Mariam goes free, at last, while some questions linger

Other than editors trying to figure out the correct spelling of her name, there were very few journalistic questions this past week when the long-suffering Mariam Ibraheem Ishag was finally spirited out of Sudan to freedom. Several people sent me notes to coverage of this event, with one stating the obvious in a note that [Read More...]

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Those pesky religious details in Palestinian-Israel conflict

I’m no expert on the fighting in the Gaza Strip. In fact, I’m typing this post with trepidation — hoping not to say something entirely stupid (yes, that’s a weekend softball for all my snarky friends). But seriously, I offer the above caveat before critiquing a front-page story in today’s Houston Chronicle on dueling rallies by [Read More...]

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Islam, ISIS and the FGM fatwa

Reporting from the front lines of the Middle East conflicts be a parlous experience if you are on the wrong side of the battle line. However not all of the no-go areas are geographically bounded. The topic of  Islam and female genital mutilation is a country few reporters are willing to enter. Cultural prejudices and politically [Read More...]

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An ISIS tax on Christians? The accurate word is ‘dhimmitude’

A month ago, I wrote a post about the events unfolding in Mosul and argued that journalists who covered this story — those brave enough to venture into the Nineveh Plain region — needed to grasp the meaning of the word “dhimmitude.” Yes, this is a controversial term. Yes, it is the right word to [Read More...]

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The Mosul purge: How good is the media coverage?

The purge of Christians from Mosul in northern Iraq — home to thriving Christian communities almost since biblical times — is a historic human rights abuse. Yet mainstream media have done comparatively little coverage on it, probably because they’re stretched thin with the twin stories of the airline shoot-down in Ukraine and Israel’s invasion of [Read More...]

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How should we define — and assess — atheism?

DANIEL ASKS: Is it becoming possible to be religious without believing in god? (the lower-case “god” is Daniel’s usage) THE RELIGION GUY ANSWERS: This is partially a repeat from March 22, 2013, when The Guy posted “Is atheism a ‘religion’? Is the Pope Protestant?” That headline indicated the idea seems ludicrous on its face. Yet, [Read More...]

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Latest box scores from France: USA 67 — Islam 19

Voters were no longer the subjects of politics, democratic citizens deciding the fate of their country. They were objects to be counted, studied, and counted again. The proliferation of polls had allowed almost any newspaper or televisions station in the nation to measure the feelings of any population. Measurement, not democratic debate, was becoming the [Read More...]

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Middle East stories: The territory includes religion

Terrorists may have declared a new Islamic state in Iraq and Syria, but coverage of their actions is all over the map. Some media fixate on the land or tribal alliances. Some dig into history or listen to Washington. Few look at religious roots of the conflict. The new angle is that the leader, Abu [Read More...]

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