Shotgun Marriages in ISIS-Controlled Libya

Documents published this week by Al Arabi Al Jadid provide an interesting clue both to the enigmatic attraction of ISIS for young North African men, and to communal rejection of the extremist group. Cheap and easily obtained war ‘brides’ are an advertised benefit for young gunmen who enlist. But to fill the demand for young girls, ISIS religious police must obtain them, at gunpoint, from families who often choose to flee the group’s territory rather than surrender their daughters.

A collection of marriage certificates issued by the ISIS [DAESH] Islamic Court of the city of Sirte has been released to the public

The Israel Method? Actually That’s a Euphemism.

What do all these French pundits calling for “Israeli Methods” against terrorism really want? Reading between the lines, Sylvain Cypel in Orient XXI sees nostalgia for the good old days of the savage violence of the colonial era.

The July 14 attack in Nice that took the lives of 86 people and injured another 434 naturally raises questions about preventing such appalling events.

The Bastard

Coming of age is a fist in the face for Karim Miske. Filmmaker, detective novelist, son of a Mauritanian diplomat and a French communist mother, Miske both inhabits and illuminates in his work a world of shifting and uncertain French identities. In this excerpt from the first chapter of his memoir, Unbelonging (N’Appartenir), the moment when the fine drapery of a middle class upbringing in Paris began to fray, exposing the rot behind:

In the beginning there is the shame. It circles around inside you, elusive and toxic.

Pilgrims of the Yellow King

I cannot see images of mining in Madre de Dios, writes Ernesto Raez Luna, without feeling physically sick. Gold is an obsession for this environmentalist and writer, but not for the same reasons as those in his native Peru who mine it, those pilgrims of the yellow king. The ravages it inflicts on the trees and the rivers, the ravages it exacts on the men, the women, the teenaged children who follow its path into the Andean foothills at the headwaters of the Amazon: what skyrocketing gold prices on Western commodity exchanges have wrought.

I once held a heavy gold coin in the palm of my hand.

‘You’ll Wish He Had Died’: How Not to Teach Sensitivity

The promise of a series of children’s books claiming to teach compassion toward disabled people is immediately broken for Rawan Baybars as she leafs through its brightly illustrated pages. In the Jordanian books-financed by the Dutch embassy and international NGOs-she finds an appalling and insensitive view that fixates on the misery that the intellectually disabled supposedly inflict on their families.

I recently came across an illustrated children’s book series on the ‘handicapped’ in one of Amman’s shopping malls.

Palaces Built on Shifting Sand

Unlike the nominal republics which surround them, all rocked by the popular upheavals of the Arab spring, the monarchies of the Persian Gulf have seen neither revolution nor in most cases major upheaval. But behind the smooth facades of their palace walls, writes Abdelhadi Khalaf in Al Safir Al Arabi, there is serious trouble.

Found guilty of uttering insults against the chief prosecutor and other members of the prosecution

Trump Gate-Crashes Mexico

A surprise meeting with the Mexican president today, ahead of his “major immigration speech” in Arizona: Donald Trump announced it on Twitter yesterday. But according to the Bajo Reserva column in Mexico City’s daily El Universal, Trump more or less proclaimed the meeting without consulting with the Mexican government, setting the date to fit with his US speech, catching President Enrique Pena Nieto flatfooted.

Basically, the Republican candidate to the White House has spectacularly crashed the gates of the Mexican government.

Erdogan Bombs his Way to Front Row Seat in Syria Negotiations

An ostensible American ally, Turkey, is now at war with America’s major allies against ISIS in Syria: the Kurds. Al Akhbar’s Syria analyst Sohaib Enjrainy quizzes his sources in the region north of Aleppo: what are we to make of Turkish president Erdogan’s latest gambit?

In northern Syria, Turkey’s invasion last week raised the temperature of a civil war that has already been long boiling.

The Gulenists Are Everywhere!

A month after the Turkish army failed to overthrow the country’s democratically elected president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, an enormous and unprecedented witch-hunt against all potential dissenters is overrunning the country. A general atmosphere of hysteria has seized the Turkish press where most recently accounts of shady secret witnesses -called “confessionists”- are flourishing.

In the past month since the coup attempt of July 15 against Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan, followed by a massive crackdown

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