News and Analysis (9/27/07)

Christian Science Monitor editorial points out that the Burmese Buddhist monks’ protests are just the latest movement in a tradition of faith-based pro-democracy activism that includes the Catholic Church’s involvement in liberating Eastern Europe from Communism and the Indonesian Muslim Nahdlatul Ulama’s contributions to overthrowing the dictator Suharto:

Federal judge strikes down parts of the Patriot Act because they permit the executive branches to “conduct surveillance and searches of American citizens without satisfying the probable cause of the Fourth Amendment”:

Sunni Vice-President Tariq al-Hashemi meets with Grand Ayatollah Sistani and unveils a document with a series of proposals designed to bring national reconciliation, including a “blanket pardon for Iraqis who took up arms against the government and the US-led coalition in exchange for laying down their arms and joining the political process”:

While some Arab states have seen a marked rise in corruption from last year, according to Transparency International, one Arab country with the least corruption in the region, the United Arab Emirates, reaps the rewards of this status as foreign investment from huge firms like the Carlyle Group continue to flow into their country:

Egypt’s lashes back at the American government for criticism of its human rights abuses including arrests of independent journalists and the forced closing of local human rights organization:

In a reversal of an earlier decision, the Bureau of Prisons has decided to return purged religious literature to facilities’ libraries, but supports a revised list of banned material:

As Musharraf formally announces his bid for Presidency, Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry rules that hundreds detained opposition members must be freed:


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

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