As the bombs fall and bullets fly, the people turn and run for their lives. Hospitals are overwhelmed. People are forced to sleep in the streets. Small children are at the mercy of events that are beyond their comprehension yet are all that they have ever known. It is just another day in a Palestinian’s life, but this is not Gaza. This is Yarmouk, a Palestinian refugee settlement in southern Damascus, and the world has hardly noticed its suffering…MORE: THE TIMES
It is, of course, absurd to argue that the existence of Islam has had no independent impact on the Middle East or East-West relations. Islam has been a unifying force of a high order across a wide region. As a global universal faith, it has created a broad civilization that shares many common principles of philosophy, the arts, and society; a vision of the moral life; a sense of justice, jurisprudence, and good governance — all in a deeply rooted high culture. As a cultural and moral force, Islam has helped bridge ethnic differences among diverse Muslim peoples, encouraging them to feel part of a broader Muslim civilizational project. That alone furnishes it with great weight. Islam affected political geography as well: If there had been no Islam, the Muslim countries of South Asia and Southeast Asia today — particularly Pakistan, Bangladesh, Malaysia, and Indonesia — would be rooted instead in the Hindu world….
Remember too, that virtually every one of the principle horrors of the 20th century came almost exclusively from strictly secular regimes: Leopold II of Belgium in the Congo, Hitler, Mussolini, Lenin and Stalin, Mao, and Pol Pot. It was Europeans who visited their “world wars” twice upon the rest of the world — two devastating global conflicts with no remote parallels in Islamic history.
Some today might wish for a “world without Islam” in which these problems presumably had never come to be. But, in truth, the conflicts, rivalries, and crises of such a world might not look so vastly different than the ones we know today….more at: foreignpolicy.com
A major in-depth study examining how teenagers in the UK are using the internet and other mobile devices says the benefits of using such technologies far outweigh any perceived risks. The findings are based on a large-scale study of more…