I try to hold on tight as my driver navigates his motorbike over a bumpy and muddy track. His helmet is decorated with a swastika and an eagle, part of an ill-inspired fashion trend called Nazi chic. It's symbolic for a country where hate and racism seen to have become normalized.
In a quiet street, the sound of children's voices can be heard from an open window. They are reciting verses of the Koran in unison. The small Islamic school lays hidden in a walled neighborhood where only Muslims live. This is an island of tranquility in Mandalay, the second-largest city of predominantly Buddhist Myanmar.
The rise in anti-muslim attitudes around the world prompted a special UN meeting Tuesday, just days before the inauguration of US President-elect Donald Trump whose controversial policies have drawn on anti-Muslim sentiments.
It is a Tuesday afternoon and only a handful of devotees have flocked to the Meera Grand Mosque in Katankuddi, about 300 kms east of the capital Colombo.
In November 2015 I visited Syria together with an International Peace delegation. This was my third visit to Syria in the last three years. As on previous occasions I was moved by the spirit of resilience and courage of the people of Syria.
Of all over-written, under-reported issues and regions, the Middle East is perhaps one of the oldest, outstanding ones.
The focus on terrorism is obscuring the issues of refugees, and it is important to consider its impact on Europe, after the shock of Paris.
The ‘West’ is a concept that flourished during the Cold War. Then it was West against East in the form of the Soviet empire. The East was evil against which all democratic countries – read West – were called on to fight.
More than 25,000 fighters seeking to wage “jihad” or an Islamic holy war have left home to join terrorist networks abroad.
The United Kingdom has been accused
of “sleepwalking” into the Ukraine crisis – and the accusation comes from no less than the House of Lords, not usually considered a place of critical analysis.
The “surprise” re-election of incumbent Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the Mar. 17 elections has been met with a flood of media comment on the implications for the region and the rest of the world.
A unique initiative – the Network Inclusion Leaders (NILE) project – has just held its second workshop here to set up a diversity and inclusion network for future leaders from among Germany’s ‘people of color’, or persons from different ‘non-white’ cultural backgrounds.
More senseless bombing of Muslims, more defeats for the United States-West, more ISIS-type movements, more West-Islam polarisation. Any way out?
The Uighur scholar Ilham Tohti was recently sentenced to life imprisonment on charges of separatism.
When, all of a sudden, ISIS (Islamic State in Iraq and Syria) emerged on the scene and in a matter of days occupied large swathes of mainly Sunni-inhabited parts of Iraq and Syria, including Iraq’s second city Mosul and Tikrit, birthplace of Saddam Hussein, and called itself the Islamic State, many people, not least Western politicians and intelligence services, were taken by surprise.
Magda Ibrahim first learnt that she had endometrial cancer when she went to a clinic to diagnose recurring bladder pain and an abnormal menstrual discharge. Unable to afford the recommended hospital treatment, the uninsured 53-year-old widow turned to what she hoped would be a quicker and cheaper therapy.
Which story line sounds the more credible – that linking the rebel movement ISIS (the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria) to policies pursued by Iran or that linking the Sunni extremist force to Iran’s adversary Saudi Arabia?
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has called on the Sri Lankan government to "take necessary measures" to prevent any further attacks against minority Muslims in the country.
The signs had been clear for months; beneath the veneer of normalcy in Sri Lanka’s southwestern coastal town of Aluthgama, religious tensions were brewing, but no one was sure how or when they would erupt.
Held in nine rounds over a period of several weeks, India’s national elections have been described as the most massive exercise in vote-casting worldwide.
Such stigma now surrounds the word ‘terrorist’ that most recoil from it, or anyone associated with it, as though from a thing contagious; as though, by simple association, one could land in that black hole where civil liberties are suspended in the name of national security.