Fundamentalism (Islamic)

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Can Islamists Be Liberals?

Sunday, May 13th, 2012

[Originally published in The New York Times]

FOR years, foreign policy discussions have focused on the question of whether Islam is compatible with democracy. But this is becoming passé. In Tunisia and Egypt, Islamists, who were long perceived as opponents of the democratic system, are now promoting and joyfully participating in it. Even the ultra-Orthodox Salafis now have deputies sitting in the Egyptian Parliament, thanks to the ballots that they, until very recently, denounced as heresy.

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The Qur’an, The Bible, And The Urge To Violence

Thursday, November 10th, 2011

[Originally published in Contending Modernities]

Philip Jenkins’ September 2011 piece, “9/11: Did the Qur’an really make them do it?,” was an eye-opener on the touchy issue of religion and violence. For me it was also a reminder of an anti-Semitic piece of propaganda I found in an Istanbul bookstore years ago.

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How ‘Christian’ Is Breivik?

Saturday, July 30th, 2011

[Originally published in Hurriyet Daily News, with readers' comments]

“I prayed to God,” wrote Anders Behring Breivik, in his 1,500-page manifesto, to “ensure that the warriors fighting for the preservation of European Christendom prevail.” Soon, he went on his terrorist mission, which ended with the ruthless murder of more than 70 innocent souls.

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