» 09/21/2012, 00.00
ISLAM - MIDDLE EAST
Libya, Benghazi youth march against violence and terrorism
In the capital of Cyrenaica thousands take part in the protest march organized to counteract the excessive power of Islamist militiamen. Young people ask the guerrillas responsible for the death of American Ambassador Stevens to abandon their weapons and join the regular army. In Pakistan, the violent protests continue against the blasphemous video on Muhammad and the French satirical cartoons. Peaceful demonstrations in Cairo.
Benghazi (AsiaNews) - On the day of protests held in various
Muslim countries against the blasphemous video on Muhammad and the French
satirical cartoons, young Libyans (pictured) lined up against terrorism and
violence. In Benghazi, place of the attack on the U.S. Embassy, which cost the
life of the diplomat Christopher Stevens, the Libyan Youth Movement held a peaceful March of thousands against the protests
organised by Islamists in front of Western consulates. Young members of
the movement are demanding the end of terrorism and invite Islamist militias
responsible for the attack on the Consulate to put down their weapons and join
the regular army. During the March, the demonstrators also chanted slogans in
favour of security, accusing the police of being hostage to the guerrillas.
Meanwhile there continue in Pakistan and Egypt the
anti-Western protests, which began last September 12 with the diffusion of the
film "The Innocence of Muslims". In Pakistan, the "day of love
for the prophet" called by the government gave rise to violent clashes in
Karachi and Peshawar, where protestors attacked a movie theater. In Islamabab
the authorities deployed the army, after clashes occurred with police during
the night. So far no churches or Christian building or those of other religious
minorities have been attacked.
In Egypt, hundreds of Islamists gathered after Friday prayers
in front of the French Embassy in Cairo to protest the satirical cartoons of
Mohammed published last September 19 by the weekly Charlie Hebdo. Yesterday,
Paris ordered the closure of the diplomatic offices and French schools in Cairo
and in 19 other countries.
Fr. Rafic Greiche, spokesman of the Catholic Church in Egypt,
said that "so far the situation is calm; the Salafis have urged their
members to demonstrate peacefully. However, there are fears for the intrusion
of violent groups that often exploit events to cause havoc and clash with law
enforcement". By order of the Egyptian President Morsi, engaged in a visit
to the United Nations Headquarters, also the Muslim Brotherhood have deserted
"The Muslim population wants to give a different image
of Islam," the priest underlined, "in Egyptian newspapers there have
appeared many articles critical of the assault on the U.S. Embassy on September
12. According to many political and religious leaders, the images of anti-Western
hatred which appeared on networks around the world are a wonderful
advertisement for the creators of the anti-Islamic film and detractors of the
Muslim religion". The same Muslim Brotherhood has accepted the invitation
of French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault who instead of violent
demonstrations has recommended legal action against the satirical French
newspaper. Yesterday, Abdel-Moneim Abdel-Maqsoud, a lawyer member of the
brotherhood announced the formation of a team of French and Egyptian lawyers to
evaluate the crime of inciting inter-religious hatred committed by the
perpetrators at Charlie Hebdo.
Even Tunisia, home to the Islamists of Ennahda (Muslim
Brotherhood), opposes manifestations of anti-Western hatred. After
announcements of new demonstrations by Salafis, the Tunisian authorities banned
any demonstrations in the city center. Since yesterday the army has guarded the
diplomatic headquarters and foreign schools. (S.C.)
Carbombing rocks Damascus, 53 dead
The bomber blew himself up just a few meters from the headquarters of the Baath Party. Most of the victims are civilians. More than 200 wounded.
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Middle East wars and unrest lead to lower life expectancy
Syria is particularly affected. War shaved off six years from men’s life expectancy (from 75 in 2010 to 69 in 2013), five from women’s (from 80 to 75). Millions of people have to face the consequences of water shortages and poor hygienic conditions. Non-communicable illnesses like diabetes or cardiovascular disease are up as well.
30/09/2011 MIDDLE EAST-ISLAM
Anatomy of fear. A Sunni democracy in defence of Christians
The Lebanese commentator Elie Fayad questions the political prospects of Arab spring and Christians fears of radical Islamic tendencies: "Is it not time the East give a chance to Sunni democracy?".
14/09/2011 MIDDLE EAST - ITALY
The Christians of the Near East and Islamist ideology
At the 23rd European week on Euro-Mediterranean religious history, a series of interventions illustrate the great saga of the Churches of Antioch, from martyrdom to deportations, but also passionate evangelization and inter-religious and cultural dialogue. An overview by the editor of AsiaNews on the current situation of the Churches of the Near East in the throes of radical Islamism.
25/10/2011 MIDDLE EAST
The women of the Arab Spring on the need to establish democracy
Bernard Sabella, a Catholic professor of sociology at Bethlehem University, analyzes the role of women in Middle Eastern countries: background figure, political activist or terrorist. Member States must ensure economic, social, cultural and educational security, not only military. On the Palestinian situation, the teacher says: "Men need women to create an independent state."
Defeated on ice, but 'first' in history, joint Korean hockey team players hug
After losing to Sweden in their last match, the Korean team ends up in seventh place. Players burst into tears at their imminent separation. "Politicians made that executive decision [to have a joint team]. Our players and staff are the ones that made it work,” said the team’s proud Canadian coach. One South Korean athlete hopes the country is proud of them. "It was bigger than hockey."
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