Articles on Islam

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Indonesian President Joko Widodo (centre left) shakes hands with his vice-presidential running mate, Ma'ruf Amin (centre right), during a meeting with supporters before registering their bid for the 2019 election in Jakarta, Indonesia. Mast Irham/EPA

‘Conservative turn’ will continue in Indonesian presidential election next year

Ma’ruf Amin's selection as Joko Widodo's running mate in his re-election bid means that politicians continue to accommodate the conservative turn among Indonesian Islamic groups to win votes.
Students at a madrasa in the Assaba region of southern Mauritania in May 2014. Michal Huniewicz

What are madrasa schools and what skills do they impart?

Madrasas, or Islam-centered schools, have long spread knowledge and literacy throughout the Muslim world. However, can they prepare students for today's tech-based economies?
Twentieth-century depiction of a victorious Saladin with Guy de Lusignan after battle of Hattin in 1187. Said Tahsine (1904-1985 Syria) -

Understanding the Crusades from an Islamic perspective

The Crusades have been stereotyped, creating a narrative that supports both Islamophobia and anti-immigrant sentiments in the West, as well as "Westophobia" and paranoia in the Muslim world.
More than 250,000 people took to the streets in a 2016 protest organised by hardline Muslim groups against Jakarta’s Christian mayor. Lauren Farrow/AAP

Is Indonesia retreating from democracy?

Indonesia has long been held up as a model of democratic transition in the Muslim world. This view of the country now needs rethinking.
The Wedding Feast at Cana, Paolo Veronese, 1563. Wikimedia

Is religion bad for democracy?

Our work on the International Panel for Social Progress has led us to conclude that religion is neither inherently pro-democracy nor inherently anti-democracy.
Under a canopy of Turkish flags, supporters of Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) attend an election rally in Gaziantep, eastern Turkey. Presidency Press Service via AP, Pool

Nationalism and piety dominate Turkey’s election

Turkey's snap election is on Sunday. One fact is clear: The candidates and electorate are both nationalist and pious. That's in contrast to the strict secularism of 20th century politics.
A mourner reads a sympathy card left for Anthony Bourdain at a makeshift memorial in New York. AP Photo/Mary Altaffer

Why religions of the world condemn suicide

Most religions have a fundamental belief that all human life belongs to God.
President Donald Trump sits down for an iftar dinner, in the State Dining Room of the White House. AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

Why Jefferson’s vision of American Islam matters today

As President Trump resumes an annual tradition of celebrating Ramadan, it provides a moment to remember that Islam has long been practiced in America.
A Muslim family breaks fast during the month of Ramadan. AP Photo/Chris Carlson

What are halal foods?

Food plays an integral role during the 30-day period of Ramadan. This Speed Read explains how Muslims determine what foods are 'halal,' an Arabic word that means 'permissible.'
Mural in Karachi. Pakistan multiple identities cannot be reduced to religious fanaticism. Wasif Malik/Flickr

Pakistan’s quest for identity: contesting Islam

Pakistan has often been misunderstood to be exclusively built upon a national Islamic identity, ignoring the multiculturality and divisive role of Islam in the definition of its national identity.

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