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Arab Press Review, May 17

Headlines from Arab Newspapers

Challenging Isis Zawahiri Encourages al-Qaeda’s Leaders to Go to Syria


Al-Sharq al-Awsat


May 17, 2016



The leadership of al-Qaeda in Pakistan, which has weakened significantly as a result of raids drones launched by the CIA for over a decade, said that the future of the terrorist organization will be in Syria where he will send a group of about ten of his best fighters – according to some US and European intelligence senior officials specialized in the fight against terrorism.


Western officials said that al-Qaeda senior leaders’ transfer reflects the growing importance of Syria to them and foretells a frenetic escalation of rivalry between al-Qaeda and Isis.


Al-Qaeda activist received orders to begin the establishment of an alternative headquarter in Syria and lay the foundations of what could be called a county through Nusra Front – al-Qaeda branch in Syria – to compete with Isis from which Nusra front split in 2013. This would represent a great change for al-Qaeda and its affiliates after they resisted in the past the idea of establishing an emirate or even a sovereign state in Syria. Such entity would be a major threat to the United States and Europe.[..]


According to American intelligence agencies estimations, Isis organization has between 19 thousand to 25 thousand fighters divided between Iraq and Syria, while the Nusra Front has between five thousand to ten thousand warriors, all of them in Syria. The upcoming emirate of al-Qaeda differs from the caliphate proclaimed by Isis for their aspirations: the Nusra Front is not looking to establish a government of all Muslims around the world. [..]



The Muslim Mayor and the Christian Governor


Al-Masry Al-Youm


May 17, 2016



[…] When the English voter went to the ballot box, he was not thinking of the religion of the candidate nor his origin and his class and history, but he was thinking of who is the best. From the analysis of the results, it was found that the winning candidate received the majority of his votes from the neighborhoods inhabited principally by white people, while the percentage of votes in neighborhoods inhabited by Muslims and black people were weak and ineffective because they did not care to go to the polls.


For English people the new mayor is an English citizen enjoying all the rights and obliged to all the duties, but for Egyptians and what was published in the newspapers the Mayor of London is a Muslim and some newspapers and comments see the matter as if it’s a victory for Islam, while this has nothing to do with reality.


The mayor is a Muslim because his father was a Muslim, he did not decide anything and did not consider that religion has something to do with his competence and abilities. London citizens did not protest and lords did not go out to the streets, and there was no demonstrations around the city to get rid of the Muslim mayor, simply because they did not think for a while to the religion of the mayor.


As for Egypt, when a former Coptic brigade was appointed as a governor in Qena, the provinces became angry, demonstrations swept the streets of the whole city, the Qena province was besieged by the angry masses and the governor was forced to travel to Cairo until the situation settle down, but it did not and anger increased. [… ] A new Muslim governor was then appointed after weeks of negotiations.



100 Years After Sykes-Picot Agreement