Only Five Percent of Pledged Aid Reaches Gaza

By Annie Slemrod Just over 5 percent of the money pledged to rebuild Gaza after last summer’s devastating 50-day war with Israel has been delivered, IRIN has learned. More than 2,000 Palestinians – the majority civilians – were killed during the conflict and around 100,000 homes were destroyed.  Six months since a ceasefire was agreed, […]

Egyptian student given prison sentence for atheist Facebook posts

Suez Canal University President personally filed legal case against student Sherif Gaber, who claims he was tortured in custody

According to Daily News Egypt, A student from Ismailia was given a one year prison sentence by a court Monday for contempt of religion relating to activities on campus and atheist statements online.

Sherif Gaber, 22, was studying at Suez Canal University in 2013, when teaching staff and fellow students reported him via a petition to the institution’s President. They said he had made posts supporting atheism on Facebook, and suspected him of being behind a page called ‘The Atheists’.

Subsequently, the university’s then-president Mohamed A. Mohamedein personally filed a legal complaint against the student to the local prosecution on the grounds of contempt of religion. Monday’s verdict on the case allows Gaber to avoid the prison sentence on a bail of EGP 1,000. However, a retrial that could increase the sentence to over two years is due to take place in the coming weeks.

Italy Fears ISIS Invasion From Libya

As ISIS makes inroads into Libya, officials in Rome are panicking about an Islamic State just across the sea—but have no idea how to combat the crisis.

According to Daily Beast, last weekend in Italy, as the threat of ISIS in Libya hit home with a new video addressed to “the nation signed with the blood of the cross” and the warning, “we are south of Rome,” Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi shuttered the Italian embassy in Tripoli and raised his fist with the threat of impending military action.

Never mind that Italy has only 5,000 troops available that are even close to deployable, according to the defense ministry. Or that the military budget was cut by 40 percent two years ago, which has kept the acquisition of 90 F-35 fighter jets hanging in the balance and left the country combat-challenged to lead any mission—especially one against an enemy like the Islamic State.

Turkey Rolls Back Secular Education To Raise ‘Pious Generation’

According to Huffington Post, the ruling Islamic-rooted Justice and Development Party insists it is simply heeding the demands of a conservative and pious majority. It says the education measures aim to undo restrictions on religious education that were imposed following Turkey’s so-called “soft military coup” of 1997, when the then-powerful military — which saw itself as the guardian of Ataturk’s secular principles — pressured an Islamic-led government out of power and moved to close down vocational religious middle schools.

Kayla, Deah, Yusor, Razan: The Best of America

By Basil Abdelkarim, MD Among this new year’s countless tales of heartbreak and sorrow, two recent tragedies involving young Americans stand out. Last week, we learned that 26-year old humanitarian Kayla Mueller, held captive by ruthless ISIS extremists in Syria, had perished in captivity. Meanwhile, in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, three young American Muslim students […]