Islam

The best 9/11 novel is a comic one

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If you have ever tuned in to Fox News and seen Heather Nauert on the air, you have probably also registered surprise that she is able to string an entire sentence together. But not only can she talk—she can also read. Here's proof: She shows herself very able to read the bigoted garbage that Fox News's cynical executives and producers put on the Teleprompter. This particular helping of bigoted garbage concerns a YMCA in Minneapolis. Here is Nauert, explaining that in Minneesota, "Sharia law is now changing everything. A YMCA in Minneapolis-St.

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Richard Dawkins, the famous atheist and troublemaker, has caused quite a stir with something he tweeted (and subsequently deleted) last week. "All the world’s Muslims have fewer Nobel Prizes than Trinity College, Cambridge," he wrote. "They did great things in the Middle Ages, though." The uproar was loud and quick: Dawkins was pilloried by journalists and commentators, particularly in his native United Kingdom.

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The Pathetic Dispute Over Islam and Homophobia

A defense of religion turns incoherent

A religiously-tinged argument for tolerance, like many others before it, eventually makes a case against the faith it is ostensibly promoting.

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Desperate Dictatorship

Then They Came For Me: A Family’s Story of Love, Captivity and Survival By Maziar Bahari with Aimee Molloy (Random House, 356 pp., $27) Let the Swords Encircle Me: Iran - A Journey Behind the Headlines By Scott Peterson (Simon & Schuster, 732 pp., $32) After Khomeini: Iran Under His Successor By Saïd Amir Arjomand (Oxford University Press, 268 pp., $24.95) Political Islam, Iran, And the Enlightenment: Philosophies of Hope and Despair By Ali Mirsepassi (Cambridge University Press, 230 pp., $85)  I. For the regime in Iran, opacity in politics, dissimulation in discourse, and the obfuscation

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Look Who’s Talking

The current wave of democratic uprisings in the Middle East is a welcome development. But it will almost certainly empower long-suppressed political parties inspired by the Muslim Brotherhood. That movement—whose slogan reads, in part, “Koran is our law; Jihad is our way”—presents several urgent challenges for American policymakers: How can political parties that seek Islamic law through holy struggle be cajoled and pressured to respect the rules of democratic politics? Is political Islam even compatible with open, civil societies?

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Paleologus and Us

"Faith, Reason, and the University: Memories and Reflections"--the title seems an unlikely one for a papal speech that has triggered protests, even violence, across large parts of the Muslim world. Benedict XVI's remarks, made on September 12 at the University of Regensburg, where he was once a professor, have been denounced by the parliament of Pakistan, protesters in India, Iraq's Sunni leadership, the top Shiite cleric of Lebanon, the prime minister of Malaysia, and the president of Indonesia, among many others.

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Clerical Era

Shortly after I arrived in Damascus this summer, I dropped by the offices of Dr. Mohammed Al Habash, one of Syria’s leading religious scholars, to interview him about the rise of Islam in his country. But the Danes beat me to him. Habash’s Islamic Studies Center was hosting the first official Danish delegation to travel to Syria since a mob, infuriated by the publication of cartoons of the Prophet in a Danish newspaper, had attacked and burned the Danish Embassy in February.

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Bible Brigade

The Reverend Franklin Graham has long been something of a thrill seeker. In his quarter-century as head of the Christian relief agency Samaritan's Purse, the eldest son of the legendary Billy Graham (and heir to his evangelical empire) has earned international respect for supplying food, water, shelter, and medical care to regions where other angels fear to tread.

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News Break

The summer of 2002 didn't feel all that different from the summer of 2001. Last summer we worried about shark attacks; this summer we wrung our hands over kidnappings. In 2001 the media waited outside Gary Condit's Adams Morgan apartment; in 2002 it camped out in a Los Angeles hospital waiting room to see if conjoined twins from Guatemala would be successfully separated. The difference is that this year these weren't the things we were supposed to be focusing on. In the first blurry weeks following September 11, Americans seemed hungry to learn about events beyond our shores.

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