27 February 2017
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  • 27/02/2017 - EGYPT – ISLAM

    Copts who fled El Arīsh tell harrowing stories of point-blank shootings, robberies and fires. Some of those who fought in the Sinai War in 1973 are now branded "Crusaders" by Daesh. Death threats have appeared on homes, or just the word “Go”. Some refugees sleep in several cars to ensure that some at least survive in case of an attack. Muslims in Ismailia show friendship.


    by Loula Lahham

    27/02/2017 - EGYPT – ISLAM

    Christians flee Islamic State violence in North Sinai

    by Loula Lahham

    In only ten days, seven people have been shot, beheaded or burnt to death. Refugees have been welcomed in Ismailia, Suez, and Cairo. Christians are Daesh’s new target.


    27/02/2017 - INDIA

    Gujarat, Isis lone wolves arrested: they planned an attack on a Hindu temple


    They are the brothers Wasim and Naeem Ramodiya, both computer scientists. Within "one or two days" they would have hit the famous temple of Chamunda, in Surendranagar district. A military arsenal and Islamic propaganda material found in their apartment.

     


    25/02/2017 - INDONESIA – SAUDI ARABIA

    Oil. Pilgrimage, and Saudi king’s visit to Indonesia

    by Mathias Hariyadi

    On 1 March, King Salman will arrive in Jakarta on an official visit. Breaking with Protocol, President Widodo will welcome him in person at the airport. The Saudi monarch will travel with an entourage of about 1,500 people, including government ministers and princes. The visit includes a short vacation in Bali.


    24/02/2017 - EGYPT – VATICAN – ISLAM

    Al Azhar and the Vatican renew inter-faith dialogue against fundamentalism


    A symposium sponsored by the Al Azhar Centre for Dialogue and the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue ended yesterday in Cairo. Participants called for action against the root causes of extremism like "violence and poverty". Protecting young people, who are the most vulnerable to extremist ideologies, is a priority. Cutting funding and weapons to terrorist groups is another.


    24/02/2017 - EGYPT

    Sinai, Coptic Christian killed with a bullet to the neck, third victim in two days


    The Coptic minority is being targeted by local cells of the Islamic state. The murder took place yesterday in Al-Arich. The man's house was set on fire. Previously a 60 year old Christian and son were killed; the young man was burnt alive. Daesh announces new attacks on social networks.


     


    23/02/2017 - IRAQ

    Christians and Muslims on a peace march from Erbil to Alqōsh


    The Chaldean Patriarch spearheads action to end violence in Iraq and the Middle East on Palm Sunday. During Lent, Nineveh towns liberated from the Islamic State will be the stations of the Cross. Some 50 families came together in Tall Usquf for Mass and the raising of a large Chaldean cross on a hill. Mar Sako calls for "conversion" among regional and world leaders. Bridges, not walls, are needed.


    23/02/2017 - PAKISTAN

    "We are lying to ourselves,” says former Christian general after another bomb kills nine in Lahore

    by Kamran Chaudhry

    The latest is the eighth incident of violence in ten days. The bomb exploded in the city's commercial district, inside a building under construction. There are fears that some workers are still trapped under the rubble. A number of shops, banks and restaurants were also damaged. No one has yet claimed responsibility. There is little hope for a new military operation against the extremists.


    23/02/2017 - IRAN - TURKEY

    Turkish u-turn fuels renewed tension between Ankara and Tehran


    Turkish President spokesman tries to downplay crisis. Turkey does not want "an escalation" of words with Iran. But Erdogan accuses Tehran of  "destabilizing” the region  irritating the leaders of the Islamic Republic. Ambassador summoned, a ready response on the Syrian arena. Israel's moves to create an Arab-Turkish in front in an anti-Iranian key.

     


    23/02/2017 - INDIA

    India, Franciscan nuns promote inter-religious dialogue: An experience of deliverance

    by Santosh Digal

    In 1986 the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary created groups for Interreligious Dialogue. Their work is developed in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and other parts of India. They created a network of collaboration with other organizations that support friendly relations between religious communities. Thanks to mutual understanding, conflicts between Christians and Muslims defused.

     


    22/02/2017 - LEBANON

    Trump, Marine Le Pen and the Middle East: Lebanon against walls and divisions

    by Fady Noun

    The beginning of the Trump presidency has been characterised by the "babelisation" of American society. Each country pours out his hatred against an external enemy. The current global crisis has religious roots. At the heart of the chaos there is the Jihadi threat. The third world war cannot be won with drones, but with moderation and promoting rapprochement and discussions.


    22/02/2017 - INDIA

    A law faculty at a Catholic college proposes an amendment to the Civil Code

    by Nirmala Carvalho

    Marriage law is at the centre of discussions in a country with many religious communities following different rules. The law that allows quick Muslim divorce is one of the main bones of contention. The Catholic Church supports all proposals that support “equality, fraternity and freedom".


    22/02/2017 - EGYPT

    A first in modern times: woman becomes governor

    by Loula Lahham

    Nadia Abdou will lead Beheira, northwest Egypt, focusing on tourism and investments to revitalise the governorate. Chronic water shortages, infrastructure and sustainable development are among the priorities to be addressed. Religious fundamentalism remains a threat.


    22/02/2017 - TURKEY

    Ankara, imprisonment and expulsion from parliament for the Kurdish opposition party leader


    Selahattin Demirtas will have to serve five months in prison for "insulting" the nation and its institutions. The HDP number two Figen Yuksekdag, already indicted for terrorism, and expulsion from Parliament. For party colleagues there would campaign for the "No" in the constitutional referendum in April behind the repression.


    22/02/2017 - PAKISTAN

    Charsadda, new Taliban attack on a court: 7 dead


    Three suicide bombers mingled among a crowd of lawyers. The timely intervention of the agents avoided a worse toll. It is the seventh attack in just over a week. The Taliban group attack in retaliation against the killing of one of its radical leaders.

     


    21/02/2017 - EGYPT – ISLAM

    Who was Umar ‘Abdu r-Raḥman, who preached terrorism and the Qur'an

    by Loula Lahham

    The spiritual leader of an extremist movement died at the age 79 in a North Carolina prison. He had backed the 1993 attack against the World Trade Center. Recently, the political wing of Al-jamāʻah al-islāmīyah had requested his release on health grounds. He supported terrorism as a weapon of jihad.


    20/02/2017 - EGYPT - ISLAM

    Al Azhar under the influence of Daesh Islamism

    by Kamel Abderrahmani

    The official religious institutions and so-called Islamic universities are the cause of the immobility of the Muslim world. The programs taught and literature used at Al Azhar are the same that are applied on the ground by all armed terrorists. No comparison possible between Al Azhar and the Vatican. The Vatican has hosted Iraqi Muslims and Syrians fleeing the war. Al Azhar has never done anything for Christians and Yazidis. The persecution of Nasr Mohamed Abdellah, eager to modernize Islam. The comment of one Muslim student.


     


    20/02/2017 - LEBANON – EGYPT

    Cairo, freedom of religion and state secularism at Muslim-Christian conference in al-Azhar

    by Fady Noun

    At the initiative of the Grand Imam Ahmed el-Tayeb, the Sunni University will host an interfaith meeting on 27-28 February. Lay people and clergy, academic and scientific figures, Christian and Muslim leaders will be present. Lebanese President Aoun, the only Christian head of state of an Arab country, has been invited.


    18/02/2017 - PAKISTAN

    Pakistani police kill over 100 terrorists in raid following Sufi temple attack

    by Shafique Khokhar

    The suicide attack in Sindh killed more than 80 people gathered in prayer. The National Action Plan against Terrorism was approved, but lacks the political will to put it into practice. "We must eliminate the Islamic religious element in the Constitution".


    17/02/2017 - SAUDI ARABIA

    First woman to head Saudi stock exchange


    NCB Capital Co. CEO Sarah Al Suhaimi gets to run the Mideast’s largest bourse. For Saudi women, thanks to their foreign education, the financial sector provides greater space for their social and professional development.


    17/02/2017 - PAKISTAN

    Pakistan's Catholic Church strongly condemns Sufi temple attack

    by Kamran Chaudhry

    The suicide attack caused 75 deaths, including 20 children, and over 200 injured. Islamabad imposed a crackdown on terrorism and closes the border with Afghanistan. Catholics fear violence even against the churches. Tomorrow will a youth march in Karachi.

     


    17/02/2017 - YEMEN - GULF

    Yemen, battle for hegemony between Saudi Arabia and the UAE a source of death and destruction


    Fighting between rival factions supported by Saudi Arab and UAE intensifies in the province of Aden to the south of Taez. Allies against the Shiite Houthi rebels, are actually waging a bloody fight and civilians are paying the price. The desire for independence of the people, ready to fight against any invader.

     


    17/02/2017 - PAKISTAN

    Sindh, Islamic State militant blows himself up in a Sufi temple: 75 dead and 200 injured


    The attack took place in the temple of Lal Shahbaz Qalandar, in the city of Sehwan. 20 children among the dead The militant chose time when the place was crowded to attend a ritual dance.

     


    16/02/2017 - PAKISTAN

    Taliban attackers warn churches that they can be targets if they back the government

    by Kamran Chaudhry

    Jamaat-ul-Ahrar, a group linked to Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, is responsible for the attack on the Punjab Assembly, whose death toll rose to 14 victims. Christian, Sikh, and Muslim places of worship are not Taliban targets as long as they keep their distance from the government.


    16/02/2017 - INDONESIA

    Elections in Jakarta: Election of governor goes to run off

    by Mathias Hariyadi

    In the first round the outgoing governor "Ahok", a Christian at the center of a story of a blasphemy case, won 43% of the votes. His rival Baswedan, a Muslim, just below the 40% threshold. Decisive 17% of the votes won by the eldest son of former President Yudhoyono. The vote took place without incident. Second round to be held on 19 April.

     


    15/02/2017 - SYRIA

    As fighting intensifies in Southern Syria, Jordan gets ready to intervene


    The city of Dara'a is the scene of fierce fighting between Syria’s regular army and armed rebels. An intervention by Jordan seems a possibility. Jihadis want to “liberate” the country. Meanwhile, discussions centre on a possible Sunni zone from Dara'a to Deir Ez Zor.


    15/02/2017 - PAKISTAN

    Commission for Justice and Peace condemns Lahore attack

    by Shafique Khokhar

    Top Commission officials issue a joint statement. The suicide attack killed 13 people, including two policemen. A prayer and candlelight vigil was held at the cathedral. The NCJP calls on the government to enforce the National Action Plan against terrorism and provide security forces with the right equipment.


    15/02/2017 - CHINA

    Eight die in Xinjiang knife attack.


    The three attackers killed by Chinese security forces. Five other people injured in the attack. Suspicion falls on Islamic Uighur separatists.

     


    15/02/2017 - TURKEY

    Ankara, continues purges: 600 activists and pro-Kurdish politicians arrested


    Several political activists arrested accused of alleged links to the PKK, which Ankara considers a terrorist group. Mayors of towns with a Kurdish majority relieved of their duties. HDP leaders: arrests aim to weaken the opposition ahead of the referendum on the presidential system.


    14/02/2017 - PAKISTAN

    Lahore attack death toll rises to 13. The archdiocese closes schools and cathedral

    by Kamran Chaudhry

    A suicide bomber blew himself up in front of the Punjab Assembly. The attack was claimed by the Jamat-ul-Ahrar, a faction of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan. It is the same extremist group which last year hit a gathering of Christians during the celebrations for Easter. Archbishop prays for the families of the victims and the wounded.

     






    Editor's choices

    LEBANON
    Trump, Marine Le Pen and the Middle East: Lebanon against walls and divisions

    Fady Noun

    The beginning of the Trump presidency has been characterised by the "babelisation" of American society. Each country pours out his hatred against an external enemy. The current global crisis has religious roots. At the heart of the chaos there is the Jihadi threat. The third world war cannot be won with drones, but with moderation and promoting rapprochement and discussions.


    EGYPT - ISLAM
    Al Azhar under the influence of Daesh Islamism

    Kamel Abderrahmani

    The official religious institutions and so-called Islamic universities are the cause of the immobility of the Muslim world. The programs taught and literature used at Al Azhar are the same that are applied on the ground by all armed terrorists. No comparison possible between Al Azhar and the Vatican. The Vatican has hosted Iraqi Muslims and Syrians fleeing the war. Al Azhar has never done anything for Christians and Yazidis. The persecution of Nasr Mohamed Abdellah, eager to modernize Islam. The comment of one Muslim student.


     


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