Religion

What’s Next for the Rohingya?

In August 2017, security forces in Burma’s Rakhine state staged a harsh and extended crackdown on the Rohingya—a deeply marginalized and persecuted Muslim minority community. Thousands are estimated to have died, while more than half a million fled to neighboring Bangladesh. United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres described the tragedy as ethnic cleansing. At this event, Dr. Nehginpao Kipgen, a top expert on Burma, will discuss developments involving the Rohingya since the 2017 crackdown, including key recent events, and what might be in store next for the troubled community.

Event Recap: Islamic Law, the Nation State, and the Case of Pakistan

In recent decades, ambivalence toward modernity, along with the promise of justice and morality, have led to efforts in some Muslim-majority countries to partially “Islamize” the state. Pakistan presents an important case study. Pakistan’s Islamization program in the 1970s and 1980s promised increased justice and other public goods by virtue of laws purportedly rooted in revelation. This program has resulted in some controversial outcomes, such as Pakistan’s blasphemy law.

AfPak File Podcast- The Aasia Bibi Case: Significance and Implications

On October 31, Pakistan’s Supreme Court acquitted Aasia Bibi, a Christian woman who had been on death row for nearly a decade on blasphemy charges. It was a milestone decision in a country where the law is often unkind to religious minorities. Islamist hardliners took to the streets to protest the decision, and eventually, they signed an agreement with the government that ensured that her case would be reviewed.

Religious Rift Compounds Tensions Between Ukraine and Russia

BY MAXIM TRUDOLYUBOV

The Istanbul-based Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew last week endorsed Ukraine’s request to establish an independent Orthodox Church with its center in Kyiv. The move risks adding a religious dimension to the rift between Russia and Ukraine.

Islamic Law, the Nation State, and the Case of Pakistan

In recent decades, ambivalence toward modernity, along with the promise of justice and morality, have led to efforts in some Muslim-majority countries to partially “Islamize” the state. Pakistan presents an important case study. Pakistan’s Islamization program in the 1970s and 1980s promised increased justice and other public goods by virtue of laws purportedly rooted in revelation. This program has resulted in some controversial outcomes, such as Pakistan’s blasphemy law.

A Sacred Space Is Never Empty: A History of Soviet Atheism

When the Bolsheviks set out to build a new world in the wake of the Russian Revolution, they expected religion to die off. Soviet power used a variety of tools--from education to propaganda to terror—to turn its vision of a Communist world without religion into reality. Yet even with its monopoly on ideology and power, the Soviet Communist Party never succeeded in overcoming religion and creating an atheist society.

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