Features

The Pope Has Left the Island

  By Nora Connor Pope Benedict completes his pilgrimage to Cuba today, having wrapped up his “pastoral” visit to Mexico, in which he tidily summarized that nation’s struggles with the drug war-industrial complex:
The pope also addressed Mexico’s struggle against violence...

Intense Friendliness: Kids, Cults and Criteria

by Ashley Baxstrom NYU Local reported last week that city students have a lot more to worry about than midterms and the rising price of lattes: dangerous CULTS want to steal your soul, body and money! According to the post--less an article than a humorous piece, the author admitted to...

Identity, Crisis: Shari’a Law in Nigerian Politics

by Alex Thurston In 1999, Nigeria made global headlines when Northern states began re-implementing “full shari’a,” i.e. Islamic law codes that included criminal penalties for acts like theft, adultery, and drinking alcohol. The shari’a project in Northern Nigeria caused further controversy when...

Religion and Real Estate in New York City

By Fred Folmer Should religious groups be allowed to worship in New York City public schools? This question is at the heart of an ongoing issue involving church leaders, congregants and public officials, who are challenging a decision by the Bloomberg administration and Department of Education to evict churches that use school buildings for their worship...

Boko Haram in National Perspective

By Alex Thurston Violence by Boko Haram, a rebel sect in Northern Nigeria that claims to be waging an Islamic jihad against the Nigerian state, has killed over 900 people since 2009, including over 250 in 2012 alone. Domestic and international analysts...

Gray Barker, the Men in Black, and North Carolina
Amendment One

By David Halperin You are David Halperin. It’s 1960, and you’re twelve going on thirteen, and although you’ve noticed for a while now that there are exciting differences between girls and boys, it’s only recently you’ve begun to grasp that this fact might have some relevance to you.  Your mother is sick with heart disease—slowly dying, though...

America’s Muslim Anxiety: Lessons from The Third Jihad

The past week has witnessed an escalating political crisis within the New York Police Department, sparked by the revelation that over a thousand officers viewed an Islamophobic film as part of a training exercise.  The Third Jihad (view trailer here) was produced by the Clarion Fund, a New York-based non-profit that first gained...

Books Among Righteous Men

By Matthew Shaer Last June, a federal judge in Washington ordered the Russian government to return to the Lubavitch-Chabad Hasidic movement a sizable library of religious texts and documents which had been seized by Bolshevik authorities in the 1920s. The library was later obtained by the Nazis, before finally ending up—in 1945—in the hands of...

Shifting Politics in the World’s Newest Nation

By Alex Thurston South Sudan, though less than six months old as an independent nation, already faces challenges to its political and cultural unity: rebels abound, opposition groups denounce the ruling party, and ethnic tensions simmer. Christianity has provided a powerful platform for political mobilization in the region’s past, and churches continue to represent the strongest...

Making Alevism:
Lawfare, Secularism and The Secular

A response to Markus Dressler's essay, "Making Religion Through Secularist Legal Discourse: The Case of Turkish Alevism" On a rather chill afternoon in March of 2005, I sat across from Ali Bey, the president of the Cem Foundation,...

Taking Tocqueville and Darwin for a Ride

By Nathan Schradle If something like a “Global Civil Society” ever becomes a reality (I’m picturing a giant face made of thousands of tiny robots, like in the Matrix Revolutions… only hopefully slightly less hell-bent on the destruction of the human species), it may want to give a huge shout-out to the year 1831....

Painting a State of Suspension

by Narges Bajoghli “The Chronicle of Her Innocence” by Bahar Behbahani at NYU Abu Dhabi 19 Washington Square North, New York, NY 10003 September 29, 2011 – January 27, 2012 “I, and only I, am responsible for what I recall and see, not individuals in the past who could not have known what effect they might have on...