Religion and Global Society

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In a twist of events one could hardly imagine in a horror film, a boat owned by smugglers deliberately destroyed their human cargo. They rammed into a rickety boat jammed with four or five hundred migrants (who had paid them a minimum of $2000), capsizing it instantly. Over one hundred children and many more adults perished in the instants that…
16 September 2014

Things Not As They Seem

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The above title could be said about much of life. As St. Paul writes, “We see through a glass darkly.” Here I want to discuss current events in the Mideast, first in Egypt, and then the issue of the Islamic State. Looking through the eyes of western media outlets and consulting insider sources yield quite a different picture. Consulting the…
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 A couple of weeks ago Duke University Arabic professor Mbaye Bashir Lo attended Friday prayers at the Grand Mosque of Niamey, Niger. Originally from Sudan, he’s doing research on militant Islam in West Africa this summer. What he heard the preacher say startled him: “These are troubling times: there is killing everywhere, and certainly, these are signs of the end…
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If you’re like me and plan to enjoy a cup of coffee tomorrow morning, we will be in the company of 1.6 billion others across the globe. Coffee is one of the most traded commodities on the planet – at more than $100 billion a year! Still, 70 percent of that coffee was hand picked and processed by small farmers…
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  This past week the world remembered with sorrow and a twinge of guilt the tsunami of carnage that descended upon Rwanda twenty years ago. In just 100 days, over 800,000 mostly Tutsi men, women and children had been massacred in cold blood. A year or so later, Archbishop Desmond Tutu addressed a mass rally brought together by Rwanda’s new…
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  Mofed, an Iraqi Christian now a refugee in Amman, Jordan, tells of Muslim gunmen barging into his photo shop in Baghdad and giving him an ultimatum: convert to Islam, or pay a $70,000 tax (jizya), or be killed. It was then that he and his wife packed up and fled. More than sixty percent of Iraq’s million plus Christians…