Religion News

Ominous Divide: Shiite Iran vs the Sunni Gulf

Feb 18, 2014
Sectarian tensions have become a major part of political life in the Gulf Arab states, particularly in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Kuwait. Shiites in each state suffer varying degrees of religious discrimination and political marginalization. Tensions are typically portrayed as a spillover effect of sectarian strife elsewhere in the region or Iran’s deliberate incitement of local Shiite communities. But they are only part of the story.

Pew: Appropriate Dress for Women in Muslim Countries

Jan 09, 2014
Most people in seven Muslim-majority countries from Egypt to Pakistan prefer that a woman completely cover her hair in public, but not necessarily her face, according to a survey from the University of Michigan’s Institute for Social Research.

Tunisia’s Islamist-Led Democracy Founders

Oct 18, 2013
Tunisia’s ruling Islamic party, Ennahda, has made repeated compromises on religious issues to meet secularist demands for a new constitution, according to Woodrow Wilson Senior Scholar David Ottaway. But Ennahda’s moderate leadership has lost secularist trust by showing too much deference to its own militant Islamic wing and fundamentalist Salafis outside the movement.

Report: Majority of Libyans Support Islamic Law

Sep 20, 2013
A majority of both Libyan men and women prefer Islamic law to be adopted as a main source of governance rather than the sole source, according to a new survey by the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES). Some 54 percent of women think Sharia law would improve women’s rights, compared with 68 percent of men.

Widespread Discontent with Tunisian Leaders

Sep 13, 2013
More than two years after the Jasmine Revolution, nearly three quarters of Tunisians are dissatisfied with how democracy is working, according to a new survey by the Pew Research Center. Tunisians are especially critical of their political leaders. Both secular and Islamist political parties also suffered declines in popularity.

Rising Muslim Concerns about Islamic Extremism

Sep 12, 2013
Concern about Islamic extremism is rising among many of the world’s Muslims, according to a new Pew Research Center survey. In five of the 11 surveyed countries — Indonesia, Jordan, Pakistan, Tunisia and Turkey — worries about extremism have increased since 2012.

Islamists Under Fire

Aug 27, 2013
In stark contrast to the euphoria after elections two years ago, Islamist political parties across the Middle East now face escalating challenges to their rule. The main drama is playing out in Egypt between the army and the Muslim Brotherhood. But Islamist parties in Tunisia, Libya are also under pressure from emboldened opposition movements.

Current Immigration and Integration Debates in Germany and the United States: What We Can Learn from Each Other

Aug 05, 2013
Former Public Policy Scholar Spencer P. Boyer compares immigration and integration debates in Germany and the United States in a policy paper co-authored with Victoria Pardini.

Scorecard: Islamist Successes and Failures

Jun 25, 2013
Islamists have won unprecedented political power In the Middle East since the 2011 uprisings, notably in Egypt, Tunisia and Morocco. Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi marks his first year in office on June 30, 2013. Nathan Brown analyzes the Islamist scorecard. “Despite electoral victories, Islamists have not yet figured out how to wield political power,” he concludes.

Top Egyptian Cleric Tackles Extremism

Jun 19, 2013
Grand Mufti Mohammed Ali Goma’a has warned that the rising tide of sectarianism threatens to tear Egyptian society apart. Egypt’s highest authority on Islamic law has argued that religious leaders have a responsibility to challenge extremist narratives. He discussed challenges to Christian-Muslim relations with Bishop Mouneer Hanna Anis, the Anglican bishop of Egypt and North Africa, at a June 14 event hosted by the United States of Peace.