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Who Blames Religion and Why?

In October, GulfNews published in five parts various excerpts from John Esposito and Dalia Mogahed's analysis of the recent Gallup survey of the world's Muslims. The title of the book is "Who Speaks for Islam?: What a Billion Muslims Really Think." In fact, the book is based on the largest ever survey conducted of Muslims. […]

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Book Review: The Islamist by Ed Husain

The final sentence of this book is: "The future of Islam is being shaped now." The Islamist (published 2007) is an autobiographical portrait of a young man's journey from being a rejectionist to a patriotic British citizen. Along the way Ed Husain learns about the hypocrisy of fundamentalists "who enjoy British life while calling for […]

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A New Interfaith Network

A New Interfaith Network

The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) has convened a two-day Global Forum of Faith-Based Organizations in Istanbul. The main result was the formation of an Interfaith Network on Population and Development. The goal was "to strengthen cooperation against the global urgencies of maternal death, AIDS, and poverty." The press release says that the Global Forum […]

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Prayer Disputes in the United States

Prayer Disputes in the United States

A recent article in the Wall Street Journal looks at how the American workplace accommodates religious differences. Phred Dvorak specifically addresses events in Colorado and Nebraska last month when meatpacking plants "fired about 200 Muslim Somali workers who walked off the job over prayer disputes." Dvorak writes that the United States is seeing is a […]

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Anti-Christian Violence in Iraq

There are approximately 700,000 to 800,000 Christians in Iraq, and in recent weeks, the violence against this religious community has intensified. Some reports say that "it is the work of Al Qaeda." However, a senior Iraqi Interior Ministry official has said, "there are no indications that Al Qaeda is involved in forcing Christians to flee." […]

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The New Religulous

The New Religulous

As you may already know (or have seen it), Bill Maher – with director Larry Charles (from ‘Borat’) – has made the new movie Religulous. It came out on October 3. In an interview, Maher described his approach to the movie as confronting people of faith. He said, “In America, every politician gets on the […]

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Controversial Deities

Controversial Deities

At the beginning of October, Al Jazeera reported on the fascinating developments surrounding the Dalai Lama's ban on the worship of Dorje Shugden , a "500-year-old Deity." The news centered on the tension among Tibetans in India over the issue – and also how the Tibetan exile government says that Shugden worshippers are terrorists linked […]

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Can "Islamicisation" Lead to the Miscarriage of Justice in Afghanistan?

The Institute for War and Peace Reporting has a new article about growing international concerns that the Afghan judiciary is "composed of religious hardliners with Taleban sympathies." The article looks at two convictions that are based on violations of Islamic law and points out that "some have suggested that the cases expose what they see […]

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Encouraging Interest in Holy Books

The Bible is the topic for the current World Synod of Bishops, which brings together Roman Catholic bishops from October 5-26. The goal is to encourage more interest in the Bible, and John Travis, with the Catholic News Service, has written that the decision was taken after bishops reflected on the fact that "only a […]

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Does the Defamation of Religion Make Sense?

On Friday, Fox News and Jennifer Lawinski took a critical look at a General Assembly Resolution 62/154 on religion, which was first adopted in 2007. The resolution, "Combating the Defamation of Religion," intends to prevent speech that offends religion. Fox News, although certainly not the highest authority on issues concerning the United Nations, does provide […]

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Germany Opens its Mosques to the Public

It has been reported that more than 100,000 visitors attended Germany's "Open House Day for Mosques" on Friday. It is the 12th yearly open house (since 1997), and the program was organized by the Central Council of Muslims in Germany. It was also German unification day. Around 2,500 exhibitions were organized, and some reports linked […]

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Eid for Bangladesh Means Peace and Unity

Eid for Bangladesh Means Peace and Unity

The most fascinating news story about the Muslim holiday eid al-fitr this year may concern Bangladesh. The AFP reported that Muslims in Dhaka were praying for free and fair elections, and the head of the emergency government, Fakhruddin Ahmed, "called for peace." The country has been under emergency rule since January 2007, and there are […]

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Terrorism for the Holidays?

I try not to make this blog too much about incidents of terrorism or about the violence that results from religious extremism, but it is such a tragedy to see the pictures coming out of Iraq today. We have become almost blind to the many suicide bombings there, but it is so devastating to think […]

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Freedom of Speech or Freedom of Religion?

Apparently, the world should now choose between freedom of expression or the freedom to practice religious belief without being insulted. Egypt's Foreign Minister told the General Assembly a few days ago that speech is “being used to incite hatred based on religion.” His full statement before the 63rd session of the General Assembly can be […]

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Diverse Faiths Unite to Say NO to Violence Against Women

There is more news about religion, politics, and the United Nations. This past Thursday, Religions for Peace launched a new partnership with UNIFEM (the UN Development Fund for Women) “to engage communities of faith around the world to lead efforts to end violence against women.” Part of this cooperation entailed signing on to the “Say […]

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About the Author

Karin Esposito

Karin Esposito is blogging on religion and politics from her base in Central Asia. Currently, she is the Project Manager for the Tajikistan Dialogue Project in Dushanbe. The Project is run through the Geneva Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies with the support of PDIV of the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs. The aim of the project is to establish practical mechanisms for co-existence and peaceful conflict resolution between Islamic and secular representatives in Tajikistan. After receiving a Juris Doctorate from Boston University School of Law in 2007, she worked in Tajikistan for the Bureau of Human Rights and later as a Visting Professor of Politics and Law at the Kazakhstan Institute of Management, Economics, and Strategic Research (KIMEP). Ms. Esposito also holds a Master's in Contemporary Iranian Politics (2007) from the School of International Relations of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Iran and a Master's in International Relations (2003) from the Geneva Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (GIIDS) in Switzerland.

Areas of Focus:
Islam; Christianity; Secularism;

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