News and Analysis (1/7/13)

“Haris Azhar, chairman of independent human rights group the Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence, said it appeared the suspected militants were victims of ‘extrajudicial killings’ and … [that it] seems the police brutality has contributed to the growing of terrorism”:

“We are certain they can help to bring peace in Afghanistan and will support the government,”  Police Maj. Jalal Uddin said of the 80 prisoners freed last Friday, “the latest batch of a total of 400 to be released [that] week”:

“When certain Gulf states see the Muslim Brotherhood as a threat, they deem this group the political force that drives the revolution for real change, which is also capable of protecting the revolution and its achievements” — Dr. Rafiq Habib, Coptic thinker and analyst:

Proponents of a law forcing women to ride motorcycles side-saddle appeal to Sharia, but critics accuse them of trying to make Islam “difficult”:

Spare the rod! The woman who also admitted to beating her 7 yr.-old son “for no reason” boasted of having been a Qur’an-reciter in her own youth; but if she ever memorized the passages against murder (5:32) and coercion (2:256), or about the parental duty to raise one’s children to adulthood (17:24), she did so without understanding them:

“French Muslims have begun joining a mostly Catholic-led movement against same-sex marriage” after Hollande’s Socialist government told “Catholic schools not to discuss the law with their pupils and [urged] state education officials to report anti-gay discussions at Catholic schools”:

“Opposition groups have accused Kuwait’s ruler of overstepping his powers by changing voting rules that appeared to favor government critics, which span from Islamist factions and pro-reform liberals. They now seek to bring down the new parliament dominated by pro-government lawmakers” …

… meanwhile in Bahrain,  there can be no further appeal of the sentences that Human Rights groups have condemned on the grounds that “there was no evidence that the activists had used or advocated violence during their protests and that their subsequent detention and trial contravened international law” …

… and in Iraq, “[t]housands of protesters have taken to the streets in Sunni strongholds across Iraq for more than two weeks, increasing fear that turmoil in neighboring Syria may help tip Iraq back into sectarian violence a year after the last U.S. troops left”:

“The reshuffle, which President Mohammed Morsi had promised in response to public anger over Egypt’s economic malaise, affected two key ministries, the interior and finance. It also solidified Islamist control of the government, putting three portfolios in the hands of members of the president’s Muslim Brotherhood”:

“Hopes of a breakthrough were dashed after an hour-long speech in Damascus in which the Syrian president called for “a war to defend the nation” against “terrorist” violence and urged foreign countries to stop supporting his enemies – while offering a national dialogue and a constitutional referendum”:

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