Posts Tagged: North Africa

North Africa

To Consider: Immigration in Europe, What Can We Do?

Many international news headlines are telling the tragic tale of immigrants fighting their way from places of oppression and poverty to places of freedom and opportunity, often spending all of their money paying traffickers to bring them to Europe. The story of the boat that sank off Lampedusa on October 3, killing 360 migrants, continues to unfold. BBC News reports today (11 November 2013) that a Somali man associated with the people traffickers has been arrested for torturing and raping the migrants in the camp in Libya before the boat set sail. In reading these stories every week, we wondering how…

Islam in Tunisia: Islamists Vs. Secularists

Two years after the Arab Spring began in Tunisia, catalyzed by the protest and subsequent death of street vendor Mohamed Bouazizi in January 2011, Islamists and secularists continue to clash. After the ousting of secular President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali at the start of the Arab Spring, moderate Ennahda Islamists won the elections, while hardline Salafists began battling secular society. The tension between the Salafists and secularists continues to grow as the Islamists fight for Islam to be the law of the land and secularists fear the loss of democracy, women’s rights and individual freedoms. Reuters has reported recently on…

Islam in Libya: Islamists Gaining Strength

Persecution by Islamist groups is on the rise in Libya — against Christians, Sufis, and Muslims as well. The Media Line recently reported that radical Islamist militants have “unleashed a string of attacks on foreign and Christian targets,” leaving the country’s emerging government “paralyzed.” Read the full story here. Under the secular regime of Qaddafi, notes the news outlet, any “Islamist sentiment was kept in check.” Barak Barfi, a research fellow at the New America Foundation, said, “The collapse of his government, in addition to nonexistent security, has allowed such groups to flourish. With no pervasive intelligence services to persecute them, they…

Islam in Mali: A Country in Crisis

The country of Mali in West Africa is in crisis. A military coup in March was followed by a revolt of Tuareg fighters, who seized two-thirds of the northern part of the country. This has left a country divided. It has left Malian Muslims divided. There are armed groups in the north that are Malian-led — the Islamist sect Ansar Dine and the MNLA, the Tuareg separatist movement. But there is also the presence of al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, a Mali-based Islamist militant organization with an aim to overthrow the Algerian government and institute an Islamic state. A story last week (11/29/12) via Al…

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