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.
Johannes Kapelle has been playing the organ in the Protestant church of Proschim since he was 14. The 78-year-old is actively involved in his community, produces his own solar power and has raised three children with his wife on their farm in Proschim, a small village of 360 inhabitants in Lusatia, Germany.
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?
While the Third World War has not been formally declared, conflicts throughout the world are reaching levels unseen since 1944.
The war in Syria has brought back to the forefront the concept of ‘jihad’, with tens of thousands of fighters currently waging what they believe to be a religious war there.
They say religion doesn’t mix well with certain subjects, but in the case of conservation and religion this old rule of thumb doesn’t seem to apply.
The girl band in Kashmir was silenced; the male bands are running into fears of another kind of silence.
The fifth global forum of the United Nations Alliance of Civilisations (UNAOC), founded to promote intercultural understanding and dialogue to bring civilisations closer, came to a close Thursday after two days of talks, at which world leaders restated their commitment to the Alliance’s ideals and pledged to build on the foundations it had laid to expand its work.
A UN summit designed to promote tolerance, plurality and global inclusiveness of civilisations has opened with dire warnings of the threat of religious and ethnic intolerance – at the same time as many states that have ostensibly signed up to the UN’s ideals continue to enforce laws and practices restricting religious freedom, and implicitly marginalising communities.
When Philippines President Benigno Aquino III delivered his annual state of the union address in July, he appealed to the country’s lawmakers to break a deadlock on progressive birth control laws in this predominantly Catholic nation.
The recent visit by Abd al-Halim Murad, head of the Bahraini Salafi al-Asalah movement, to Syria to meet with Syrian rebels is an attempt by him and other Gulf Salafis to hijack the Syrian revolution.
Measles outbreaks, which have killed at least 100 children in Pakistan’s militancy-hit border areas since May, have prompted calls by experts for better cooperation in territories adjacent to Afghanistan with international immunisation campaigns.
By ordering a ban on polio immunisation, in its strongholds along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border, the Taliban is holding up an ambitious global programme to rid the world of the crippling childhood disease, say World Health Organisation (WHO) doctors.