Religious Extremism

  • IS Church Attack Signals Islamist Long War on Christianity

    December 20, 2016

    The recent lethal attack on a Coptic Orthodox Cathedral in Cairo by Islamic State (IS) supporters is the latest example of a long war of attrition waged by secular and religious regimes using state Islamist policies such as violence and intimidation, economic discrimination, and cultural and historical appropriation to extinguish Christianity in Egypt.

  • Egyptian Courts Support MB Asset, Property Claims

    December 16, 2016

    Egyptian courts during the tenure of current President Fatta al-Sisi, which ousted the short-lived Muslim Brotherhood (MB) government in 2013, have issued almost 300 decisions in favor of MB claims about assets and property seized by the Sisi government, suggesting that tensions between pro- and anti-Islamist factions are rife within the state's legal institutions.

  • Saudis Arrest Woman over Photo Deemed Un-Islamic

    December 16, 2016

    Saudi Arabia's religious police recently arrested a young woman who tweeted a photo of herself in public without a body-length robe called an abaya, an act deemed incompatible with the Kingdom's strict interpretation of Islam.

  • IS Assault on Egypt's Coptic Christians Reveals Impunity

    December 16, 2016

    The lethal weekend attack by Islamic State (IS) militants against the Coptic Orthodox Cathedral in Egypt spotlighted the institutionalized discrimination and climate of impunity that unites Islamist, secularist, and military regimes in Egypt in endorsing the second-class status and sectarian repression of the country's ancient Christian community.

  • UN Expert Reports Torture in Turkey Since Coup Attempt

    December 05, 2016

    The UN Special Rapporteur on torture, concluding a fact-finding mission to Turkey, reported that state torture, intimidation, and impunity have become widespread under the Islamist government, which has engaged in widespread political purges, arrests, and military measures against what the Turkish state calls "coup plotters and terrorists."

  • Indonesian Blasphemy Trial Signals Islamist Threats to Democracy

    November 28, 2016

    The ongoing blasphemy case in Indonesia against the Chinese Christian governor of the country's capital city has thrown into sharp relief the growing challenges from hardline Islamist groups whose opposition to free speech threatens to corrode constitutional rights and the commitment to pluralism in the world's most populous Muslim-majority country.

  • Jihadi Extremism Will Survive Defeat of IS in Iraq

    November 28, 2016

    International security experts warn that the possibilities for ethno-sectarian tension are significant in the Iraqi territories being liberated by Shiite Arabs and Sunni Kurds who are leading the anti-Islamic State (IS) coalition, as Sunni Arabs fear economic disenfranchisement and political retribution in a post-IS Iraqi governance structure.

  • Saudi-Iran Islamist Proxy Wars Drive Decades of Mideast Destruction

    November 22, 2016

    The struggle for Islamist hegemony in the Mideast between Saudi Arabia and Iran is now completing its third decade, with the Sunni and Shiite giants supporting proxies that are destroying states from Yemen to Iraq and destabilizing states such Egypt, Bahrain, and Lebanon.

  • Mauritanian Sharia Supporters Push for Blogger's Execution

    November 22, 2016

    The consolidation of support for sharia law in Mauritania, a country that practices slavery and female genital mutilation, has led to renewed calls from the country's Islamist hardliner Forum for Ulemas and Imams for the execution of a young blogger convicted of blasphemy for critiquing the Islamic Prophet Mohammed.

  • Blasphemy Trial Signals Growth of Hardline Islamism in Indonesia

    November 22, 2016

    The decision by Indonesian police forces to recommend the trial of the Christian governor of Jakarta on blasphemy charges has evoked warnings by international human rights experts that the world's most populous Muslim-majority country is moving away from tolerance for religious pluralism.

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