Many efforts to provide counter-narratives for Salafi-jihadism are currently failing to address extremists’ abuse of religious scripture directly.
Entrenched interests based beyond Tehran stand to gain politically from the Iran protests of late December and early January, leaving President Rouhani’s administration at a crossroads.
Timeline of the struggle over Jerusalem and its holy sites since 70 AD.
The power of sustained, mass, non-violent protest by Palestinian civilians, with a precise focus and specific demands, caused Israel to drop all the new “security” measures it said were needed at the Al-Aqsa compound.
Is Islamism a dangerous trend of the future in Muslim-majority societies, or a natural passing phase only?
Sectarian violence in the Arab and Muslim worlds is exacerbated by the role foreign powers play in the region, as well as local power rivalries.
Defeat of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria will offer Baghdad a fresh state-building opportunity to correct the mistakes following the ouster of the Saddam Hussein regime in 2003. As Sunnis, Shiites, and Kurds pursue their own interests, a serious effort toward communal understanding is the key to progress.
The end of the strongman era in Iraq has led to the rise of paramilitaries representing sects and ethnicities. Popular Mobilization Units have become part of the state’s official security structure. Although the PMUs have been instrumental in the fight against ISIS, their more powerful militias pose a stark challenge to the country’s future stability.
Iran’s support for the Al-Assad regime in Damascus has long provided it with a foothold in Lebanon, Palestine, and the rest of the region. But with its deepening role in the Syrian civil war, Tehran is losing hearts and minds in the Arab World.
Recent changes to Saudi religious institutions are not a sign of wider reform but an indication of the struggle to redefine Saudi Arabia’s religious character.
When Jorge Mario Bergoglio became the Roman Catholic pope in 2013, he took his name from Francis of Assisi and dedicated himself to championing the poor. The first non-European pontiff in a thousand years, and the first from the southern hemisphere, he launched his papacy with a condemnation of capitalism’s culture of waste and indifference to poverty.
How the modern nation-state got religion wrong.
The roots of religious hatred between Sunni and Shia are political and, surprisingly, recent.
Donald Trump’s vituperative, outsider presidential campaign rallied voters anxious about the economy, national security, and culture. But establishment Republicans shouldn’t be surprised by the tumult in the Grand Old Party.
Scholar Lila Abu-Lughod on the real obstacles facing women in the Islamic World.
Recognizing the political shortcomings of marginalizing Salafists, Moroccan decision-makers are making efforts to reconcile Salafism with the Sufi character of religious institutions.
Unlike what many Western pundits think, Saudi Arabia does not represent the “true” Sunni Islam. Even within the country, there are older traditions of Islam that are far more open and tolerant than the Kingdom’s official Wahhabist sect.
Those around the world who wonder why domestic and international terrorism, corruption, and illegal migration are on the rise everywhere ought listen to Pope Francis’ message about “new forms of colonialism.”
We will get nowhere other than where we are today if we all refuse to analyze the deeper drivers of radicalism that feed tens of thousands of recruits to these killer organizations.
Does religion cause violence? Or is it just our human nature?
After the Arab Spring, the rise of Islamists stirred social polarization in many countries. The most potent Islamists today are the jihadists who have seized control of territory through extreme violence. Can political Islam be reconciled with secular modernity?
Religious scholar Hamza Yusuf discusses the arc of Islamic civilization, the causes of Middle East conflict, and running the first Muslim liberal arts college in the United States.
In the vagueness of their response, Islamic leaders are missing an opportunity to lead the global conversation.