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Islam and the Secular State :Negotiating the Future of Shari`a
   
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Five Years of My Life: An Innocent Man in Guantanamo
   
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OCTOBER-DECEMBER 2009
 
 

Calling for a New Dialogue between Islam and Christianity

 

There is nothing in the Quran that makes religious conversion punishable by death or that prohibits building of Christian churches in Muslim countries. These are basically administrative issues that have to take into account public sensitivity and security issues attached to them. The juridical rulings of the past fuqaha are always open to debate. But as I said, this kind of debate requires a general atmosphere of trust and goodwill. Today, when Christianity has yet to shed its colonial image, when the war on terror is perceived by many as a modern-day crusade, as a war against Islam and as a Christian attempt to grab energy resources in the Muslim Middle-East, when predominantly Christian bullets are continuously taking innocent lives in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere, when publishing the cartoons demonizing the prophet Muhammad has become a litmus test to free-speech, even well-intentioned debates on such sensitive issues and by well-meaning individuals can only create further suspicion and distrust.

 

 

   
 
 
Re-Launching the Barcelona Process
  By Istvan SERTO-RADICS
 

In today’s globalized world, the mobility and interactions between citizens from the various countries of the Mediterranean and their various cultures, languages, ethnic groups and religions are increasing as a result of the growing economic exchanges and trade, old and new migratory flows and more significant exchanges through education and leisure as well as tourism. One the one hand, these increased interactions between different cultures are an enrichment and can lead to better knowledge of each other. The European Union always supported the unity in the diversity, and I believe that such an approach could bring positive results also within EUROMED area.

 

 

   
It Was Oil, All Along
  By Bill Moyers and Michael Winship
 

At a congressional hearing this week, James Hansen, the NASA climate scientist who exactly twenty years ago alerted Congress and the world to the dangers of global warming, compared the chief executives of Big Oil to the tobacco moguls who denied that nicotine is addictive or that there's a link between smoking and cancer. Hansen, who the administration has tried again and again to silence, said these barons of black gold should be tried for committing crimes against humanity and nature in opposing efforts to deal with global warming.

 

 

   
Iraqis Pay? The Arrogance of the U.S.
  By Enver Masud
 

Americans are fed up with this war that has cost the lives of 4000 plus U.S. military men and women, maimed and wounded many more, the final bill for which is estimated to be over $3 trillion (that's about $10,000 for each U.S. citizen), but the presumptive Republican nominee for president, Senator John McCain, says the U.S. could be in Iraq for a 100 years.

 

 

Dowmload Section
 
 
A Philosophical Foundation for a Culture of Peace
By Dr. h. c. Hans Köchler
   

As citizens who are concerned about the course of world affairs and aware of the impact this chain of events may have on our respective domestic communities we have to ask one basic question: What are – against the backdrop of these frightening developments that put in jeopardy the fragile system of co-existence established under the aegis of the United Nations Organization since World War II – the philosophical foundations of an order of peace among nations as well as among socio-cultural communities and civilizations?

 
 

World Religions and World Federation
By David C. Oughton
   

Eliminating every religion because some have contained negative and harmful elements would be throwing out the baby with the dirty bathwater. There is great art and music as well as terrible art and music. We obviously want to preserve, encourage, and teach about the former while eliminating the latter. Likewise, the great potential of the world’s religious traditions to inspire unity, harmony, and acts of peace and justice need to be promoted while their potential to promote disorder, hatred, and fanaticism needs to be eradicated.

 
 

Israel's Encaging of Gaza
By Jonathan Cook
   

In recent years, with the Palestinian population under Israeli rule about to reach parity with the Jewish population, the threat of a Palestinian majority has loomed large again for the Zionists. Not suprisingly, debates about which of these two Zionist solutions to pursue, separation or transfer, have resurfaced.

Today these solutions are ostensibly promoted by two ideological camps loosely associated with Israel’s centre-left (Labor and Kadima) and right (Likud and Yisrael Beiteinu). The modern political arguments between them turn on differing visions of the nature of a Jewish state orginally put forward by Labor and Revisionist Zionists.

 
 
   
War, Inc.
By Mike Ferner
   

Leaving aside for a moment the argument that a criminal investigation into the September 11 attacks would never have been allowed since the federal government at the very least looked the other way before the attacks took place, I think we can safely say the last seven years prove that the path we chose – war – has generated far more innocent victims, grieving families, ruined lives and overall problems for the U.S. than had we sought justice without resorting to war.
Which leaves open the question, why did our government choose to respond by invasion and war?

 

 

Youth and the Communal Agenda in India
By Professor Mirza Asmer Beg and Mr. Afroz Alam

   

Some issues in Indian politics have been emphasized upon by the rightist forces as the most important concerns for Indians. Against this backdrop, a set of questions were put to people in the age group of 14 to 34, in six districts of western Uttar Pradesh, to elicit their responses and to see as to what was the popular perception among the youth on these issues. The results of the above survey help us in making an assessment about the way youths think on issues, which have been put forward by certain sections of the Indian society, as the defining issues in Indian politics.
 

 
 

 

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