IS claims responsibility on Cairo church bombing that left dozens dead
- The attack on St. Mark’s Coptic Orthodox Cathedral killed at least 25 people and injured nearly 50, most of them women, in Egypt’s deadliest mass killing driven by sectarian conflict since 2011.
- The cathedral was the seat of the Egyptian Orthodox Church and a prominent symbol for Egyptian Copts, who comprise around 10% of the country’s population and who have been subject to systemic discrimination.
- Following the attack, the Islamic State threatened to escalate its “war on polytheism,” leading members of the Christian community and government officials to suspect more large-scale attacks are on the way.
“ISIS Claims Responsibility for Egypt Church Bombing and Warns of More to Come” (The New York Times)
“Blast at Egyptian Coptic cathedral kills at least 25” (The Washington Post)
“23 killed in explosion inside church attached to Cairo’s Coptic cathedral” (Al-Ahram)
(Image Credit: Khaled Desouki/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images, via The New York Times)
Popular website for Chinese Muslims goes down following posting of Xi-critical letter
- China Muslim Net, a site focused on content related to Hui Muslims in the country, became inaccessible after the site published a letter critical of President Xi Jinping, though the official cause of the issue has not been revealed.
- The letter reportedly denounced Xi for the jailing of advocates and intellectuals and called for the release of Kwong Pyong, a student who disappeared after posting pictures of himself online wearing a satirical t-shirt comparing Xi to Hitler.
- The Chinese government has cracked down on religious expression and expressed fears of extremism in the country as it has engaged in protracted conflict with Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang.
“Popular Chinese Muslim website down after posting letter critical of Xi” (Reuters)
“China Shutters Muslim Website After Protest Letter to PresidentChina Shutters Muslim Website After Protest Letter to President” (Radio Free Asia)
“Chinese Muslim website blocked after Xi Jinping letter” (Al Jazeera/AFP)
Failing Students with Disabilities in Texas
An extensive multi-part series by The Houston Chronicle has revealed the devious tactics the Texas Education Agency and school administrators have deployed to reduce the number of students with disabilities their schools serve, masking an alarming decrease in support beneath the glean of “improved pedagogy” and “early intervention.” An arbitrary, unscientific 8.5% benchmark was set across the state for the percentage of students taught in special education classes, which necessitated a dramatic and at times aggressive reduction in the number of students evaluated and identified as in need of special education. From stories of families trapped in bureaucratic labyrinths to data on the disproportionate negative effect on English-language learners, the Chronicle series investigates the broken system responsible for the education of children with disabilities and the political struggle to right the listing ship.
“Denied: How Texas keeps tens of thousands of kids out of special ed” (The Houston Chronicle)
(Image Credit: Marie D. De Jesús/The Houston Chronicle)