religious belief

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The missing elements in the war against ISIS — Taking down their websites and engaging in robust public diplomacy

UPDATE June 23, 2015 Europe is setting up a special police unit to monitor jihadist sites and content, andd to remove it. See Richard Spencer, “Europe-wide police unit to monitor Islamic State social media; Europol…

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U.S. strategy and leadership needed: The Middle East and other countries hurtle into the Vortex

On some days, the news is so disturbing that you want to take a broader view of what is going on in a region, or the world. The Middle East appears to be convulsed by…


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Civilization falters, as Russian aggression stands and Islamic terrorism explodes

The Charlie Hebdo massacre by Islamic extremists on January 7 underlines the failure of the West and other civilized countries to win the struggle in Muslim and other societies to control the violent extremists who,…


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REPRISE II—A prayer for the children of Syria

First published December 24, 2012 REPRISE published December 25, 2013 Prayer for an Alawite Child I understand, Just like me, you want to be happy, Just like me, you want to be free of pain,…


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Obama seeks to block publication of Senate torture report; Pillar of democracy at stake

Background — See (1) “Sicherheitsbedenken: US-Regierung bremst Veröffentlichung von CIA-Folterbericht,” Der Spiegel, 6. Dezember 2014 (19:55 Uhr). Der US-Senat wollte umfassende Informationen über geheime Foltermethoden der CIA publizieren. Nun blockiert die Regierung in Washington in…



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The spiritual dimension: Muslims find refuge, shared sense of humanity, in Christian church in Gaza

Among the terror and warfare that seem to increasingly claim the world’s attention, we often lose sight of the deep religious values and sense of humanity shared by the three religions of The Book–Islam, Christianity,…



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Iran, Syria, and the nuclear question

(Developing story) Iran is within reach of achieving an expansion of its influence through solidifying an arc of Shia states or Shia-led states reaching from the Persian Gulf to the Mediterrean Sea. Iran, Iraq, Syria…


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Disillisioned with Obama’s chemical weapons deal with the Russians, 12 Free Syrian Army groups form alliance with al-Nusra Front in Syria

Twelve “moderate” groups previously aligned with the Free Syrian Army, have given up on Obama and the West, forming a new alliance with the al-Qaeda linked al-Nusra Front in northern Syria. After Obama’s deal with…