03/31/2015BANGLADESH Dhaka: another blogger hacked to death for criticising radical Islam by Sumon Corraya Oyasiqur Rahman Babu manage a blog that documented minority rights violations in Bangladesh. A group of at least three attackers killed him for his ideas. The police confirmed the arrest of two suspects. Dhaka (AsiaNews) – Radical Islamists attacked and hacked to death Oyasiqur Rahman Babu, a blogger who managed a website monitoring minority rights violations in Bangladesh. The murder took place yesterday in...
03/31/2015INDONESIA Jakarta shuts down 22 pro-Islamic State websites by Mathias Hariyadi The targeted sites are no longer accessible via Indonesian servers because they contained "false teachings" of Islam. After years of doing nothing, the government took direct action against online radicalism.
03/31/2015LEBANON A standing Islamic-Christian conference in Lebanon to meet the region’s challenges by Fady Noun Christian and Muslim leaders yesterday agreed to establish such a structure in Bkerké. It will hold quarterly meetings. The failure to elect a new president and the Islamist threat are the main issues that require a solution. On the long run, the arrival of Syrian and Iraqi refugees, on top of existing Palestinian refugees, threatens the country’s very existence.
03/31/2015IRAN Christians in Iran: safe but in a ghetto (II) by Bernardo Cervellera The small Armenian, Chaldean and Latin communities are free but inside their churches. Muslims seeking baptism have to be turned away to avoid antagonising the government. The prevailing model is one of tolerance, living side by side, but without dialogue. As a new Latin cathedral is under construction, many fear that Rouhani’s openness may not last.
03/31/2015MIDDLE EAST - ISLAM Fr. Samir: Arab military coalition possible peacekeeping force to guarantee pluralism by Samir Khalil Samir For the first time in history, a dozen Arab countries have decided to launch a joint military force to fight terrorism. The idea in itself good, in practice is sliding into a sectarian struggle between Sunni and Shia. Instead they could fight the Islamic state, ensure the return of Christians in Iraq and in Syria, push for peace between Israel and Palestine.
03/30/2015IRAN Christians in Iran: with Rouhani there is some movement (I) by Bernardo Cervellera As the world’s most powerful nations try to find an agreement on the Iranian nuclear issue in Lausanne, in Iran things are changing. Despite known limitations on freedom of conscience and problems, including violence, the country’s 350,000 Christians enjoy a degree of freedom that is certainly greater than in other countries of the region. This is the first part of a report.
03/30/2015BANGLADESH Death threats cleanse a Hindu village of its inhabitants by Sumon Corraya The 14 families who lived in Chandantola are now refugees in a neighbouring town. Police arrested some of the local politicians who forced the Hindus to sell their properties at bargain prices, but the refugees complain of long-term persecution and sexual harassment of their young women.
03/30/2015NEPAL Nepal on alert for Indian terrorists travelling in Europe with fake passport by Christopher Sharma An investigation by Nepali and Indian police identified four Indian terrorists who used fake Nepali passports to travel for at least six years. The men were able to get into the Nepal illegally and bribe local officials. The government announced that corrupt officials would be properly punished. For a former Nepali Interior minister, “the terrorists take advantage of the country’s political instability, poverty and rampant corruption."
03/30/2015INDIA Kashmir, Christian leader arrested for "fomenting sectarian clashes" by Nirmala Carvalho The authorities have detained Rev. Paul Augustine, local coordinator for Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC). The Christian pastor was attending a Sunday service. Sajan George, president of the association: "The law of the majority prevails. Where the will of the greatest number enforces that the beliefs and practices of the minority remain threatened "
03/28/2015EGYPT – MIDDLE EAST Arab military force to fight Shias and (perhaps) the Islamic state Arab League members agree to a military coalition to address conflicts in the Arab world. The "historic" deal shelves past Western-led coalitions. The anti-Islamist fight and even the Israeli-Palestinian problem are overshadowed by the main goal: containing Iranian influence. However, the confessional divide is giving the Islamic State group greater leeway and is undermining the social and political demands of the Arab Spring.
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.
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.