Recently, New Zealand commemorated the Christchurch massacre, with politicians and civil society alike mourning so many who lost their lives when a far-right terrorist killed dozens at mosques in that island nation.
For decades, the main reason for the lack of normalisation of relations between the Israelis and the peoples of the region—Arabs, Kurds, Berbers among many other groups in the wide tapestry of the region—has been the lack of a just resolution to the ‘Palestine Question’.
No community wants to feel it is being engaged with because it is a “problem”—a “difficulty” that has come from “outside.” Rather, they want to be recognized as integral to the society of which they are a part, and given assistance in order to excel—not because the establishment fears them.
The current furor around France’s relationship with its Muslim citizens in recent weeks seems new, but contemporary European history would teach us otherwise.
Extremism of all types, and the abrogation of civil liberties on the altar of securitization, need to be opposed in the same breath. In so doing, people can deny extremists the victory they seek.
Far too many prominent European Union politicians, including those committed to liberal democratic values, no longer pause before pinning the blame for social problems on Muslim minorities.
There is a deepening of anti-Muslim bigotry in some pockets within Europe's mainstream institutions. This is of concern to anyone who considers pluralism to be a worthy value, not just in Europe. It is not clear that those who do are increasing in number.
The 2011 uprising in Syria totally transformed the religious establishment in Damascus. The regime sent into exile many prominent, influential religious figures who, forced to work from abroad, formed a religious opposition group called the Syrian Islamic Council.
It is wholly understandable why believers want to return to churches, mosques, temples, and synagogues for congregational prayer and spiritual comfort. But that doesn’t mean religious leaders have to act irresponsibly.
The religious sphere in Rural Damascus Governorate is poised to become a political battleground as both the regime and the exiled opposition seek to court a new rising group of religious leaders.