News and Analysis (3/28/14)

“Proposed discriminatory laws are the latest escalation in persecution of Muslims and a political ploy to secure Buddhist votes ahead of polls in 2015”:

“Lawyers for Abu Ghaith said the prosecution was based on ‘ugly words and bad associations,’ rather than actual evidence that the defendant knew of or joined plots against Americans. U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder … said it bolstered the argument that militants should be tried on terrorism charges in civilian courts, rather than as combatants in military commissions”:

“One percent of the town of Mattay’s population was sentenced to death on Monday, when 529 accused supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood received death sentences at the end of a 45-minute trial in nearby Minya…. A trial is where the truth is supposed to come out. But there was nothing normal about the trial that began in Minya on March 22”: …

… “The crackdown ‘has the opposite effect of what they wanted,’ said Ahmed, 21, who until recently worked as a photographer for a state-run newspaper…. ‘If one person from a five-person family gets detained at a protest, that makes the other four go down to protest'”:

“When it comes to governance, the Congressman said, ‘I think it’s perfectly legitimate to look at the core values of my faith — which happen to be quite universal — and bring those to bear in my decision-making.’ But he stops short of ‘prescribing unique features of my faith on others….” Ellison explains how he uses his religion as a lawmaker”:

“Although Pakistan has never executed anybody under the law, crowds angered over blasphemy accusations have been known to take the law into their own hands and kill those they suspect of violating it”:

“Under the pact, Muslim rebels agreed to disband guerrilla forces, surrender weapons, and rebuild their communities while the government gives them self-rule with wider powers to control their economy and culture. But potential threats to lasting peace remain, … a reminder to potential investors that the region is volatile”:

“Aid groups that have been providing care for those now living in crowded camps — where they have little access to food, education or health care — have for months faced threats and intimidation by Buddhist Rakhine, hampering their ability to work”:

“[T]he enhanced aid program would have a counterterrorism focus. The United States would help train Free Syrian Army fighters to combat al-Qaeda extremists, even as the rebels launch guerrilla attacks against Assad’s army”:

“Erdogan has harbored ambitions of changing the constitution to strengthen the role of the largely ceremonial presidency — so he can step into the post and rule Turkey with as much authority as he has enjoyed as premier. He is prohibited from running again as prime minister by term limits that he himself instituted”:

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