Analysis

General Adib al-Shishakli with officers of the Syrian Army in 1953. Front row, to his left sits Head of State, President Fawzi Selu and General Aziz Abdul al-Karim. In the back seat, in glasses, is General Amin Abu Assaf, Riad Kaylani, and Mahmud Shawkat

Remember Syria’s President Adib Shishakli

Nearly 52 years ago, a Syrian political leader hiding in exile was killed in the heart of Brazil. As Syria watchers continue to monitor and understand the country’s grinding civil war, the era of the former Syrian political figure Adib Al-Shishakli could yield some clues. The flag of the Syrian opposition factions bares the green, white, and black tricolor with three red stars. The very same flag once flew over Syria from its independence until the late 1950’s, a turbulent era marked by political intrigue, military coups, early experiments with democracy, and authoritarian rule. At the center of this era…
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Some of the thousands of platinum mine workers reporting for work at a Lonmin, Anglo American Platinum mine in Marikana, South Africa, in June 2014, after a five-month strike in the sector. South Africa’s economy is seen bringing down the continent’s overall growth rate this year. PHOTO: ASSOCIATED PRESS

Legacy of Imperialism and Development Prospects in Africa

This essay argues that Africa is undergoing changes in its economies in the 21st century, not only because of the role that China is playing but owing to intense competition from other Western countries and the Middle East. China’s role is within the capitalist world economy and within the patron-client model of integration that the Europeans followed after African countries achieved their formal independence from colonization. During the second half of the 20th century, northwest Europe remained the conduit for African integration into the US-centred global economy, despite the role of US-based multinational corporations. According to Pew Research Centre polls…
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Al Khalifa wal Moqattam, Cairo, Egypt - MPC Journal/Hakim Khatib

Islam and the Enlightenment

The intellectual movement of the 17th and 18th century that became known as the Enlightenment helped a new class to come to power in Europe. Neil Davidson asks why the more advanced civilisations of the Islamic world did not develop a similar movement of their own. In the current Western controversy over Islam, one theme recurs with increasing predictability. Many writers are prepared to acknowledge Muslim cultural and scientific achievements, but always with the caveat that Islamic civilisation never experienced an equivalent to the Enlightenment. “Islam never had to go through a prolonged period of critically examining the validity of…
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MensBeards

Men’s Hair Takes Centre Stage in Battle Over Legitimacy of Political Islam

The Muslim world’s battle over the legitimacy of political Islam has expanded to the soccer pitch as proponents and opponents of interpreting the faith politically seek to impose their public morals with men’s hairstyles and facial hair taking centre stage. At the core of the battle are fans and players, a reflection of society as a whole, who seek to exercise their right to choose their preferred styles often in opposition to efforts by autocrats to impose their will depending on their attitude towards public morals and political Islam. The crackdown on hairstyles is part of a larger battle to…
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monotheistic

Monotheistic Religions in Contrast

The three monotheist religious traditions, Judaism, Christianity and Islam, have more in common than in contention. All three believe God is one, unique, concerned with humanity’s condition. Each takes up the narrative of the others’ — Christianity and Islam carrying forward the story begun in the Hebrew scriptures of ancient Israel that define Judaism. Christianity affirms the vocation of Israel after the flesh, and Islam affirms the validity of the antecedent monotheist revelations, regarding Muhammad as the seal of prophecy and the Quran as a work of God. 

Bible-Quran

Violence More Common in Bible Than Quran

“Violence more common” in Bible than Quran, text analysis reveals The Old Testament was found to be more than twice as violent as the Quran An analysis into whether the Quran is more violent than the Bible found killing and destruction occur more frequently in the Christian texts than the Islamic. Investigating whether the Quran really is more violent than its Judeo-Christian counterparts, software engineer Tom Anderson processed the text of the Holy books to find which contained the most violence.

Silhouette of soldier

Terrorism: Then and Now

The year 2016 is the 100th anniversary of the Irish Easter Rebellion. Throughout the year I will try to revisit some of the lessons of Ireland’s struggle for freedom. Bombs explode in a subway. The victims are everyday people who happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. What follows is outrage: Track down the perpetuators. The people who set off the bombs are monsters and inhuman fanatics, thunder the authorities. But the year is not 2016; it is 1883 during the “Dynamite War” waged by mainly Irish-American members of the Fenians against the English occupation of…
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Photo illustration by Shaun Venish/123RF/Photodisc

Turmoil in the Middle East: Regional Dimensions Beyond Religion

Given the current Middle Eastern scenario, one may reasonably hold the argument that the on-going turmoil in the Middle East owes its burden equally to the Machiavellian Anglo-American policies in the region and the harrowing failure of the Muslim governments/leaderships in the Middle East to rationally respond to those challenges. But are there any dimensions beyond religion? Nationalism and Turmoil The region of West Asia (known as the Middle East) and North Africa has been home for tension and conflict since the end of the 19th century. The tensions were accentuated by the division of North Africa between European powers…
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Islamic Scholars, MPC Journal

Sufi Islam to Prevent Violent Extremism?

The current events of terrorism in France, Turkey and Belgium, and the recent wave of terrorist attacks in Lahore, Pakistan do invite some serious deliberations. Be it East or West, the veritable reality is: Fighting against terrorism remains a mammoth task. The war against violent extremism via the hard power doctrine is already under way; yet the world needs to adopt a soft power strategy to combat this radical ideology. And it is in this backdrop, that by implementing the tenants of Sufi Islam, we can expediently brave the challenges of curbing fanaticism, fundamentalism, radicalism, sectarianism and violent extremism all…
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Photo: EPA/STEPHANIE LECOCQ

Terrorist Attacks in Brussels – a Clash of What?

Here we go again. Recent terrorist attacks against another European capital city in less than a year continue to shake the core of world politics. It is worth to note that terrorist attacks are not only happening against European states, but also against other countries, most notably Turkey and Indonesia. Is it a clash of cultures, religions, or it is merely politics? How do we keep serving Daesh (Islamic State)?

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