Tagged with Islam

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

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

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

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

Is Sex Slavery Legal in Islam?

Is Sex Slavery Legal in Islam?

In my recent post about al-Azhar and the doctrine they spread around the world, one reader offered this question in the comments: Someone I know wrote an article about Islam recently and made the statement that, according to his knowledge, official Islam has never condemned the action of ISIS soldiers in raping Yazidi women. He … Continue reading

Friday Prayers for Egypt: New Proposals

Friday Prayers for Egypt: New Proposals

God, Egypt is debating significant changes. Give her the wisdom to walk the right path. Some have proposed the constitution be amended to allow the president a six-year term. Others say leave the constitution alone, and implement it. Some have proposed the marriage age be lowered to 16 to legalize longstanding practice. Others say there … Continue reading

A Primer on Salafism III

A Primer on Salafism III

Salafism is often wrongly criticized. But it can be rightly criticized also. The first post in this series emphasized how it is often a popular (meaning of the people) expression of Islam. The first essay here shows how this happens, though I think it errs in conclusion. The second doesn’t even err, because it doesn’t … Continue reading

A Primer on Salafism II

A Primer on Salafism II

  If you have been introduced to Salafism in the news or in often critical analysis, two figures are generally named. The first is Ibn Taymiyya, who you won’t likely know much about but may understand he is the source of all Muslim things violent. The second is Mohamed ibn Abdel Wahhab, and you may … Continue reading

A Primer on Salafism

A Primer on Salafism

Muftah recently published a special collection of essays on Salafism, under the premise that the popular, conservative, and terrorism-linked interpretation of Islam is often misunderstood and unfairly judged. I agree, though there are certainly aspects to judge thoroughly. Six essays were provided –  most helpful, some mixed, and one awful. I’ll provide excerpts to save … Continue reading

Islam and the Bigotry of Conviction

Islam and the Bigotry of Conviction

The Muslim World (TMW) is one of the leading academic journals covering Islam worldwide. Strange it would call its own history “bigoted”. It was founded in 1911 by Samuel Zwemer, a founding father of Protestant missions in engagement with the oft-rival monotheistic faith. Now published by Hartford Seminary, like much of the Protestant mainline its … Continue reading

Pope Francis, Islam, and Peace-Building

Pope Francis, Islam, and Peace-Building

This interview was first published at Informed Comment. Dr. Kamal Boraiqa is a lecturer at al-Azhar University and a member of al-Azhar Center for Dialogue, the al-Azhar Observer for Combating Extremism, and the Egyptian Family House. With a PhD from al-Azhar in Islamic Studies, he has served as an imam at the Santa Rosa Islamic … Continue reading

They Will Know We are Christians by Our Drinks

They Will Know We are Christians by Our Drinks

This article was first published in the April print edition of Christianity Today. The deadliest incident faced by the persecuted church last Christmas wasn’t radical Islamists. It was alcohol. Liquor mixed with aftershave killed about 50 people at Christmas parties in a Pakistani village, and sickened about 100 more. In Pakistan, as in many Muslim-majority … Continue reading

What Jesus Can Teach Muslims Today

What Jesus Can Teach Muslims Today

The New York Times carried a very Christian op-ed recently, penned by a Turkish Muslim. Mustafa Akyol is one of Turkey’s leading journalists, and argues that the crisis in the Muslim world today can be solved by turning to Jesus as example. But first, a primer for those who don’t know the basics: While Muslims … Continue reading

Friday Prayers for Egypt: Divorce and Authority

Friday Prayers for Egypt: Divorce and Authority

God, You know best the worth of a woman. You know what is timeless, you know what is cultural. Help Egypt to know as you do, and act accordingly. Troubled by rising divorce rates, the president pushed for reform. Hoping a standardized process might curb rash decisions, he asked administrative witness and registration be made … Continue reading

Islam, Jihad, and Syria

Islam, Jihad, and Syria

Two days ago I shared my new article at Christianity Today contrasting Muslim and Christian polls about eschatology. As ISIS surged in the Middle East, it activated also Christian visions of Armageddon. But it is good also to look at the raw material. This article by Josh Landis contains many interesting tidbits on how Syria … Continue reading

Who Awaits the Messiah Most? Muslims

Who Awaits the Messiah Most? Muslims

This article was first published in the Jan-Feb print edition of Christianity Today. Jesus did not show up to defend ISIS—and the first to celebrate was a Muslim. “The [ISIS] myth of their great battle in Dabiq is finished,” Ahmed Osman, a Free Syrian Army officer, told Reuters in October after coalition forces drove more … Continue reading