Religion News

The Power of Japan’s Religious Party

Dec 04, 2014
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s victory in the upcoming December 14 general elections is expected. But the extent of the political foothold of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) will be dependent once again on the support of the Soka Gakkai, the massive Buddhism-based organization that dominates Japan’s religious landscape.

ISIS Says the Quran Allows Enslaving Women. Will Clerical Leaders Respond?

Oct 14, 2014
"Islamic State militants crossed a last possible boundary of decency by citing the Quran as authority for the barbarism they have been practicing against women. Equally disturbing, Arab leaders and the ulama, the clerical leaders of Islam, have been silent in the face of this effrontery," writes Haleh Esfandiari.

The Iranian Sphere of Influence Expands Into Yemen

Oct 09, 2014
"The implications of events in Yemen extend beyond its borders. If the Houthis secured Bab Al Mandab and the sea in Al Hudaydah governorate, another strategic waterway, they would control the traffic from the Suez Canal and the Persian Gulf, a sobering prospect for those worried about increased Iranian influence in the region,"

Why Kobani Matters

Oct 09, 2014
"Thundering air power can be daunting, but sometimes the effect is more psychological than physical. Big costly bombs fired by big costly warplanes have been knocking a fair number of “armed vehicles,” which may be little more than a pick-up truck with a weapon mounted on the back. But they have not yet set back the ISIS campaign in Syria," writes Robin Wright.

Iran’s Dinner Diplomacy

Sep 30, 2014
"It’s crunch time for diplomacy on Iran’s controversial nuclear program." Last year, President Rouhani answered Obama's question of possible coöperation on other matters with a "Persian proverb: 'Let’s raise the baby we just gave birth to before we have another.' This year, given the success of ISIS, the Iranians seem to be in a bit more of a hurry to get that process started" says Robin Wright.

Sexual Violence Under ISIS Control

Sep 25, 2014
"You should focus on 50% of the population, which is women, and see what is happening to them. You should mention them, you should have the courage to say 'yes this is done to our women; this is done to our sisters, daughters, wives...'" said Haleh Esfandiari.

Ironies in Obama’s U.N. Address

Sep 25, 2014
"As Washington teams up with autocratic regimes–some of which notoriously use the cover of their faith to justify unfair policies–the United States may have credibility problems among the very people it hopes to help," writes Robin Wright.

Americanasaurus and the March to War in Syria

Sep 25, 2014
"In the words of the late Fouad Ajami, I suffer from the prejudice of low expectations. I'll own up to it. But after watching the United States operate in this broken, angry, and dysfunctional region under both Republican and Democratic administrations, and considering our allies and enemies in this situation, we damn well better keep our expectations real," writes Aaron David Miller.

Obama Can’t Destroy the Islamic State Without Iran’s Help

Sep 24, 2014
"Nobody should underestimate the challenge of defeating ISIL. But the prospect of this crisis leading to an alignment of U.S., Sunni and Iranian interests holds out the prospect of finally creating lasting stability in the Middle East," writes Jack A. Goldstone.

Central African Republic: Should the World Pay Attention?

Sep 18, 2014
"As the world focuses on the atrocities of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), a far more brutal scenario has been unfolding some 2,500 miles directly south of Damascus," writes Steve McDonald.

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