Middle East & North Africa

Democracies & Dirty Hands

But it’s important for the souls of democracies that, even as they must make nasty accommodations in pursuit of a wider good, that they fully admit to themselves this reality, without self-delusion.

Marksism — No. 39: Barth, Bonhoeffer, and an Ayatollah
Marksism — No. 39: Barth, Bonhoeffer, an Ayatollah, and Ethics

We’re going to discuss three pieces from Providence this week. Firstly, an interview with Joshua Mauldin at the Center for Theological Inquiry at Princeton, regarding his new book on Karl Barth, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, and modern politics. Secondly, we will discuss Paul Marshall’s piece on the Ayatollah Sistani and Islamic rule, or Islamic rule in Iraq. And finally, Marc LiVecche will share about his own piece on integrity.

Baghdeda, Qaraqosh, Al-Hamdaniya: Three Names for One Assyrian City
Baghdeda, Qaraqosh, Al-Hamdaniya: Three Names for One Assyrian City

Pope Francis’ visit to Iraq was the first of its kind in papal history. The remaining Christians in Iraq long anticipated his visit, including to an Assyrian city just 23 miles (37 kilometers) east of Mosul.

Western Media Misunderstand Grand Ayatollah Sistani’s Views on Religion and Politics – Pope Francis – Islam
Western Media Misunderstand Grand Ayatollah Sistani’s Views on Religion and Politics

Western media rightly praised Pope Francis’ historic trip to Iraq for opening new doors in Christian-Muslim relations. But they misunderstood Grand Ayatollah Sayyid Ali Husaini Sistani’s views on religion and politics.

Egypt Must Secure Minority Rights before Celebrating Religious Freedom
Egypt Must Secure Minority Rights before Celebrating Religious Freedom

While Sisi has made some improvements, stating that Egypt has achieved some advanced level of religious freedom or pluralism is fantastical and premature.

Will Arab Allies Seize Opportunity to Get COVID-19 Vaccines to Palestinians?
Will Arab Allies Seize Opportunity to Get COVID-19 Vaccines to Palestinians?

Palestine’s regional Arab allies, not Israel, should lead efforts to secure vaccines for the Palestinian population. The current crisis presents an opportunity for Arab countries to build goodwill internationally and support the Palestinian people by providing vaccines to the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Pope’s Visit Offers an Opportunity for Christians in Iraq
Pope Francis’ Visit Offers an Opportunity for Christians in Iraq

Hopefully, Pope Francis’ trip to visit the Christians in Iraq will not only lift their spirits but also inspire change so that they can stay and prosper in their ancient homeland, which would benefit all of Iraq.

Erdogan’s Fury over the Arab-Israel Relationship
Erdogan’s Fury over the Arab-Israel Relationship

The normalization between the Arabs and Israelis diminishes Turkey’s role as the chief mediator between Israel and the Muslim world, so Erdogan’s anguish probably comes from fear of an “Arab option.”

Advocating for Persecuted Christians Should Be a Non-Partisan Issue
Advocating for Persecuted Christians Should Be a Non-Partisan Issue

As the United States continues its political transition, many in the human rights advocacy community anxiously await tangible signs, beyond rhetoric, that the cause of international religious freedom will remain a policy priority for the Biden administration.