Showing posts with label Sectarianism. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Sectarianism. Show all posts

Tuesday, November 15, 2022

The Sunni-Shia Cold War: The Origins and Evolution of the Saudi Hegomony

    Tuesday, November 15, 2022   No comments

There has been a Sunni-Shia cold war going on since 1979, but hardly anyone talked about it in those terms. That is because, in part, the rulers of Saudi Arabia chose to conduct this cold war through proxies or from the shadows. Then, Wikileaks ended the Saudi rulers' abilities to project power and influence, especially as a Sunni moderate power, in secret and the rise of the young, ambitious prince, MBS as he is known, to power while his father is still the nominal figurehead allowed them to deflect blame for any and all missteps. However, during a long tv interview in 2017, MBS revealed all the cards: He described his clash with Iran as an existential one because he sees Iranian leaders and Shia, in general, as irrational actors who hold on to messianic belief about the coming of a savior--which makes them unworthy of dialogue and diplomacy.

Wikileaks' documents described the Saudi war on Iran from behind the scene succinctly and clearly. The Saudi leaders, according to the diplomatic cables, while publicly expressing dialogue with Iran, pushed US and European leaders to go after the "head of the snake", instead of fighting Iran's proxies. The framed it as a need to liberate Iran, as Biden said recently, they wanted the West to unleash a direct war on Iran, not rely just on sanctions. Those revelations forced Saudi and Emariti leaders to emerge from the shadows and attack Iran directly--but not militarily of course. They focused instead on a strategy that aims to unravel the entire political system of Iran from within. 

The new "leak" of documents from UAE shows how the strategy was developed and executed. The Lebanese newspaper, Alakhbar, produced a dossier about these developments. Other researchers and observers have compiled more evidence about the Saudi investment in media assets to realize their goals: the paralysis and destruction of the Iranian system of governance through internal Iranian actors.

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From Alakhbar Dossier about Saudi-UAE Leaks: When Mohammed bin Salman stated the above sentence, in answer to Dawood Al-Sheryan's question about dialogue with Iran, he was announcing what was not usual in Saudi foreign policy, in what was termed "transferring the battle to the Iranian interior." Many at the time, when interpreting what Ibn Salman said, said that Riyadh would resort to what it used to do in terms of employing ISIS cells and the operations that separatist movements in Sistan-Baluchestan had long carried out in the Iranian depths. However, in the documents obtained by Al-Akhbar, it becomes clear that Ibn Salman meant targeting the Iranian interior, through a plan to influence the Iranian youth group, in parallel with the intensification of the discourse of demonizing Iran, directed at the Arab and Islamic audiences.


“We will not wait for the battle to be in Saudi Arabia, but rather we will work so that the battle for them is in Iran and not in Saudi Arabia.”
Deputy Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia
Mohammed bin Salman

3 May 2017

On the morning of January 2, 2016, the world woke up to the news of the execution of Sheikh Nimr Baqir al-Nimr and a group of al-Qatifi youth, along with a group of Saudi officials and cadres of al-Qaeda. Angry reactions continued inside and outside Salman’s kingdom, and the night of that day closed. On the scene of the burning of the buildings of the Saudi diplomatic mission in Iran by angry Iranian youths.


Four days later, on January 6, the Emirati National Media Council was presenting to representatives of Saudi Arabia and Bahrain a proposed plan that he called the “media strategy for dealing with the Iranian file”, which developed in subsequent years, in coordination with the Americans, to become the “plan to undermine Iran.” From the inside.”

The proposal for the media strategy put forward by the Minister of State and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the National Media Council in the UAE, Sultan Al Jaber, stated that the goal behind it is to “build a public opinion hostile to Iranian policies from the internal and external public,” and that the strategy “centers on the political dimension and away from the sectarian discourse that It may weaken the public media discourse if it is relied upon. And most importantly, “the results of the strategy should be achieved after years.” In the initial proposal, as document No. 1 shows, the target audience is regional public opinion, Gulf public opinion, domestic public opinion inside Iran (the Iranian people and non-Persian Iranian minorities in particular), and the Iranian opposition abroad and at home. It is noteworthy in the “implementation partners” paragraph that the Emiratis mentioned the “Organization of Islamic Cooperation” as a partner in implementing the strategy, along with the official Gulf entities, the League of Arab States, and Iranian think tanks and opposition, noting that the Islamic Republic of Iran is an original member of the aforementioned organization whose decision-making is dominated by Saudi Arabia and harnessed. interests since its inception.

Read full dossier (Ar)...

 

Friday, November 04, 2022

The Sheikh of Al-Azhar calls for a dialogue with Shiite Muslim scholars

    Friday, November 04, 2022   No comments

Today, Friday, Al-Azhar Sheikh Imam Ahmed Al-Tayeb appealed to Shia Muslim scholars to hold an Islamic-Islamic dialogue in order to renounce "sectarian strife," at a time when several countries in the region and the world are experiencing tensions over a sectarian background.

In a speech delivered at the conclusion of the Bahrain Forum for Dialogue "East and West for Human Coexistence", in the presence of Pope Francis at the Royal Palace of Sakhir, Al-Tayeb appealed to "Islamic scholars in the whole world, regardless of their sects, sects and schools, to hasten to hold a serious Islamic-Islamic dialogue." In order to establish unity, rapprochement and acquaintance, the causes of discord, strife and sectarian conflict in particular are rejected.


The Imam of Al-Azhar said: “This invitation, as I address it to our fellow Shiite Muslims, I am ready, along with the senior scholars of Al-Azhar and the Council of Muslim Elders, to hold such a meeting with open hearts and outstretched hands to sit together at one table.”


The Imam of Al-Azhar set the meeting’s goal by “overcoming the page of the past and promoting Islamic affairs and the unity of Islamic positions,” suggesting that its decisions “provide an end to mutual hate speech, methods of provocation and infidelity, and the need to overcome historical and contemporary conflicts with all their problems and bad sediments.”


Al-Tayyib stressed that “it is forbidden for Muslims to listen to the calls of discord and discord, and to beware of falling into the trap of tampering with the stability of countries, exploiting religion by stirring up national and sectarian strife, interfering in the affairs of states, undermining their sovereignty or usurping their lands.”

The Sheikh of Al-Azhar calls for an end to the war in Ukraine

In a separate context, the sheikh of Al-Azhar Al-Sharif called for an end to the war in Ukraine for the sake of world peace and stability, saying: “I add my voice to the voice of benevolent people who call for peace and an end to the Russian-Ukrainian war, and to spare the blood of innocents who have no elegance or utterance in this tragedy, And raising the banner of peace instead of the banner of victory, and sitting in the circle of dialogue and negotiations.”


Al-Tayeb also called for "stopping the fighting going on in various parts of the world by rebuilding bridges of dialogue, understanding and trust, in order to restore peace in a world riddled with wounds, so that the alternative is not more suffering for poor peoples, and more dire consequences for the East and West."


Saturday, June 17, 2017

Erdoğan wants Turkish military bases in Qatar and Saudi Arabia, condemns “Iranian expansionism” in the Middle East

    Saturday, June 17, 2017   No comments
Turkey does not condone “Iranian expansionism” in the Middle East although it does recognize its role and its cooperation in resolving problems in Iraq and Syria, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said.

“Is Syria a theater for Iran’s sectarian expansionism? Yes, it is. Is Iraq a theater also? Yes, it is. I regard this a Persian expansionism rather than a sectarian one. I should specifically say that I do not approve of this Persian expansionism,” Erdoğan said in an interview with Portugal’s RTP channel, according to Anadolu Agency on June 16.

Turkey has long criticized Iran for pursuing a sectarian-based policy in the Middle East although it continues to work with Tehran on a number of regional issues.


However, Erdoğan made clear that Turkey and Iran, along with Russia, are working together in Syria through the Astana process. He also underlined that the problems in Iraq could not be resolved without Iran and that excluding Iran from efforts to deal with the Syrian civil war would not serve anybody’s interest as the Syrian regime works with Iran.

Erdoğan repeated his calls to the United States and Saudi Arabia to join the Astana process, which recently produced a mechanism to monitor the ongoing cease-fire in Syria.


President slams US over military base

On the ongoing Raqqa operation that aims to eliminate the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), Erdoğan reiterated Ankara’s long-standing criticisms against the United States, which chose the People’s Protection Units (YPG) as a partner even though Turkey regards the group as a terrorist organization.

“I understand that they do not regard it as a terror organization as they prefer to walk hand in hand in them and as they cooperate with them on Raqqa,” the president said, recalling that Turkey would take any action against the YPG in the event that its security is threatened.

A new military air strip is being built by the U.S. near Kobane in northern Syria which is currently under YPG control, Erdoğan said.

“Planes will land there in the future. [The YPG] will be settled there. Why are you doing all of this? Why you are entering these places?”


A plot against Qatar

Touching on the ongoing crisis in the Gulf, Erdoğan described the unfolding situation as a plot against Qatar and said he did not approve of what has happened to the country.

“I sense that there is a very serious plot against Qatar and it’s not true. Qatar is a country with an overwhelmingly Muslim population. Those who implement all of this against Qatar are also Muslim,” he said, adding that the problem should have been addressed with dialogue from the beginning.

“It’s my wish that Saudi Arabia will show its leadership and that this issue will be resolved before the Ramadan Feast.”


Military base in Saudi Arabia

Turkey’s military base in Qatar will serve the entire region’s stability and security, Erdoğan said, noting that his government had suggested to Saudi Arabia that it establish a base on Saudi soil as well, but Riyadh has yet to respond to Turkey’s call.

Turkey will augment the number of troops at the military base in Qatar, Erdoğan said.

source


Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Turkey criticizes move to raise Kurdish flag in Iraq

    Wednesday, March 29, 2017   No comments
ISR Comment:


Turkish government seem to have checkmated itself in Iraq and Syria: At one point it offered sanctuary to a Iraqi Sunni politician accused of connections to terrorism undermining Iraq’s government efforts to establish control over all of its territory. That move was intended to find a path to influence decision making in Iraq. To further pressure the central Iraqi government, which is dominated by Shia who represent the majority of the population in that country, the Turkish government chose to deal the regional Kurdish government and even sign energy deals, in violation of Iraqi law that has the authority over oil trade. Now, that Kurdish people in Syria are carving territory to establish an autonomous region that could potentially link with the Iraqi Kurdish autonomous region, encouraging Kurds in Turkey to do the same, the Turkish government is condemning a Kurdish move in Iraq. How can Turkey limit Kurdish gains after it did its best to weaken the central governments in Syria and Iraq?


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Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu has criticized the decision of an Iraqi provincial assembly to raise a Kurdish flag alongside the Iraqi national flag at public buildings.

On Tuesday, 26 Kurdish members of Kirkuk’s provincial assembly voted in favor of raising the Kurdish flag alongside Iraq’s national flag outside the city’s public buildings and institutions.

Arab and Turkmen members of the provincial assembly were conspicuously absent from the meeting.

In an interview with state-broadcaster TRT Haber in Ankara Wednesday, Cavusoglu said: “We don’t approve of this voting held by the regional administration.

“Such a step will not help Iraq’s future, stability and security at a time when Iraq is fighting against Daesh.  Source

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

US will not sell weapons to Saudi Arabia

    Tuesday, December 13, 2016   No comments
ISR comment: This is one of those instances where late is better than never. In September, when Saudi Arabia committed another war crime while continuing its brutal war on Yemen, killing many civilians and pushing millions to starvation, the US Senate cleared way for $1.15 billion arms sale to Saudi Arabia. Today, it was announced that sale of arms will be halted. This is a very small and rare victory for the poorest Arab country, Yemen, which has been bombarded for nearly two years by the richest Arab country. It is hoped that EU governments will do follow and ban the sales of arms to Saudi Arabia until its rulers, especially their teenage-minded war minister and son of King Salman, stop using these tools of killing and destruction as toys.

US halts arms sale to Saudi Arabia over civilian casualties in Yemen

The US has cancelled a planned weapons sale to Saudi Arabia and will limit military support for the Saudi-led air campaign in Yemen over widespread civilian deaths, a US official revealed on Tuesday.

More than 10,000 people have been killed during the 20-month-old civil war in Yemen, and the impoverished country is gripped by food shortages and other humanitarian crises.

According to a UN estimate, about 60 per cent of the 4,000 or more civilian deaths have resulted from Saudi-led air strikes. Source


Sunday, November 27, 2016

Qatar will continue to support terrorists in Syria with or without U.S.

    Sunday, November 27, 2016   No comments
Summary: Fearing that the U.S. under Trump might abandon Syrian rebels, Qatar, which is known to have close connections to terrorist groups like Fath al-Sham--formerly known as al-Nusra Front, reassured its proxies in Syria that Qatar will continue to support them with or without U.S.

The  News:
Qatar will continue to arm Syrian rebels even if Donald Trump ends U.S. backing for the multinational effort, Doha's foreign minister said in an interview, signalling its determination to pursue a policy the U.S. President-elect may abandon.
...
The minister hit out at Egypt, normally a close Gulf Arab ally, for appearing to side with Assad, and criticised Iran for what he said was interference in the affairs of Arab states.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, whose flagging economy has received billions of dollars from Gulf states, has supported Russia's decision to bomb in support of Assad.

"For us unfortunately Egypt is supporting the regime ... We hope that they come back and be with us," he said. Support for Assad was the same as supporting terrorism, he said, "because he is a terrorist and he is on equal footing with Daesh".

Sheikh Mohammed chided Western politicians for using anti-Muslim and anti-refugee rhetoric in election campaigns, saying it was against the values the West had long stood for.

"Unfortunately these narratives ... will cause problems for decades because in Europe and the United States, the Muslim community is part of the texture of their society ... It will help them maybe to win the election but it will last for decades, it will create a problem within their communities. source

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Israel's defense minister: Islamic State "enjoyed Turkish money for oil"

    Tuesday, January 26, 2016   No comments

Israel's defense minister said on Tuesday that Islamic State militants had been funded with 'Turkish money', an assertion that could hinder attempts to mend fences between the two countries after years of estrangement.

"It's up to Turkey, the Turkish government, the Turkish leadership, to decide whether they want to be part of any kind of cooperation to fight terrorism. This is not the case so far," Moshe Yaalon told reporters in Athens.

"As you know, Daesh (Islamic State) enjoyed Turkish money for oil for a very, very long period of time. I hope that it will be ended," Yaalon, a right-wing former armed forces chief, told reporters after meeting his Greek counterpart, Panos Kammenos. source

Wednesday, January 06, 2016

Stoking sectarian fires in the Middle East could be Saudi Arabia's biggest mistake

    Wednesday, January 06, 2016   No comments
Why stoking sectarian fires in the Middle East could be Saudi Arabia's biggest mistake

Patrick Cockburn

Saudi Arabia will be pleased that the furore over its execution of the Shia cleric Nimr al-Nimr is taking the form of a heightened confrontation with Iran and the Shia world as a whole. Insults and threats are exchanged and diplomatic missions closed. Sunni mosques are blown up in Shia-dominated areas of Iraq. The Saudi rulers are able to strengthen their leadership of a broad Sunni coalition against an Iranian-led Shia axis at home and abroad.

The motive for the mass execution of Sheikh Nimr and 46 others, many Sunni jihadists, was primarily domestic. The threat to the al-Saud family within Saudi Arabia comes from Sunni extremists in al-Qaeda and Isis and not from the Shia, who are only a majority in two provinces in the eastern region of the country. Furious denunciations by Shia communities and countries will do nothing but good to the reputation of the ruling family among the majority of Saudis.

Saudi Arabia and its fundamentalist Wahhabi variant of Sunni Islam has been blamed by many outside the kingdom as the ideological forbearer of Isis, but the real danger for the monarchy is that it should be seen at home as insufficiently zealous as defender of the faith.
...
All the same, there is a growing suspicion in the Middle East and beyond that the Saudi royal family is losing its traditional political touch which enabled it to survive over the past 70 years when other monarchies, along with once-powerful socialist and nationalist regimes, have long ago disappeared.


Tuesday, January 05, 2016

Turkey’s silence on Saudi Arabia’s execution of Shiite cleric

    Tuesday, January 05, 2016   No comments
by MEHMET Y. YILMAZ

The Middle East has gone even deeper into turmoil since “our ally” Saudi Arabia, with which we recently established a “high-level strategic council,” executed a prominent Shiite cleric.

You will remember that Turkey and Qatar also signed a military deal a short while ago, and we will construct a military base in Qatar against the “common enemy.”

Considering the 3,600 km distance between Turkey and Qatar, I recently asked who could be this “common enemy.” It is not too difficult to find the answer. The only power that Qatar is afraid of is Iran.

Now, our “high-level strategic partner” Saudi Arabia is on the verge of war with Iran. They have cut diplomatic ties; harsh statements are flying in the air.

It would not be surprising to see Qatar getting involved in this verbal fight. Indeed, Bahrain cut its relations with Tehran yesterday.

Turkey is now in the midst of a conflict that should be of no interest. Turkey is in no position to either intervene to decrease the tension or to stand aside.

That is where we have ended up thanks to the Erdoğan-Davutoğlu duo’s foreign policy. We will all pay the price for them resorting to cheap campaign propaganda whenever critics warned “let’s not slide into Middle Eastern swamp.”

What is the reason behind the silence?

Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr, the cleric who was executed in Saudi Arabia, had nothing to do with violence. In fact, he condemned violence and he was against all dictators in the Islamic world - including Bashar al–Assad.

In an interview with the BBC in 2011 he said he preferred “the roar of the word against authorities to weapons.”

“The weapon of the word is stronger than bullets, because the authorities profit from a battle with weapons,” he said.

Now, the execution of this cleric who preached peace could set off a period where only guns do the talking.

What I find strange is the fact that Turkey has remained silent up to now. It is silent about the killing of a cleric who has stood up to tyrants.

There is no word from a government that says it stands with all the oppressed, regardless of their identity. The Foreign Ministry is silent.

Isn’t this silence of the Justice and Development Party (AKP), which reacted so harshly against death sentences that were not even carried out in Egypt, perplexing?

If a Muslim cleric was executed in a Buddhist country, would they have stayed silent like this?

Why this silence? Is it because the killers this time are the Saudis? Or is it because the cleric is Shiite?  source

Friday, June 20, 2014

What do Iraqi Sunni want? ISIL and its allies have different agendas and different plans; but some want Sunni autonomous regions

    Friday, June 20, 2014   No comments
Iraq is a country with competing ethnic and sectarian identities. Iraq is inhabited by Muslims, Christians, Arabs, Kurds, Turkmen, Azeris, Armenians, and dozens of or other religious and ethnic groups. The divide that is at play today is the Sunni, Shiite, Kurdish one. More than 65 percent of Iraqis are Shi`a. These Shi`as are of Arab, Kurdish, and Turkic ethnicities. 25 percent of Iraqis are Sunnis. These Sunnis are primarily Arab and Kurdish. About 10 percent are Non-Muslim minorities belonging to various ethnic groups as well.


The Sunni minority has ruled Iraq until the fall of Saddam's regime in 2003. Iraqi Shi`a were marginalized during Sunni rule and after the Iraq-Iran war, the marginalization tuned into discrimination, oppression, and persecution. Now, the once dominant Sunnis, are represented according to their numbers. Some are happy with that. But many do not want to be ruled by a "deviant" sect even if that sect is a majority of the population. ISIL represents that view and that is why they want to take the fight all the way to Karbala and Najaf. Other Sunnis want at least some of the power back even if it is over smaller territories.
Here is one articulation of Sunni demands:
 “Maliki must first be deposed,” said Mr Dabash. “Then we demand the fragmentation of Iraq into three autonomous regions, with Sunnis, Shia and Kurds sharing resources equally. And finally we need compensation for the one and half million Iraqis, most of them Sunnis, who have been killed at the hands of the Americans and the Maliki regime.” Source
The problems with Iraq are also historical, since the Ottoman days, when Sunnis were favored:
Sunnis had been favored during the Ottoman Empire, gaining more administrative experience and thus domination in government and the military. Dictatorships emerged as the only way to hold differing groups together, the last Iraqi dictator being Saddam Hussein. Sourse

Monday, May 26, 2014

Who’s Killing Pakistan’s Shia and Why?

    Monday, May 26, 2014   No comments
C. Christine Fair

According to the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, in 2013 nearly 700 Shia were killed and more than 1,000 were injured in more than 200 sectarian terrorist attacks. Over 90 percent of those attacks occurred in Quetta, Karachi, Kangu, Parachinar, Islamabad and Rawalpindi. Since the beginning of 2000, nearly 4,000 persons have been killed and 6,800 injured (see figure below).  Who is hunting Pakistan’s Shia and, most importantly, why?


The explanation for Pakistan’s deadly sectarian present lies in the communal politics of Pakistan’s pre-history and the subsequent decisions that Pakistani elites made in the early years about nation building in the new state.  The current path of violence and intolerance may have been paved well before Pakistan became independent in 1947.

Pakistan: Born to Other

As the British appetite for maintaining the Raj declined after World Wars I and II, it became increasingly clear that the declining imperial power would accede to mounting Indian nationalist demands to quit the subcontinent. However, it was not clear what political order would rise from the detritus of the erstwhile Raj.  Some Muslims associated with the All India Muslim League feared that, in a Hindu-majority state, Muslims would be subjected to separate and unequal status.  The Congress Party, which claimed to represent all groups in India and which enjoyed a pan-Indian presence, challenged these claims. However, some within the Congress Party increasingly began to evidence communal sentiments which further discomfited some Muslims in India.

Muhammad Ali Jinnah, who is...

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Thursday, February 27, 2014

Iran’s Rouhani Puts U.S.-Saudi Ties to the Test

    Thursday, February 27, 2014   No comments
by David Ottaway

The opening of a dialogue between the United States and Iran has stirred  deep-seated fears in Saudi Arabia that the Obama administration may be headed for a “grand bargain” with Tehran at the Saudis’ expense, raising further doubts about Saudi dependence on Washington for its security. The Saudis have already sensed flagging U.S. support in their confrontation with Iran over Iraq and Syria as they wage a bitter battle with the Iranians for Arab and Muslim world leadership.

read more >>

Thursday, February 20, 2014

The vicious schism between Sunni and Shia has been poisoning Islam for 1,400 years - and it's getting worse

    Thursday, February 20, 2014   No comments
Rendering of Imam Hussain after Karbala
The war in Syria began much earlier than is generally recognised. The conflict actually began in the year 632 with the death of the Prophet Mohamed. The same is true of the violence, tension or oppression currently gripping the Muslim world from Iraq and Iran, though Egypt, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia to Yemen, Pakistan and Afghanistan.

A single problem lies behind all that friction and hostility. On Tuesday, Britain's leading Muslim politician, the Foreign Office minister Baroness Warsi, obliquely addressed it in a speech she made in Oman, the Arab state at the south-east corner of the Arabian Peninsula strategically positioned at the mouth of the Persian Gulf. The religious tolerance of the Sultanate, she suggested, offered a model for the whole of the Islamic world. It certainly needs such an exemplar of openness and acceptance.

What most of the crucibles of conflict in the Middle East have in common is that Sunni Muslims are on one side of the disagreement and Shia Muslims on the other. Oman is unusual because its Sunni and Shia residents are outnumbered by a third sect, the Ibadis, who constitute more than half the population. In many countries, the Sunni and the Shia are today head-to-head.

The rift between the two great Islamic denominations runs like a tectonic fault-line along what is known as the Shia Crescent, starting in Lebanon in the north and curving through Syria and Iraq to the Gulf and to Iran and further east.


read more >>

Monday, November 25, 2013

Almost 80 percent of protesters detained as part of the Gezi Park protests were Alevis, according to daily Milliyet citing a report by Turkish security and intelligence authorities

    Monday, November 25, 2013   No comments
The daily reported that the authorities have prepared a comprehensive and detailed analysis of the anti-governmental protests spread across the country over summer, using detainees as samples.

More than 5,500 demonstrations or activities were staged within the framework of the country-wide movement dubbed “Gezi protests” that were prolonged for 112 days after being kindled in Taksim Gezi Park at the end of May, according to the analysis reported by daily Milliyet columnist Tolga Şardan Nov. 25.

The security forces’ study also sheds light on the characteristics of the protestors, by using more than 5,000 detainees’ personal data as samples to determine the profile of whole movement.
Seventy-eight percent of people detained were Alevis, the report said.

Also according to the analysis, only 12 percent of the suspects are “linked with political parties,” 6 percent of which are involved in “extremist leftist groups,” dubbed as marginal left groups by the Security Directorate. Some 4 percent of them also alleged to be working for “terrorist organizations and their legal organizations affiliated with them.”

Around 3.6 million people attended demonstrations while 5,513 of them have been detained by the police in the 80 provinces the protests erupted in. The Black Sea province Bayburt was reported to be the only province in which no protests were staged, the analysis revealed.
read more >>

Monday, March 11, 2013

Christians, police clash in Pakistan after Muslim mob burns homes of minority religious group

    Monday, March 11, 2013   No comments

LAHORE, Pakistan — Hundreds of Christians clashed with police across Pakistan on Sunday, a day after a Muslim mob burned dozens of homes owned by members of the minority religious group in retaliation for alleged insults against Islam’s Prophet Muhammad.

Christians are often the target of Pakistan’s harsh blasphemy laws, which rights activists say are frequently used to persecute religious minorities or settle personal disputes. Politicians have been reluctant to reform the laws for fear of being attacked by religious radicals, as has happened in the past.


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