The world is at a tipping point. Twenty-five years after the fall of the Berlin Wall and the ensuing rise of China and other emerging economies, fragile institutions -- the Asia Pacific Economic Community summit taking place in Beijing and the G-20 in a few days in Brisbane -- are trying to hold the links of peace and prosperity together.
Since his highly controversial exchange with Ben Affleck and Nicholas Kristof on October 3rd, Bill Maher has insisted that he's simply stating the unpleasant facts about the Muslim world. But there are two particularly noxious myths that need to be debunked.
How did a simple weekend trip become a veritable affair of state? Having come to meet with leaders of various Libyan factions at the Hôtel La Résidence, a philosopher found himself at the center of a maelstrom in which rumor and spite eclipsed truth and diplomacy.
The savagery of ISIS, the slaughterhouse of Syria's civil war, the marauding militias in Libya and the restored autocracy in Egypt have devoured the hopes of the Facebook generation that spawned the Arab Spring. In Tunisia alone the spirit of the Jasmine Revolution still flowers. While the character of Tunisian society and culture has much to celebrate with its success, including just-completed peaceful elections that favored the main secular party, there is another factor: the absence of outside intervention, particularly from the West. In The WorldPost this week Rafik Abdessalem, Tunisia's former foreign minister, explains why despotism will never return to his country. Soumaya Ghannoushi argues that the many years that activists from the moderate Islamist Ennahdha Party spent in exile abroad taught them "the art of compromise and consensus, which may be the hallmark of the nascent Tunisian political model." Jonathan Labin, head of Middle East, Africa and Pakistan for Facebook, chronicles how the same social media that fomented political upheaval is now connecting young people in the region to jobs. (continued)
This week, Tunisia rescued what was called four years ago the Jasmine revolution, which gave birth to the Arab Spring, by letting the whole know that it rejects imposing religion on the state, and that it insists on secularism and modernity.
Tunisia is a small country with a big audience. The process of electing a parliament and a president matters, not only because it keeps the democratic process alive, but also for the signals it sends the rest of the Arab world. Tunisia, the cradle of the revolution, keeps on setting the agenda.
As the Tunisian elections are scheduled to take place next Sunday, political groups and parties are gearing up for a battle they described as "transformative moment" in the history of Tunisia.
Tunisia, which had shown Arabs a way out of the prison of dictatorship through peaceful protest, is today demonstrating that on the ruins of the old order a democracy could be built.
f the United States and its allies cannot find a way to counter violent religious extremism while promoting and protecting human rights then everyone will lose.
It's unusual to write about Ph.D. dissertations, but when the topic deals with digital firewalls and Internet censorship, it's an attention grabber in an era of disclosures on surveillance by countless governments.
At face value, a recent one minute video clip on You Tube leaves little doubt about support for the Islamic State, the jihadist group that controls a swath of Syria and Iraq, among supporters of storied Moroccan soccer club Raja Club Athletic.
Many things have changed in Tunisia since the revolution. There is greater room for freedom. Everybody can express their opinions. But there is nevertheless one constant that hasn't altered one iota: an absence of will to prosecute and try those responsible for police violence.
The incidents reflect mounting anger and frustration among North African youth who have few if any social and economic prospects.
If there was ever a J.R.R. Tolkien moment in the Libya conflict, it has arrived. The forces of good and evil are fighting the future of Libya.
If the United States really wants to see human rights and democracy take root and flourish in the Arab region there is at least one thing it can do to advance that objective: ensure that Tunisia's transition to democracy succeeds.
The world is aflame. Religious minorities are among those who suffer most from increasing conflict. Pakistan is one of the worst homes for non-Muslims. The U.S. government should designate that nation as a "Country of Particular Concern" for failing to protect religious liberty, the most basic right of conscience.