News and Analysis (5/16/16)

A newspaper calls allegations that an official government ministry letter saying that none of the 711 Muslim yoga instructors who applied were granted permission to attend world yoga day is a fraud are “clear attempts to stifle the freedom of the press” …

… while in Egypt protesters were sentenced “to up to five years in prison in a series of short mass trials … for “opposition to the government’s surrender to Saudi Arabia of two Red Sea islands under a deal negotiated in near total secrecy” …

… and even as Iran “arrested eight people out of some 170 people identified as being involved in modeling on social networks including 58 models, 59 photographers and makeup artists”:

… Iran’s FM told Americans, “The Iranian government does not support, nor does it organize, any cartoon festival of the nature that you’re talking about. When you stop your own organizations from doing things, then you can ask others to do likewise”:

“Muslim women are not treated equal to men. None of us are. But further subjugating them to [Western feminist] prejudices will hardly help them achieve equality on their terms”:

“[A]ll Americans are entitled to peacefully exercise their religious beliefs free from discrimination and violence” — DoJ; “Mr. Payne has taken responsibility for his actions and is sorry for them. He is ready to begin the healing process and move forward” — Perp’s attorney:

Two Jewish-Muslim video experiments are conducted on New York streets …

… while, in the West Bank, a project drawing deep underground water to irrigate palms growing “prized Medjool dates … is the first large project to be funded by both Jews and Muslims in the United States … and to be operated by Israeli Jews and Palestinian Muslims on the ground”:

“The Shi’ite Muslim group is fighting in Syria, backing … al-Assad against a range of Sunni groups including Islamic State and the al Qaeda-affiliated Nusra Front. But a war monitoring group … [says] there had been no shelling by rebels in that area for more than a week”:

“[S]ome western and Arab-backed rebels [are intermingled] with groups such as … the Nusra Front, which the U.N. has designated a terrorist organization … [but] Saudi Arabia and the U.S. have rejected attempts by Russia to get those rebels placed on the U.N. terrorist list”:

Epitomizing “clandestine colonial carve-ups, Sykes-Picot has become the label for the whole era in which outside powers imposed their will, drew borders and installed client local leaderships, playing divide-and-rule with the “natives”, and beggar-my-neighbour with their colonial rivals”:

“Without the protection of family and community, they frequently endure sexual violence, unintended pregnancies, trafficking and even child marriage” — Babatunde Osotimehin, head of the UN’s Population Fund:

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