Posts Tagged ‘Islam’

christians-middleeast

This year’s Christmas sermon was originally going to be like last year’s and focus on an element of the Nativity tradition; instead, given current events and the popular reaction to them, I decided to go with a different subject – specifically, Islam and Christianity.

There is now, perhaps inevitably, a growing trend in some sections of Western commentary to see things in terms of a Muslim/Christian divide; or the idea, more specifically, that Islam is a threat or enemy towards Christianity. To some extent, there is a sub-sect within Islam – a radical, extremist ideology – that probably could be described as a threat to Christian interests or ‘Christian values’; but that same sub-sect is also the same threat to mainstream Muslim communities and ‘values’ too – probably more so, in fact. (more…)

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muhammad-ali-memorial-image

Watching the memorial service to Muhammad Ali on Friday was at times, as you’d expect, very poignant.

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malcolm1_magazinecover

This is an edited version of an older article, exploring the life and legacy of Malcolm X, including in relation to Martin Luther King and the two Kennedy assassinations. It is also about the 1960s as a cultural era, about his adoption of Sunni Islam and later Pan-Africanism, and about the time he almost brought the United States before an international criminal court…

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Saudi-flag

The death, at the beginning of the year, of King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, after a nine-and-a-half year reign and the accession to the throne of his half-brother, Salman bin Abdulaziz, seems to have marked no turning point in Saudi policy either at home or abroad.
With the change of rulers, things in fact seemed to have escalated to a worse state of affairs.

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yemen-civilians-poor

As the Saudi-led coalition continues to drop bombs on Houthi targets in Yemen, involving outside forces and interests once again in a Middle Eastern civil war, there are several points and questions that emerge from behind the narrative of ‘Operation Decisive Storm’.
Yes, this is a proxy war between between the Saudi-aligned powers and Iran and yes, Iran has supported the Houthi rebels in Yemen; but there’s more going on than that.

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malcolm1_magazinecover

“That whole thing about appealing to the moral conscience of America; America’s conscience is bankrupt. She lost all conscience a long time ago. Uncle Sam has no conscience. They don’t know what morals are. They don’t try and eliminate an evil because it’s evil, or because it’s illegal or because it’s immoral; they eliminate it only when it threatens their existence.”
“So you’re wasting your time appealing to the moral conscience of a bankrupt man like Uncle Sam. If he had a conscience, he’d straighten this thing out with no more pressure being put upon him…”

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mecca_mosque

The plight of blogger Raif Badawi in Saudi Arabia has garnered international attention, particularly in the context of the freedom of expression theme that became especially prevalent in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo  cartoon.
Badawi is facing a 10-year jail sentence (and I can hardly believe I’m having to say this in the 21st century, but 1,000 lashes in public) for the offense of expressing liberal, progressive ideas on his blog and therefore challenging the status quo within the oppressive kingdom.

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