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The New Paris Horror and the Putin Trap

Stephen Schwartz | Posted 11.19.2015 | Religion
Stephen Schwartz

Russia shields Al-Assad, and although claiming to bomb ISIS, Moscow's jets have targeted moderate opponents of the Al-Assad regime. Acceptance of Putin's strategy is being pressed to other members of the worldwide anti-ISIS coalition.

Does Islam Scare You? If So, Here's Why

Barbara Falconer Newhall | Posted 09.16.2015 | Religion
Barbara Falconer Newhall

Does Islam scare you? Does it feel like an aggressive religion is trying to take over the world, subjugate women, persecute the LGBT community, and cut off your hand if you're caught stealing? Well, you've got good reason to be scared -- but not of Islam.

Wahhabism, Saudi Arabia, and Their Gift to Yale

Omer Aziz | Posted 09.17.2015 | Politics
Omer Aziz

The first thing you need to know about Saudi Arabia is that it is not a country but a financial and religious empire with a million poisonous tentacles stretching across both the West and the Muslim world.

The Crimes at Palmyra

Stephen Schwartz | Posted 09.03.2015 | Religion
Stephen Schwartz

The world, and especially moderate, traditional, spiritual, conventional and even conservative -- but few radical -- Muslims have watched in dismay as the spurious "Islamic State" (ISIS) has undertaken the systematic destruction of the pre-Islamic monuments at Palmyra in Syria.

What the Arab World Can Learn from Oman

Giorgio Cafiero | Posted 09.03.2015 | World
Giorgio Cafiero

Whereas some political and religious leaders in a number of Arab states have played off sectarian hatred to urge their countries' youth to fight in Iraq and Syria, such rhetoric has virtually no appeal among Omanis who are not indoctrinated with the intolerant teachings of Wahhabism.

Robert Conquest, Stalinism, and the Soviet Muslims

Stephen Schwartz | Posted 08.11.2015 | Religion
Stephen Schwartz

On August 3, the Anglo-American poet and historian Robert Conquest died in California at 98. According to The Daily Telegraph in London, Conquest's father Roger was an American from Virginia, while his mother Rosamund was English, and Robert was born in the West Midlands of England.

The Writings of Saudi Blogger Raif Badawi

Stephen Schwartz | Posted 07.08.2015 | Religion
Stephen Schwartz

In 2012, Raif Badawi, a blogger in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) who is now 31, was arrested in his native land and charged with offenses ranging from parental disobedience to cyber-crime and apostasy from Islam.

Pilgrimage to the Land of Salafism

Sepideh Saeedi | Posted 06.29.2015 | World
Sepideh Saeedi

Bilateral relations between the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia have been fraught with hostility, tension and confrontation. I recently had a first hand experience of this situation throughout my pilgrimage trip to Saudi Arabia.

A Campaign in Saudi Arabia Challenges Young People to Rethink Their Biases

Joseph Braude | Posted 06.15.2015 | World
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Joseph Braude

A three-minute video, posted by a Saudi government-backed organization to YouTube on June 4, has garnered 150,000 views in 48 hours and sparked a discussion in the kingdom about how to stem sectarian conflict.

Understanding Sufi Spirituality

Liaquat Ali Khan | Posted 06.01.2015 | Religion
Liaquat Ali Khan

In 2012, a militant group wielding crude shovels and pickaxes damaged the ancient Sufi shrines in Timbuktu, Mali. The militant group, known as Ansar Dine (Defenders of Faith), attacked the city's ancient mosques and mausoleums associated with local Sufis, arguing that shrine worshipping is offensive to Shariah.

If Syria and Iraq Become Fractured, So Too Will Tripoli and North Lebanon

Alastair Crooke | Posted 06.01.2015 | World
Alastair Crooke

BEIRUT -- Saudi Arabia and its allies effectively wanted to inject hydraulic fracturing fluid (radical Salafists) into eastern Syria in order to fracture the bridge between Iran and its Arab allies. But at what cost?

A Model for Moderate Muslims

Stephen Schwartz | Posted 05.12.2015 | Religion
Stephen Schwartz

Continuing terrorism by Islamist radicals in the Middle East, Europe, and the U.S has led numerous commentators to argue for solutions that nearly always involve revision of the foundations of the religion, especially the Quran.

Malice in Dallas

Stephen Schwartz | Posted 05.05.2015 | Religion
Stephen Schwartz

I am a Muslim Sufi. But I am first an American writer, and for me freedom of expression is undebatable, except when it embodies a direct call to immediate violence against others.

Why ISIS Should Be Called 'Fahish,' or 'Obscene'

Turki al-Faisal | Posted 06.27.2015 | World
Turki al-Faisal

The truth is that the group that attempts to impress the world with the name "Islamic State" is neither Islamic nor a state. The global community would do better to look at this organization and call it by a name that refutes its lies and exposes its true nature.

America Immobilized as Iran-Saudi Arabia Proxy War Turns Bloody

Alastair Crooke | Posted 06.06.2015 | World
Alastair Crooke

BEIRUT -- Amidst all this flexing of muscles, America is effectively disempowered by its stand-off policy, but also from its political investment in the war on ISIS, with its many contradictions and tensions.

Zakir Naik, Radical Islamist Video Evangelist

Stephen Schwartz | Posted 05.26.2015 | Religion
Stephen Schwartz

Which way, then, for the Saudi-Wahhabi partnership? Will the rulers of Riyadh continue to celebrate figures like Zakir Naik, who instill contempt for others, Muslim and non-Muslim, or will they protect their Islamic cultural legacy while embracing new advances in science?

The Urgency of Inventing a Democratic Islam

Akbar Ganji | Posted 05.26.2015 | Politics
Akbar Ganji

Let us suppose that all the claims against Islam -- not what is done in Islam's name -- are actually true. Then, the question is, what can we do? What political strategy should be followed in order to improve the situation?

By Destroying Churches and Relics, ISIS Claims Mohammad Was Wrong

Azeem Ibrahim | Posted 05.23.2015 | World
Azeem Ibrahim

ISIS yesterday destroyed an ancient Christian monastery which has been described as the equivalent of Canterbury Cathedral. Just weeks earlier, it raided Mosul Museum and filmed themselves destroying all the relics on show, including priceless, irreplaceable Assyrian statues.

15 Years in Prison for a Poem! Welcome to Qatar

Elham Manea | Posted 05.12.2015 | World
Elham Manea

He wrote a poem. Recited it in his apartment to a group of seven people. Unknown to him, the poem was recorded and uploaded on YouTube. That was in 2011. Now he sits in prison in Qatar, serving a prison sentence of 15 years!

Libraries Burning: From Sarajevo to Mosul

Stephen Schwartz | Posted 04.28.2015 | Religion
Stephen Schwartz

In the Balkans, Serbia conducted "ethnic cleansing" -- a repellent euphemism for "ethnic purging." The "Islamic State" is bent on "theological cleansing," which amounts to the same evil impulse.

Washington Should Stop Slobbering Over Saudi Arabia: Vicious Frenemy Makes World More Dangerous

Doug Bandow | Posted 04.08.2015 | Politics
Doug Bandow

The king has died. Long live the king. Saudi Arabia today is a medieval system whose horrid human rights practices match its antiquated political system.

Saudi Arabia's Religious And Religion In Saudi Arabia

The Huffington Post | Antonia Blumberg | Posted 01.24.2015 | Religion

Saudi Arabia's new monarch, King Salman bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud, comes to power at a time when blogger Raif Badawi has been sentenced to 10 years in pr...

How Saudi Wahhabism Is the Fountainhead of Islamist Terrorism

Yousaf Butt | Posted 03.22.2015 | World
Yousaf Butt

The fountainhead of Islamic extremism that promotes and legitimizes violence lies with the fanatical "Wahhabi" strain of Islam centered in Saudi Arabia. And if the world wants to tamp down and eliminate such violent extremism, it must confront this primary host and facilitator.

The Battle for Islam

Soumaya Ghannoushi | Posted 01.27.2015 | World
Soumaya Ghannoushi

Does the situation of present-day Muslim society, marked by crisis, tensions, foreign interventions and political despotism, foster the reformist democratic Islam, or does it promote its violent and theocratic rivals?

Why Is ISIS Our Fight if the Front Line States Are Not Committed to It?

David Paul | Posted 01.25.2015 | Politics
David Paul

Why, if the front line nations most under threat are reluctant to rise to their own defense, should we be struggling to do it for them.