Religion and Human Rights

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From one angle, human history is an unbroken chain of strong nations invading, abusing and controlling weaker nations. With time they lose their grip, weaken and fall prey to other rising powers; and the cycle goes on. Empires rise and fall, and as young male lions compete, sometimes to the death, for the honor of leading a “pride” of mostly…
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We now come full circle in this trilogy on the “impossible Islamic state.” Two months have elapsed since the second installment and only a couple of weeks ago a dramatic event took place that “puts the icing on the cake” in a way that I could never have anticipated. Ghannouchi himself in his opening speech to his party’s (Ennahda) Tenth…
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In the first installment of this blog we looked at Wael Hallaq’s The Impossible State (2013) and in following the assessment of two reviewers, Lama Abu-Odeh and Andrew March, we felt Hallaq helpfully highlighted some of the challenges of pressing traditional Islamic legal norms into the service of a modern nation-state. On the other hand, his rather rigid and dogmatic…
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Translating Ghannouchi’s book (“The Public Freedoms in the Islamic State”), as I stated before, has forced me to delve into political theory. Keep in mind that if you want to get a handle on the contemporary islamist movement in all its variety, you will have to think about issues related to the modern nation-state and democracy. My title here comes…
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Two events have taken place since I wrote the second installment of this trilogy of blogs on Sheikh Rached Ghannouchi. The first one has global implications: the Oslo Nobel committee, to everyone’s surprise, awarded the Nobel Peace Prize to the Tunisian Quartet, four civil society groups who had banded together to pull the country back from the brink of civil…
27 September 2015

Glenn Beck, Can We Talk?

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Glenn, I’ve never met you, but I just read your new book, It IS about Islam. Congratulations to you and your team for a well-written book, with good sources (though very selective), and a great passion for the welfare of our country! Can we talk about it? As someone who lived for sixteen years in Algeria, Egypt, and Israel/Palestine, and…