Current Issue
September, 2019
Volume 45, Number 3
14 January 2015
J.D. Conor Mauro

A displaced Yazidi child looks out of a temporary shelter covered in Kurdish writing (“genocide in Sinjar”) in the Dawodiya refugee camp in Dohuk, Iraq, on 14 January. (photo: Safin Hamed/AFP/Getty Images)

Yazidi refugees at risk of genocide (AsiaNews) ISIS’s hatred for Yazidis is even stronger than that towards Christians. The latter can convert or pay the jizya (a tax levied on some non-Muslims for protection). For Yazidis, whose beliefs are a mixture of Zoroastrian, Christian and Muslim influences, there can only be extermination to “cleanse” Islamic land from paganism. Women are the exception; younger women are given in marriage to ISIS fighters, while older women are used as slaves and prostitutes…

Shiite leaders forbid insults against Sunnis (Al Monitor) During the last week of 2014, Al Azhar’s Grand Imam Ahmed al Tayeb demanded that Shiite authorities in Iran and Iraq issue clear fatwas strictly forbidding the insulting of Sunni figures and their sanctities. This happened during the visit of Mahmoud Mahmoudian, the new head of Iran’s Interest Desk in Egypt. The grand imam called on Muslim scholars to “avoid strife between Sunnis and Shiites, as it is tearing the Islamic nation apart and preventing consensus and dialogue between both sects…”

Libyan militants claim kidnapping of 21 Egyptian Christians (New York Times) Libyan militants calling themselves part of the Islamic State said on Monday that they were holding captive 21 Egyptian Christians, raising new fears about the extremist group’s spreading influence beyond the battlegrounds of Syria and Iraq. The statement came on the same day that hackers linking themselves to the Islamic State temporarily seized control of the Twitter account of the United States military’s Central Command, and just days after the emergence of a video-recorded vow of allegiance to the group by one of the perpetrators of last week’s terrorist attacks in Paris…

Oppressive policies unite Egypt activists (Al Jazeera) Ahead of the fourth anniversary of the 25 January uprising, Egypt’s Islamist and liberal activists, remain poles apart despite speculations that they may be considering some kind of rapprochement. “The time has come for us to restore popular unity in preparation for a new wave of the January revolution,” read a statement released by 20 Egyptian opposition groups on Sunday…

Closing Jewish tomb in Egypt raises tensions (Al Monitor) Egypt’s closure of the tomb of Rabbi Abu Hasira and the cancelation of the annual festival celebrating his birth in the Nile Delta have angered Jewish pilgrims and tourists, inciting Tel Aviv to take the matter to UNESCO…

Tags: Iraq Egypt Copts Libya Yazidi