Tagged with Turkey

There’s No One Christian View on Kurds and Turks

There’s No One Christian View on Kurds and Turks

This article was first published at Christianity Today on October 24. As reports circulated that Turkey had violated its five-day pause in operations against the Kurds on the Syrian border, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s rhetoric intensified. If Kurdish fighters did not withdraw from their positions, as agreed between Erdogan and President Donald Trump, Turkey would … Continue reading

Will US Genocide Resolution Satisfy Armenian Christians?

Will US Genocide Resolution Satisfy Armenian Christians?

This article was first published at Christianity Today, on November 1. Armenian Americans breathed a sigh of relief this week when the US House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved Resolution 296 to recognize the Armenian Genocide. Around 1.5 million Armenians were killed between 1915 and 1923, as the defeated Ottoman Empire transitioned into the modern Republic … Continue reading

Christians Killed on Syria’s Front Lines

Christians Killed on Syria’s Front Lines

This article was first published at Christianity Today, on October 11. Three Christians have been killed in Turkey’s assault on Kurdish-held areas in northeast Syria, reported In Defense of Christians (IDC), citing their sources on the ground. In Qamishli, a Syriac Christian and his wife died, while in Ras al-Ain an additional Syriac Christian civilian … Continue reading

Syrian Christians to US: ‘Don’t Abandon Us Now’

Syrian Christians to US: ‘Don’t Abandon Us Now’

This article was first published by Christianity Today on October 8. Not long after the defeat of the Islamic State in the area, Syrian Christians warn that US military withdrawal from the Kurdish-controlled region, announced yesterday by President Donald Trump, will expose them to danger. “The expected military invasion [by Turkey] and the possible confrontation … Continue reading

The Cost of Religious Freedom

The Cost of Religious Freedom

This article was originally published on September 20, 2018, and in the October issue of Christianity Today. This article expands my previous coverage of Andrew Brunson and the US-Turkish crisis to include also issues related to advocacy for Christians in Iran. Why did advocacy succeed for the drug dealers but not the pastor? And what … Continue reading

What Next for Syria?

What Next for Syria?

The conflict has turned a corner as the Syrian government regained control of Damascus and begins pushing into rebel-held areas. LobeLog interviewed Josh Landis of Syria Comment to ask him what happens next. The full interview is worth reading, but here are a few excerpts on competing regional policies. Turkey: Idlib was one of the … Continue reading

Friday Prayers for Egypt: Energy Hub

Friday Prayers for Egypt: Energy Hub

God, It has long been an ambition. Now it is becoming reality. But strange the one who makes it happen. Egypt is an energy hub. Not long ago she sold off share at cut rate prices. Not long after that she was begging fuel from international partners. Then an enormous natural gas field was discovered, … Continue reading

Friday Prayers for Egypt: Slow Boil

Friday Prayers for Egypt: Slow Boil

God, The waters of Egypt are simmering. Lower the temperature. The Nile is her lifeblood, and a dam in Ethiopia may impact historic share. But also threatened Sudan leans instead to Turkey, a Brotherhood-aligned adversary. The Israelis are her neighbor, and a president in America complicates the status quo. But the New York Times published … Continue reading

Islamism: Contextualist or Essentialist? Or Both?

Islamism: Contextualist or Essentialist? Or Both?

My new article for Providence Magazine. In an excellent review of Shadi Hamid and Will McCants’ Rethinking Political Islam, Olivier Roy says there are generally two ways to think about Islamism. Writing in Foreign Affairs, he first briefly introduces three important shockwaves—the Arab Spring, the fall of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, and the emergence … Continue reading

Friday Prayers for Egypt: Normalizing Ties?

Friday Prayers for Egypt: Normalizing Ties?

God, You desire good relations. But politics is often about particular interests, and sometimes relationships go sour. Sometimes they are damaged beyond repair. Perhaps in some cases, an outright break is necessary and best. So with Israel, Turkey, and the Muslim Brotherhood, God, help Egypt arrange her affairs properly. Feelers have gone out that perhaps … Continue reading

Friday Prayers for Egypt: Europe

Friday Prayers for Egypt: Europe

God, It is Egyptians who must determine their leadership. Bless her with enduring independence and government of the people. But Europe has a significant influence in legitimizing. President Sisi visited Germany and Hungary to strengthen ties and secure trade. Meanwhile a group of international Islamic scholars gathered in Turkey to give religious justification to resist … Continue reading

The Great Game

The Great Game

Growing up, I loved the game Diplomacy. Die-hard aficionados compete in hours-long, even days-long competitions vying for mastery of early 20th Century Europe. For both lack of sufficient passion — and players — I enjoyed the computer version. The basic premise is to be one of the seven great powers at the time — England, … Continue reading

The Muslim Brotherhood in England and Egypt

The Muslim Brotherhood in England and Egypt

London and Istanbul have become the new base of operations for the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood. Following the ouster of Brotherhood President Mohamed Morsi in 2011 and their subsequent banning in Egypt in December last year, the organization is recalibrating abroad. An early base of operations was Qatar, where the al-Jazeera network was widely perceived, even … Continue reading

Taming the Islamists

A friend of mine asked me the other day what I think of this quote from the Economist: ‘The best way to tame the Islamists, as Turkey’s experience shows, is to deny them the moral high ground to which repression elevates them, and condemn them instead to the responsibilities and compromises of day-to-day government.’ For … Continue reading