News and Analysis (2/18/16)

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that “at least 15 people who were killed when strikes hit a bakery … near the border with Iraq on Tuesday,” and that 15 others including 3 children were killed in air  raids on Thursday:

Islamophobic extremists smear Catholics in a blatantly false billboard; the advertising company takes down the billboard but ironically refuses to identify the libelers on “free speech” grounds:

“[T]he former general who unseated the Islamists … prosecuted or investigated at least 20 contempt of religion cases, says … a researcher on religious freedom at the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights. That’s more than at any time under Mr. Mubarak or since”:

“[W]hy is the hijab ‘acceptable’ only when it’s appropriated and managed by major corporations— Western regimes that, in other words, have the power to permit and regulate what is deemed tolerable, capitalisable and not?”:

The story “reads like it’s been ripped from the headlines”; its “second-generation Canadian Muslim [hero], shaped by Western values and his religious tradition — never entirely trusted by either the police or the Muslim community”:

Local “customs and understandings [of Muhammad’s message] gave rise to distinct legal schools. Although there were originally many such schools, they gradually reduced to four in Sunni Islam…. There are also a number of such schools in Shi`i Islam”:

“Iranians will shape the future of the Islamic republic for at least a decade when hardline and moderate candidates battle next week in elections for parliament and the body which will choose the country’s next supreme leader”:

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