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Islamists

Soccer Pitches: An Emerging Battleground for Control of Iraq

James Dorsey | Posted 07.16.2014 | World
James Dorsey

Iraqi soccer pitches have emerged as an alternative battleground in the struggle for control of Iraq between the Islamic State, the jihadist group that controls chunks of northern Iraq, and embattled Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki.

In Response to Patrick Cockburn and Sir Richard Dearlove

Faisal J. Abbas | Posted 07.16.2014 | Politics
Faisal J. Abbas

In a recent article in The Independent, Patrick Cockburn made a number of wide and questionable assumptions relating to Saudi Arabia, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and the recent crisis in Iraq.

Islamic State Urges FIFA to Deprive Qatar of the World Cup

James Dorsey | Posted 07.09.2014 | World
James Dorsey

A purported letter by the Islamic State, the jihadist group that controls chunks of Syria and Iraq, has warned world soccer body FIFA not to hold the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, reviving concerns first raised in a FIFA security assessment warning two weeks before it was awarded the tournament.

A Frightening Precedent

Mohammed Fairouz | Posted 07.02.2014 | World
Mohammed Fairouz

The current situation in the Middle East is proof that ignoring a wound doesn't make it go away. Over three years of neglect from the international community with regards to Syria has destabilized that nation and its neighbors.

Squaring Soccer with Islam

James Dorsey | Posted 07.01.2014 | Sports
James Dorsey

Concern that the World Cup could lead to violations of Saudi Arabia's strict gender rules prompted authorities in the province of Mecca, home to Islam's holiest city, to remove public television screens to prevent men and women from mixing.

Sarajevo 1914 and New York City 2001: Is It Happening Again?

Ambassador Muhamed Sacirbey | Posted 06.26.2014 | World
Ambassador Muhamed Sacirbey

Sarajevo 1914 does not appear so distant, at least in terms of rhetoric and inclination to dehumanize the other. But, then perhaps our awareness has been raised to the danger.

Targeting Fans: Jihadists Get World Cup Fever

James Dorsey | Posted 06.22.2014 | World
James Dorsey

It's not just soccer fans whose football fever soars during a World Cup. So does that of militant Islamists and jihadists with deadly consequences. Scores of fans have been killed since this month's kick-off of the Cup in attacks in Iraq, Kenya and Nigeria.

A Basketball Guide to Middle East News

Dr. Elizabeth H. Prodromou | Posted 06.18.2014 | World
Dr. Elizabeth H. Prodromou

While ISIS has been fiddling and diddling, the chattering classes and elected officials in Washington have been spinning and dissembling, resorting to blamesmanship to assuage their panic over the human calamity and geopolitical cluster unfolding in the Levant.

Can Muslim UN Human Rights Chief Save Humanity From Itself?

Ambassador Muhamed Sacirbey | Posted 06.18.2014 | World
Ambassador Muhamed Sacirbey

The challenge for both Muslims and the international community is to counter the hijacking of the Muslim identity by extremists and also to respond to the victimization of all, including Muslims who are targeted by bigotry as well co-coreligionists.

The 9/11 Memorial Museum: Appealing to the Head or the Heart?

Todd Green, Ph.D. | Posted 06.09.2014 | Religion
Todd Green, Ph.D.

Is the 9/11 Museum worth visiting? Absolutely. Does the museum create a deeper understanding of why 9/11 happened and the global repercussions of the subsequent War on Terror? No, it does not.

Searching for Common Ground: Are Muslim Terrorists Islamic or Islamist?

Sarah Sayeed, Ph.D. | Posted 05.29.2014 | Religion
Sarah Sayeed, Ph.D.

Terrorism rightly breeds anger, grief, fear and anxiety, emotions that don't make for effective communication in any situation, much less across cultures. This is why it's important to collectively work harder to be compassionate with each other and to speak in ways that don't deepen divides.

Boko Haram's Ideology Key to Violence

Ida Lichter, M.D. | Posted 07.16.2014 | Politics
Ida Lichter, M.D.

Their brazen assault could act as a springboard for international engagement, not only aimed at curbing the violence, but also directed at the ideology that Boko Haram and other groups use to recruit followers, emulate each other and legitimize brutality.

Protecting Islam By Telling the Truth

Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf | Posted 07.12.2014 | Religion
Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf

Everything that Boko Haram is doing -- wanton killing of civilians, capturing and selling girls, denying that women should have an education -- is in stark violation of Islamic theology and law.The moral weight of Islam must be activated.

Ticking Time Bomb: Jordan's Islamists and the Rise of ISIS in the Hashemite Kingdom

Mathew Markman | Posted 07.12.2014 | World
Mathew Markman

A beacon of stability in the Middle East, the Hashemite Kingdom is perpetually challenged by the need to moderate between the monarchy's pro-Western orientation and the Islamist tendencies of the country's population.

Women Rights and Gender Equality

Majid Rafizadeh | Posted 07.09.2014 | World
Majid Rafizadeh

Many Iranian women activists who live in the Islamic Republic, and several of those campaigners whom I have interviewed, have shed light on the reality of women's rights under Rouhani's presidency.

What Is Boko Haram?

USA Today | Oren Dorrell | Posted 05.09.2014 | Religion

(RNS) Boko Haram is among the most vicious terrorist groups operating in North Africa, home to some of the worst Islamist extremists in the world. ...

Who Are the Boko Haram, and Why Is Nigeria So Slow to Act?

Andrew Lam | Posted 07.07.2014 | Religion
Andrew Lam

At the time of this writing, 276 of the girls that were kidnapped three weeks ago remain in captivity while 53 have escaped. On Tuesday, Nigerian officials reported that the group had struck again, abducting 11 more schoolgirls in the country's northeast region.

Has Putin Been Manipulating Energy Prices?

Ambassador Muhamed Sacirbey | Posted 07.06.2014 | World
Ambassador Muhamed Sacirbey

The crafting of Putin's new Euro-Asian vision -- in effect a new "Greater Russia" assembled from the remnants of the old Soviet Union in Central Asia and Europe -- has been greased by a pipeline delivery system under the Kremlin's control.

The Phobia of Being Called Islamophobic

Ali A. Rizvi | Posted 06.28.2014 | Politics
Ali A. Rizvi

When you're unable to introduce Pakistan-style blasphemy laws in a secular, Western society, you have to find alternative ways to silence those who offend you, right? And that's where the "Islamophobia" smear comes in.

Syrian Jihadists Employ Soccer as Propaganda and Recruitment Tool

James Dorsey | Posted 06.19.2014 | World
James Dorsey

Jihadists have found a new way of employing the game for propaganda and recruitment purposes. A recent jihadist video suggested that an apparent Portuguese fighter in Syria was a former French international who had played for British premier league club Arsenal.

Is Pope Francis Resurrecting Organized Religion?

Ambassador Muhamed Sacirbey | Posted 06.16.2014 | Religion
Ambassador Muhamed Sacirbey

Pope Francis in his first crucial year has exhibited a degree of humility that has given hope to masses and challenged the orthodoxy of a comfortably numb establishment.

Syria: High-Priced Economic Card for Iran?

Majid Rafizadeh | Posted 06.14.2014 | Politics
Majid Rafizadeh

Although the Syrian government and leaders of Hezbollah are offering differing signals from the Islamic Republic, Iranian leaders view the situation from another prism.

Surge in Executions and Human Rights Violations in Iran: Evidence of Rouhani's 'Moderate' Rule?

Majid Rafizadeh | Posted 06.04.2014 | World
Majid Rafizadeh

One of the most alarming trends indicating egregious human rights abuses has been the surge in executions, many conducted in public, under the presidency of the moderate Rouhani, particularly since the beginning of 2014.

Ukraine Crisis Bolstering Iran-Russia-China Axis

Majid Rafizadeh | Posted 05.28.2014 | Politics
Majid Rafizadeh

The tensions between Russia and the West have further ratcheted up this week since the Crimean Peninsula's local government called for a referendum to secede from Ukraine. The current standoff between the West and Moscow concerning Ukraine might be viewed as the gravest instance of tension in the post-Cold War era.

'Vying for Allah's Vote'

Ziad Haider | Posted 05.13.2014 | Books
Ziad Haider

Pakistan's Islamic parties have long wielded influence through street politics; political and, at times, ideological alliances with the army; and support to militant groups. They are key players that merit continued study. Vying for Allah's Vote examines their origins, ideologies, bases of support, and relationship with extremism and civilian rule.