Arab leaders threatened by the region's uprisings may have finally hit on a tactic that can undermine popular support for protesters: playing on religious and national divides.
After issuing the veil ban on Sunday, which bars the full-face niqab veil from both public and private universities, Syria is now heading into waters that have proved difficult for Egypt. Courts there struck down similar bans.
A year after Barack Obama's famous Cairo speech, failure to make headway in resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has become a focal point for disappointment among Muslims. Sixty percent of Arabs say he's too weak to deliver a peace agreement.
Prime Minister Erdogan's popular tirade on Gaza also hurt his credibility.