Religion and Global Society

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Like you, I’ve been glued to the media since Wednesday’s dastardly killings at the headquarters of the satirical French weekly. The outpouring of solidarity the world over has been impressive. The slogan “Je suis Charlie” has lit up both the streets and the social media. At first glance, this is understandable. Such a heinous crime against journalism (even if it’s…
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Modern day slavery is on the rise. In the 2014 UN Global Report on Trafficking in Persons (just published at this link) we read about the following tragic trends:   “Between 2010 and 2012 victims from at least 153 countries were detected in 124 countries worldwide” In the first report (2012) one out of four trafficked persons was a child;…
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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…