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Egypt: Christian Shops Burned

(Jan. 2, 2008) On December 16, 2007, tension between Christians and Muslims in the southern city of Isna in Egypt led to the burning of Christian-owned shops and the damaging of a church. The incident is believed to have been the result of mob reaction to a rumor that a Muslim girl was having sex […]

Egypt: Military Court Dismisses Terrorism Charges

(Jan. 2, 2008) On December 16, 2007, the High Military Court in Egypt, in a surprise move, dismissed the terrorism and money-laundering charges against 40 of the Muslim Brotherhood leaders who were arrested a year ago on these charges. The Court let stand a lesser charge of joining a banned organization. (The High Military Court […]

Lebanon: Verdict in German Train Bombings

(Jan. 2, 2008) On December 18, 2007, the felonies court in Beirut, Lebanon, issued a verdict in the case brought against five men accused of attempting to bomb German trains in 2006. Yousef al-Haj Deeb, held in Germany, was convicted and sentenced to hard labor for life; Jihad hamad, held in Lebanon, was convicted and […]

Yemen: Court Convicts Al-Qaeda Members

(Dec. 2, 2007) A Yemeni court with national security and terrorist jurisdiction convicted 34 suspects of membership in al-Qaeda and of planning to blow up oil installations in the provinces of Mareb and Hadramout during the month of September 2006. It sentenced them to prison terms of up to 15 years. (Yemen: 32 Convicted of […]

Saudi Arabia: Rape Victim Sentenced to 200 Lashes

(Dec. 2, 2007) An appeals court in Saudi Arabia has doubled the sentence to 200 lashes and six months in prison for a Saudi woman who was gang-raped. The crime for which the woman was sentenced was that of being in a car driven by a person not related to her when the rape occurred. […]

Iraq: Iraqi Official Admits the Use of Violence

(Dec. 2, 2007) General Abdel-Karim Khalaf, a spokesman for the Ministry of the Interior in Iraq, admitted that some officers in his Ministry had used violence to extract confessions from those accused of committing crimes, but without the knowledge of people in high positions. He added that the Ministry of the Interior has what he […]

Egypt: Fatwa Against Marriage to Israeli Women

(Dec. 2, 2007) A former undersecretary of Al-Azhar (an Egyptian University connected to a mosque in Cairo), Sheikh Farhat Saeed al-Munji, issued a fatwa (Islamic religious edict) in which he prohibits Muslim men from marrying Israeli women. The justification for his fatwa is that, among other factors, the children born to a Muslim man would […]

Palestine: Future Borders

(Nov. 2, 2007) In an interview on Palestinian television, Mahmoud Abbas, President of the Palestinian Authority, announced that he wants to establish an independent Palestinian state on 6,205 square kilometers (about 2,400 square miles), corresponding to about 98 % of the Palestinian territories occupied by Israel in 1976. As to the remaining 2%, he indicated […]

Egypt: Tribal Council Fines Journalist

(Nov. 2, 2007) In a precedent, the first of its kind in journalism, a customary tribal judicial council in Sinai has fined a journalist member of al-Byadiah tribe, who was accused of slander and libel, 2.7 million Egyptian pounds, the equivalent of the price of 1,000 female camels, to be paid to the al-Tarabin tribe. […]

Saudi Arabia: Succession Rules

(Nov. 2, 2007) On October 8, 2007, King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia issued by-laws governing the work of the political body Haiat al-Baiat (Allegiance Commission), set up last year to help streamline the process of succession to the throne. The Commission will comprise the sons of King Abdulaziz Al-Saud, the founder of Saudi Arabia. If […]