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looking beyond borders

foreign policy and global economy

Archive for the category “Religion”

The Islamic World Doesn’t Need A Reformation

Various Western intellectuals, ranging from Thomas Friedman to Ayaan Hirsi Ali, have argued over the past decades that Muslims need their own Martin Luther to save themselves from intolerance and dogmatism. The Protestant Reformation that Luther triggered exactly 500 years ago, these intellectuals suggest, can serve as a model for a potential Muslim Reformation. But is there such a connection between the Reformation in Christendom and the “reform” that is arguably needed in Islam?

Read Here – The Atlantic

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Many Countries Favour Specific Religions, Officially Or Unofficially

 

More than 80 countries favour a specific religion, either as an official, government-endorsed religion or by affording one religion preferential treatment over other faiths. Islam is the most common government-endorsed faith, with 27 countries (including most in the Middle East-North Africa region) officially enshrining Islam as their state religion. By comparison, just 13 countries (including nine European nations) designate Christianity or a particular Christian denomination as their state religion. But an additional 40 governments around the globe unofficially favour a particular religion, and in most cases the preferred faith is a branch of Christianity. Indeed, Christian churches receive preferential treatment in more countries – 28 – than any other unofficial but favoured faith.

Read Here – Pew Research

A Newly Discovered Manuscript And Its Lesson On Islam

Islam can’t be reduced to a single sacred book, frozen in time. It’s a dynamic and complex tradition that was continually revised and re-revised over many lifetimes, and even within a single lifetime. You might even say that the history of Islam is a history in which Muslims are always reconsidering how the many layers of their textual inheritance square with their present social and political circumstances.

Read Here – The Atlantic

How The Muslim World Was Invented

The notion of a “Muslim world” is not a result of Islamic “theological requirements or a uniquely high level of Muslim piety,” Aydin writes. It is a product of the West’s historical “imperial racialisation of Muslimness,” on the one hand, and of “Muslim resistance to this racialised identity,” on the other. This process of exchange, concentrated in the 19th and 20th centuries, made meaningful the idea of a Muslim world for those beyond and within it.

Read Here – Foreign Affairs

Do Muslims Have Authority To Punish Unbelievers?

There is no Holy Scripture that declares categorically that “there shall be no compulsion in religion” but the Holy Quran. Even though the Quran addresses the word “disbelief” more than 150 times, Muslims have never been given the authority to punish disbelievers.

Read Here – The Jakarta Post

Muslims And Islam: Key Findings In The U.S. And Around The World

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Muslims are the fastest-growing religious group in the world. The growth and regional migration of Muslims, combined with the ongoing impact of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and other extremist groups that commit acts of violence in the name of Islam, have brought Muslims and the Islamic faith to the forefront of the political debate in many countries. Yet many facts about Muslims are not well known in some of these places, and most Americans – who live in a country with a relatively small Muslim population – say they know little or nothing about Islam.

Read Here – Pew Research

Clash Of Civilisations?

A Pakistani blogger has taken on Samuel Huntington as Muslims fight what looks like a civilisational war. Under the heading “The farce called ‘The Clash of Civilisations’”, a well-regarded Pakistani journalist says that “a lion’s share” of the foreign jihadists joining the terrorist Islamic State in Syria-Iraq “have come from Europe”, meaning it is the West killing us in the Middle East. And the reason he gives is that “Europe has failed to assimilate them”.

Read Here – The Indian Express

The Jihadi Potboiler

The high level of motivation of jihadis in Muslim lands can only be understood by realising, as commentator Faisal al-Yafai points out, that jihadis have a radically different conception of history: they see Islam at the cusp of a special historical moment when its momentous destiny is being shaped. They see themselves as playing a role in defining these events. This motivates them to jihad and martyrdom.

Read Here – The Hindu

History Of Religion

The geography of faiths and its wars across history

See Here – MapsofWar

The Great Shia-Sunni Divide

In addition to concerns about sectarian tensions, concerns about religious extremism in general also are widespread in the countries surveyed, with about two-thirds of all Muslims in Iraq and Afghanistan, half of all Muslims in Lebanon and roughly a quarter of all Muslims in Iran expressing worry about radical religious groups.

Read Here – Pew Research

 

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