religious conflict

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I think it is interesting that in just a few days we heard from the daughter of Emir of Qatar that MENA radical intervention into Syria was turning into a ruination of a legitimate struggle because of the violence and barbarism of the religious extremists. Then we heard from the daughter of Khomeini, father of the Iranian Revolution, that the current leaders may be ruining the revolution and replacing it with a dictatorship. What’s up with the new daughters of MENA? These women are not radicalized hippie eighteen year old children of farmers from the countryside. They are from the top elite of each country’s leadership. What gives with these women’s preference for nonviolence? Could this be a kindler, gentler effect of the Arab Spring? Or perhaps the culmination of longer processes at work? 

The answer is that the slow and steady increase of women’s voices …

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Syria’s Christian Conundrum

by mgopin on June 8, 2012 · 6 comments

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by Hind Kabawat, CRDC Senior Research Analyst and Expert on Conflict Resolution

This article was originally published by CNN here.

One of the most perplexing aspects of the Syrian revolution is the deep ambivalence felt by so many of the country’s Christians when faced with the prospect of freedom after four decades of authoritarian dictatorship. Some Christians have enthusiastically embraced the prospect of democratic change and a more open civil society, but many have not.

As a Christian, this provokes a great deal of sadness in me and others who are committed to transforming Syria into an open, democratic, inclusive, secular and religiously tolerant society. But the problem is that many, if not most, Christians in Syria do not believe that this will be the outcome of changing the regime.

On the contrary, they believe the present regime — corrupt and repressive as it has been — is the …

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Price tag attack on J’lem church provokes religious condemnation.

 


Here is in excerpt from my latest article co-authored with Aziz Abu Sarah.

…So now we have Christian funds from the United States that have effectively supported the misguided second and third generation settler youth who are actively attacking churches and referring to Jesus as a son of a whore. If this is what Pastor John Hagee and other radical Christians intended, then it suggests a rather bizarre theology of interfaith love and care. It seems in reality that these funds are intended to foment conflict, to promote a confrontational, apocalyptic and messianic end to the State of Israel….


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This article was originally published on January 18th here.

At the beginning of December 2011, the Center for World Religions, Diplomacy, and Conflict Resolution at George Mason University convened a meeting of over twenty world famous Islamic scholars and dignitaries together with over one hundred and twenty clerics from every province of Afghanistan. The event was unprecedented in the history of Afghan conflict resolution. Never before had anyone brought together the beleaguered Imams of the Afghan provinces, men who had stood up for peace and risked their lives to fight against the misuse of their religion. These men stood witness as colleagues, who dared stand up at Friday prayer and advocate for Islam’s commitment to nonviolence, for women’s rights, and for tolerance, were assassinated by radical forces in the region and neighboring states whose only purpose was to keep the war going and Afghanistan divided. Nevertheless, these men …

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I grew up in a world of blessings and curses, and I mean a world of radically elaborate blessings and curses. I speak of course of the Yiddish world, the world of Jews from Eastern Europe. It surrounded me and was in the air all the time. The incredible creativity in describing problematic people attests to the chief complaints about women and men. The sheer number of names for a useless person, a shlemiel, a shlemazel, a shmendrik, a pisk malocheh, and much worse, all very colorful. Jews never held anything back in their criticism of each other, which naturally psychologists might see as internalized persecution.

 

Some people I knew had a very hard life with bitter disappointments and losses. They used to call many people “chaleria”, which later I would learn meant roughly, “a piece of Cholera”. Many people were requested to …

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Notice the pattern of conflict escalation, the role of religion, the focus on sexuality, women and the boundaries of group power, all focused on women, and all rather removed from any real spiritual matters. This is a classic example of religious rioting.

Like many recent episodes of Muslim-Christian violence here, the strife began over rumors of an interfaith marriage. Muslims in the neighborhood said a former Christian had left the church and married a Muslim. They said they had heard that she had been abducted and detained inside the church of St. Minas against her will, reflecting a pattern of accusations that has recurred in several recent episodes of sectarian conflict.

Christians in the neighborhood said that the story was a fiction, that there was no such woman in the church.

Both Muslims and Christians involved in the fighting said that early Saturday evening a relatively small group of Muslims

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Recent sputterings of a peace process between Israel and Palestine, the termination of Israel’s settlement building freeze causing a demise of said peace process — again — has produced a loud, global yawn. What else is new in this endless conflict? Negotiations cannot succeed without a vision, and there is no widely shared vision of peace among these people that could truly spur their politicians forward.

The hardest part of building peace for the future is freeing oneself from the wounds of the past that create brutal behavior in the present. One way forward may be to suspend skepticism for just a moment, to free the mind to build a world of practical possibilities should peace be achieved. Armed with this imaginative exercise it might become easier to lobby for practical ways forward.

Let’s imagine the following: official creation of a state of Palestine on the West Bank and Gaza

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Chaim Pearlman in court Wednesday.

via ‘Not enough evidence to convict suspected Jewish terrorist Pearlman’ – Haaretz Daily Newspaper | Israel News.

Helping Jews move beyond the Holocaust to the Rule of Law

You see this face? This is the face of an angel. I see the face of an angel. This is what I spent most of my life thinking of and dreaming of as the face of an angel. His name means ‘life’ and I grew up feeling that he was preserving the ‘life’ the soul of our people. That is what we were doing in Kollel, the learning halls of perpetual study. I grew up worshiping the Ben Toah, the student of Torah, a young person of study, humility, gentleness, that has  been a prototype of ideal Jewish life going back thousands of years. He has early ancestors in generations of youth going  back to the …

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AP: New al-Qaeda leader lived in U.S. for years – USATODAY.com.

— A suspected al-Qaeda operative who lived for more than 15 years in the U.S. has become chief of the terror network’s global operations, the FBI says, marking the first time a leader so intimately familiar with American society has been placed in charge of planning attacks.

Adnan Shukrijumah, 35, has taken over a position once held by 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who was captured in 2003, Miami-based FBI counterterrorism agent Brian LeBlanc told The Associated Press in an exclusive interview. That puts him in regular contact with al-Qaeda’s senior leadership, including Osama bin Laden, LeBlanc said.

Shukrijumah (SHOOK’-ree joohm-HAH’) and two other leaders were part of an “external operations council” that designed and approved terrorism plots and recruits, but his two counterparts were killed in U.S. drone attacks, leaving Shukrijumah as the de facto chief and

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Great article on the Islamic Center controversy in Manhattan. It has hard to think of a better example of the tragic nature of crucifixion than the shadow cast on Imam Rauf, and Daisy Khan, two of the most visionary and progressive Muslims that I know. Alas, it is in the context of legitimate New York feelings, mourning, that is stirred recklessly by politicians and ideologues with other agendas. Arthur Miller, The Crucible, understood this so well. It is exactly why all abuses in Israel devolve into emotional and manipulative appeals to the Holocaust. Legitimate feelings, illegitimate persecutions. The story of humanity.…

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