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 […]

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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 […]

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An Ancient War Resurfaces

Throughout the Arab world, a struggle between two major historical forces, religion and secularism, is now unfolding. It is the type of battle between Caesar and God that took Europe centuries to resolve. The future of the Arab Middle East will be decided in the fight between Syria’s Sunni insurgents, supported throughout the region by […]

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Globalisation And Restrictions On Religion

In a report last year, the Pew Research Center noted a marked increase in legal restrictions on the practice of religion around the world. The report found that “The share of countries with high or very high restrictions on religious beliefs and practices rose from 31% in the year ending in mid-2009 to 37% in the […]

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Seeking Allah in the Midlands

Islam appears to hold a strange fascination for white British women who are converting to it in large numbers. Of an estimated 50,000 or so white Britons who convert to Islam every year, some two-thirds are thought to be women. Most of them are independent career women — bankers, doctors, broadcasters — who know what […]

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The World’s Muslims: Religion, Politics and Society

A new Pew Research Center survey of Muslims around the globe finds that most adherents of the world’s second-largest religion are deeply committed to their faith and want its teachings to shape not only their personal lives but also their societies and politics. In all but a handful of the 39 countries surveyed, a majority […]

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Pope Francis Should Look East to End Poverty

The archipelago nation (The Philippines) is a timely case study of how religion and economic development often don’t mix. The church professes to help those most in need and preaches the gospel of protecting society’s weakest — poor women and children. How, then, can the bishops who wield such disproportionate power over Southeast Asia’s fifth-biggest economy fight […]

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The Pope’s Dirty Past: The Daily Beast

The so-called “Dirty War” in Argentina ended 30 years ago. But the trials of the Argentine military men accused of monstrous crimes during that time go on.  On Thursday, a woman who had been tortured and raped in one of their concentration camps looked at the 44 men in the dock and named the sadists […]

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In Vatican, More Of the Same Old, Same Old?

There are reasons to believe that Pope Francis is a transitional figure, unlikely to effect major reform at the top of the church. He is not known as a champion of any theological vision, traditional or modern. He is just two years younger than Pope Benedict was upon his election eight years ago. He has […]

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