Malaysia getting bruised over caning women

February 25, 2010
MALAYSIA-ALLAH/

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

February 19, 2010

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

Malaysia canes women for having sex out of wedlock

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.

Islamic finance’s reputation as “safe” is a myth: Qatar regulator

January 28, 2010

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Traders at the Saudi Investment Bank in Riyadh, 8 Oct 2008/Fahad Shadeed

It’s a myth to assume Islamic finance products are safer than conventional products and underlying risks should be studied more carefully, Qatar’s top regulator said at the Davos World Economic Forum meeting on Wednesday. Despite being billed as a safer alternative to traditional banking because assets must underpin deals, Islamic bondholders have found they may not have any more legal safeguards than conventional counterparts in the event of default.

Muslim Brotherhood to Egypt: Don’t squeeze out moderates

January 27, 2010
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Mohamed Badie in an interview with Reuters in Cairo, 26 Jan/Asmaa Waguih

The new leader of the Muslim Brotherhood has said that  government efforts to squeeze Egypt’s biggest opposition group out of politics would only spur on “deviant” and potentially violent Islamic movements.  Mohamed Badie, 66, told Marwa Awad and Edmund Blair of the Reuters Cairo bureau the group would campaign in this year’s parliamentary election, but a state crackdown would likely prevent a repeat of its success in 2005 when it secured a fifth of the seats.

GUESTVIEW: Wearing a burqa will now be a crime?

January 23, 2010
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Veiled woman in Kabul, 10 Dec 2009/ Omar Sobhani

The following is a guest contribution. Reuters is not responsible for the content and the views expressed are the authors’ alone. Asghar Ali Engineer, a leading Indian Muslim intellectual and activist, is head of the Centre for the Study of Society and Secularism in Mumbai, where he works to promote peace and understanding among religious and ethnic communities.

Mauritanian Muslim imams initiate rare ban on female circumcision

January 22, 2010
FGM

Women meeting in western Senegal to discuss eradicating female genital mutilation, 10 Sept 2007/Finbarr O'Reilly