News and Analysis (1/19/15)

Some see “a double standard …, citing France’s ban on publicly donning the full veil worn by conservative Muslim women” and  the magazine’s firing of “a former Charlie Hebdo cartoonist … for anti-Semitism after he commented on the son of French president Nicolas Sarkozy” …

… and “the Danish cartoons picked up by Charlie Hebdo were always intended to be part of the provocative local anti-Muslim campaign sweeping Denmark, not a statement about free speech”:

“The closure … points to a wider problem: Rouhani’s failure to expand freedom of the press in Iran more generally. The move reveals enormous divisions within Iran’s political landscape” – Iranian news website IranWire:

Sisi asks rhetorically, “Did anyone apply to demonstrate over the past few months and his request was denied?” “[T]he steady stream of Islamic and leftist activists and politicians who have been jailed in recent months” is the rhetorical answer?

“Thoughtful, faithful people have agreed and disagreed with the various decisions made this week. In the coming weeks, the Chapel will seek opportunities for constructive dialogue about these complex and important subjects as we all strive for deeper understanding and greater faithfulness to God”:

“This crime will not go unpunished but the leadership of the resistance [Hezbollah] is wise and knows how to respond” —  a Shiite source close to senior Hezbollah officials:

A Kurdish official speculates that the elderly and infirm prisoners were released because “[i]t probably became too expensive to feed them and care for them”:

“An Israeli helicopter strike in Syria killed a Hezbollah commander, who also happened to be the son of the group’s late military leader Imad Moughniyah, sources close to Hezbollah said. His killing could spark retaliation against Israel by the Lebanese Shiite army and political party”:

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