The official Syrian news agency SANA noted that there are 2,395 candidates for the Syrian parliamentary elections, although reports from several days ago set the number at over 9,000.
Source: SANA, Syria, April 23, 2007
Muslim clerics and intellectuals are protesting the Dutch abortion boat that set sail April 21, 2007 to perform abortions for European, Asian, and African women.
Saudi Association of Senior Clerics member Sheikh Abdullah Al-Mani' said that abortion harmed a living creature that could worship Allah, and that clerics from nearly all schools of thought agree that abortion is forbidden. He added that according to some clerics, abortion is murder and is punishable as such.
Source: Al-Watan, Saudi Arabia, April 22, 2007
At a symposium organized by the Catholic church St. Joseph, the editor of the Egyptian daily Al-Ahram, Osama Saraya, criticized the "infuriating spread" of the veil.
Saraya attacked those who encourage girls to wear the veil, saying that wearing the veil wasn't right, particularly in a country with such a hot climate. This, he said, was bad for the health.
Source: Al-Watan, Saudi Arabia, April 21, 2007
The Al-Jabriya school in Bahrain has held a sex education week, with the aim of teaching young people proper sexual behavior and of informing them about the dangers of disease.
The most visible activity was a conference held by the school's students on AIDS.
This is the first such activity in the Bahrain school system.
Source: Akhbar Al-Khaleej, Bahrain, April 22, 2007
The Egyptian government daily Al-Ahram reports that the Muslim Brotherhood movement has backed down from its intention to establish a political party.
According to a reliable Muslim Brotherhood source, the movement has decided not to declare its plan for a party. The source added that the movement had found it difficult to turn its organizational problems into a civilian political party.
Al-Ahram, Egypt, April 21, 2007
On April 19, 2007, Islamist websites posted a five-minute video produced by the Islamic State of Iraq media company Al-Furqan, titled "The Composition of the Islamic State of Iraq [ISI] Government." The video shows a spokesman sitting behind a desk with a computer, wearing elegant traditional Arab clothing. The spokesman, his face blurred, announces the composition of the first ISI government. At the bottom of the screen appears an ISI flag, with the caption "Official ISI spokesman." The following are excerpts from the video:
"Now, after Allah, with His grace, has overcome the Crusaders and humiliated the apostates by means of the jihad fighters, it is incumbent upon your brothers in the Shura Council of the ISI to declare the composition of the first Islamic government that rejects the leaders of the infidels, believes in Allah, and fights for Him, in order to instate the Islamic shari'a, decades after the fall of the Islamic Caliphate...