Obama's speech in Egypt to reach out to Muslims
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Times
by Christina Bellantoni, Barbara Slavin - May 9, 2009 - 12:00am

President Obama next month will travel to Egypt to address the world's Muslims in a major speech, seeking to strengthen U.S. relations with the Islamic world and fight extremism, the White House said Friday. Mr. Obama chose Egypt as the venue for the long-promised speech, to be delivered June 4, because the country "in many ways represents the heart of the Arab world," White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said. He said a city had not been chosen yet.

Pope, Hope in Hand, Arrives in Mideast
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Rachel Donadio - May 8, 2009 - 12:00am

When Pope John Paul II traveled to the Holy Land in 2000, the visit was history, the first by a pope to recognize the state of Israel or visit sites holy to Islam.

Pope begins Mid-East pilgrimage
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from BBC News
May 8, 2009 - 12:00am

Pope Benedict XVI stressed his "deep respect" for Islam as he arrived in Jordan to begin a Middle East visit. He described religious freedom as a fundamental human right, and said he hoped the Catholic church could play a role in the Middle East peace process. The Pope says he is going on his eight-day tour - his first to the region as pontiff - as a "pilgrim of peace". But Jordanian Islamist leaders have demanded that he apologise for a speech in 2006 that linked Islam and violence. After Jordan, the Pope's tour will take him to Israel and the West Bank.

Pope in the Holy Land: The issues
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from BBC News
May 8, 2009 - 12:00am

As the Pope visits Jordan, Israel and the West Bank, he faces a combustible cocktail of issues combining relations between the world's three main monotheistic religions, one of the world's most intractable political conflicts and the legacy of the Holocaust. The BBC News Website looks at the areas of controversy he will have to navigate. CATHOLIC-JEWISH RELATIONS The Catholic Church has moved in recent decades to make amends for a long history of anti-Semitism.

Can the Pope Bring the Peace?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by John L. Allen, Jr. - (Opinion) May 6, 2009 - 12:00am

SYMBOLIC gestures are the tools of any leader’s trade, but nowhere do they spell the difference between life and death quite like the Middle East. For example, the visit in 2000 by Ariel Sharon, the former Israeli prime minister, to Temple Mount in Jerusalem, the site of two Islamic shrines, helped set off the second intifada.

Israeli Palestinian Spat Over Photos of Pope Beside the Wall
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Media Line
May 5, 2009 - 12:00am

Israel has been accused of issuing orders to demolish a stage built to welcome the Pope to a Palestinian refugee camp next week so as to avoid images of the pontiff in front of the controversial Israeli barrier surrounding Bethlehem, The Media Line has learned. The dispute over where, exactly, the pope should be received when he visits the ‘Aida Palestinian refugee camp next week centers around whether or not the refugee camp's reception for the pope should be held at a spot at which a walled section of Israel's separation barrier, including a military control tower, are easily visible.

Jerusalem Diary: 4 May
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from BBC News
by Tim Franks - May 4, 2009 - 12:00am

It is evening prayers. In a small hall in Jerusalem, the service is being conducted in Hebrew. Some of the words - indeed some of the prayers - chime exactly with those of a synagogue prayer-book. But this is a Catholic Mass. There are, it is estimated, more than one billion Catholics around the world. Within the Middle East, the great majority celebrate Mass in Arabic. A tiny sliver - about 400 - celebrate Mass in Hebrew.

Obama outreach to Muslims worries Israelis
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Associated Press
May 4, 2009 - 12:00am

A solid majority of Jewish Israelis worry that President Barack Obama's outreach to the Arab and Muslim world will come at their expense, a new poll showed Monday. Israelis also strongly back stopping Iran's nuclear program, even if Israel has to attack Iran without American approval, according to the survey.

Israel Faces a Hard Sell in Bid to Shift Policy
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Ethan Bronner - (Analysis) May 3, 2009 - 12:00am

The new government of Israel is seeking to reorient the country’s foreign policy, arguing that to rely purely on the formulas of trading land for peace and promising a Palestinian state fails to grasp what it views as the deeper issues: Muslim rejection of a Jewish state and the rising hegemonic appetite of Iran.

The Muslim Brotherhood and the Shia
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Asharq Alawsat
by Tariq Alhomayed - April 29, 2009 - 12:00am

Controversy within the Muslim Brotherhood [MB] is never-ending; as one storm dies down, another begins. The most recent of these odd disputes between leading figures of the Egyptian Brotherhood movement, internally and externally, politically or financially, is related to the [MB] position towards the Shia.

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