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looking beyond borders

foreign policy and global economy

Archive for the tag “Islam”

‘Arab Affairs Are Iran’s Business’

Iranians live in a troubled and unstable region. We cannot change geography, but our neighborhood was not always so stormy. Without delving too far back into history—although as an ancient peoples our memories are measured in millennia, not decades or even centuries—it’s safe to say that our region began to experience insecurity and instability when foreign, indeed completely alien powers, arrived and began interfering, argues Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif.

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

Saudi Arabia Must Prepare For The Post-Petroleum Order

What’s the larger picture of Mohammed bin Salman as a reformer? The prince is trying to prepare Saudi Arabia for a post-petroleum order, in theory by unlocking competitiveness and creativity. His plan is detailed in Vision 2030. It includes reducing the number of royal family members on the government payroll. It also increases domestic tourism—based on the premises that the under-thirty generation has fewer resources to travel abroad for entertainment and tourism, and a desire to keep Saudi money within the kingdom.

Read Here – The National Interest

Iran’s ‘City Of Mullahs’ Has A Surprising Side

Before the 1979 Islamic Revolution, this city was pious and sedate… Qom became the bedrock of Iran’s theocracy and remains one of the country’s holiest places — home to 200,000 religious scholars, a destination for Shiite Muslim pilgrims and a center of Islamic thought in a country whose political system is controlled by the clerical establishment. But the city of about 1 million is no longer single-mindedly religious, and its clerics are not immune to the anxieties bubbling beneath the surface of modern Iran.

Read Here – The Los Angeles Times

The Hajj: An Expression Of Saudi Power

The annual multiday Islamic pilgrimage known as the hajj began Aug. 31. Each year, a few million Muslims from across the globe flock to Islam’s two holiest mosques, in Mecca and Medina, to perform their religious obligation. But the hajj is more than a religious pilgrimage; it’s an expression of Saudi power. Stewardship over the sacred mosques in Mecca and Medina, and thus the control of the hajj, gives the monarchy in Riyadh a legitimacy no other country that claims to be a leader of the Islamic world has, especially among Sunni Arabs.

Read Here – Geopolitical Futures

A Dangerous Gulf In The Horn: How The Inter-Arab Crisis Is Fuelling Regional Tensions

The Gulf and the Horn are intricately intertwined regions that face common threats and vulnerabilities: armed conflict, transnational jihadism and organised crime, including piracy, human trafficking and money laundering. The current crisis comes at a difficult moment for the historically conflict-prone Horn, much of which is either politically unstable, mired in internal armed conflict or still in a state of fragile post-conflict recovery.

Read Here – International Crisis Group

Palace Intrigues In The Desert Kingdom

The new Crown Prince has established close ties with President Trump, his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, and the administration’s senior security officials, who see the prince as a moderniser and a solid ally against Iran. This is an important partnership since the prince will need all the help he can get in those uncertain days when his father leaves this mortal world.

Read Here – The Indian Express

Trump Just Redefined Western Values Around Faith, Not Democracy

U.S. President Donald Trump just sought to redefine the West. In a speech to cheering crowds in Warsaw on Thursday, Trump described the West’s values in terms of religion and culture and called for the defense of its civilization against radical Islam. It amounted to a manifesto for his foreign-policy vision. The address included repeated invocations of God, faith, tradition, national sovereignty and family. It made only passing reference to what are usually cited as core Western values: the rule of law, democracy and freedom of speech. Religious tolerance did not get a mention.

Read Here – Bloomberg

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

The Long-term Cost Of Saudi Succession Shake-Up

King Salman bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud’s decision to remove Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef and promote his favorite son, Defense Minister Mohammed bin Salman, has been long anticipated. It raises profound questions about the future stability of America’s oldest ally in the Middle East. 

Read Here – Al Monitor

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