Reporting tends to portray Islamic Sharia law as barbaric. Guest blogger Alex Thurston writes that this tendency hinders a chance to understand countries like Mali in their complexity.
Somalia has lacked a working government since 1991, when its last elected government collapsed. Its newest draft constitution puts it on a path toward elections and legitimacy.
Peaceful protests continue in Addis Ababa this week among Muslims angry over what they see as Ethiopian government interference. The government sees foreign extremist threat.
To get to the London Games, Somalian runner Mohamed Hassan Mohamed has had to survive warring militias, Islamic insurgents, and the occasional stray bullet along his workout route.
Soldiers for the transitional Somali government in Mogadishu have increasingly taken on pirate gangs, as they extend their authority outside of Mogadishu.
In Kenya, attacks on Christian churches in the Muslim-majority town of Garissa killed 17 people July 1. Now, local Muslim leaders are patrolling to help protect the churches.
Kenyan police arrested two Iranian nationals in Nairobi, linked to a shipment of bomb material arriving in the port city of Mombasa. Police say they were casing US, Israeli, British targets.
Somali government troops, together with Kenyan forces, rescued kidnapped foreign aid workers near the Somali town of Afmadow.
July 1 attacks on Kenyan churches close to Somalia killed 17. Kenya has seen a steady increase in terror attacks attributed to Somali Islamist militants, and some worry that Christians may retaliate against Muslims.
Somali Islamist militants are suspected of being behind two bloody attacks on Christian church-goers in Kenya.