News and Analysis (3/19/08)

Five years after the invasion, despite an uneven and fragile stability, Iraq still faces the threat of re-intensified sectarian warfare, rampant corruption, and the challenge of rebuilding without much of its professional middle class:

The US may end its attempts at politically isolating Hamas and allow it to be a part of the peace negotiations, but the growing influence of Israel’s religious extremists and the latest Israeli bombing of Gaza are likely to complicate further talks:

Dialog between Muslims and various Christians denominations move ahead, with largely positive responses from all religious groups involved; however, discussions of hot topics like apostasy and proselytism will not be open to the public:

Consumers with names similar to alleged terrorists and drug dealers get caught up in bloated and invasive terror watchlists:

Legal debates under new parliament start after Pakistan’s AG says removed judges can only be reinstated if changes to the constitution during Musharraf’s martial law are undone:

Controversy over debates on whether Muslims have the right to apostasize leads to another 20 hardline Wahhabi clerics pronouncing takfir upon the Muslim writers who support of freedom of religion:


Alejandro Beutel is program assistant for the Minaret of Freedom Institute with expertise in religious freedom, democratization and security issues.

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