Foreign Policy Blogs

Defense & Security

Victims of Marriage

Victims of Marriage

Over the past few days, there have been update reports about the case of the potential forced marriage of a British resident, who returned to her home in Bangladesh. Dr. Humayra Abedin, a trainee general practitioner, had apparently been imprisoned in her family's home in Dhaka since August. Now, the new Forced Marriage Act in […]

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60 Years of Universal Rights

60 Years of Universal Rights

December 10 was the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. As usual, the leaders at the UN took the opportunity to remind the world's governments of their obligations and responsibilities to protect the most vulnerable. The Declaration's aim has been to ensure human rights for everyone – regardless of their race, gender, […]

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The Patriarch's Funeral

The Patriarch's Funeral

Yesterday was the funeral service for the patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church, Alexy II, who died of a heart attack at age 79. According to RIA, the patriarch is “credited with leading a revival of the Church after the fall of communism.” He officially became patriarch in 1990. As he came to lead the […]

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After Empowering the Extremists

Asif Ali Zardari, the President of Pakistan, has replied to the current pressure on his government by reflecting on "the challenge of confronting terrorists." In an editorial printed in the New York Times, Zardari discusses both the global scale of the current war against extremists and the particular price that Pakistan that has had to […]

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3 Million Pilgrims

Today is a very holy day for Muslims around the world. Nearly three million Muslims have gone yesterday to Mount Ararat during the annual hajj pilgrimage, and today is Eid al-Adha. In English, it is called "Feast of the Sacrifice." The majority of pilgrims have been praying for the forgiveness of their sins, but of […]

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Religious Conflict or Retribution?

Religious views, if extremist, can lead to conflict. On the other hand, conflicts can make religions appear extreme , actually tarnishing the faiths themselves. This past week, the horrific images of death and devastation in Mumbai have significantly changed the world's perception of the war on terror. Instead of recognizing the events as truly international […]

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Restricting Totalitarian Religions

This week, Kazakhstan's parliament has accepted a new law that would amend the country's current law on religion. The deputies in the Majlis unanimously approved the text. The bill must now be approved by President Nazarbaev. The standard analysis is that since Russia amended its law on religion, the Central Asian countries have been following […]

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Changing Dynamics in Pakistan and Turkey

What are the political trajectories of Pakistan and Turkey? An article in Middle East Times looks at how analyzing Pakistan and Turkey can "shed light on some of the changing political dynamics within Muslim countries." The article compares and contrasts the experiences in the two countries, where "the role of religion in state affairs" has […]

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Religious Peace Building

David Little , a Professor of Religion at Harvard Divinity School , published an article titled "Religion, Conflict, and Peace." This blog has included so far a lot of news analysis about conflicts and wars that apparently have their foundations in religious extremism. For this reason, I have found Professor Little's analysis of religion and […]

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More "Dialogue"

A two-day meeting at the UN, the "Culture of Peace," was the initiative of the King of Saudi Arabia. It was a large faith-based conference to promote inter-religious dialogue. The result has been a consensus resolution of the UN General Assembly. According to the UN News Centre, the meeting joined the leaders together to "decry […]

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Majoritarian Extremism?

The Inter Press Service News Agency published last week an article on religion in India, titled "Secular Fabric Under Threat." The author , Praful Bidwai , discusses a Hindu-chauvinist terrorist network, which police are now starting to understand better after two months of investigations. Bidwai writes that there are organizations and individuals "tied together by […]

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Christians Fight in Jerusalem

Christians Fight in Jerusalem

You have probably seen these images on the news by now. The Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem erupted in a huge brawl on Sunday when Armenian and Greek orthodox began to fight for space in the church. The worshippers believe that it is the site of the crucifixion and contains the tomb of […]

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Meeting with Rebels

The question of “meeting rebel leaders” (or rogue states) has been at the front of international diplomacy over the past few years – particularly with the public debate in the United States about Obama's potential meeting with Iranian President Ahmadinejad “without preconditions.” When is it advisable for the diplomatic process to include rebels – or even terrorists? Two days ago, […]

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The 2008 U.S. Elections: Conservative and Religious?

The 2008 U.S. Elections: Conservative and Religious?

As Barack Obama makes history by becoming America's first African-American president, the election took other more conservative turns. Same-sex marriage bans were passed in California, Florida, and Arizona. Arkansas also passed a measure that would bar homosexual couples from adopting children. (South Dakota did however reject an abortion ban for the second time in two […]

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Bad for Religion: Politics

Eric Gorski has written a fascinating article about religion in the 2008 elections. The main premise is that this year's politics has unfortunately used religion as a weapon to divide and mock. The country really became obsessed with the ideas of fringe religion and what the mainstream set of religious beliefs “should” be. On this election day, it is worth reflecting on how […]

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