Scholars often locate the origins of the modern Islamic world in European colonialism or Islamic reactions to European modernity. A new book by Zachary Heern focuses instead on the rise of Islamic movements indigenous to the Middle East, which developed in direct response to the collapse and decentralization of Islamic empires.
There are at least 175 million Muslims in India. Twenty to twenty five percent of these are believed to be Shiites, with the Twelver Shiites comprising the majority. In the following interview, Mahan Abedin makes enquiries to a leading Shiite figure in India, Seyed Mohammad Asgari, about a wide range of issues affecting Indian Shiites, in particular their relationship with the majority Sunni population. The picture that emerges offers a striking contrast to the situation in neighbouring Pakistan.
Mahan Abedin is an academic and journalist specialising in Islamic affairs.
On December 13-14, 2006, Turkey hosted a “Conference for the Support of the Iraqi People” in Istanbul that brought together more than 150 attendees, including politicians, religious figures, intellectuals and activists, from both inside and outside Iraq.
© 2006 RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.
Last week, approximately 50 Iraqi religious leaders signed a text in the holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia in the hopes that it would lead to the end the sectarian bloodshed that has been raging in Iraq for eight months. However, many questions persist as to whether this document can seriously affects the security situation in Iraq.
Voters in the south may be solidly behind the election, but support for the main Shia-led faction is not monolithic. Before the election, analysts predicted that Shia voters would largely back the United Iraqi Alliance. But on the day, Shia voters expressed a variety of opinions.
This article was first published on 30 January 2005 (ICR No. 106) by the Institute for War & Peace Reporting (IWPR), London. Posted on Religioscope with permission.
Articles published by the IWPR on Afghanistan, Central Asia, the Balkans, the Caucasus, Iraq as well as other topics can be accessed on its website: www.iwpr.net
Some Shia clerics are now recommending believers to donate their blood instead of shedding it in a ritual to commemorate the Imam Hussein.
Emad al-Sharei is a trainee journalist with IWPR in Baghdad.
This article was published in the Iraqi Crisis Report, N° 55, 31 March 2004. Posted on Religioscope with permission. Articles published by the IWPR on Afghanistan, Central Asia, the Balkans, the Caucasus, Iraq as well as other topics can be accessed on its website: www.iwpr.net.
© 2004 IWPR
Shia Muslims, a significant minority in Afghanistan, made important gains in the new constitution passed Sunday at the end of the Loya Jirga. Unlike the previous constitution of 1964, when the king who then ruled Afghanistan had to be a follower of the Hanafi Sunni school of Islam, a Shia Muslim can now become leader of the country.
Hasina Sulaiman and Shahabuddin Tarakhel are independent journalists in Kabul participating in IWPR’s Loya Jirga reporting project. Hafizullah Gardesh is an IWPR editor/reporter in Kabul.
This article was first published on 6 January 2004 (ARR No. 100) by the Institute for War & Peace Reporting (IWPR), London. Posted on Religioscope with permission.
Articles published by the IWPR on Afghanistan, Central Asia, the Balkans, the Caucasus, Iraq as well as other topics can be accessed on its website:
IWPR supports recovery and development in crisis zones by providing professional training, financial assistance and an international platform to independent media, human rights activists and other local democratic voices. IWPR’s primary beneficiaries are local journalists who participate in its reporting, research and training programmes.
The collapse of the Ba’athist regime has given Shia women a chance to learn about their once-suppressed faith.
Usama Hashem Rida is an IWPR trainee.
This article was originally published by the IWPR (Institute for War Peace Reporting), London, in the Iraqi Crisis Report (ICR, No. 38, 3 December 2003). The Institute for War & Peace Reporting strengthens local journalism in areas of conflict. Religioscope has been allowed by the IWPR to repost its articles.
© 2003 Institute for War & Peace Reporting
Since US forces toppled Saddam Hussein’s regime, Iran has quietly worked to expand its influence in Shi’a-dominated areas of Iraq. Tehran views the strengthening of cultural and religious ties among adherents of the Shi’a branch of Islam as a vital national interest.
Ardeshir Moaveni is a freelance journalist who specializes in Iranian and Afghanistani affairs.
© 2003 Eurasianet. Posted on Religioscope with permission.
EurasiaNet provides information and analysis about political, economic, environmental and social developments in the countries of Central Asia and the Caucasus, as well as in Russia, the Middle East, and Southwest Asia. EurasiaNet is operated by the Central Eurasia Project of the Open Society Institute.
The Iraqi holy cities of Al-Najaf and Karbala are centers of religious learning for Shi’a Muslims from all over the world. Their importance as sacred hubs of Shi’ism was suppressed during the rule of former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein. But now, many Shi’a clerics are returning to Iraq, and the holy cities are regaining their former prominence.
Copyright (c) 2003. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.