In the World

The First Draft of History: Wire Agency Reporting in Egypt

by Maurice Chammah The editors weren’t pleased. It was too complex...It would be easier, they decided, to frame the story as one of religious hatred.

In the Shadows of Syria: Defusing Sectarian Tensions in Lebanon

by Irina Papkova For two weeks, Lebanon lived on the knife edge of a sectarian civil war. And here the truly interesting part of this story begins to emerge.

Calvin’s Geneva? The New International Discourse of Blasphemy

By Austin Dacey The Ad Hoc Committee on the Elaboration of Complementary Standards was meeting to address “gaps” in an international human rights treaty on racism and racial discrimination.
Schooling Muslims in Northern Nigeria: Politics, Policies and Conclusions

Schooling Muslims in Northern Nigeria: Politics, Policies and Conclusions

by Alex Thurston Government-run Islamic schools, then, are to be a source of “counter-radicalization” as well as a means of moving almajirai into more “productive” schools. But the policy is unlikely to succeed.
The Dalai Lama is Home

The Dalai Lama is Home

By Becky Rynor I was looking for the chink in that unfailingly optimistic armor, a moment of emotion from the man who was forced by invading Chinese forces to flee his homeland of Tibet in 1959.

Nigeria’s Islamiyya Schools: Global Project, Local Target

By Alex Thurston This is the fourth post in a series on Islamic education in Northern Nigeria. The first post gave an overview of the series, the second discussed Qur’anic schools, and the third talked about “traditional” advanced Islamic education, noting that traditions change over time. This post examines “Islamiyyaschools,...

“Traditional” and Reformist Practices: Advanced Islamic Education in Northern Nigeria

This post is the third in a series on Muslim schooling in Northern Nigeria. The first post gave an overview of the series, and the second discussed Qur’anic schools. by Alex Thurston In Nigeria, advanced Islamic education--the step following one's basic instruction in the Qur'an--takes various forms. Here, I'll examine the traditional settings for advanced...

Northern Nigeria: Qur’anic Schooling and the Almajirai

by Alex Thurston This is the second post in a series on Muslim education in Northern Nigeria. Read the first post here. Muslims believe the Qur’an to be the word of God as revealed to the Prophet Muhammad, a revelation that corrects and completes earlier Messages to Prophets such as Abraham, Moses, and Jesus. Muslims throughout...

Rolling the Dice: The Orthodox Church’s “Bet” on Putin

by Irina Papkova The recent Russian elections have highlighted the complicated relationship between the Orthodox Church with both state and society. In December, prominent clergy expressed their dissatisfaction with the evidently fraudulent nature of the parliamentary election, and even patriarch Kirill made statements that could be interpreted as calling upon Putin to reform the...

Riot in the Cathedral

  A review of The Orthodox Church and Russian Politics, by Irina Papkova. Oxford University Press, 2011. By Sean Guillory In late February, four members of the Russian feminist punk group, Pussy Riot, performed a “punk prayer” on the altar of Christ Our Savoir Cathedral, the seat of the Russian Orthodox Church (ROC). Their action, which included singing...

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...

Progress and Rat Poison in Morocco

Some rights gains are never permanent. By Amy Levin As the climate warms and the new season approaches, one might notice a comparatively calmer “Arab spring” this year. Distracted by presidential politics and plans to “Occupy Spring,” the revolutionary wave that shifted our gaze eastward last year...