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Oct 15, 2014

U.N. refugee chief says EU should let more Syrian refugees enter legally

SHARJAH United Arab Emirates (Reuters) – The U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees Ant├│nio Guterres said on Wednesday he had asked the European Union to grant legal entry to more Syrian refugees who are risking their lives trying to reach Europe illegally by sea.

Thousands of migrants, including many Syrians fleeing a three-year civil war, have drowned while crossing the Mediterranean on rickety boats operated by human traffickers.

Jul 15, 2014

Kuwait threatens to revoke citizenship in crackdown on opposition

DUBAI (Reuters) – The Kuwaiti government has threatened to revoke the citizenship of people suspected of trying to “undermine the stability” of the oil-rich monarchy, local media reported on Tuesday.

The warning is part of an “iron fist” policy adopted by the cabinet on Monday night, following protests earlier this month over the arrest of a prominent opposition politician.

Jul 5, 2014

Two militants blow themselves up in southern Saudi Arabia

DUBAI (Reuters) –

Two suspected al Qaeda militants blew themselves up on Saturday after being trapped inside a government building in southern Saudi Arabia, the Interior Ministry said, following an attack on a border post with Yemen that also killed four security men.

An Interior Ministry spokesman said the pair were part of a group of six al Qaeda militants who attacked the Wadia border post on Friday from Yemen. Three of the militants were killed on Friday and a fourth was captured after being injured.

May 29, 2014

Sudan says it declined Iran air defence offer after attack

DUBAI, May 29 (Reuters) – Sudan turned down an Iranian offer
to set up air defences on its Red Sea coast after a 2012 air
strike Khartoum blamed on Israel, fearing they would upset
Iran’s regional rival Saudi Arabia, Sudan’s foreign minister was
quoted as saying on Thursday.

In an interview with the Saudi-owned al-Hayat newspaper that
seemed aimed at improving frosty ties with Riyadh, Ali Karti
played down Khartoum’s links to Iran and to the Muslim
Brotherhood, which is outlawed in Saudi Arabia.

May 10, 2014
via FaithWorld

Saudi Arabia’s top cleric says Nigeria’s Boko Haram smears Islam

Photo

(Women holding signs take part in a protest demanding the release of abducted secondary school girls from the remote village of Chibok, in Lagos May 5, 2014.REUTERS/Akintunde Akinleye)

Saudi Arabia’s grand mufti, the top religious authority in the birthplace of Islam, has condemned Nigeria’s Boko Haram as a group “set up to smear the image of Islam” and condemned its kidnapping of over 200 schoolgirls.

May 9, 2014
via FaithWorld

Saudi Liberals website founder sentenced to 10 years in jail and 1,000 lashes

Photo

(Saudi students attend a computer class at King Saud University in
Riyadh October 30, 2002. REUTERS/Ali Jarekji)

A court in Saudi Arabia has sentenced the editor of an Internet forum he founded to discuss the role of religion in the conservative Islamic kingdom to 10 years in jail and 1,000 lashes, Saudi media reported on Wednesday.

May 8, 2014
via FaithWorld

Islamic officials condemn kidnapping of Nigerian schoolgirls

DUBAI (Reuters) – Islamic scholars and human rights officials of the world’s largest Muslim organization on Thursday denounced the mass kidnapping of Nigerian schoolgirls by the militant group Boko Haram as “a gross misinterpretation of Islam”.

The statements from a research institute and human rights committee of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) echoed denunciations of the radical Islamist group by religious leaders and officials in Nigeria and several Muslim countries.

Apr 15, 2014

Concerned for stability, Saudi Arabia tightens curbs on dissent

DUBAI/RIYADH, April 15 (Reuters) – Saudi Arabia, rattled by
regional turmoil that has destabilised the Middle East, is
intensifying a crackdown on domestic dissent, raising fears that
a more open space for public debate that emerged in recent years
is under threat.

Sunni Islamists, Shi’ite Muslims, liberal reformers,
atheists and human rights advocates have all been targeted
through a series of arrests and new laws in what one activist
has described as an “undeclared state of emergency”.

Mar 23, 2014

Foreign policy rifts beset Arabs ahead of summit

DUBAI/KUWAIT, March 23 (Reuters) – Rifts over foreign policy
will likely make it harder for Arab leaders meeting at a summit
this week to forge a common stand on regional challenges,
including what many of them see as a threat from Iranian-U.S.
rapprochement.

And while the Arab League meeting may agree more
humanitarian action in response to Syria’s war, any communique
calling for the removal of President Bashar al-Assad will not
reflect divergent views behind the scenes about the Syrian
leader’s handling of the conflict.

Mar 23, 2014

After popular protests, Oman starts to pursue graft

MUSCAT (Reuters) – Young Omanis who took to the streets in 2011 to demand jobs and better economic prospects failed to trigger the mass protests that transformed other parts of the Arab world in their own Gulf state.

But they may have had an impact all the same, as authorities are making a start on a task that, even if coincidentally, meets one of the protesters’ key demands – fighting corruption.