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Francis Robinson on ‘The Arabs’

What lessons can the West learn by examining the history of the Arab experience through the voices and eyes of Arabs themselves?

Posted on Apr 15, 2010 READ MORE



AP / Jack Plunkett

The Difference Between a Terrorist and Someone Who Flies a Plane Into a Building

There seems to be some confusion about who are the real terrorists these days. Allow me to shed some light on the issue.

Posted on Mar 12, 2010 READ MORE



Wikimedia Commons

Danish Paper Apologizes for Cartoon

A Danish newspaper that published a cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad wearing a bomb-shaped turban has apologized for offending Muslims. The penitence was part of a settlement between the paper and eight Muslim groups. The apology has been denounced by other members of the Danish media, which previously stood united in rejecting calls to back down in the face of Islamic outrage over the cartoon.

Posted on Feb 26, 2010 READ MORE



Flickr / Martin Beek

Gadhafi’s Personal Holy War

Moammar Gadhafi has had it up to here with Switzerland. First they arrest his son on charges of beating up two servants at a luxury hotel. Then they pass a pretty horrible law banning mosque’s minarets. Now, Gadhafi has called for a holy war against the country, a move which has received almost universal denouncement.

Posted on Feb 26, 2010 READ MORE


Austin IRS office
AP / Tony Gutierrez

Terrorism by Any Name

What’s as interesting as Stack’s motives are our motives in labeling this act. Was Stack’s gesture an attention-grabbing suicide plot, a deliberate criminal act, an act of heroism or an act of terrorism? It seems that the answer varies according to whom we ask.

Posted on Feb 21, 2010 READ MORE


Wilders on trial
AP / Marcel Antonisse, pool

Trial Opens for Anti-Islamic Dutch Politician

Dutch lawmaker Geert Wilders’ words are coming back to haunt him—in court. Wilders, an ultra-right-wing member of the Netherlands parliament, has drawn fire in recent years for his vocal anti-Islam stance, which he has expressed both in cinematic form and in what prosecutors in Amsterdam allege is hate speech.

Posted on Jan 20, 2010 READ MORE


Nigerian-American demonstrators
AP / Paul Sancya

The Mutallab Challenge

Christmas 2009 was not particularly cheery in Nigeria. A poor economic climate, an epileptic power supply and scarcity of petroleum products ensured that the celebrations were low-key. As if these challenges were not enough, news of an attempted bombing of a U.S. airliner by a Nigerian filtered in on Christmas Day. The nation’s heart sank.

Posted on Jan 12, 2010 READ MORE


Karachi attack
AP via YouTube

Suicide Attack Kills at Least 20 in Karachi

A suicide bomber struck a procession of Shiite Muslims in Karachi, Pakistan, on Monday as they commemorated the day of Ashura, a traditional day of mourning and remembrance of the Prophet Muhammad’s martyred grandson. According to the Los Angeles Times, 20 people were killed and dozens wounded in the blast—the third attack in three days in Pakistan.

Posted on Dec 28, 2009 READ MORE



AP / Joerg Sarbach

These Iranian Troubadours Show How Music Can Corrupt the Soul

Music and Islam have a dodgy relationship. I guess it’s really all to do with that most jealously guarded commodity, the human soul, over which music exerts such passion.

Posted on Dec 6, 2009 READ MORE


Not My Switzerland
AP / Keystone, Peter Klaunzer

Jewish Groups Object to Switzerland’s Minaret Ban

Recognizing that this week’s popular vote to forbid the building of minarets in Switzerland represented a blatant show of religious intolerance it couldn’t ignore, an association of Jewish organizations is expressing its strong disagreement with the ban and calling on Swiss leaders to defend religious freedom.

Posted on Dec 3, 2009 READ MORE


Shame on the Swiss

Share
Posted on Nov 30, 2009 READ MORE    


book cover

Claire Wasserman on Europe’s Islamic Immigrants

Christopher Caldwell explores in his recent book what he terms Islam’s “adversary culture” now challenging Europe’s own sense of historical identity.

Posted on Nov 20, 2009 READ MORE


Left, Right & Center

‘Left, Right & Center’: GOP Scores; Unemployment Up; Fort Hood Fallout

Unemployment reaches 10.2 percent—do we need a bigger stimulus? What do the GOP victories in Virginia and New Jersey mean for both parties? Will the House’s historic health care bill pass, and, if so, why wait till 2013 to implement it?

Posted on Nov 6, 2009 READ MORE


Jyllands-Posten
sitemaker.umich.edu

Two Arrested for Alleged Plot on Danish Paper

Two men from Chicago were arrested recently for allegedly plotting to attack overseas targets, including the Danish newspaper that sparked a huge controversy in 2006 by running the now-infamous cartoon of the prophet Mohammed sporting an explosive turban.

Posted on Oct 27, 2009 READ MORE


Book of Genesis
usatoday.com

God Gets the R. Crumb Treatment

Drawing God is an age-old challenge, but ultra-quirky illustrator R. Crumb was up for it—although it took a lot of white-out to do the job, which seems fitting somehow. Crumb tackled the first 50 chapters of the Old Testament in his latest creation, simply titled “The Book of Genesis Illustrated by R. Crumb,” and lo, it is good.

Posted on Oct 19, 2009 READ MORE


Paris mosque
enjoyfrance.com

Muslims a Fourth of World’s Population

The internationality of Islam is emphasized by a new Pew Research study that found one in four people in the world to be Muslim. With 1.57 billion adherents, Islam ranks second only to 2.25 billion-strong Christianity. The study’s findings counter the disparaging, stereotyping notions that many in the West have of “the Muslim World.”

Posted on Oct 8, 2009 READ MORE


Obama's Ramadan greeting

Obama Salutes Muslims Preparing for Ramadan

President Obama released a video greeting Friday to Muslims in America and abroad to commemorate the start on Saturday of Ramadan, the holy month of fasting and reflection for members of the Islamic faith.

Posted on Aug 21, 2009 READ MORE


The War Between Civilizations That Never Was

The West was wrong about this being a war of civilizations, and so were the Muslims. Islamic civilization is experiencing a double crisis, of modernity and of religion. Nothing could be clearer today in Tehran.

Posted on Jun 18, 2009 READ MORE


Pen
wordpress.com

Dutch Rightists Score in Elections

Exit polls show the notoriously anti-immigrant Dutch politician Geert Wilders gaining 15 percent of the vote and second place in elections for the European Parliament in the Netherlands—even as he faces prosecution on charges of inciting hatred in his speeches.

Posted on Jun 5, 2009 READ MORE


Wenger
blackartstudio.com

Austrian Artist Becomes Nigerian Ancestor

How did an Austrian girl who was born into a Christian family end up as high priestess of a Yoruba goddess in Nigeria? Suzanne Wenger’s life demonstrates that people are just people after all, that is, when they put aside race, values, beliefs and the other things that divide us.

Posted on May 21, 2009 READ MORE


F-111
AP photo / Rich Pedroncelli

The Disease of Permanent War

The embrace by any society of permanent war is a parasite that devours the heart and soul of a nation. Permanent war extinguishes liberal, democratic movements. It turns culture into nationalist cant. It degrades and corrupts education and the media, and wrecks the economy.

Posted on May 18, 2009 READ MORE


Dog Puppy Fetish Pakistan

The New York Times gets an inside look at a Pakistani fetish factory located next door to a fundamentalist Islamic mosque. Globalization doesn’t get more entertaining than this.

Posted on Apr 27, 2009 READ MORE


Lahore protest
dailytimes.com.pk

Flogging of 17-Year-Old Pakistani Girl Raises Outrage

The public lashing of a 17-year-old girl named Chand in Pakistan’s Swat Valley became the catalyst for countrywide protests on Saturday after a video of the flogging made its way around the Internet. A spokesman for the local Tahreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) claimed the video was fake and that the actual incident happened outside of Swat but defended the punishment as just.

Posted on Apr 4, 2009 READ MORE



latimes.com

Saudi Woman, 75, Faces Lashing for Letting In Delivery Men

For the crime of receiving two unrelated men in her home, a 75-year-old Saudi woman has been sentenced to 40 lashes and four months behind bars. Once again, a nation that is both one of America’s closest allies and brutally oppressive of women finds itself in an awkward light.

Posted on Mar 11, 2009 READ MORE



Wikimedia Commons / Marcello Casal Jr / ABr

Islamic Banks Presented as an Economic Model

The United States spent much of the 20th century lecturing the world about how to run an economy. Clearly, we’ve lost some credibility in that area. Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono wants Islamic banks, with their abhorrence of interest and gambling, to fill the void.

Posted on Mar 1, 2009 READ MORE


Pope Benedict XVI
AP photo / Alessandra Tarantino

Consider the Source

Now a lot of folk will go along with the line that the Holy Father is so stupid—so utterly out of touch with Planet Earth—that he has no idea how disastrously his actions are received. Hmmm. Well, I wonder.

Posted on Feb 28, 2009 READ MORE


U.S. Fear, U.S. Folly in Afghanistan

Except for the brief NATO intervention in Kosovo and Serbia, all of the significant U.S. military expeditions since the Cold War have been fought against Asians, and we have lost nearly all of them.

Posted on Feb 19, 2009 READ MORE


America’s Confused Cause in Central Asia

Exactly what do we think we are doing in Afghanistan and Pakistan? Are we there to liberalize their forms of religious observance, or conduct a war over theology, or establish permanent NATO bases there, or are we searching for Osama bin Laden? It seems that we are doing all of these things at the same time. But why?

Posted on Feb 18, 2009 READ MORE


Rayan
AP photo / Adel Hana

Lost in the Rubble

I often visited Nizar Rayan, who was killed Thursday in a targeted assassination by Israel, at his house in the Jabaliya refugee camp when I was in Gaza. His four wives and 11 children also were killed. Rayan’s sons, according to their father, strove to be one thing: martyrs for Palestine. 

Posted on Jan 2, 2009 READ MORE


General Assembly
Flickr / Patrick Gruban

U.S. Refuses to Back U.N. Gay Rights Measure

The issue of gay rights was not just front-and-center on a national scale in news and politics this week; it was also a topic of concern for the United Nations General Assembly. Unfortunately, the U.S. didn’t exactly blaze the trail for civil rights in that arena either.

Posted on Dec 19, 2008 READ MORE


Hajj pilgrims

Are We Winning the War on Terror?

This week’s Mosaic Intelligence Report takes stock of recent attacks in Iraq and India and outlines the challenges that President-elect Barack Obama must face if he hopes to succeed where George Bush has failed in his vaunted “global war on terror.”

Posted on Dec 13, 2008 READ MORE



AP file photo

Confronting the Terrorist Within

The world is far more complex than our childish vision of good and evil. We as a nation and a culture have no monopoly on virtue. The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, when viewed from the receiving end, are state-sponsored acts of terrorism.

Posted on Dec 1, 2008 READ MORE


ENTER_ALT_TEXT
telegraph.co.uk

White House Angered by Guantanamo Ruling

The Bush administration is reportedly angry at a decision by U.S. District Judge Ricardo Urbina, who ruled the detention of 17 Chinese Muslim prisoners at Guantanamo Bay was unfounded, citing a seemingly archaic document that prohibits indefinite detention without cause—the U.S. Constitution.

Posted on Oct 8, 2008 READ MORE



Scan of the "Obsession" mailer obtained by Truthdig

Who Is Behind the ‘Radical Islam’ DVD?

The blogosphere is alive with the sound of buzz—all about an inflammatory DVD on radical Islam being distributed to millions of households at the peak of election season. Critics are calling the DVD, “Obsession: Radical Islam’s War Against the West,” anti-Muslim hate, or politicking, or both. The obvious question: Who is behind it?

Posted on Sep 23, 2008 READ MORE


McCain Pushes Hagee, Parsley Away

This wasn’t the best week for Sen. John McCain’s (former) religious advisers, the Revs. John Hagee and Rod Parsley—primarily because the Republican front-runner has effectively given them both the political heave-ho following the public re-airing of their takes on Israel and Islam, respectively.

Posted on May 23, 2008 READ MORE


Rev. Parsley

McCain’s ‘Spiritual Guide’ Has a Big Issue with Islam

Looks like Sen. John McCain is being endorsed by more than one controversial preacher—the apparent “must-have” of leading presidential hopefuls this election cycle. Meet the Rev. Rod Parsley, whose support McCain sought and won, according to Brave New Films and Mother Jones, which have launched a collaborative effort to expose Parsley’s alarming beliefs about Islam and America’s role on the world stage.

Posted on May 8, 2008 READ MORE


Bardot
AP photo / Nicholas Ratzenboeck

Bardot in Hot Water for Anti-Muslim Statements

Erstwhile bombshell Brigitte Bardot is being tried on racism charges for her controversial stance against Muslims in France. She communicated her position last year to now-President Nicholas Sarkozy and publish her letter to Sarkozy in her own foundation’s journal.

Posted on Apr 17, 2008 READ MORE


Shiraz mosque bombing
AP photo

Mosque Blast Kills 9, Injures Scores in Iran

A homemade bomb was reportedly the cause of a deadly explosion Saturday at a mosque in Shiraz, about 560 miles south of Iran’s capital city, Tehran.  According to Iran’s Fars news agency, nine people were killed and 105 wounded by the blast.

Posted on Apr 12, 2008 READ MORE


Wilders
hodja.wordpress.com

Dutch Lawmaker’s Anti-Islam Film Hits the Web

Conservative Dutch politician Geert Wilders certainly isn’t helping resolve religious and cultural tensions within his country with the release of his short film “Fitna” (running time 17 minutes), which portrays Islam in an extremely negative light. According to the BBC, the Dutch government “has distanced itself” from Wilders’ views. Good idea.

Posted on Mar 27, 2008 READ MORE



wikimedia.org / Ali Mansuri

Saudi Arabia Thinks Big

The House of Saud clearly takes a top-down approach to ruling. Under mounting pressure from the West to confront religious fundamentalism, Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Religious Affairs plans to retrain some 40,000 imams.

Posted on Mar 20, 2008 READ MORE


Old Bailey statue
churchtimes.co.uk

British Lawmakers Strike Down Blasphemy Law

Following a heated debate, the British House of Lords approved an amendment that does away with the UK’s long-standing common law against blasphemy—a watershed moment that some believe was too long in coming.

Posted on Mar 7, 2008 READ MORE


Christ the Redeemer
pastorandpeople.wordpress.com

News Flash: Obama, Clinton Claim Christian Faith

There’s been plenty of innuendo and chatter about Barack Obama’s religious affiliation and beliefs lately, but both Obama and rival Hillary Clinton have described their faith with little room for extrapolation in recent months. Here’s what they had to say.

Posted on Mar 6, 2008 READ MORE


Obama-kah
jewsforobama.blogspot.com

Obama and the Jews

The bad side of being a new face in politics is that your enemies can treat you like a blank slate, to be filled in with lies and slurs. That’s what is happening to Sen. Barack Obama, who is being subjected to a secretive whispering and e-mail campaign that aims to alienate him from Jewish voters by linking him to Black Muslim leader Louis Farrakhan and the Muslim religion.

Posted on Feb 28, 2008 READ MORE


Geert Wilders
youtube.com

YouTube Back in Pakistan

Those around the world who had trouble accessing YouTube on Sunday may be interested to know the cause of the problem: On Friday, the Pakistani Telecommunications Authority acted to block access to YouTube in order to prevent Pakistanis from seeing a YouTube clip promoting an anti-Islam film by Dutch politician Geert Wilders (pictured). Thus ensued an accidental chain reaction that blocked YouTube access for many thousands internationally. Now, the popular site is back up, even in Pakistan.

Posted on Feb 26, 2008 READ MORE


Pakistan election
AP photo / Emilio Morenatti

End of an Era

The death of Benazir Bhutto in December, tensions within the country and concerns over President Pervez Musharraf’s leadership (and his regime’s relationship with the U.S. government) registered in a loud and clear message from Pakistanis at the polling booths Monday: Musharraf is standing on shaky ground.

Posted on Feb 18, 2008 READ MORE


Musharraf
AP photo / David Guttenfelder

The Pakistan Conundrum

Pervez Musharraf’s recent actions remind us, Ritter argues, that America’s special relationship with Pakistan serves neither country’s best interests.

Posted on Jan 16, 2008 READ MORE


Colbert on Obama

‘Colbert Report’:  Un-American News

After an uncharacteristic moment of empathy for the left, Stephen Colbert reminds us that there are other newsworthy events besides the primaries: The world is full of other countries—which, it turns out, are also obsessing about the U.S. primaries.

Posted on Jan 11, 2008 READ MORE


Pakistani Missile
AP photo / B.K. Bangash

Andrew Cockburn on the Islamic Bomb

A quartet of new books provides an inside look at Pakistan’s nuclear smuggling network and how it flourished. A sordid tale of how the United States simultaneously acted as an enabler for the construction of the “Islamic Bomb” and coddled the Islamists who might one day control it.

Posted on Dec 6, 2007 READ MORE


teddy bear
bbc.co.uk

Teacher Arrested for Teddy Bear Name Game

In a particularly delicate situation involving crossed cultural wires, a British primary school teacher in Sudan could face six months in jail, a fine or 40 lashes after allowing her students to name a teddy bear “Muhammad” for a class exercise.

Posted on Nov 26, 2007 READ MORE


McCain
democrats.georgetown.edu

McCain: ‘Constitution Established a Christian Nation’

John McCain’s campaign is in dire straits, which may be why he told Beliefnet that he would prefer a Christian president who would “carry on in the Judeo-Christian principled tradition,” and that “the Constitution established the United States of America as a Christian nation.”

Posted on Sep 30, 2007 READ MORE


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