Can Polygamy be Curbed in Islam?

Can Polygamy be Curbed in Islam?

Islam grants a man the right to take up to four wives, as long as he can provide for and treat them equitably. As it has been explained to me, the original allowance came early in Muslim history when the male population was greatly reduced by warfare. Some Muslims argue the original reason for revelation … Continue reading

A Christian Death in the Western Desert

A Christian Death in the Western Desert

Egypt suffered another terrorism setback this week, as a shootout with militants in the Western Desert resulted in the death of at least 16 policemen. That is the official, government tally. International media reported much higher figures, though the government dismissed their numbers and an alleged recording describing the chaos in the field, saying they were … Continue reading

Friday Prayers for Egypt: Starts and Fits

Friday Prayers for Egypt: Starts and Fits

God, It can be difficult to begin again. Promising signs give way to more trouble. Egypt is looking to rebuild after several hard years of revolution. Be with her. The president has launched a new administrative capital city to house government by the end of the decade. But will it end as previous efforts, Cairo … Continue reading

Islamists Elsewhere

Islamists Elsewhere

The Atlantic has an insightful piece on the history of American engagement with political Islam. It is written by authors previously recommended as scholars of the movement. The whole is worth reading, but here is an excerpt describing non-Arab Islamist success — outside of the political process. It is often assumed politics and governance is … Continue reading

The Public Spectacle of a Slain Coptic Priest

The Public Spectacle of a Slain Coptic Priest

This article was first published at World Watch Monitor. The images are horrific. Fr. Samaan Shehata, a 45-year-old Coptic Orthodox priest lay dead on the ground, stabbed and beaten by a young man wielding a meat cleaver. Blood dripped down his face into his long, black beard. Dirt discolored his flowing, black robe. His cross … Continue reading

Wisdom and Foolishness in Abrahamic Faith

Wisdom and Foolishness in Abrahamic Faith

“Knowledge is power,” is an oft-repeated saying. In an information economy this makes perfect sense, and our educational system is geared to develop know-how. Wisdom, on the other hand, sometimes seems a neglected virtue. It is the realm of philosophers, maybe, who have little to do with practical life. Or religion, often considered a private … Continue reading

Copts in Egypt’s Textbooks

Copts in Egypt’s Textbooks

  There is a general understanding that Egypt’s Christians are marginalized in the educational curriculum. An additional idea is that this came during an Islamization period in the 1970s, or perhaps during Nasser’s presidency. A researcher examined this question and described them on Mada Masr. Here is his evaluation: Based on an analysis of Egyptian … Continue reading

Is the Muslim Brotherhood Linked to Violence?

Is the Muslim Brotherhood Linked to Violence?

The link between the Muslim Brotherhood and the ongoing terrorism in Egypt is a controversial question. The government says yes, the MB leadership says no, and Western analysts appear split on the issue. Some see the Brotherhood as the fount of all Islamist violence, others note decades of proclaimed nonviolence in a gradualist strategy to transform … Continue reading

Friday Prayers for Egypt: Mashrou3

Friday Prayers for Egypt: Mashrou3

God, Some people have a project. Others like to project. And some just like to sing. Judge between them, God. Their intentions and their cause. An upscale district in Cairo invited a popular Lebanese band to a concert festival. The lead singer is well known as a homosexual. Some in the crowd raised a rainbow … Continue reading

Muslims Work for Religious Freedom, in Italy

Muslims Work for Religious Freedom, in Italy

Some of the articles I’ve written concern interfaith efforts to secure religious freedom, particularly in Muslim nations. Two days ago, the Saudi-based Muslim World League met with the Italian Minister of the Interior to best secure Muslim rights in the traditionally Catholic nation. In a helpful explanation from the 2016 US Report on International Religious … Continue reading

Friday Prayers for Egypt: United Nations

Friday Prayers for Egypt: United Nations

God, Significant things happened within Egypt this week. A prisoner was acquitted after four years detainment. Two churches reopened after security concerns. Police station spot inspections were begun by parliament. But the president was in New York at the United Nations, significantly negotiating the path of the nation. He earned praise for helping un-divide the … Continue reading

Did the Muslims Conquer Jerusalem?

Did the Muslims Conquer Jerusalem?

Did the Muslims conquer the Middle East? History says they did, from both the Western and Islamic perspectives. Much of the self-understanding of modern civilization has been built upon this premise, the resulting Crusades, and eventual colonization by European powers. Some fear there are signs of a renewed animosity between the Western and Muslim worlds, a … Continue reading

Friday Prayers for Egypt: Militant Human Rights

Friday Prayers for Egypt: Militant Human Rights

God, Egypt is abuzz over human rights allegations, accusing security of systemized torture. Egypt is ablaze in militant conflict, attacking security in systemized violence. Clarity, God, and safety. Settle the challenges Egypt must face. The government refutes the charges of torture, stating any examples are individual, investigated, and prosecuted. It states the research into the … Continue reading

Saudi Arabia’s Neighbor Defends Religious Freedom of Individuals

Saudi Arabia’s Neighbor Defends Religious Freedom of Individuals

This article was originally published by Christianity Today, on September 13. The cause of religious freedom received a significant boost from the Muslim world today. The island Kingdom of Bahrain—connected by bridge to Saudi Arabia—has declared “freedom of choice” to be a “divine gift.” “We unequivocally reject compelled observance,” states the Bahrain Declaration for Religious … Continue reading

A Long Good-Bye, From Far Away

A Long Good-Bye, From Far Away

Today, September 12, would have been my mother-in-law’s 67th birthday. Tayta, as our children call her, passed away six months ago. She fought courageously through two bouts of cancer, and the first time she triumphed. The second time, she succumbed. We remember her well, but the relationship will never be the same. Complicating things completely … Continue reading