Based of what we hear about Pope Francis, there is reason to hope for better days ahead. He seems to be a very good person, in all senses of that word.
Better for everyone -- Muslim, Christian, Jew, even Communist -- to live in a society which guarantees freedom of belief and practice.
The "case of the 13 imams" sounds almost mythic. But the current case the Bulgarian government is prosecuting against 13 imams from the area of Pazardzhik -- west of Plovdiv on the way to Sofia -- is very real.
Religious intolerance has become de facto a central component of Pakistani identity. This intolerance is legislated within Pakistan's constitution, rooted in a Presidential decree, no less, when Pakistan introduced new legal definitions defining Muslim identity.
Insha Allah, we will do more intra-faith dialogue and learn to respect each other for what we believe, and not get hell bent on proving and denying each other's faith.
I submit that only divine Intervention can save the Holy Land. God is the only hope for achieving a "New Jerusalem."
As troubling as an Iranian nuclear weapon would be, it is unlikely that it would be as catastrophic as yet another American-involved Middle Eastern/South Asian war. By the way, where does Syria fit in the picture?
Ben Affleck has won the Best Picture Oscar for Argo. But he seems to have ruffled quite a few feathers by taking liberties with the story of the rescue of the six American staff living in hostage conditions in Iran after the Islamic Revolution in 1979.
In our modern era, the open question remains: How will we, as an ever-more diverse and often fractious nation, avoid the fate of the ancient Egyptians, and instead succeed in responding to the challenge of the ninth plague?
Will Turkey support and Cypriot Turks be expected to reintegrate into a unified Cyprus if the Kremlin is handed even a bigger role in the economic future of the Island and the exploitation of its natural gas reserves?
Is this the best solution that democratic Netherlands can come up with? A witness protection program for a man guilty of fighting bigotry and standing up for the truth?
Imagine what could happen if Pope Francis truly follows in the footsteps of his namesake. Imagine a more peaceful world that respects religious difference. I believe it can happen.
Harassing minorities in the pretense of blasphemy accusations is not my version of Islam. Maybe that's why Pakistan's constitution does not consider Ahmadi Muslims to be "real" Muslims. But Scripture tells us that it's not Prophet Muhammad's version of Islam either.
President Obama's upcoming trip to Israel prompts us to note the death from cancer last week of a fascinating and prophetic religious figure in the West Bank -- Chief Rabbi Menachem Froman of the Takoa settlement, a few miles from the Dead Sea.
America's uneasy partnership with Saudi Arabia must change and together or separately they must develop a convincing strategy for reducing Wahhabism and its global influence. Whether the new Secretary of State can achieve this or not remains to be seen.
President Obama is coming to Israel next week. Among other things, I hope that he is coming to restart the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians. Most pundits remain pessimistic, but I remain hopeful.