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Articles - 2015

Nuclear deal's round table

The Iranian Nuclear Deal. The Debate in the Arab Media

The debate on the Iranian nuclear agreement on Sunni Arab media shows no signs of stopping, with some viewing it as a huge mockery and others as a bitter pill to swallow, but an opportunity nonetheless.

09/09/2015 | Chiara Pellegrino | The Peoples of Islam
Nasser Hadian

Nuclear Agreement: How the World will Change with Iran on Track

The Iranian nuclear agreement will have serious repercussions for Iran's international relations and across the Middle East, but also domestically at a political and social level. The various implications will be measured over time, but the first movements are already visible. Interview with Nasser Hadian, Professor of Political Science at the University of Tehran.

09/09/2015 | Chiara Pellegrino | The Peoples of Islam
A group of foreign fighters

Foreign Fighters: Looking for a Cause to Dedicate their Lives to, or Spill Blood for (Even Yours)

All they need is a low-cost flight to Istanbul then they vanish across the Syrian border, into the Caliphate's army. They're youngsters, sometimes even minors, who were raised and educated in Europe but can no longer stand it, and leave it behind. What triggered them? What do they hope spilling blood will offer them?

09/09/2015 | Marialaura Conte | Jihadism and violence

Syria Before and After

The destruction of the minaret of the great mosque of Aleppo in April of this year made headlines news. This architectonic complex was on the site of the agora of the Hellenistic city, not far from the famous Citadel. Previously a Christian cathedral, it had been transformed into a mosque during the Umayyad age, rounda...

25/08/2015 | Editorial staff | Arab Revolutions

The Courageous Option, if theWill to Live Prevails

‘While the objective conditions of cultural exchange are far from forming a level playing field today, it remains true that although the extent of the challenges we face can push us to retreat into rigid positions, it can also stimulate us into making courageous choices. In spite of everything there are three areaswher...

25/08/2015 | Abdelmajid Charfi | Arab Revolutions

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...

05/08/2015 | Amir Harrak* | Eastern Christians

Sana‘a, the Arab Venice needing Saving

‘Architecturally, Yemen is the most beautiful country in the world. Sana‘a, its capital, is an untamed Venice built on dust without San Marco and without the Giudecca, a city-form the beauty of which resides not in its perishable monuments but in its incomparable design… One of my dreams is to busy myself with saving Sana‘a’.

05/08/2015 | Massimo Khairallah | The Peoples of Islam

Today’s Actors not Museum Pieces

Descendants of the pharaohs, today the Copts are undergoing a dual temptation: one the one hand, flight abroad; on the other, closure in the form of devotional revivalism. But the election of their new Pope, Tawadros II, could open up surprising scenarios.

05/08/2015 | Christian Cannuyer | Christians in the Muslim world

Those Unbearable Moques

Mali / The heavy economic and political crisis, which is the outcome of a troubled history, over the last year has been transformed into a conflict that neither the state nor the international community appears to be able to curb. And this while hate also falls on a heritage of Islamic architecture and art that is under attack by violent Islamist groups.

05/08/2015 | Hiba Abid | The Peoples of Islam

Devotion and contemplation. The icon in Shi’ite Islam

Mysticism and popular religiosity come together in Iran in the use of the portable icon. This enables the believer to establish a connection with the visible dimension of God in the place of his manifestation: the person of the Imam. A novel study taking in ancient doctrines and living practices.

05/08/2015 | Mohammad Ali Amir Moezzi | The Peoples of Islam

The Form Disappears to Make Way for the Chosen One*

From the synagogues of Palestine of late-antiquity to the churches of Byzantium, and on to the first great mosques of Islam, mosaics were one of the vehicles par excellence of religious art throughout the Mediterranean. In it the three religions were joined by the same aesthetic language without betraying their dogmatic peculiarities.

05/08/2015 | Mother Agnès-Mariam de la Croix | Eastern Christians

Discovering Christian Nubia

Some thirty years after the first edition (Christianity in the Sudan, EMI, Bologna, 1981), a history of Christianity in the Sudan from the fourth to the fifteenth centuries has been published in updated form and with a new title. With a final effort before withdrawing from the stage of this world, the author, Giovanni ...

05/08/2015 | Claudio Lurati | Christians in the Muslim world

The Many Faces of the Unity of the Church

It is still too early to engage in an assessment of the Special Assembly of the Synod of Bishops for the Middle East which on 10-24 October 2010 brought together in the Vatican more than 170 synod fathers. Indeed, it is the months to come that will indicate the concrete ways that the numerous proposals made during the ...

05/08/2015 | Martino Diez | Eastern Christians

Discovering the mosque, centre of prayer and place of civilisation

Recently there has been a lot of talk about issues relative to the Muslim world and the many problems concerning the way in which a meeting is possible – and to be hoped for – between different standpoints which not only does not take anything away from anyone, but which are able, on the other hand, to add something. O...

05/08/2015 | Giovanni Curatola* | The Peoples of Islam

Eritrea, traces of Italy in the former colony without peace

Photo album

05/08/2015 | Editorial staff | Mestizaje of civilisations

The Holy Land, crossroads of traditions

Photo album

05/08/2015 | Martino Diez | Eastern Christians

The Long Century of Islam

If the last century was, in Eric Hobsbawm’s famous words, “the short twentieth century,” the period that stretched from the beginning of the nineteenth century until today in the Islamic world is perhaps deserving of the term “the long century.” It amounts to nearly two hundred years that have been dominated, in one wa...

31/07/2015 | Martino Diez | Religions and the public sphere

How ‘Abduh’s Caftan brought forth today’s Islamic Ideologies

Jamâl al-Dîn al-Afghânî, founder of modern public opinion in Egypt, and his disciple Muhammad ‘Abduh, a critic of al-Azhar’s “filth,” introduced a new approach: looking at Islam as one unitary whole and overcoming sectarian differences by returning to its origins. A revolution that paved the way for a variety of interpretations that are now competing to provide the very definition of Islam. The dogma has lost much of its importance, leaving most of the space to the debate about rules.

31/07/2015 | Sherif Younis | Islamic Thinkers

The Ways of Reform in South Asia

Having resulted in different manners of activism, Islamic reformism in South Asia is a complex reality that aims to transform individuals and society, but with different methods. There are those who prefer social and educational commitments, but also those who use the political path and those who opt for the use of violence. Also widespread beyond the South Asia borders, this testifies to the multipolarity of Islam and documents the fact that exportable Islamic models can come from regions other than the Middle East.

31/07/2015 | Aminah Mohammad-Arif | Religions and the public sphere

The Changing Face of Wahhabism

The history and doctrine of a movement that was born four hundred years ago, was fought for its sectarian nature in the eighteenth century, survived reformist Salafism in the nineteenth century, was anti-Communist and anti-Nationalist during the years after the second world war, compromised itself with radical Islam during the 1970s and finally imposed itself as a neo-traditional authority with a calling to minister to the world.

31/07/2015 | Hamadi Redissi | Islamic Thinkers
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