrorists by Louis Raphael I Sako* The Security Council is meeting in a French-sponsored session dedicated to Christians and persecuted minorities in the Middle East. Chaldean Patriarch Louis Sako hopes to see the international community provide its full support to Iraqi and Kurdish authorities. He also calls for strict laws against terrorism, as well as actions in favour education reform and exegeses of sacred texts that oppose extremism.
03/26/2015ISLAM IS a violent response to the emptiness young Muslims feel in the West Jihadists have focused their recruitment efforts among young people. In the past three months, IS has recruited some 400 minors. Alienated in and by their societies, many young Western Muslims seek to even the score. For PIME Islam expert, young people want an inclusive identity and references. Muslim scholar believes that the violent response stems from the Western world’s “emptiness”.
03/26/2015KYRGYZSTAN Ulema "excommunicate" Islamic State group in Kyrgyzstan Top Central Asian Muslim clerics meet in Bishkek to condemn IS violence and reaffirm Islam’s true teachings. “We know that destabilisation threatens Central Asia,” one of them said. IS has been banned in Kyrgyzstan and its activities outlawed. Local authorities also detained a group of Tajiks trying to join the Islamist group, including children.
03/25/2015LEBANON – FRANCE The feast of the Annunciation for Islamic-Christian friendship in Beirut and in France Today’s solemnity became a national holiday in 2010 to boost Christian-Muslim friendship through devotion to Mary. An interfaith ceremony is held at Notre Dame de Jamhour in the presence of the Card Philippe Barbarin and the rector of the Mosque of Lyon, Kamel Kabtane. The goal is to “go beyond the clash of civilisations and indifference towards the brotherhood of hearts."
03/24/2015IRAN Time for a deal with Tehran, a reliable partner against the Islamic State group by Bernardo Cervellera
A framework agreement on the Iranian nuclear issue has to be inked by 31 March. US Republicans, Israel and Saudi Arabia are fiercely opposed to it for ulterior motives. Hassan Rouhani wants Iran to come back into the international fold. Tehran is playing a mediating role in the Middle East. For Vatican nuncio, “there is no evidence that Iran is preparing a nuclear bomb.”
03/24/2015SAUDI ARABIA Saudi women will check men’s passports at airport The unprecedented decision will apply to Madinah airport. Until now, women were only allowed to check the passports of women wearing a niqab who did not want to show their face to male officers.
03/24/2015PAKISTAN Attacks in Lahore, police arrest 200 Christians by Jibran Khan After the Taliban attacks against two churches on March 15, a mob had lynched two suspects. The police conducted an indiscriminate raid in the Christian quarter, without ascertaining the identity of those arrested. Religious leaders and political activists demand the immediate release of the innocent.
03/23/2015AFGHANISTAN Ordinary Afghans take to Kabul streets in protest over Farkhunda's murder Dozens of people, many of them women, call on the government to dismiss and prosecute police agents involved in the victim's lynching. The 27-year-old was beaten to death, her body set on fire for allegedly burning a Qur'an. The investigation confirms her innocence. At the funeral, women were able to carry her coffin.