News and Analysis (3/31/15)

Shades of Andalusia! The best example of religious freedom and peaceful coexistence in Europe today may be its only Muslim majority state, Albania:

“[H]is wife was imprisoned for two years for wearing a burqa….  As part of the efforts to eliminate extremism, people of all ages have been forced to dance to Chinese pop music and sing ‘red songs’ — in praise of revolution and the Chinese Communist Party”:

Defining “terrorism to include anyone who threatens public order ‘by any means” has drawn criticism from rights groups who charged that [the law] expands the state arsenal of legislation empowering authorities to go after political opponents with few, if any, options to redress miscarriages of justice”:

“One of the two men arrested over the latest murder had been studying at a well-known religious school … [linked] to the hardline Islamic group Hefazat-e-Islam … [that] spearheaded huge protests against secular bloggers in 2013 that left nearly 50 people dead” when police cracked down demonstrators”:

While ISIS features teenagers leading captives to slaughter in its beheading videos, the Muslim Youth League UK “has launched a ‘Jihad against ISIS’ campaign … [that] bluntly states that no matter the victims’ religion, ISIS’s killings are ‘un-Islamic’ and deviate from the Quran’s teachings”:

“‘There are probably lots of reasons why the PDP might have lost, but I think the key one is that the elections just haven’t been rigged,’ said Antony Goldman, a business consultant with high-level contacts in Nigeria” …

… yet reporters were detained by the Nigerian military for “operating without protection, accreditation or due clearance”, but Al-Jazeera said the pair were accredited by the Independent Electoral Commission in Abuja to operate throughout the country as part of [its] election coverage”:

“Many Bosnians, including Muslims, Catholics and Christian Serb Orthodox, view Francis as a worthy pope — similar to their feelings for John Paul II, who is perceived as a champion of inter-faith cooperation and peace. John Paul’s statue decorates a square in the center of Sarajevo”:

Pakistan hesitates over entering the emerging Yemeni quagmire, as a Saudi-led coalition “airstrike killed dozens of civilians Monday at a camp for displaced families in northern Yemen, raising concerns of a humanitarian crisis in the Middle East’s most impoverished country”:

The now-overturned conviction of “326 officers … of plotting to overthrow Erdogan’s Islamic-based government in 2003  … helped curtail the military’s hold on Turkish politics, but … was marred by … long pre-trial confinement and judicial flaws, including allegations of fabricated evidence”:

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