Articles on Islam

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A delegate in traditional Uighur dress listens to a speaker during a meeting with delegates from China’s Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region in Beijing, AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein

The history of China’s Muslims and what’s behind their persecution

Muslims came to China in the 13th century and played an influential role. Tensions have escalated since 9/11, and the global community is largely silent.
The Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddien Mosque, one of the landmarks in Brunei. Brunei recently announced punishing gay sex by stoning offenders to death. AP Photo/Vincent Thian

Harsh punishments under Sharia are modern interpretations of an ancient tradition

Some Islamic nations, including Brunei, have harsh punishments under Sharia. In pre-modern times, Sharia was rarely used as criminal law, and standard of proof for any prosecution was very high.
Muslim clerics and members of the Pakistani Christian minority light candles to commemorate the victims of this week’s bomb blasts in Sri Lanka. Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the attacks. Rahat Dar/AAP

Friday essay: how Western attitudes towards Islam have changed

For centuries, Westerners viewed Islam as an inherently violent religion. But the struggle today, for all religions, including Christianity, is between liberals and conservatives, fundamentalists and moderates, reason and revelation.
A district employee carries a ballot box a day before distributing to pollings center in Bogor, West Java. Indonesia will hold its general elections on 17 April, during which the president, vice president, and legislative members will be elected. Adi Weda/AAP

Indonesia’s elections: why do they matter and what’s at stake?

Here is what you need to know about Indonesia's elections and what's at stake.
Jokowi has maintained a double-digit lead in most recent polls, but some moderate supporters have indicated they may stay away from the polls. Bagus Indahono/EPA

Indonesia’s presidential election: Is Jokowi ‘religious enough’ for conservative voters?

Indonesian President Joko Widodo has been burnishing his religious credentials ahead of this week's election. Will it be enough to beat an old rival, the firebrand populist Prabowo Subianto?
Conservative lawmakers in dozens of U.S. states have raised fears that Islamic fundamentalists want to impose Sharia on Americans. Reuters/David Ryder

Don’t blame Sharia for Islamic extremism – blame colonialism

There is no inherent tension between Islam and democratic values. Like any use of religion in politics, the application of Sharia as law depends on who is using it – and why.
A makeshift memorial at the Botanical Gardens in Christchurch after a gunman killed 50 worshippers at the Al Noor Masjid and Linwood Masjid. Mick Tsikas/AAP

We need to stop conflating Islam with terrorism

The arguments of far right commentators who conflate Islam with extremism are flawed. In the rich and complex tradition of Islam, extremists are a small minority who often target other Muslims.
New Zealand Muslims have come from several parts of the world, including Pacific Islands, Asian countries, the Middle East and Africa. AAP/Martin Hunter

From Mahometan to Kiwi Muslim: history of NZ’s Muslim population

Some of the earliest Muslims to settle in Christchurch during the 19th century have helped in the construction of Christchurch Cathedral and are part of the city's history of Christianity.
Senegal developed a diplomatic tradition after gaining independence from France. A.RICARDO/Shutterstock

The exception: behind Senegal’s history of stability

Senegal is important for Africa because it’s a country that shifts the narrative of the continent as an “arc of instability.”
Huseyin Celil is seen here with one of his youngest children in this 2006 photo taken shortly before his arrest. Creative Commons

The forgotten Canadian languishing in a Chinese jail

Another case involving an even more egregious violation of international law by China against Canada languishes largely forgotten. Huseyin Celil, a Canadian citizen, has been in jail since 2006.
A student on the campus of the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, trying out the hijab on World Hijab Day, 2017. AP Photo/Russell Contreras

Why Muslim women wear a hijab: 3 essential reads

For Muslim women, the hijab is not simply about religion. They may wear it for a variety of reasons. On World Hijab Day. women – Muslim and non-Muslim, are invited to experience this head covering.
Muslims can pray anywhere in the world using the prayer carpet. AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes

What are Muslim prayer rugs?

Trump recently tweeted about prayer rugs being left along the border. Many may not know the role and history of Muslim prayer rugs and why they are not likely to be left behind.

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