(Photo: Shi’ite men at an Ashura procession in Peshawar, January 19, 2008/Ali Imam)
Pakistan is deploying tens of thousands of paramilitary soldiers and police ahead of a religious festival that could be a major security test for authorities struggling to contain militant violence. Many of Pakistan’s minority Shi’ite Muslims, who make up 15 percent of the population, will be vulnerable to suicide bombings when they stage large rallies Friday to mark Ashura, the biggest event in their calendar.
The prominence of Britain’s Muslim minority in the nation’s debate about security and social cohesion provides the backdrop to journalist Zaiba Malik‘s memoir of growing up a British Muslim of Pakistani descent.
Cost to the taxpayer seems to be the latest target for protesters when Pope Benedict comes to town. After a lively debate about the price the public had to pay for his visit to Britain in September, Spanish protesters have picked up the torch with complaints about the estimated 3.7 million to 5 million euros the state will spend on logistics and security for the pope. And this at a time when Spain is burdened with 20 percent unemployment and is struggling to emerge from recession and austerity measures that have slashed public sector wages.
(Photo: Mourners at a 2 Nov 2010 funeral for victims of the attack on the Our Lady of Salvation Church/Saad Shalash)
With al-Qaeda declaring war on Christians in Iraq and no end to political instability in sight, Catholic experts on the Middle East fear the fate of the minority Christian community there will only worsen.
Bahrain’s elections on Saturday are unlikely to bring change to an assembly with little clout, but the government is leaving nothing to chance as it tightens security and makes it tougher for majority Shi’ites to vote.
An Indian court ruled on Thursday that the site of a demolished mosque in Ayodhya would be divided between Hindus and Muslims, in a ruling that could appease both groups in one of the country’s most divisive cases.
(Photo: Banner at demonstration in Kuala Lumpur against a cartoon of Prophet Mohammed March 26, 2010/Bazuki Muhammad)
A Seattle cartoonist who stirred up a religious storm with a tongue-in-cheek encouragement to draw images of the Muslim prophet Mohammed has gone into hiding after a threat to her safety.
Bombs killed one security officer and wounded another in Thailand’s restive deep South on Thursday during a visit by Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva, underlying the failure of successive governments to tackle a separatist insurgency in the Malay Muslim-dominated region which entered its sixth year on Monday with a death toll of nearly 4,000.