News and Analysis (3/26/14)

“The death sentences issued Monday by a court in the city of Minya, south of Cairo, brought an outcry from rights groups and criticism from the United Nations, European Union and United States over the cursory trial, which lasted only two sessions and in which lawyers said they were denied the right to make their case or question witnesses” ..

… Amnesty International’s Deputy Director on Middle East and North Africa says, “Imposing this many death sentences in a single case makes Egypt pass most countries’ use of capital punishment in a year”, and MB spokesman Abdullah El-Haddad says, “It shows that the military regime has switched from using special forces and rifles to using the Egyptian judiciary”:

… “[b]ut the verdicts were hailed as a triumph for justice by much of Egypt’s media, which have been cheerleaders for the crackdown on the Brotherhood since the military’s July ouster of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi”:

“[P]eople assume there’s some sort an oxymoron if you say you are both a Muslim and a feminist, and what’s more you’re an Islamic feminist, but I find that discourse a little patronising. … I’d like to think … that women from various spiritual traditions have something to contribute to the broader discourse on feminism and what it means to be a truly, holistically emancipated woman”:

One “reason the group felt targeted was that on March 17, only their bulletin board had been cleared, while others remained up until the following day”:

Muslims in America are more diverse financially, racially, ethnically, and by national origin, and more willing to accept divergent interpretations of their religion than are Christians in America, but Muslims are less politically diverse, skewing more heavily Democratic:

“Sources said the commissioners had been particularly frustrated by the disqualification of dozens of candidates by a judicial panel because they were subjects of arrest warrants. Those affected – including former Finance Minister Rafa al-Issawi and several other MPs who oppose Mr Maliki – have no obvious way to appeal”:

“[F]our representatives of armed opposition groups were on the sidelines at the failed Syria peace conference in Geneva last month. These groups hope to prove their value as anti-regime fighters that the US can stomach arming”:

“The town of Boda is one of the last in the western C.A.R. still inhabited by a large number of Muslims. The government has told militiamen there to stop threatening this community, but the fighters say the Muslims must leave” …

… “The government of Central African Republic condemns criminal acts against the Muslim community in the strongest terms. We must spare no effort to prosecute criminals who use religion as a pretext to enrich themselves”:

UN “peace mediator for Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi, for an end the flow of arms to the combatants in” Syria and while “Kuwait’s emir, Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmed al-Sabah, urged Arab states to solve rifts he said were blocking joint Arab action” …

… but in the end the Arab states agree to disagree …

… “The failure of the deal as it was originally envisioned is the first major sign of how a political rift between Qatar and other Gulf nations over Qatar’s support for the Muslim Brotherhood is hurting business decisions in the oil-rich region”:

“The actress, Cindy Lee Garcia, has filed an appeal alleging contempt of court’s order against the internet company, and that the video with her performance is still available on YouTube. This is despite a court order saying that no copies of the video with her performance should be available on the video-sharing platform”:

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