The greatest alliance: Where’s the Arab world going, and can Israel come?

We need to get out of the mindset that sees religious Muslims as antithetical to democracy, and that demands a conflict between Islam and progress. Muslims in the Muslim-majority world are already way beyond these stereotypes, and it’s time we get past them, too. [Read more…]

Indonesia: More to religious (in)tolerance than meets the eye

Reports showing increases in the number of religiously motivated attacks and discrimination in Indonesia against religious minorities, though troubling, don’t show the whole picture of the moderate and peaceful majority of citizens in the world’s most populous Muslim country. [Read more…]

Islamic art scholar Oleg Grabar: An underrated historian

Oleg Grabar, a professor emeritus at the Institute for Advanced Study who died on January 8, had a “profound and far-reaching influence” on the study of Islamic art and architecture during his sixty years of study. [Read more…]

Tunisia turmoil: Dare we hope for democracy?

The Cedar Revolution in Lebanon (2005), the Lawyers’ and Judges’ Mutiny in Pakistan (2007), The Green Revolution in Iran (2009) and the current Tunisian uprising are all answers to the question: why won’t Muslims do something about the democracy deficit in their world? [Read more…]

The Al-Rashid: Canada’s model mosque

Imagine a mosque that left gender segregation at its door, allowed women in leadership positions, and adapted to the culture of its host community. Then consider that Canada’s first mosque, the Al-Rashid mosque in Edmonton, Alberta, did all these things and more over seven decades ago. [Read more…]

Salman Taseer: Shot down for opposing the religious right

Few Pakistani politicians have had the courage to oppose blasphemy laws so openly and brazenly as Punjab Governor Salman Taseer, who was assassinated this week by a member of his own security detail for his political stance. [Read more…]