• The Gaza war is a reminder that the Europeans left behind an unstable status quo a century ago. Absent a Sunni consensus, Iran is making an indirect power play. Iran’s weakness is also a strength: as non-Arab, Shiite Muslims, Iran’s leaders can’t trace their ancestry to the prophet Muhammad’s qureysh tribe—as can Jordan’s and Morocco’s monarchs, and as ISIS’s Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi claimed. Though around 85 percent of Muslims are Sunni, the demography of global Islam has long favored much larger non-Arab populations. The dynamic might be resolved with a Vatican City-style solution for Al Aqsa.
  • Ashaz Mohammed 28 March 2024
    The 1992 destruction of the Babri Masjid in Ayodhya, upon which Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Ram temple was built, is seen by Hindu nationalists as a “historical retaliation” against India’s so-called “dark ages”. Several right-wing news outlets, such as Republic TV, have celebrated the inauguration of the new temple as a “500-year wait coming to an end.” This “dark” period, which lies 500 years in India’s past, is popularly characterized by the rise of the Mughals, an empire of Muslim rulers from what is now Uzbekistan. According to Hindu nationalists, the Babri Masjid is believed to have been built by the first Mughal emperor, Babur, as a result of the destruction of the “original” Ram temple that once stood on the site. Although there is no concrete historical and archaeological evidence of the destruction of this temple, there have been attempts by archaeologists and historians leaning towards the ideology of Hindutva (Hindu nationalism) to suggest otherwise.
  • 19 March 2024
    The following appeal has been signed by the leaders of the main religious communities in Haifa, Israel, and released by the Haifa Laboratory for Religious Studies after six intensive meetings that were held at the University of Haifa between December 2023 and February 2024.
  • Some may remember that when Vladimir Putin initiated his “special military operation” against Ukraine, one of his earliest supporters was Patriarch Kirill I of the Russian Orthodox Church. What was his perspective? In his first public address following the commencement of what Moscow terms the “special military operation,” he provided a clear answer: he saw it as a “metaphysical war.” In other words, for the Patriarch, it was evident that this conflict represented a battle between Russia defending the fundamental values of its Christian essence, and Western de-Christianization, which sought to spread, through Ukraine, even to this part of Europe, concepts like gay pride, seen as the epitome of evil.
  • Ali Kosha 26 February 2024
    According to a 2022 Gallup survey, Afghanistan is the only country in the world where the vast majority of the population, a staggering 92 percent of men and 96 percent of women, say they face hardships that make their lives sheer suffering. In this realm of agony, the Hazaras bear a disproportionate burden of suffering. And for Hazara women, the burden intensifies further.
  • Mujibur Rehman 29 January 2024
    On January 26, 2024, India celebrated its Republic Day – the day India adopted its current Constitution – with great fanfare, with French President Emmanuel Macron as the guest of honor. “Liberty, Equality and Fraternity’ is the major political ideal for France, though each of these terms has little meaning for Indians in the context of rapidly expanding Hindu majoritarianism.
  • Ali Kosha 11 January 2024
    Afghanistan is the only country in the world where women and girls are completely banned from education and from working in most sectors, including NGOs. While the restrictions on women and girls have rightly received some international attention, an important aspect of the Taliban’s oppressive regime that has not received enough attention is their systematic indoctrination of boys, and more recently young girls in some provinces, through the education system.
  • Maria Tavernini 26 September 2023
    The murder of Hardeep Singh Nijjar, a Canadian citizen and a prominent Sikh separatist leader in the western province of British Columbia who was shot dead on June 18, 2023 by two masked gunmen outside the Guru Nanak Sikh Gurdwara (temple) in Surrey, near Vancouver, has sparked an international crisis. On September 18th, Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau made an incendiary statement to the Canadian Parliament that Ottawa was looking into “credible allegations potentially linking” India to Nijjar’s murder. India has denied any role in the killing.
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