Egypt’s al-Azhar shuns Western action in Libya

By Reuters Staff
March 24, 2011
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(A man prays at the Al-Azhar mosque in old Cairo August 18, 2010/Amr Abdallah Dalsh)

Saudi Shi’ite protests simmer as Bahrain conflict rages

By Reuters Staff
March 21, 2011
saudi protest

(Protesters demand the release of prisoners they say are held without trial, in Saudi Arabia's eastern Gulf coast town of Qatif March 11, 2011/Stringer)

Bahrain crisis could worsen Sunni-Shi’ite sectarian tensions in the region

March 16, 2011
beirut bahrain

(Rally organized by Lebanon's Hezbollah in front of the U.N. headquarters in Beirut March 16, 2011, in support of Bahraini protesters. Around 2,000 mostly Shi'ite Lebanese demonstrators rallied in central Beirut on Wednesday in support of an uprising by Bahrain's Shi'ite Muslim majority/Cynthia Karam)

Bahrain declares martial law, Sunni-Shi’ite tensions flair

By Reuters Staff
March 15, 2011
bahrain

(Protesters near the Saudi Embassy in Manama, Bahrain, March 15, 2011/Hamad I Mohammed )

Iraqi Shi’ites mark Ashura without incident, Saudis scuffle in Medina

By Reuters Staff
December 19, 2010

ashura (Photo: Pilgrims gather between Imam Abbas and Imam Hussein shrines to mark Ashura in Kerbala, December 17, 2010/Mushtaq Muhammad)

More than two million Shi’ite pilgrims in Iraq’s holy city of Kerbala marked Ashura, commemorating the slaying of the Prophet Mohammad’s grandson Imam Hussein at the battle of Kerbala in 680, with no major violence reported amid tight security. But Saudi security forces dispersed crowds of Shi’ite and Sunni Muslims after scuffles broke out in the holy city of Medina.

Saudi Shi’ites mark Ashura festival in anxious mood

December 16, 2010

ashura (Photos above and below: Saudi Shi’ite Muslims mark Ashura in Qatif, December 16, 2010/Zaki Ghawas)

Like their Shi’ite brethren across the Middle East, Hussein and his Saudi friends marked the mourning day of Ashura on Thursday, their mood tinged with worry over their future in the strict Sunni Muslim kingdom. Hundreds of black-clad Shi’ites in the small Gulf town of Qatif, in Saudi Arabia’s oil-rich Eastern Province, rose early to join once-forbidden processions to mark the slaying in 680 of Prophet Mohammad’s grandson, Imam Hussein.

Sacred Shi’ite ritual tests Pakistan’s security resolve

By Reuters Staff
December 15, 2010

ashura (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.

Bahrain aims to control vote amid Sunni-Shi’ite tension

By Reuters Staff
October 21, 2010

bahrainBahrain’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.

Egypt stops TV channels, Islamic trend seen a target

October 20, 2010

satellite dishesEgypt has temporarily shut 12 satellite channels and warned 20 others for reasons ranging from insulting religions to broadcasting pornography, although an analyst said the real target seemed to be strict Islamic trends.

Christians in Lebanon fret despite privileged role

October 7, 2010

lebanon christiansAfter a panicky mass flight from his Christian village, Sami Abi Daher watched from across the valley as Syrian-backed Druze fighters burned and looted it. That was back in 1983 when battles forced tens of thousands of Christians from their homes in the Aley and Shouf hills near Beirut in a bloody postscript to Israel’s 1982 invasion.