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March 9, 2002
Re "The State of California vs. the Catholic Church," Voices, March 2: After reading that the state of California intends to interfere with the Roman Catholic Church as to its moral stand on contraception, I wonder where the liberals' "separation of church and state" philosophy fits into the big picture. The warning must be given to every religious entity in California and the nation that if the strongest church in the land can be told what it can preach and enforce within its religion, then everyone is subject to the same lack of liberty.
November 19, 2013 | By Patrick J. McDonnell
BEIRUT - A pair of suicide bombings at Iran's embassy that killed an Iranian diplomat and at least 24 other people underscored how the violence in Syria has traversed borders and fanned sectarian tensions across the Middle East. Lebanon has long been a secondary theater of the Syrian conflict, but Tuesday's twin blasts in Beirut were a blow aimed directly at Iran, one of the major foreign backers of the embattled government of Syrian President Bashar Assad. Beginning with peaceful protests during the "Arab Spring" that challenged Assad's autocratic rule, Syria's strife has devolved over the last 32 months into a regional proxy war stoked by sectarian malice.
August 9, 2009 | Rebecca Santana, Santana writes for the Associated Press.
It seemed like a moment of reconciliation in this Gulf island nation's bitter sectarian divide when Sunni Muslim rulers suddenly released a group of jailed Shiite Muslim activists. Shiites, who days before had been burning tires in protest, cheered in the streets. But it was a short-lived hope. Since the activists' release in April, there's been no sign the government is pursuing any dialogue with Shiites. If that doesn't change, Shiites warn, more turmoil could be ahead. Bahrain is tiny, with only 530,000 citizens in an island nation smaller than New York City.
October 19, 2013 | By Patrick J. McDonnell
BEIRUT - Nine Lebanese hostages freed after being held by Syrian rebels for more than a year arrived to a tumultuous welcome in Beirut late Saturday, capping a complex deal that also resulted in the release of two Turkish pilots kidnapped in Lebanon and the reported freeing of scores of prisoners from Syrian jails. About an hour after the nine ex-hostages were mobbed by relatives and other well-wishers at a VIP lounge at Beirut's Rafik Hariri International Airport, images on Turkish television showed an aircraft carrying the two Turkish Airlines pilots arriving at Istanbul Ataturk Airport.
May 20, 2010 | Borzou Daragahi
When American tanks tore through her neighborhood, ripping up the roads as they uprooted a nation, she stayed put, refusing to move abroad like many of her wealthy friends. When the black-clad gunmen took over her religiously mixed west Baghdad neighborhood, turning it into a killing field, she wouldn't let them drive her out of the country she loved. And even when they killed her husband, gunning him down as he left work, she fought through her grief, staying in Iraq and hoping for better times.
February 23, 2010 | By Liz Sly
Assailants killed an Iraqi family of eight Monday, shooting some and beheading others in a brutal attack south of Baghdad reminiscent of the sectarian killings that raged through the area a few years back. The Shiite Muslim family members were among at least 26 people killed in scattered attacks around the country as violence grew ahead of Iraq's crucial March 7 elections. Neighbors found six children and their parents dead in their home in the rural town of Wehda, near Madaen, which witnessed some of the first of the sectarian violence, in 2005.
September 20, 1987
Eight years of the Imperial Reaganarchy will be, frighteningly and abundantly, quite more than enough. Right now, while the right of free speech is still being applied to private citizens, Just Say No! to King Ronald's ideological nomination of Bork--and to any and all other sectarian candidates he may have in mind. LAURIE HALL Whittier
November 28, 2006
Re "Lebanon's ominous sense of deja vu," Nov. 25 After reading this article, it became apparent to me that the primary conflict between Lebanon's Shiite and Sunni communities is economic rather than sectarian. Your description of the Sunni-owned gas station that came under attack by roaming Shiite gangs gave me an "ominous sense of daja vu" a la Los Angeles circa 1992. Indeed, the conflict between the Shiites and Sunnis mirrors conflicts that black and Latino residents have with many Korean shop owners.
November 20, 2008
Re "Say no to Summum," editorial, Nov. 15 The Bush Supreme Court has held that one of several sectarian versions of a biblical Ten Commandments can be displayed on public property if magically secularized by the aura of surrounding historical monuments. The subterfuge ostensibly sidesteps the 1st Amendment prohibition against government establishment of religion. Summum's "Seven Aphorisms" are derived from the same biblical story and thus equally historical, and they convey a less sectarian moral message.
July 14, 2009 | Times Staff and Wire Reports
Amin al-Hafez, 83, former Lebanese prime minister who served a turbulent two-month term in 1973 before being forced to resign, died Monday in a Beirut hospital after a long-running battle with an undisclosed chronic illness, medical officials said. A Sunni Muslim, he was picked by then-President Suleiman Franjieh to form a government in 1973. Although the prime minister's job is reserved for a Sunni under Lebanon's sectarian power-sharing system, Sunni religious leaders who opposed Franjieh refused to recognize the appointment.
June 24, 2013 | By Jeffrey Fleishman
CAIRO -- The bloodied bodies of four men were dragged over a village road in what one witness described as a public lynching. The victims - Shiite Muslims - were attacked and killed Sunday in a rampage reportedly led by radical Sunni Muslim preachers. Shiites comprise a fraction of Egypt's predominately Sunni population, but the clerics had stoked sectarian mistrust in the poor village of Zawyat Abu Musalam. "For three weeks the Salafist sheikhs in the village have been attacking the Shiites and accusing them of being infidels and spreading debauchery," Hazem Barakat, a witness who videotaped the incident, told the Egyptian media.
May 28, 2013 | By Patrick J. McDonnell and Paul Richter, Los Angeles Times
BEIRUT - With violence increasingly spilling over Syria's borders, refugees swamping its neighbors and new arms transfers to both sides on the horizon, a solution to the Syrian conflict has rarely seemed so urgent - and so far beyond reach. U.S. and Russian officials this month raised hope for a peace conference that could lead to a transitional government and, eventually, free elections. The accord between Washington and Moscow, long at loggerheads on Syria, followed a United Nations-backed formula long ignored as outside powers on both sides pushed their Syrian proxies for victory.
May 26, 2013 | By Patrick J. McDonnell, Los Angeles Times
BEIRUT - Lebanese leaders called on their people Sunday to reject sectarian attacks after a pair of rockets slammed into a Beirut neighborhood, raising fears that spillover violence from the conflict in neighboring Syria had come to the Lebanese capital. The early-morning strike, which left four men wounded, was widely seen as an attempt to foment sectarian strife and discord in a nation that shares many of the demographic traits of Syria, where a more-than-two-year conflict has played out across religious and ethnic lines.
May 17, 2013 | By Raja Abdulrahim, Los Angeles Times
MARAAT NUMAN, Syria - Each morning, after saluting the Syrian flag and before the warplanes take off, soldiers at army bases across Syria are given political orientation. During the lectures, conscripts and career officers alike are repeatedly told that opposition forces are fueled by sectarian hatred and want to tear the country apart. The message - of a war waged by Sunni Muslims against Syria's Alawite and Shiite minorities - is well understood. To Syrian soldiers, "It has essentially become sectarian; the Sunnis fight out of fear and the Alawites fight out of conviction," said Muhammad Zinedden, a Sunni conscript who defected in February from the 17th Engineering Regiment in Raqqa province.
April 29, 2013 | By Ned Parker, Los Angeles Times
BAGHDAD - Shiite-dominated areas in southern and central Iraq were rocked Monday by car bomb explosions that killed at least 22 people and fueled fears that the country is sliding into a civil war. The violence occurred as Iraqi security forces surrounded the Sunni cities of Ramadi and Fallouja demanding that the area's tribes hand over those responsible for killing five Iraqi soldiers over the weekend. Authorities gave the tribes 48 hours. The deadline passed, but Jaber Jabri, a member of parliament from Ramadi, said late Monday that a tentative deal had been reached to defuse the situation.
April 28, 2013 | By Ned Parker, Los Angeles Times
BAGHDAD - The Iraqi government ordered 10 predominantly Sunni Muslim satellite television channels to cease broadcasting Sunday, accusing them of encouraging the sectarian unrest that left more than 200 people dead in a week of violence in northern Iraq. The stations included the pan-Arab news channel Al Jazeera and well-known local satellite stations. The move reflected the elevated tensions in the country since fighting erupted last week between Shiite Muslim-led security forces and Sunni Arab protesters, raising fears of a new civil war like the one that erupted from 2005 to 2008, when U.S. troops were still in the country.
September 19, 2009 | Times Wire Reports
A suicide car bomber destroyed a two-story hotel in northwest Pakistan, killing 29 people and wounding 55. The blast was the second attack in two days in the area close to the border with Afghanistan. It took place in the Shiite-dominated village of Usterzai, raising speculation that it may have been a sectarian assault by Sunni extremists. Islamist militants have also staged bombings in the northwest to warn people against cooperating with security forces.
April 6, 2013 | By Jeffrey Fleishman
CAIRO - At least five people were killed Saturday in clashes between Muslims and Christians, raising new questions over whether President Mohamed Morsi's Islamist-led government can calm sectarian tensions amid Egypt's broader political unrest. Violence between Muslims and Coptic Christians over the last year has been a troubling subplot, especially in the provinces, to the nation's post-revolutionary political division and  faltering economy. There were conflicting accounts over what ignited the latest fighting in Khousous, an impoverished town north of Cairo.
March 19, 2013 | By Ned Parker, Los Angeles Times
BAGHDAD - A bronze statue of a slain Shiite Muslim cleric greets motorists as they drive down the airport highway that invading convoys of American troops once used to charge into Iraq's capital. The new artwork replaced a mural commissioned by Saddam Hussein and demolished after the U.S.-led invasion that began a decade ago Wednesday. Across Baghdad, billboards of Shiite Islamist leaders have taken the place of once-ubiquitous portraits of Hussein in prayer, Hussein holding flowers and Hussein carrying a rifle.
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