Is Peace Religious or Secular?

October 30, 2020

Reporting on yesterday’ horrendous knife attack in Nice’s cathedral, Al Jazeera defined the context: “The incident comes amid growing tensions between France and the Muslim world over French President Emmanuel Macron’s recent speech wherein he said Islam was in ‘crisis’, and amid...

Macron Claims Islam Is in “Crisis.” Erdogan Disagrees

October 27, 2020

In France, Samuel Paty was beheaded on October 16 near Paris. He was a history teacher who had shown caricatures of Prophet Muhammad to his students in a lesson on freedom of speech and freedom of conscience. Paty’s killer, Abdullakh Anzorov, is an 18-year-old of Chechen origin. He arrived in...

The Daily Devil’s Dictionary: “Laïcité” in France

April 25, 2018

In France, laïcité became enshrined as a fundamental principle through a 1905 law applying to all religions. French society — and specifically the traditional left — is undergoing a raging cultural battle around a sociological and political concept encapsulated in the word laïcité, which...

The False Sense of Secularism Behind France’s Burkini Ban

August 26, 2016

France’s veiled prescription of what Islam should be is a poor guise of secularism for the country’s citizens and migrants. Burkinis are “not compatible with French values,” said Prime Minister Manuel Valls on August 17. He was defending the French mayors who have recently banned the...

Turkey: East Meets West or a Third Way?

October 30, 2013

90 years after its foundation, Turkey still has the potential to reconcile the East-West divide. Four days in Istanbul is a revelatory experience for someone used to living in Egypt. No matter how appealing the oft-described East-meets-West hybrid may be as a concept, to realize it is always going...

Tunisian National Interest: Serving Whom? (Part 2/2)

October 27, 2013

Tunisia struggles to define who the bearer of national legitimacy is. This is the last of a two part series. Read part one here. The business world has also made its entrance in this field. “There is no allegiance except to Tunisia” (La wala’illa litunis), say immense billboards in all of...

Tunisian National Interest: Serving Whom? (Part 1/2)

October 15, 2013

Tunisia struggles to define who the bearer of national legitimacy is. This is the first of a two part series. Tunisia is currently experiencing an intense hyperbolization of political sentiment. The glorification of the flag originates from multiple factors. Since the first demonstrations...

Considering the Options for Western Intervention in Syria

September 03, 2013

Syria's future may not be better off with regime change. Once again, the West seems to be teetering on the edge of invading a Middle Eastern country that is revolting against a Ba’athist government. However, there is still a great deal of uncertainty that would make a military operation...

The Muslim Brotherhood: What Next?

August 09, 2013

Entering negotiations is the most likely scenario for the Muslim Brotherhood. The removal of President Mohammed Morsi and the crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) has raised many questions concerning the future of the movement in Egypt, given that it had worked since the 1970s to try to...

Can the Arabs Do Democracy?

August 08, 2013

Any effort by the West to muscle in on the Arab world will be disruptive in unpredictable ways. We all know the beer-hall refrain, as the images from Cairo, Damascus and Baghdad flash across the flat screens: "The bloody Arabs can't do democracy." "It doesn't work like...

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