Archive

Religion and World Politics part 20
ISIS and the Fight for Westphalia

As we enter May 2017, the city of Mosul, held stub­born­ly by ISIS forces, has still not fall­en. What has become a siege of the city is now a fight almost on a street-by-street basis for the old city.

Religion and World Politics part 17
Islam in China

As we speak today, the Chinese author­i­ties are crack­ing up a very very large-scale and what promis­es to be an inces­sant secu­ri­ty dri­ve in Xinjian Province in north­west China against what the Chinese gov­ern­ment calls Islamic extrem­ists. What in fact the Chinese gov­ern­ment means is it’s launch­ing a dri­ve against dis­sent from the Uighur peo­ple who’ve lived there for centuries.

Religion and World Politics part 13
Turkey and Gülen: The Priest and the Pasha

A num­ber of Islamic states had rev­o­lu­tions that turned them in a par­tic­u­lar post-war direc­tion. And in this post-war direc­tion the empha­sis was on two key things. The first was mod­ern devel­op­ment. In this sense it meant catch­ing up with the met­ro­pol­i­tan Western world. And the sec­ond dri­ving force behind all of this was the assump­tion that this would be best done by insti­tut­ing sec­u­lar states.

Religion and World Politics part 12
Boko Haram and Al-Shabaab

Is the much-vaunted issue of reli­gion only one of many fac­tors in play in these seem­ing­ly unstop­pable and seem­ing­ly atro­cious and unend­ing con­flicts in dif­fer­ent parts of Africa?

Religion and World Politics part 7
ISIS and the 4th Principle

In the hey­day of Islamic thought, of Islamic phi­los­o­phy, of dis­qui­si­tions about the mean­ing of Islam and its place in the world of knowl­edge, in the 13th cen­tu­ry, the thought of great Islamic thinkers also was that God and his text con­sti­tut­ed a first prin­ci­ple. All else was con­tin­gent upon this first prin­ci­ple. Second, third, prin­ci­ples, etc. were contingent.

Religion and World Politics part 6
The Advent of Al-Qaeda

Our tale begins in Afghanistan with the Soviet inva­sion in 1979. This came out of a blue sky, mil­i­tary speak for there were no clouds, there were no warn­ings. But sud­den­ly the Soviets invad­ed the coun­try in sup­port of a Soviet-inclined gov­ern­ment. But a gov­ern­ment which aroused huge resent­ments and resis­tance on the part of many many peo­ple in Afghanistan. 

Religion and World Politics part 5
The Siege of Mecca and Its Treacherous Consequences

If the 1979 Iranian rev­o­lu­tion was a turn­ing point in late 20th cen­tu­ry his­to­ry, what fol­lowed set the scene for a series of betray­als and revivals of the sort that the Western world could not have envisaged.

Religion and World Politics part 3
The Problems of Desacralization on the Path to a Post-Secular World

To sec­u­lar­ize the state is not sim­ply a mag­i­cal oper­a­tion that hap­pens at the wave of a hand. You’ve got to desacral­ize the state.

Religion and World Politics part 1

We’re look­ing at reli­gion as an orga­nized and above all insti­tu­tion­al­ized sys­tem of beliefs. The orga­ni­za­tion par­tic­u­lar­ly of tex­tu­al or oth­er record­ed teach­ings that form the basic faith frame­work of the reli­gion, and the insti­tu­tion­al­iza­tion which polices those teach­ings, polices the extent, the lim­its, and above all the inter­pre­ta­tion of what those texts might mean.

Forbidden Research: Rites vs. Rights — Islam, Women’s Rights, and Global Security

If we look at a lot of the things we’ve been speak­ing about today, be it genet­ic engi­neer­ing or the things that occur in our dai­ly lives, the chal­lenge of repro­duc­tive rights, or glob­al peace and secu­ri­ty, a lot of the stag­na­tion, a lot of the chal­lenges, are actu­al­ly root­ed either in the per­cep­tion of reli­gion or in the polit­i­cal manip­u­la­tion of religion.

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