September 14, 2016

FRANCE and ISIS have a special enmity, and it is compounded by the French form of secularism, known as laïcité.

France’s colonial history and policy of state-reinforced religion blindness adds special intensity to the confrontation.

It is important to understand how part...

August 16, 2016

The Romanovs, the royal family of the Russian Tsars were killed, and some would say martyred, by the Bolsheviks in 1918.

But now, almost a century later, President Vladimir Putin, appears to be slowly rehabilitating the royals.

And the Romanovs’ reemergence has impli...

July 21, 2016

THE FRENCH Catholic priest Fr Jacques Hamel was murdered yesterday by two men claiming to act on behalf of the Islamic State (ISIS).  It was a religious crime in a secular state.

They forced the 86-year-old priest to his knees while he was saying Mass in the Église St.-...

November 4, 2015

Heritage watchers are waiting to see whether Turkey’s Culture and Tourism Minister, Yalcin Topcu, who has called for the reopening of basilica-turned-mosque-turned-museum Hagia Sophia as a mosque, has retained his job.

Topcu, an independent, was given the interim post i...

September 9, 2015

To senior military officers, intelligence analysts and policy-makers, blood and guts are more real than fire and brimstone.

To the followers of ISIS – which now calls itself the Islamic State – however, not only do the concepts of hell fire and the gardens of parad...

June 12, 2015

You might not think that ‘what jihadis do in their spare time’ would be a topic of much interest, but it’s one that has been under-reported and is just now breaking into public awareness.

Much of the credit for this goes to Robyn Creswell and Bernard Haykel for their cu...

May 29, 2015

Riots, rapes, killings, a large refugee population of ‘boat people’ – and most recently new laws which would allow individual states to regulate the pacing of births – the Rohingya Muslims of Burma have every right to feel under attack.

Things were not always this...

March 27, 2015

The Middle East is already ‘dry tinder’, lit with sectarian and terrorist wildfires.

It is also rapidly reaching the point where water depletion and drought will make existing rivalries far more intense, and peaceable solutions to existing problems far harder to arrive...

March 6, 2015

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is the son of the great historian of Judaism under the Spanish Inquisition and the younger brother of the Israeli war hero killed freeing hostages in the raid on Entebbe. Himself the twice-wounded leader of a Sayeret Matkal spe...

February 27, 2015

‘This month, the soldiers of the Khilafah in Wilayat Tarabulus captured 21 Coptic crusaders, almost five years after the blessed operation against the Baghdad church executed in revenge for Kamilia Shehata, Wafa Constantine, and other sisters who were tortured and murd...

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