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Describing the Size of Islam in America

The article, Figures on Faith, discusses new efforts to gather information about the actual number of Muslims living in the United States. For many years, there has been a debate about the size of the Muslim communities in America. Past surveys put the numbers quite low, worrying Muslims that they may not have a substantial […]

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The RAND Study on Insurgency in the Muslim World

Earlier this year, the RAND Corporation issued a study of the threat of “Islamist” insurgencies: “War by other Means – Building Complete and Balanced Capabilities for Counterinsurgency.” The press release for the new study is also a summary of the main idea: “U.S. Lacks the Capability to Counter Insurgency in the Muslim World.” The language […]

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Did the New Yorker Insult Muslim Americans?

It is rather incomprehensible that the New Yorker actually intended to insult Muslim Americans , despite showing the Obamas as flag-burning militants in the White House. The fact that the cover of the July 21, 2008 issue of the magazine has offended Barack Obama and countless Americans may speak precisely to what the New Yorker's cover […]

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The Dalai Lama Defends Islam and Tells Americans Like It Is

On Sunday, July 13, the Dalai Lama gave a public talk at Lehigh University as part of a "series of teachings," which takes place from July 10-15. The public talk, held yesterday (on the topic of "Generating a Good Heart"), also allowed the Dalai Lama to answer questions from the audience, which had been earlier […]

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China, The Olympics, and Religion

China, The Olympics, and Religion

There have been two interesting news stories related to China's "religion policies' in the weeks leading up the Olympics. One development concerns Sino-French relations, and the Chinese Ambassador to France's warning that "there would be serious consequences" for their relations if President Sarkozy meets the Dalai Lama. Apparently, just meeting the Dalai Lama is an […]

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Women Bishops

On June 23, this blog discussed the Anglican divide over homosexuality. Now, this week has seen another contentious issue resurface in the Church of England. The General Synod met this year from July 4 to July 8 and voted on Monday, July 7 to approve the appointment of women bishops in Britain. The BBC News […]

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The ICG Report on Egypt's Muslim Brothers

In June of this year, the International Crisis Group published a report titled, "Egypt's Muslim Brothers: Confrontation or Integration?" , particularly looking at confrontation in the context of long-term stability. In the world of politics and religion, the question always seems to come back to "confrontation" and whether domestic politics can tolerate the religious foundations […]

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Terrorist Profiling and Muslim Organizations

The Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) issued a statement last Thursday about the Department of Justice's aim to update the Attorney General Guidelines. MPAC reported that besides for its own organization, other groups, including the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) and the Arab American Institute (AAI), are concerned by developments in the drafting of the new […]

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Women Muftis in Syria

According to the Institute for War and Peace Reporting (IWPR), Syrian women are happy that men will no longer be the only gender occupying the position of mufti. In June, according to IWPR, Arabic-language news sites reported that Grand Mufti Ahmed Badreddin Hassoun "announced that female graduates of Islamic law colleges are being trained to […]

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Kashmir Today: Land Transfers or Covert Plots?

Kashmir Today: Land Transfers or Covert Plots?

AlJazeera.net continues its coverage of the violent clashes in Indian-administered Kashmir (particularly in Srinagar), which have already lasted more than eight days. It reports that the violence stems from protests over a “controversial plan to transfer land to a Hindu trust organization.” The aim was to provide 99 acres of land to the Shri Amarnath Shrine […]

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The U.S. President's Faith-Based Initiatives

The U.S. President's Faith-Based Initiatives

According to President Bush's speech at the National Hispanic Prayer Breakfast on June 26, his administration "has provided unprecedented support for the compassionate work performed by faith-based and community groups." He continued this thought by saying that the "government can hand out money, but government cannot put hope in a person's heart." The President remarked […]

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The World's Weakest States: The Impact of Religion

Foreign Policy and Fund for Peace have published the 2008 Failed States Index. The main goal of the Index is to assess the vulnerability of states to slide towards further violence and chaos. There are twelve indicators of state vulnerability, which can be found here. At the top of the Index (most failed) is Somalia, […]

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Real Unity or Mere Campaign Slogans: Obama and American Muslims

Presidential Candidate Barack Obama still has the support of a majority of American Muslims, but a New York Times article from June 24, 2008 questions whether there is a "disconnect between Mr. Obama's message of unity and his campaign strategy." One reason for questioning his sincerity is Obama's failure to visit a single mosque during […]

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Conservative Anglicans: The Divide over Homosexuality

The Lambeth Conference for bishops of the Anglican Communion (held once a decade) will take place from July 20 to August 2. This year, however, a real divide has emerged, and according to an article in the New York Times, "a quarter of the bishops are expected to boycott the conference and attend a rival […]

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Islamic Feminism in the Context of Religious Dialogue

Several posts on this blog have discussed the place of dialogue and cultural understanding in world politics, specifically in the context of religion. Recently, a newsletter of the Organization for Defending Victims of Violence (ODVV is an Iranian human rights organization) raised the question of Islamic Feminism. In this regard, Hiba Arshad, the author of a […]

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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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