06/19/2013G8 - SYRIA G8 leaders hold back weapons from rebels in favour of dialogue After opening with the announcement of a possible No-Fly Zone in Syria, the G8 in Lough Erne ends with a bland declaration calling on rebels and regime to talk. No reference is made to the fate of Bashar al-Assad in a possible transitional government. The shadow of al-Qaeda and Moscow's subtle threats stop United States and Europe. Lough Erne (AsiaNews) - At the G8 Summit that
ended yesterday in Lough Erne (Ulster), Western countries are showing caution
over armed support to Syrian rebels and the creation of a Libya-style No-Fly
Zone to stop the war in Syria .
In a seven-point...
06/19/2013IRAQ - VATICAN For Chaldean patriarch, Sunni-Shia divisions and foreign influences are obstacles to peace by Dario Salvi Mar Sako is in Rome for ROACO's 86th Plenary Assembly to talk about the violence in Syria and the Middle East. Calling on Christians to show the positive side of the separation of Church and state that "respects religion", he says it is different from Western secularism. Politics "seeks oil," the Church "seeks people." He renews the invitation to Pope Francis to visit the Christians in the region.
06/19/2013PALESTINE Gaza: Hamas imposes Islamisation on schools, endangering Catholic institutions As of September, mixed classes will be banned for students over the age of ten. Even teachers will be strictly divided according to gender in order not to violate Sharia. The Church currently runs three schools with almost a thousand students, mostly Muslims. For the bishop of Jerusalem, "We have two alternatives: put pressure on the government or close."
06/18/2013PAKISTAN Punjab: young Christian dies under torture in police custody with 22 broken bones by Jibran Khan Irfan Masih was arrested on 8 June suspected of a murder he did not commit. For days, he was subjected to abuse in order to extort a confession. He died on Sunday from the serious injuries he suffered. "So what if he died? So many die anyway every day," a police officer said. Human rights activists call for justice, whilst the victim's family is in hiding for fear of reprisals.
06/17/2013ISLAM Oasis: with the death of secular humanism, it is time to build new bridges by Bernardo Cervellera On the first day of the Oasis Centre's annual conference, participants hear that secularism and the 'crisis of man'-that of an inward-looking man, stalked by radical environmentalism, man as an animal, a 'monkey'-appear to be at an end. Islamic parties brought to the fore by the Arab spring are failing. As new religious experiences emerge in the Arab world, states try to bring under their bureaucratic control. But, as Benedict XVI put it, faith and reason must engage in dialogue. In Najaf (Iraq), a Council for dialogue between religions has been set up for the purpose of promoting basic universal human rights and full citizenship for all of the country's religious communities.
06/17/2013INDONESIA Jakarta: police rejects compulsory headscarf for female officers by Mathias Hariyadi Islamists want to impose the jilbab on women police officers. Some human rights groups and lawmakers back the request. However, police spokesman said the force's internal rules impose the same uniform on all officers and so the headscarf is inadmissible, except in Islamist-ruled Aceh province.
06/17/2013SYRIA Massacres by Islamic extremists bolster Bashar al-Assad Ignored for months by Western media, massacres by Islamist brigades have appeared on pro-rebel media with reports on summary executions, Islamic courts and the mass killing of Shias, justified in the name of the hatred against Assad. However, in al Qusair and Aleppo, residents have welcomed the return of the regular army.
06/17/2013IRAN Hopes for a new era in Iran as moderate Rohani wins presidential elections The new president won with over 50% of the vote. The turnout was 72%. Outcome welcomed by the United States, European Union and Gulf monarchies. The hope is that Rohani will put a definite stop to the nuclear ambitions pursued by his predecessor Ahmadinejad. Israeli government skeptical: "The international community must not indulge in dreams."
06/17/2013BANGLADESH Bangladesh Nationalist Party (and Islamists) wins municipal elections by Sumon Corraya The Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) wins 60% of the vote in Sylhet, Barisal, Khulna and Rajshahi. Heavy defeat for the ruling party, the Awami League. Victory thanks to support of the Jamaat-e-Islami, the Islamic party for months fomenting violence across the country.
06/15/2013ISLAM Oasis: benefits and risks of secularization in Muslim-Christian sphere At the annual meeting of the Scientific Committee of the magazine founded by Card. Angelo Scola, testimony from Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Turkey, Egypt, Iran, Nigeria. Many personalities from the international academic world present. Discussion focuses on secularization brought about by the "Arab Spring", the fundamentalist fallout and western secularism.
06/14/2013INDONESIA Central Java: fatwa against Catholic schools, "forbidden" to Muslims by Mathias Hariyadi In a "controversial" statement, the local Ulema Council in Tegal said that such schools are haram, "morally unsound." Politics and local authorities have fuelled the controversy for electoral advantage. However, the families of Muslim students have defended the schools, claiming the right to free choice in matters of education.
06/14/2013ISRAEL - PALESTINE Jaffa, Christian cemetery and graves desecrated. Graffiti in Hebrew Some vandals covered the walls and the tombstones in the cemetery Greek-Orthodox in Jaffa with offensive graffiti. The community denounces continuing cases of discrimination by extremist Zionists. Authorities responsible for the climate of tension: they defend settlers instead of Israeli citizens.
06/14/2013SYRIA - USA U.S. to arm Syrian rebels "Red line" crossed: Assad's forces used chemical weapons "to a minimal extent." The rebels want anti-tank and anti-aircraft weapons. Bill Clinton suggests a no-fly-zone, similar to Libya. Holy See and the United Nations against any military escalation. Victims of conflict: 93 thousand people, of whom 80% were men. But there are also 1,700 children under 10 years of age.