Islam

With an authorization looming in Congress for our ongoing war against the so-called Islamic State, a muddled conversation has sprung up about the group’s relationship to mainstream Islam, its relationship to American and European policy in the region, and the military and political measures needed to counter it. Graeme Wood interviewed scholars and activists to shed light on what ISIS is trying to accomplish and why. His resulting story—a long tour through the theology, history, and practice of this particularly brutal offshoot of Salafist Islam—is alarming, not least to Wood himself.
February 18, 2015

(RNS) Deah Barakat took my class “Islam in the Modern World” at North Carolina State University a few years ago. He was curious about Islamic history and contemporary spiritual and political movements, and he was great in class discussions. I’ve taught thousands of students in the last 11 years here, but Deah stood out for his enthusiasm, kindness, calm demeanor, and obvious charisma. Deah Barakat, Yusor Abu-Salha, and Razan Abu-Salha were the very best of people. 
February 16, 2015

(RNS) Ostensibly, the horrific attack against Charlie Hebdo in Paris was because of the publication’s satirical images of the Prophet Muhammad. But to view the assault as simply about images of Muhammad is to accept a long-standing narrative about Muslim sensitivity to portrayals of Muhammad, which plays into conceptions of Muslims as superstitious savages.
January 8, 2015

The prospects for genuine democracy in Egypt are more remote than ever. But there are other models of Islamic politics in the region.
September 9, 2013

I agree with everyone everywhere: Fox News's "why would a Muslim write about Jesus???" interview of Reza Aslan was pretty lousy stuff, yet he handled himself quite well, and good for him for selling more books because of it. All correct. Yet I'm puzzled by what both Aslan's on-air defense and many subsequent commentators imply: that academic/professional credentials inform a person's writing to the exclusion of personal convictions.
July 30, 2013

Pages