August 1st, 2013
05:24 AM ET

Bangladesh court: Islamist party illegal

Bangladesh's high court has declared the country's largest Islamist party, the Jamaat-e-Islami, illegal.

Jamaat is one of two main opposition parties and a constant thorn in the side of the ruling Awami League.

With the declaration, Jamaat will not be able to take part in the country's upcoming general election - certainly welcome news to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

But such a ruling can also reignite a fresh round of political unrest in the South Asian nation.

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Filed under: Bangladesh • Islam • World
March 26th, 2013
12:23 AM ET

Toll rises from communal unrest in Myanmar

The death toll from sectarian violence between Buddhists and Muslims in central Myanmar has risen to 40, state media reported Tuesday.

Authorities clearing up the wreckage from the riots last week in the city of Meiktila have found eight bodies among the debris, increasing the number of dead from 32, the New Light of Myanmar, a state-run newspaper, reported in its Tuesday edition.

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Filed under: Islam • Myanmar • Religion • World
Sectarian tensions persist in Myanmar
Displaced people rest at a relief camp in Meiktila, central Myanmar on Sunday.
March 25th, 2013
05:19 AM ET

Sectarian tensions persist in Myanmar

Residents of the city in central Myanmar where clashes between Buddhists and the Muslim minority killed dozens of people last week struggled to resume their daily lives on Monday with a state of emergency still in place.

Even as an uneasy calm prevailed in Meiktila, the city at the heart of the unrest, police reported fresh arson attacks on Muslim properties in other areas, showing the challenges Myanmar authorities face in reining in communal tensions in this nascent democracy.

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Filed under: Islam • Myanmar • Religion
March 22nd, 2013
04:51 AM ET

Toll rises in sectarian clashes in Myanmar

The death toll from clashes between Buddhists and Muslims in central Myanmar has risen to around 20, a local lawmaker said Friday.

Set off by a dispute between a Muslim gold shop owner and two Buddhist sellers, the violence in Meiktila Township has prompted thousands of residents to flee their homes as rioters set fire to houses, schools and mosques, according to Win Htein, a member of parliament for the area.

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Filed under: Islam • Myanmar • Religion • World
Pakistani Christians decry arson spree
March 10th, 2013
05:49 AM ET

Pakistani Christians decry arson spree

Outraged Pakistani Christians took to the streets of Lahore on Sunday, protesting a rash of violence against their community over the weekend.

Demonstrators denounced the burning of more than 100 homes of Christians on Saturday - a spree spurred by allegations that a Christian man made remarks against the Muslim prophet Mohammed.

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Filed under: Christian • Islam • Pakistan • Religion
No claim yet for Pakistan bomb that killed 42
Pakistani rescuers gather in front of the flames.
March 4th, 2013
01:47 AM ET

No claim yet for Pakistan bomb that killed 42

No group has stepped forward so far to claim responsibility for a massive car bombing in the southern Pakistani city of Karachi that killed at least 42 people over the weekend in what appeared to be the latest attack on the Shiite minority in the country.

The blast Sunday tore into nearby buildings, wounding about 145 people, and authorities warned that the death toll could rise as rescue workers continued to search for bodies amid the rubble.

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Filed under: Islam • Pakistan
January 28th, 2013
11:55 AM ET

French-led forces now 'control' Timbuktu, France says

[Updated 11:55 a.m. ET] French Defense Ministry spokesman Thierry Burkhardt says French and Malian forces are now in control of Timbuktu and Gao.

[Posted at 4:30 a.m. ET] French-led troops in Mali have seized control of the airport in Timbuktu from Islamist militants and are fighting their way into the city center, a spokesman for the Malian military said Monday.

Malian and French forces have together been battling the Islamists to loosen their grip on the country's north, which the militants have controlled for months.

The United States has also stepped up its involvement in the conflict by conducting aerial refueling missions on top of the intelligence and airlift support it was providing.

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Filed under: France • Islam • Mali
Forced to flee
November 5th, 2012
05:29 AM ET

Aid group warns of difficulties treating victims of Myanmar violence

The aid organization Doctors Without Borders has warned that its workers on the ground in western Myanmar are finding it harder and harder to treat victims of recent violence that has inflamed tensions between Buddhist and Muslim communities in the region.

Clashes between the two communities in Myanmar's Rakhine state have killed 89 people and displaced more than 35,000 others in recent weeks, the United Nations said in its most recent report on the situation, citing government figures.

"Ongoing animosity" in the area, some of it directed at aid groups, "makes it increasingly difficult to support the Ministry of Health to run already overstretched clinics and reach out to newly displaced communities," Doctors Without Borders said in a statement.

Rights groups have said that the Rohingya, an ethnic Muslim people who live in Rakhine but aren't recognized as citizens by Myanmar authorities, are bearing the brunt of the violence.

"That we are prevented from acting and threatened for wanting to deliver medical aid to those in need is shocking and leaves tens of thousands without the medical care they urgently need," said Joe Belliveau, the operations manager of Doctors Without Borders.

Read the CNN story from last week about the violence in Rakhine here.

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Filed under: Islam • Myanmar • Religion
October 27th, 2012
03:33 AM ET

Syria's temporary cease-fire unravels

[Updated at 5:13 a.m.] The Syrian government accused "terrorists" of targeting a church with a car bomb in Deir Ezzor, according to a report on the state-run Syrian Arab News Agency. The government called it a violation of a temporary four-day truce called over the observance of the Muslim religious holiday Eid al-Adha.

The government allegation appears to contrast an opposition activist claim that the military police building in the eastern Syrian city looked to be the target. There has been no immediate claim of responsibility for the bombing.

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Filed under: Islam • Syria • World
October 25th, 2012
03:41 AM ET

50 killed this week in Myanmar

[Updated 8:01 a.m.] Sectarian violence in volatile western Myanmar has killed at least 50 people this week, officials in the state of Rakine said today.

More details here.

 [Posted 3:41 a.m.] Authorities have stepped up security measures in a volatile region of western Myanmar amid a fresh outbreak of sectarian violence between Buddhists and Muslims.

Clashes in recent days between the two communities in Rakhine State have killed seven people, wounded dozens of others and resulted in more than 1,000 houses being set on fire.

In an effort to clamp down on the unrest, authorities are sending extra security forces to the affected areas.

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Filed under: Islam • Myanmar • Religion
July 25th, 2012
03:00 AM ET

Ethnic clashes in India kill dozens, displace thousands

Ethnic clashes in India's northeastern Assam province have left 32 dead as of Wednesday and sent an estimated 150,000 fleeing their homes to escape the violence, police said.

Long-standing tensions between the predominant Bodo tribes people and minority migrant Muslim settlers erupted into bloodshed nearly a week ago and has largely gripped the province's Kokrajhar district, which borders on neighboring Bhutan to India's north, said Assam police chief J.N. Chaudhury.

What sparked the mayhem is not yet known and under investigation, he said. But it has resulted in incidences of attacks and counter attacks between the two groups, CNN sister network CNN-IBN has reported.

Five of those killed died when police fired on mobs engaging in rioting and arson, according to Chaudhury, who said that the district had witnessed similar fighting in the 1990s and the early 2000s.

"For now, our priority is to stop the violence and arson. It may take some days to rebuild trust," he said.

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Filed under: India • Islam • Religion • World
Jews, Muslims slam German circumcision ruling as assault on religion
A German court has sparked a furor by ruling that religious-based circumcisions are not in a child's best interests.
June 27th, 2012
02:15 PM ET

Jews, Muslims slam German circumcision ruling as assault on religion

Jews and Muslims are joining forces in outrage over a German court's decision that could prohibit parents from having their children circumcised for religious reasons. The court deemed the oft-religious procedure an act of "bodily harm" to children, according to German media reports.

The Tuesday ruling says doctors who perform the procedure for religious reasons could be charged with committing bodily injury, sparking a debate that pits parents' religious freedom against a child's right to self-determination. The court essentially ruled that circumcision is not in a child's best interests, according to the German newspaper Der Spiegel.

"The body of the child is irreparably and permanently changed by a circumcision," the court said. "This change contravenes the interests of the child to decide later on his religious beliefs."

While the ruling is expected to influence other courts, it is not legally binding, Der Spiegel noted.

The procedure, which is relatively common in the United States (roughly six in 10 newborn boys are circumcised), is not so prevalent in Europe. In Germany, only 11% of boys are circumcised, according to 2007 figures. However, many of Germany's 4 million Muslims and its 100,000 Jews consider circumcision a religious rite.

The case began in Cologne in 2010 after a doctor performed a circumcision on a 4-year-old Muslim boy. His parents took him to a hospital two days later because he was bleeding heavily, the Medical Daily website reported. When prosecutors learned of the emergency room visit, they brought criminal charges against the doctor.

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Filed under: Courts • Crime • Germany • Health • Islam • Israel • Lawsuit • New York • Religion • World
May 30th, 2012
12:22 PM ET

Tennessee mosque's fate up in the air

The long-running battle between a Tennessee Muslim community and its critics over a new mosque took a dramatic turn with a county judge's ruling that could bring construction to a halt.

"Everyone is really shocked, many people are crying about this," Imam Osama Bahloul, leader of the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro, said early Wednesday.

"We did exactly what other churches in the county did," he said. "We followed the same process that other churches did. Why did this happen? Some people feel like it is discrimination."

The judge, Chancellor Robert Corlew, ruled Tuesday that plans for the new mosque that had previously been approved by a local planning commission were now "void and of no effect."

He said the planning commission violated state law by not providing proper public notice. The ruling throws the date of the mosque's completion, scheduled for July, up in the air.

Rutherford County Attorney Jim Cope said Corlew did not address the issue of whether work on the mosque has to stop right away. He said county planners will discuss options and determine an appropriate course of action.

"I don't have answers at this point," Cope said.

Bahloul said construction will go on until the Islamic Center receives orders to stop.

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Filed under: Anti-Islam • Islam • Religion • Tennessee • U.S.
February 21st, 2012
09:30 AM ET

Coalition: Quran burning at Afghan base "a mistake"

Some Qurans and other Islamic religious materials gathered for disposal from a detention facility at Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan were improperly burned, the commander of the International Security Assistance Force said Tuesday.

"This was not a decision that was made because they were religious materials," Gen. John Allen said. "It was not a decision that was made with respect to the faith of Islam. It was a mistake. It was an error. The moment we found out about it, we immediately stopped and we intervened."

Hundreds of demonstrators gathered outside the airfield Tuesday, furious over reports of the burning.

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Filed under: Afghanistan • Islam
December 8th, 2011
11:39 AM ET

Tensions rise between Egyptian military and Muslim Brotherhood

The military council that runs Egypt and an Islamist party that has done well in parliamentary elections accused each other Thursday of plotting a dictatorship.

"We will not allow a dictatorship and we do not want to remain in power, but we do want a civil government representing all Egyptians without marginalizing any minorities," said Lt. Col. Amr Imam, a spokesman for the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, which has run the country since a popular uprising ousted former President Hosni Mubarak in February.

His remarks seemed aimed at Islamist parties that have done well in the first round of parliamentary elections, including the relatively moderate Muslim Brotherhood.

Its Freedom and Justice Party has said it had won 34 seats in early parliamentary elections, while the more hardline al-Nour party said it had won five.

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Filed under: Egypt • Islam • World
Magazine office burns as Islam issue hits stands
Police officers stand in front of the burnt out offices of French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris.
November 2nd, 2011
08:42 AM ET

Magazine office burns as Islam issue hits stands

The offices of the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo burned early Wednesday morning, the day it was due to publish an issue with a cover appearing to make fun of Islamic law.

The cover has a bearded and turbaned cartoon figure of the Prophet Mohammed saying "100 lashes if you're not dying of laughter."

The magazine's publication director said the fire was caused by a Molotov cocktail.

The executive, identified on CNN affiliate BFM-TV as "Charb," expressed outrage at the attack.

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Filed under: France • Islam
Atika Shubert: In London, a 9/11 event both solemn and confrontational
A member of the English Defence League shouts at Muslim extremist protesters near London's Grosvenor Square.
September 11th, 2011
04:16 PM ET

Atika Shubert: In London, a 9/11 event both solemn and confrontational

The memorial for British victims of 9/11 stands in London's Grosvenor Square at the far end of a quiet park directly across from the U.S. Embassy.

There you can find the names of the 67 British victims who lost their lives in the attacks. A set of wooden pillars stands with these words carved above them: "Grief is the price we pay for love."

On Sunday, families of those victims gathered at Grosvenor Square. Prince Charles attended with his wife, Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall. Prime Minister David Cameron also came. They laid wreaths at the memorial and later took the time to speak with the families over scones and finger sandwiches. At the memorial, a white rose was laid for each of the 67 British victims.

The ceremony was marred somewhat by two competing protests. Muslims Against Crusades, the radical Islamic group led by Anjem Choudary, arrived shortly before the ceremony full of fiery speeches. There were fewer than 100 with him but their chants of "USA you will pay!" could still be heard over the music that played as families began arriving.

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Filed under: Anti-Islam • Islam • September 11 • Terrorism • United Kingdom • World
Wednesday's live video events
June 15th, 2011
07:34 AM ET

Wednesday's live video events

Watch CNN.com Live for continuing coverage on the fallout from Rep. Anthony Weiner's confession.

Today's programming highlights...

9:00 am ET - Casey Anthony trial - Prosecutors are expected to wrap up their case today in the trial of Casey Anthony, the Florida woman accused of killing her young daughter.

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Filed under: Anti-Islam • Arizona • Casey Anthony • Courts • Crime • District of Columbia • Florida • Islam • Justice • Libya • Military • On CNN.com today • Politics • Religion • Security • Syria • U.S. • World
Monday's intriguing people
Mary Hart retired last week after 29 years as the host of the syndicated "Entertainment Tonight."
May 23rd, 2011
11:42 AM ET

Monday's intriguing people

Departing TV anchors and hosts

The end of Oprah Winfrey's run as the queen of talk isn't television's only iconic departure. Last week, Mary Hart left  "Entertainment Tonight" after 29 years, and Katie Couric hosted her final broadcast as anchor of the "CBS Evening News."

The week was punctuated by the news that Jim Lehrer, the longtime host of "PBS NewsHour," would leave as well. Next up will be Meredith Vieira's final day on the "Today" show in June. And later this year, Regis Philbin is set to leave "Live," which he has hosted in syndication for nearly 30 years.

The Chicago Tribune's Phil Rosenthal noted the best farewells are usually the shortest ones. However, Winfrey's two-day extravaganza, which begins Monday, is an exception because it is a graduation of sorts, he said. Winfrey moves on to her network OWN. Whether her viewers will follow remains to be seen.

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Filed under: Afghanistan • Islam • Media • Most Intriguing People • Osama bin Laden • Tornadoes
Gotta Watch: Dissecting bin Laden's effect
A bouquet marks the remembrance of the September 11 attacks and notes "We finally got him."
May 4th, 2011
11:19 AM ET

Gotta Watch: Dissecting bin Laden's effect

As the world seeks more information about the operation that brought down the globe's top terrorist, President Obama prepares to make his first visit Thursday to the World Trade Center site since the announcement of Osama bin Laden's death.

Obama extended an invitation to former President George W. Bush to join him at the site of bin Laden's most infamous attack. But Bush, who began the hunt for bin Laden, declined, saying he'd rather stay out of the spotlight. In today's Gotta Watch, we chronicle the aftermath of bin Laden's attacks and death.
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Filed under: Afghanistan • Al Qaeda • Barack Obama • George W. Bush • Gotta Watch • Islam • National security • Osama bin Laden • Pakistan • Politics • Security • September 11 • Terrorism • U.S.
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