While the U.S. remains the 800-pound gorilla in international relations, not everything occurring in the international realm comes in response to events in the U.S. This goes double for events in the Middle East. Reports that Saudi Arabia maintains current high production levels of oil despite . . . . Continue Reading »
I will start out politely, with the traditional As-salaam-u alaykum, peace be to you, and I will even use the title you have given yourself, and I will try to keep this note brief, for I can only imagine the press of your days, what with trying to manage a nascent state, and a fractious staff, and . . . . Continue Reading »
The Syrian refugee crisis has metastasized to a crisis for more than just the refugees. With at least one of the terrorists responsible for the slaughter of innocents in Paris having gained European entry from among the cohort of evacuees fleeing the Levant, the fear that the refugee crisis could . . . . Continue Reading »
Take a look at the photo below, which appeared recently on Instagram. It’s the photo of a page from the New Testament — Acts 25, which recounts St. Paul’s trial before Festus. The page, seared into a bookshelf, is all that remains of the Bible that once contained it. ISIS recently burned . . . . Continue Reading »
ISIS is only the latest (and certainly most barbaric) interpretation of a current in Islamic thought known as Salafism—an originalist approach to Islamic law and creed that relies exclusively on a narrow reading of the Qur’an and the hadith. In Saudi Arabia, these ideas were first introduced by a man living at the end of the eighteenth century: Muhammad ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhab.
How can ISIS’s Caliph al-Baghdadi vindicate such deeds, raping and enslaving non-Muslim women? The answer is most likely that he cites sacred texts to support his acts, along with revered precedents. Continue Reading »