Syria’s christians’ in no mood to celebrate Christmas’

Festive spirit is a distant memory for Syria’s Christian minority as it faces a second Christmas in the grip of fear of daily violence and the spectre of rising Islamism. “We’re in no mood to celebrate Christmas this year. Everyone around me is so sad, and the situation is terrible,”

Egypt’s constitution approved in vote

A constitution drafted by an Islamist-dominated committee was approved by a majority of Egyptians in a referendum, rival camps said on Sunday, after a vote the opposition said drove a wedge through the Arab world’s most populous nation. The Muslim Brotherhood, which propelled President Mohamed Mursi to power in a June election, said 64 percent […]

The fight for Syria won’t end with the fall of Assad regime

It was not the supposed imminent collapse of the Syrian regime that dominated the recent meeting of the Friends of Syria in Marrakech but the thorny subject of al-Nusra, one of the armed resistance groups operating in the country, which the US has just classified as a “foreign terrorist organisation”.

Islamists force Egyptian court to postpone ruling on charter

Egypt’s highest court on Sunday postponed its much-awaited ruling on the legitimacy of the legislative assembly that drafted a new charter last week, accusing a crowd of Islamists of blocking judges from entering their building on what it called “a dark black day in the history of the Egyptian judiciary.”

Music silenced in north Mali as Islamists drive out artists ?

BAMAKO, Mali — Khaira Arby, one of Africa’s most celebrated musicians, has performed all over the world, but there is one place she cannot visit: her native city of Timbuktu, a place steeped in history and culture but now ruled by religious extremists.

Saudi king appoints new interior minister

Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah has appointed Prince Mohammed bin Nayef as minister of the interior. Prince Mohammed, who is in his early 50s, replaces his uncle, Prince Ahmed bin Abdul Aziz, less than five months after he took up the post. A decree said Prince Ahmed – one of the king’s half-brothers – was relieved […]

Syrian rebels warily accept foreign fighters’ help

The presence of foreign Islamic militants battling Syria’s regime is raising concerns over the possible injection of al-Qaida’s influence into the country’s civil war. Syria’s rebels share some of those misgivings.