News and Analysis (10/22/12)

“[T]he Catholic Church’s fraught relation with Islam has emerged as one of the main themes at a major gathering of the world’s bishops in Rome”:

“A ban on girls wearing the Islamic headscarf to a school in southern Russia has angered Muslims and forced President Vladimir Putin, who has robustly defended the Orthodox Church, to affirm that Russia is a secular state”:

“A school should provide a secular education, that is what a school is for, and all the more Russian schools,,,, We have enough madrasas open for those who want a spiritual education” — an anonymous teacher:

“This is a landmark of the end of Fatah” — Mahdi Abdul-Hadi, head of the Palestinian Academic Society for the Study of International Affairs:

Authorities fired teargas and stun grenades as thousands took to the streets of Kuwait City to oppose changes to the electoral law that could hobble the opposition at polls due in December. Critics have accused the government of staging a constitutional “coup”:

Once largely immune to the violence that has swept over Syria since the anti-Assad revolt began in March 2011, Damascus has become a frequent target of bombings in recent months …

“Many in the Lebanese opposition see the hand of Damascus behind Friday’s car bomb that killed the intelligence chief – heightening tensions in a country already dangerously divided between supporters and opponents of the Assad regime in Syria”…

… and the Jordanian state news agency claims Al-Qaida operatives brought in arms from Syria in a  terrorist campaign aimed at Western diplomats, foreign nationals and shopping centers:

BARBED wire and armed troops guard the Muslim quarter of a violence-wracked city in western Myanmar, a virtual prison for the families that have inhabited its narrow streets for generations. The security forces outside the ghetto in the Rakhine state capital Sittwe are not there to stop its residents leaving – although few dare to anyway – but to protect them from Buddhist mobs after an outburst of sectarian hatred”:

 

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