Khaled al-Houroub writes that attempts to impose Islamic Shariah law as the basis for national constitutions will render large segments of the population second-class citizens and contribute to further sectarian tension and conflict.
Talal Awkal discusses the controversy surrounding Palestinian president's recent interview, which some interpret as denying the Palestinian right of return. He says if it is true that Abbas' statements were distorted and edited by the Israeli press, the Palestinian Authority should release the full, unedited version.
The first municipal elections in the West Bank in seven years saw disappointing voter turnout due to a Hamas boycott and a poor showing by liberal and secularist candidates. Talal Awkal argues that regardless of boycotts, the Palestinian situation won't improve until democracy is established and Palestinians’ rights are respected.
The Emir of Qatar’s visit to Gaza and his coordination with high-ranking Hamas officials has Muhannad Abd al-Hamid wondering whether Qatar is trying to reinforce the rift between Palestinians on the West Bank and the embattled strip.
As Palestinians living in the West Bank gear up to vote in local elections, Rajab Abu Sariya examines the reasons behind Hamas’ decision to boycott the balloting. He suggests a fear of failure among the Islamist movement is behind its unwillingness to participate.
In Ankara, Mohammed Morsi, Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Khaled Meshaal all came together as faces of Islamist parties from the Muslim world. Rajab Bou Serriyeh writes that all three need each other to bolster their legitimacy at home.
Egypt's security forces accelerated their demolition of smuggling tunnels running beneath its border with Gaza, surpassing the destruction rate last seen under the ousted Hosni Mubarak. Mohannad Abdel Hamid reports that some Gazans have called for a free-trade zone to protect those who rely on the tunnels for a living.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas will travel to New York and is widely expected to formally enter Palestine’s bid for member-state status in the General Assembly, reports Rajab Abu Sariya. Statehood would cement Abbas’ legacy and weaken Muslim Brotherhood-Hamas alliances across the region.
The reaction to the film Innocence of Muslims not only indicated increased extremism in Muslim societies but ended up promoting a film that would otherwise have faded into oblivion, argues Khaled al-Houroub. Ignoring it would have reflected self-confidence in Muslim values.
The Palestinian Authority's leaders seem hesitant to submit its long-promised bid for UN statehood, writes Hani Habib, noting that timing is everything, given the uncertain political landscape and the US presidential campaign.
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