Middle East News – June 3rd

– Fazil Say, a Turkish pianist, has been brought to trial in Turkey for ‘insulting Islam’ in tweets – This is decried by some as evidence that previously secular Turkey is becoming more and more based on religious law – The Independent

– Shakespeare’s play The Merchant of Venice, a notable anti-Semetic play, is being performed under criticism by a traveling Hebrew theatre group – BBC

– President Assad has publicly denied Syrian involvement in the Houla massacre, calling it a ‘tragedy’ – BBC

Violence has erupted in Lebanon between supporters and dissenters of Assad’s Syrian regime, resulting in the Lebanese government calling in troops to quell the disturbances – BBC

Anger is increasing in Egypt over the Mubarak verdict, particularly the acquittal of six of his closest ministers in the recent trial – This has led to attacks on the headquarters of one of the two remaining presidential candidates who many consider to be a clone of Mubarak and an opponent of democracy – Al-Jazeera

– The controversy over African immigrants in Israel continues as Israel has vowed to jail any illegal immigrants found for up to three years – Al-Jazeera and Al-bawaba

– President Assad has publicly said that he believes there is an international conspiracy against Syria, but that Syria would ‘stand firm’ and continue to crush dissent from within and without – Al-Bawaba

– Iran’s ayatollah issued a statement yesterday warning that any further attacks by Israel on Iran’s nuclear complex will be met with serious repercussions – this comes after tensions seemed to be lessening between the two nations – Al-bawaba



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