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Articles - 2015

Millennia of Christian architecture in Iraq destructed

Since 1996 about 72 Christian churches and institutions in Iraq have been affected by the total destruction or desecration at the hands of violent groups of which Isis is just the latest episode in a chronological sense. The systematic destruction of the architectural and artistic memory of cities like Mosul, to name just one of the affected places, is part of a violent plan of eradication of Christians from the Middle East.

12/05/2015 | Erica C.D. Hunter | Christians in the Muslim world
ISIS journal Dabiq

Why is ISIS’ magazine called Dabiq

There are hundreds of thousands of Islamic traditions, but one of them has recently come to the fore because of Isis: the one that places the final battle between the forces of good and evil in the Syrian town of Dabiq. What does this hadîth say, what is its context and why has Isis decided to appropriate it for itself?

11/05/2015 | Martino Diez | Jihadism and violence
Children enrolled in ISIS' army

Sharia law does not call for child soldiers

It appears that at least 400 children have been recruited by Isis as child soldiers for the Caliphate. The recruitment happens through violence or with the consent of families, too poor to oppose. However, a quick review of Islamic norms documents that this practice is also against Islamic law, on which the Caliphate itself stands.

11/05/2015 | Chiara Pellegrino | Religions and the public sphere

The Christian-Muslim Symbiosis of Mosul Now Coming to an End

Christianity in Mosul dates to the time of the Apostles. Initially, the faith was centered on the side of the Tigris opposite present day Mosul, in the ruins of the famed Assyrian capital Nineveh. In the first centuries of our era, a ‘diocese of Nineveh’ is attested in the synodical proceedings of the Church of the Eas...

13/04/2015 | Amir Harrak* | Eastern Christians

The Humble Attempt to Construct Peace

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08/04/2015 | Angelo Scola | Religions and the public sphere

A Temptation and a Hypothesis

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08/04/2015 | Martino Diez | Religions and the public sphere

The Christian “No” to Religious Violence: a Kairos for All Men?

If instances of religious conflict have fuelled the prejudice that monotheism is a factor for violence, the journey made by Christianity – which contemplates the innocent Son of God dying on the Cross – emphasises its irreversible leave-taking of violence committed in the name of God. This is a point for comparison in interreligious dialogue, too.

08/04/2015 | Javier Maria Prades López | Religions and the public sphere

From Witch-hunts to The Crucified Christ

René Girard’s mimetic theory offers a fundamental aid to understanding the nexus between violence, the sacred and the origin of different human cultures. It also paves the way for a challenge: how to found a way of living together without identifying a common enemy?

08/04/2015 | Bernard Perret | Religions and the public sphere

The ‘Mad’ Vocation of Christians in the Muslim World

Disciples of the crucified Christ. The new violence endured by the Christians of Iraq compels a dual observation: if it is the duty of the international community to defend their survival, it is also true that the power of the witness of Christians lies above all else in their vulnerability.

08/04/2015 | Jean-Jacques Pérennès | Christians in the Muslim world

Sunni Jihad: from a Defensive Obligation to an Instrument of Expansion

A vast repertoire of sources allows an understanding of the historical transformation of a defensive war into a warlike undertaking with imperialistic aims. A reading that challenges the extremist literature of militant Islamist groups and anti-Islamic groups.

08/04/2015 | Asma Afsaruddin | Religions and the public sphere

Shi‘ite Jihad: A Ceasefire until the Imam’s Return

Military jihad has taken its leave of history, to return only at its end and make the spirit of the Revelation triumph. And yet it is a battle that has already begun for all men: a spiritual struggle against the carnal soul’s inclinations. Some people want to precipitate the last battle, however.

08/04/2015 | Mathieu Terrier | Religions and the public sphere

The Diabolical Appeal of ISIS

The appearance of the Islamic State, which followed the season of al-Qa’ida, has confirmed the contagious character of a grave illness – extremism in the name of God. The atrocities committed by the Caliphate attract some groups of young Muslims but run the risk of leading religion to collapse.

08/04/2015 | Ridwan Al-Sayyid | Religions and the public sphere

Boko Haram and Innocent Blood: Who is to Blame?

The Nigerian terrorist movement has its roots in the 1970s when Islamic preaching against all Western influences became widespread. It adopted violent action to the point of the murderous tendency of today for various reasons, not least the corruption and the incapacity of those who were in power.

08/04/2015 | Matthew Hassan Kukah | Christians in the Muslim world

The Shifting Fortunes of Jihad in Sahel

Sahel offers fertile terrain for the birth of various groups of jihadists who thanks to the widespread poverty and porous frontiers easily recruit fighters. But new preachers and Muslim movements have also emerged which, between collusion with terrorists and democratic ideals, are determining the future of this region.

08/04/2015 | Alex Thurston | Christians in the Muslim world

The Copts and the Exit from the Communalist Ghetto

From discrimination to participation. The Egyptian case demonstrates how, in a Arab-Islamic world that is in marked trouble, the involvement of Christians in political and social life is possible only through the rule of law and institutions that are not determined by confessional ties.

08/04/2015 | Christian Cannuyer | Christians in the Muslim world

Indian Secularity against Fundamentalism

India. In a cultural fabric that was characterised by harmony and tolerance, factors of violence entered the scene. This violence exploded with especial virulence after the partition of the country in 1947. The intertwining of the politicisation of religion and exaggerated communalism led to a spiral of clashes between Hindus and Muslims.

08/04/2015 | Cardinal George Alencherry | Religions and the public sphere

The Dream of a Gandhian Islam

The mutual esteem of Ghandi and the two Muslim leaders Maulana Azad and Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan looking forward to Hindu-Muslim unity constitute a historical fact that works against the image of violent Muslims. And could offer a valuable model for the twenty-first century as well.

08/04/2015 | Ramin Jahanbegloo | The Peoples of Islam

Waging War after 1989

A philosophy of empire. Military action has become a matter of policing and in the name of international law it seeks to establish a new world order. The protagonist of this is the United States of America which, having a technical and economic superiority, has tried to govern the world. But by now the single-pole epoch belongs to the past.

08/04/2015 | Henri Hude

Humility Against Chaos

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08/04/2015 | Francesca Peruzzotti | Magisterium

War is madness

Homily by H.H. Pope Francis during the celebration at the military memorial of Redipuglia on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of First World War, Saturday 13 September 2014.

08/04/2015 | H.H. Pope Francis | Magisterium
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