Sharia boards face scrutiny amid financial crisis

By Reuters Staff
March 11, 2010
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A teller at Bank Syariah Mandiri in Jakarta February 17, 2010/Supri

Sharia boards face increased scrutiny and criticism as high-profile corporate defaults and cautionary comments from respected scholars cast a harsh light on the fast growth of financial products touted as Islamic.

Al-Azhar leader Sheikh Tantawi dies in Saudi Arabia

By Reuters Staff
March 10, 2010
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Sheikh Mohamed Sayed Tantawi in Cairo September 16, 2006/Nasser Nuri

Sheikh Mohamed Sayed Tantawi, who as the head of Egypt’s most prestigious seat of Islamic learning al-Azhar was Sunni Islam’s top authority, died of a heart attack on Wednesday on a visit to Saudi Arabia, religious officials at al-Azhar said. He was 81.

Dutch concerns over Islam, globalisation drive Wilders’ support

By Reuters Staff
March 6, 2010
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Geert Wilders,5 March 2010/Suzanne Plunkett

After scoring gains in local elections, Dutch anti-immigration politician Geert Wilders is now primed to make waves in a national poll in June by tapping into discontent over Islam and globalisation.

Tahir ul-Qadri and the difficulty of reporting on fatwas

March 2, 2010
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Muhammed Tahir ul-Qadri at a youth camp in Coventry, central England, August 9, 2009/Kieran Doherty

Malaysia getting bruised over caning women

February 25, 2010
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A Malaysian demonstrator in Kuala Lumpur during a protest in January against Christan use of the word Allah for God, 8 Jan 2010/Bazuki Muhammad)

from The Great Debate:

Islam, terror and political correctness

By Bernd Debusmann
February 19, 2010

-- Bernd Debusmann is a Reuters columnist. The opinions expressed are his own. --

Malaysia canes women for having sex out of wedlock

By Reuters Staff
February 18, 2010
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Kartika Sari Dewi Shukarno, due to be caned for drinking beer, 24 Aug 2009/Zainal Abd Halim

Factbox: Roots of Yemen’s conflict with northern Shi’ite rebels

February 12, 2010
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A Yemeni soldier aims at rebel targets in this undated photo released by the Yemeni army on 25 Jan 2010.

Teach Islam at German universities – academic council report

February 2, 2010
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Humboldt University in Berlin, 8 Jan 2010/Friedrich Petersdorff

Germany should set up centres for Islamic studies at two or three state universities to educate Muslim scholars, teachers and pastoral workers for its large Muslim minority, an academic advisory council has said. The Council on Science and Humanities (Wissenschaftsrat) said the lack of such institutes at universities, which already teach Christian and Jewish theology, “does not do justice to the importance of the largest non-Christian faith community in Germany.”

Serbian church leader breaks with past, invites pope to Belgrade

January 29, 2010
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Patriarch Irinej at a news conference in Belgrade, 28 Jan 2010/Ivan MIlutinovic

For all of Irinej Gavrilovic’s 80 years, his Serbian Orthodox Church has kept its distance from the Vatican and the pope, maintaining a division whose roots date back a millennium.  But only a few days into the job as the 45th Serbian Orthodox Patriarch, Irinej has several times repeated an invitation to the Roman Catholic pontiff, hoping that both men could celebrate a significant anniversary in 2013.