Lawyer is murdered for defending a poet accused – without evidence - of insulting the Prophet on Facebook
“I used to feel my life was too straight, too linear.”
The speaker was Junaid Hafeez, a young poet and Fulbright scholar from the south of Pakistan, telling a radio show host in 2011 why he had given up studying medicine for a life in literature. Today, he is in jail on a blasphemy charge that carries the death penalty, and is mourning the lawyer who was murdered earlier this month for defending him.
The dangerous delusions that will determine Egypt's future
Since the uprising-cum-coup that ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi last summer, Washington has encouraged the Muslim Brotherhood and the military-backed government to pursue “reconciliation.” Nearly a year later, however, neither side appears interested in conceding anything to the other.
Many people asking for fair and just trials for members and supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood have faced extensive criticism, including even accusations of supporting terrorism and undermining the state by questioning the conduct of its institutions.
Last Friday, the online version of the Egyptian daily, Al Ahram, reported that Egypt is slowing down its payments for commodities, especially food. Apparently, because the country’s foreign currency reserves are currently about $17 billion—which means the Egyptians are coming close to the minimum amounts of reserves needed to cover imports for 3-4 months—the Central Bank has become “particularly cautious” about allocating these funds.
Contrary to popular myths and conspiracy theories about Washington’s desire to control the Middle East, for the past six decades, U.S. policymakers have usually sought to minimize the United States’ involvement there. But the high-stakes nature of American interests in the region -- particularly oil -- and the complexity of the Middle East’s problems always seem to draw the United States back in.
Coptic Solidarity is a U.S. public charity organization under section 501 (C) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Contributions are deductible under Section 170 of the Code.
Coptic Solidarity 2014 Conference
The Annual Conference was held in Washington, D.C. on June 26-28, 2014.