World Daily

Rethinking Mali’s Political Culture

by Alex Thurston The MNLA and Ansar al Din have dominated the headlines about Mali this spring and summer. But how have other Malian Muslims reacted to the crisis in the north, and to the partial “Islamization” of the conflict by Ansar al Din?

How Blasphemy Got Personal

by Austin Dacey Fifty-six years before Salman Rushdie’s The Satanic Verses thrust blasphemy into the spotlight of Western public discourse, the literary debut of a young medical doctor named Rashid Jahan was generating more excitement than she could have imagined.
Getting Past the Pirates

Getting Past the Pirates

Joe McKnight: The neo-colonial overtones of the Heritage Foundation’s report, “Saving Somalia: The Next Steps for the Obama Administration,” have obviously influenced U.S. foreign policy in the region.

Mauritania: Islamic Response to the Sahel Drought

By Alex Thurston 9/11 changed the trajectory of Islamic humanitarian agencies in Africa and around the world...The US government suspected some Islamic charities of not really being charities at all, but rather fronts for transnational terrorist funding.

Mass Wedding in Kano

by Alex Thurston A recent story from Nigeria, one that touches on both marriage and shari’a, offers the possibility of a more sophisticated analysis of marriage in Africa as well as shari'a law.
Al Shabaab: Where Do They Go From Here?

Al Shabaab: Where Do They Go From Here?

Joe McKnight Ever since Somali President Siad Barre’s government was removed from power in 1991, Somalia has lacked an effective central government.
Nigerian Universities: Islamic Studies in Secular Universities

Nigerian Universities: Islamic Studies in Secular Universities

By Alex Thurston Nigeria has around 100 universities, most of them public, and many public and private colleges. Various tertiary institutions in Northern Nigeria offer Islamic Studies, sometimes conjoined with Arabic.

In the World links, Unfinished Business edition

Nora Connor: In 2008 the Chinese government recognized the annual Qingming festival, or Tomb Sweeping Day, as a national holiday.

Education as Battleground: Schooling Muslims in Northern Nigeria

by Alex Thurston This post is the first of a series on Muslim schooling in Northern Nigeria. Steady acts of violence carried out by Northern Nigeria’s rebel movement Boko Haram, whose name is often translated in the press as “Western education is forbidden,” has put issues of Muslim education in the region into the international news. Coverage...

In the World Links: Lost & Found in Translation Edition

Nora Connor: In Poland, the Bhagavad Gita is now available in translation directly from Sanskrit to Polish, thanks to a “late-blooming” student’s doctoral dissertation. In Russia, an appeals court declines to ban the Gita as “extremist” religious literature. In time for Passover, check out the New American Haggadah, translated by Nathan...

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...

Be Mine

By Jeremy Walton   On February 14th, 1989, the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini sent what surely must have been one of the blackest Valentine’s greetings of all time to novelist Salman Rushdie.  Invoking somewhat dubious legal and theological authority—as a Twelver Shi’a, Khomeini could hardly claim to speak for all of the world’s Muslims—he called for Rushdie’s death on...