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Common Ground News Service
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The Common Ground News Service (CGNews) is an independent news source that disseminates fresh, solution-oriented articles on key Muslim-Western issues. CGNews provides a platform for new, positive voices in order to counter the negative perspectives that often appear in the media.

An initiative of the international conflict transformation organization Search for Common Ground, CGNews publishes articles in six languages by diverse authors in nearly 50 countries.

Entries by Common Ground News Service

Role of Youth in Countering Violent Extremism

(0) Comments | Posted April 29, 2015 | 12:29 PM

By Gholamali Khoshroo

Today, young people are in a paradoxical situation in relation to Islam and the West. This critical situation is rooted in two realities that are seemingly contradictory but inherently complementary. On the one hand, we witness the expansion of extremism and terrorism which could be observed as...

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The Missing Ingredient in the Iran and P5+1 Negotiations

(0) Comments | Posted March 16, 2015 | 5:01 PM

By the Right Reverend John Bryson Chane, D.D.

Washington, D.C. -- A missing voice in negotiations between Iran and the P5+1 is that of the global interreligious community. It is astounding that this voice has either been intentionally muted by the American media or, even worse, discredited by our own...

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Israeli-Palestinian Intangibles

(2) Comments | Posted March 27, 2014 | 11:11 AM

by John Marks

Ten years ago, I produced a series of documentaries for broadcast on Israeli and Palestinian TV about how a negotiated settlement might finally resolve the conflict. In the process, I interviewed a Palestinian who told a touching story. In 1948, during what Israelis call the War of...

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Remembering Mandela

(0) Comments | Posted December 9, 2013 | 7:18 AM

by Susan Collin Marks

Washington, D.C. -- As we collectively mourn Nelson Mandela's passing, it is fitting to reflect on his life, and celebrate his greatness as a leader, and a man. His passing is a loss for our planet, but his spirit will live on in the fabric of...

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Context key to understanding Iran's statements about Holocaust

(1) Comments | Posted October 16, 2013 | 9:27 AM

Boston, Massachusetts - It just might be that big changes between Iran and the Jewish world are afoot. It all began on the eve of the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah, when Hassan Rouhani, Iran's newly-elected President, tweeted "As the sun is about to set here in #Tehran I wish...

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Hummus with a side of harmony in Israel

(0) Comments | Posted October 9, 2013 | 9:56 AM

Acre, Israel - Out of dozens of popular restaurants in the Old City, Hendy Sohela of Sohel Hummus is the sole woman running her own business. The restaurant's walls are decorated with Qur'anic verses, images of the Dome of the Rock and a mounted TV screen, which broadcasts footage from...

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The challenge of pluralism: the case of Quebec

(0) Comments | Posted October 2, 2013 | 10:40 AM

Ottawa - In Quebec, a bill roughly drafted to manage the province's religious diversity by restricting the visible display of religious symbols such as turbans, kippah, hijab and visible crucifixes by employees of public institutions has attracted worldwide attention.

One has to understand the delicate situation of Quebec's identity before...

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A Christian's journey through Islam

(4) Comments | Posted September 25, 2013 | 10:08 AM

Brussels - All over the globe, the Muslim community finds itself caught in the middle of strenuous societal debates. With Islamophobia on the rise in the West and extremism in the name of Islam growing in the East -evidenced by sectarian violence in countries like Egypt, Syria and Pakistan -...

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Religious leaders and Syrian refugees meet in Lebanon

(1) Comments | Posted September 18, 2013 | 10:22 AM

Halba, Lebanon -Here, in the northern Lebanese district of Akkar, Catholic-Maronite, Sunni, Greek-Orthodox and Alawi villages are scattered all over the landscape. The Syrian border is a 15 minute drive to the north of the northern Lebanese town of Halba, and residents can hear shelling in Syria at night and...

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Remembering 9/11 by building stronger diverse communities

(0) Comments | Posted September 11, 2013 | 9:51 AM

by Lobna Ismail and Alex Kronemer

Washington, DC - The power of the American story -- E Pluribus Unum. The idea that out of many nations, sects and ethnicities, a community, united and strengthened by its very diversity, can still emerge as one. And as we approach a grim milestone,...

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Gaga, it need not be a bad romance with Muslims

(0) Comments | Posted September 4, 2013 | 9:31 AM

by Keziah Ridgeway

Philadelphia - After a few appearances in public wearing a see-through burqa (a loose robe that covers the body, face and eyes), it appears Lady Gaga has taken her fascination with the garment to a new level with her recently leaked track Burqa (Aura).

Gaga's use...

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Why comparisons between Tunisia and Egypt aren't helpful

(0) Comments | Posted August 28, 2013 | 9:56 AM

by Maria Glenna

Tunis - The suspension of Tunisia's National Constituent Assembly on 7 August once again prompted comparisons between Tunisia and Egypt by political analysts and the media, asking if Tunisia will devolve into the violence we have recently seen in Egypt.

It is true that there are...

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Egypt: it's not a zero-sum game

(0) Comments | Posted August 21, 2013 | 11:57 AM

by Ethar El-Katatney

Cairo - More than 1,200 dead in 72 hours. It's hard for that to sink in. It's hard to try and process, let alone analyze, the sheer volume of I-wish-they-were-scenes-from-a-movie events that Egyptians have been subjected to in the past week.

The police stormed my house. A...

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Muslims walk the extra mile for Boston

(0) Comments | Posted May 22, 2013 | 4:05 PM

by Kiran Ansari

Chicago - When 30,000 people participated in Project Bread's walk to eradicate hunger in Boston on 5 May, there was a group among them that was energised but cautious. Just three weeks after the tragedy at the Boston Marathon, members of Muslims Against Hunger were receiving calls...

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What Muslim parents tell their kids

(1) Comments | Posted May 15, 2013 | 11:34 AM

by Naazish YarKhan

Chicago - Like all parents, Muslim parents have their fair share of do's and don'ts for their children. Unlike most parents though, terrorism and how to handle its misguided association with Islam figures in some of our talks.

In the wake of the Boston bombings and given...

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What Do Muslim-Western Relations Mean?

(5) Comments | Posted May 9, 2013 | 12:40 PM

By Michael Young

BEIRUT -- It is a fact that the notion of a clash of civilisations, first popularised by the American academic Samuel Huntington, is more relevant than ever in the minds of many people. Especially when it concerns Muslim-Western relations, there is a view that Muslim and Western...

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Dancing to the beat of a new drum twelve years after 9/11

(0) Comments | Posted May 8, 2013 | 2:49 PM

Endy Bayuni

Jakarta - The Western and Muslim worlds drifted apart in the wake of 9/11. The 11 September 2001 suicide hijackings in the United States were followed by other equally devastating attacks in Bali, London, Madrid, Mumbai and elsewhere in the world, all of which were conducted in the...

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America's Response to Tragedy

(0) Comments | Posted April 24, 2013 | 4:24 PM

By Michael Felsen

BOSTON, Massachusetts -- It's been a hard week for Boston. A native New Yorker, I've lived in this town for close to 40 years. My wife and I raised three boys who hawked Coke and peanuts in the grandstands at Fenway Park, and cheered on the Celtics...

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Americans Help Heal Syria's Wounded

(0) Comments | Posted April 18, 2013 | 1:15 PM

by Kiran Ansari

CHICAGO -- Frustrated by the news of the Syrian humanitarian crisis, Liza Hoover, a pediatric nurse from Seabrook Island, South Carolina, wanted to use her medical training to make a difference. After making a few phone calls she stumbled upon the Syrian American Medical Society (SAMS) and...

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High-tech Cultural Center Allows New Level of U.S.-Indonesian Exchange

(0) Comments | Posted April 10, 2013 | 3:57 PM

JAKARTA -- "People in the United States often ask me about Islam because they're curious," said Salsabila Diar, an Indonesian exchange student who is studying in Virginia, when asked about her interactions with Americans. Diar shared her experience abroad through Skype in a discussion entitled "Islam in America: Youth Perspectives"...

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