It must be emphasized that true secularism is not opposed to religion, and a secular democratic state will not only eliminate ethnic and religious discrimination, such as pitting Shiites against Sunnis, but will also create the conditions for the religious people to practice their beliefs free of the government. Islam and secularism are completely compatible. In fact, a true "Islamic state" is not only unjustified, but also impossible to establish.
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With his approval rate sinking by the minute, Chavez's successor should be learning from what other commodity-dependent countries, especially in Africa, have done in terms of policy instead of desperately begging for loans.
Those who killed the journalists in Paris were followers of violent Islamist extremism. Those who lashed Raif are followers of non-violent Islamist extremism. The first kills in the name of God and the second violates in the name of God.
It is painful to hear of the horrors that Nigerian school children and their families face daily in simply having access to a quality education -- much less one that is enhanced through technology and global connections.
I have been listening to the discussion about Western media ignoring the death of people in Sub-Saharan Africa. But what happens when the president of that African country himself is condemning the terrorist attack in France while keeping silent on the massacre?
The proper response to the Charlie Hebdo murders is not to jail "blasphemers" of any persuasion, whether they hold a pen or a microphone.
It would be nice to be able to say that the threat of Islamic fundamentalism has peaked in Africa, and that the worst is over, but given the current state of affairs that simply is not the case. In all likelihood, the threat will grow -- considerably -- in the years to come.
American media should not pretend as if nothing is happening as Nigeria continues to battle the ignorant cancer calling itself Boko Haram. Nigeria's struggle with radicalism is at least as newsworthy as our own.
There's a weird and disconcerting trend that I've noticed in the past few weeks. Women are being erased. From boardrooms to politics -- and this month, history.
While I mourn the little over a dozen French people who died last week, I also mourn over the fact that world leaders are expected to march hand-in-hand when a dozen Europeans are slaughtered and not when thousands of Africans are slaughtered. The world's media and governmental structures have sent the message loud and clear: Africa can go to hell.
Neither public servants nor clergy nor holy books nor heroes are infallible. Battling obscurantism does not mean we are saints of any kind. It means we will not accept a tyrant's bogus paradise, and are free to form our own words and images and make up our own minds.
It's so much simpler than all the analysis and all the confusion and all the touchpoints of anger and savagery and misunderstanding. A group of men and women came together to build something, lost their friends, and carried on the only way they could have.
If the moderate Muslim community is the key to defeating radicalism that so many seem convinced that it is, then we cannot continue this juvenile attitude of pointing fingers only to pull away and turn our backs when it is their turn to bury their dead.
We should strive to reaffirm the most basic principle upon which our societies stand: that all individuals are created equal. We have failed to provide Baga's victims that recognition. Let us demand that all individuals be protected from its reach, not merely those similar to us.
You may conclude, as many have done on social media, that this is due to inherent racial biases of Western media. However, your anger at Western media for the lack of coverage on the massacre in Baga is misplaced. Here's why.