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looking beyond borders

foreign policy and global economy

Archive for the tag “Christianity”

The Vatican And The Gulf Have A Common Enemy

The pope’s visit was advertised as the UAE’s gift to the many thousands of Catholic guest workers, including nearly 700,000 from the Philippines alone. That was only part of its purpose. Freed from any obligation to Islamists, and faced with the promise that those Islamists would work implacably to end the monarchies, the Gulf States have everything to gain from embracing the West, opening further, and reaping the benefits of cooperation against Islamists. The visit was not a concession to Christianity but a strategic calculation, and a canny one at that.

Read Here – The Atlantic

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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

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

The Trump Team’s Holy War And The Remaking Of the World Order

No American President has figured out an enduring way to calm the tensions between the West and the Islamic world, which have a troubled, millennia-old history spanning the Crusades, the Inquisition, European colonialism, and the U.S. invasion of Iraq. Many, however, have at least tried.

Read Here – The New Yorker

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

Return Of The King

Whether its central claim is an inscrutable dream of religiously legitimated sovereignty or a malleable delusion, the appeal of ISIS is easily abstracted from motives available to outsiders. It is, in the incisive words of the New York artist Molly Crabapple, a ‘cosplay Caliphate’, a dress-up festival of blood-soaked nostalgia whose very pretensions to antiquity mark it as the rankest kind of modern innovation.

Read Here – Aeon

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

History Of Religion

The geography of faiths and its wars across history

See Here – MapsofWar

Europe And Its God

One of Pope Benedict XVI’s big concerns as pontiff was the decline of Christianity in Europe as secularization has spread. For instance, he regretted that, despite strong Vatican pressure, the drafters of the EU Constitution had not seen fit to include anywhere a reference to Europe’s Christian roots.

Read Here – WorldAffairsJournal

The Curse of Lebanon

When Israel was bombing Beirut during the war of 2006, a colleague and I sat drinking a beer after a long, hard day, listening to the explosions coming every few minutes from the southern suburbs. “Is this what it felt like to be somewhere in central Europe in the 1930s?” he mused. Comparisons are never exact, but I saw what he meant. Lebanon, and the region, was dogged not just by the violence of that year’s war but also by a gnawing feeling that the future could contain something even worse.

Read Here – The Guardian

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