The founding principle of the United States is that it is based not on blood and soil but on a universal idea of strength through diversity, a sense that state and society can flourish because and not in spite of their differences. President Trump’s pejorative remarks against four congresswomen trample on this vision of America.
There was little surprise, then, that the House of Representatives took the rare step yesterday of formally rebuking the president. He had urged the women, three of whom were born in the United States, to “go back” to where they came from…THETIMES
When Pope Francis I visited Egypt in 2017 to stimulate inter-faith dialogue he walked into a religious and geopolitical minefield at the heart of which was Al-Azhar, one of the world’s oldest and foremost seats of Islamic learning. The pope’s visit took on added significance with Al-Azhar standing accused of promoting the kind of ultra-conservative Sunni Muslim Islam that potentially creates an environment conducive to breeding extremism….more: lobelog
With 10 candidates onstage, their answers limited to 60 seconds and most of the candidates unwilling to engage one another, the debate was less a debate than a series of one-minute speeches….more CNN
Arabs are increasingly saying they are no longer religious, according to the largest and most in-depth survey undertaken of the Middle East and North Africa. The finding is one of a number on how Arabs feel about a wide range of issues, from women’s rights and migration to security and sexuality…more: bbc
Mohamed Morsi was not supposed to be Egypt’s first civilian president. During a term in office that lasted just one year, Egyptians would jokingly refer to him as the “spare tire,” because he was a last-minute replacement for the preferred candidate of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt’s first presidential election after the Jan. 25, 2011, revolution. (The movement’s initial choice was a powerful millionaire and businessman who was disqualified on a technicality.) …more: nytimes
Eight years after the Arab Spring transfixed the world, the Middle East has once again lit up with protest. In April, popular movements in Algeria and Sudan forced the ouster of two long-serving autocrats: Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, who resigned on April 2, and Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, who was removed from power on April 11.
These uprisings show obvious parallels with the 2011 revolution in Egypt that led to the resignation of President Hosni Mubarak. In both…MORE: foreignaffairs
It is probably no coincidence that the sudden, violent crackdown on protesters in central Khartoum followed a series of meetings between the leaders of Sudan’s military junta and autocratic Arab regimes that are actively attempting to shape the country’s future…MORE THE GUARDIAN
Armstrong, ‘Muhammad: A Prophet for Our Time’ NPR: (Listen) NPR: Armstrong, ‘Muhammad: A Prophet for Our Time’ When the Pope spoke of jihad, and when Danish cartoonists published caricatures of a violent prophet Muhammad, Karen Armstrong blamed “Islamophobia.” The author…
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One of Hollywood’s many ugly truths is that, for all its claims to be a progressive industry, it has relied heavily on racial and ethnic stereotypes, catering to and shaping the prejudices that are prevalent amongst its audience. This is especially true when it comes to who it chooses as its villains….more: BBC