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Syria crisis: Gauging Russia’s reactions to strike scenario

There are two subjects Russians talk about a lot: history and geography. In recent days, there’s been much public discussion of both. Russian officials and the media have been constantly recalling “Yugoslavia – 1999”, “Iraq – 2003” and “Libya – 2011” as examples of Western military intervention which resulted in regime change. The suspicion in […]

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Arab World Human-Rights Middle East Politics Terrorism

Schneider: Egypt’s identity torn in two

When he joined his large family for the first Iftar (evening meal) of Ramadan in July, filmmaker and photographer Mohamed Radwan did not expect to find himself explaining to a hostile group why he had helped organize the sit-in at the Culture Ministry in Cairo and had marched on June 30 to oust Egyptian President […]

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Arab World Middle East Politics

Egypt: Morsi Spurned Deals, Seeing Military as Tamed

A funeral on Saturday for a victim of clashes in Cairo. MOHAMED EL-SHAHED / AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE — GETTY IMAGES CAIRO — As President Mohamed Morsi huddled in his guard’s quarters during his last hours as Egypt’s first elected leader, he received a call from an Arab foreign minister with a final offer to end a […]

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Arab World Freedom of Speech Human-Rights Islam Motivation Politics Religion & Spirituality

Guantanamo Bay prison guard converts to Islam because of the living faith of Muslim detainees

HUNTSVILLE, Alabama – Terry Holdbrooks Jr., 29, wears the beard of a bald Amish guy, the tattoos of a punk kid, and the twitchy alertness of a military policeman. Take him to a restaurant, and he’ll choose the chair with its back against the wall. Take his photo, and he’ll prefer to look away from […]

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Arab World Middle East Politics United States

The rise of Shia jihadism in Syria will fuel sectarian fires

Amid Syria’s worsening crisis, there is another unprecedented, yet overlooked phenomenon that bodes ill for the entire region: the rise of global Shia jihadism. The number of foreign Shia jihadists in Syria is arguably greater than Sunni ones. So what will this new trend mean? To be sure, foreign jihadists on both sides are destroying […]

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Arab World Middle East Politics

Mecca for the rich: Islam’s holiest site ‘turning into Vegas’

Historic and culturally important landmarks are being destroyed to make way for luxury hotels and malls, reports Jerome Taylor Behind closed doors – in places where the religious police cannot listen in – residents of Mecca are beginning to refer to their city as Las Vegas, and the moniker is not a compliment. Over the […]

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Arab World Islam Middle East Religion & Spirituality

New Grand Mufti elected in Egypt

Egypt has witnessed deadly violence, insecurity and price hikes, fuelling the political turmoil gripping the country. (Reuters) Shawqi Ibrahim Abdel Karim was elected on Monday to take over as Egypt’s next mufti, the government’s top interpreter of Islamic law, the highest Sunni Muslim institute in Islam announced. President Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood is […]

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Arab World Middle East News Politics Terrorism United States

‘Qatar emir located Hamas leaders’

Qatar’s King Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani has reportedly located the whereabouts of senior Hamas members during his recent visit to the Gaza Strip, and later provided Israel with the information to assassinate them. According to a report published by the Fars news agency, the emir of Qatar distributed a number of watches and […]

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Arab World Featured Middle East News Politics United States

U.S. Fears a Ground War in Gaza Could Hurt Israel and Help Hamas

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration is increasingly concerned about the escalating violence in Gaza, believing that a ground incursion by Israel there could lead to increased civilian casualties, play into the hands of the militant Palestinian group Hamas and inflict further damage to Israel’s standing in the region at an already tumultuous time.

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Arab World Middle East News United States

War on Gaza is Possible, Israeli officials say

Israel has threatened to escalate its deadly air and ground attacks against Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, which has been under an Israeli blockade for the past five years. On Monday, Israeli officials said that they were mulling over various options to punish the Palestinians of the territory and had not ruled out the possibility […]

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