Out with the old? Turkish secularists seek new vision and leader

By Reuters Staff
May 22, 2010

Republican People's Party (CHP) congress with portrait of Kemal Kilicdaroglu in Ankara May 22, 2010/Umit Bektas

French foreign minister gets ready for criticism over planned burqa ban

May 2, 2010

(French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner on Europe 1 radio, 2 May 2010/Dailymotion)

Muslim scholars recast jihadists’ favourite fatwa

March 31, 2010
magnifying koran

An Indonesian Muslim uses magnifying glass to read Koran verses printed on lamb parchment, Jakarta, July 27, 2005/Beawiharta

A “model” Islamic education from Turkey?

By Reuters Staff
February 25, 2010
imam-hatip 1

Turkish girls at the Kazim Karabekir Girls' Imam-Hatip School, 10 Feb 2010/Murad Sezer

Teach Islam at German universities – academic council report

February 2, 2010

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.”

Agca says he is a messiah who will write a “perfect Bible”

January 13, 2010
agca note

A hand-written letter by Mehmet Ali Agca released by his lawyers on 13 Jan 2010/Umit Bektas

Mehmet Ali Agca, the man who tried to kill Pope John Paul

January 13, 2010
pope agca prison

Pope John Paul meets Mehmet Ali Agca in Rome's Rebibbia prison on 27 Dec 1983/Vatican photo

Does Europe’s new prez really think it’s a Christian club?

November 20, 2009

rompuy1Europe’s new president, Herman Van Rompuy, is little known outside his native Belgium. One of the few background facts about him circulating since his election is his opposition to Turkish membership in the European Union.  The operative quote, expressed in a 2004 speech when he was an opposition deputy in the Belgian parliament, is:

Muslim creationism is back in the news, this time in Egypt

November 16, 2009

darwinm-portraitMuslim creationism is back in the news. There’s been a spate of articles in the U.S. and British press recently about the spread of this scripture-based challenge to Darwinian evolution among Muslims, mostly in the Middle East but also in Europe. The fact that some Muslims have embraced creationism, a trademark belief of some conservative American Protestants, is not new. Reuters first wrote about it in 2006 — “Creation vs. Darwin takes Muslim twist in Turkey” — and this blog has run several posts on the issue, including an interview with Islam’s most prominent creationist, Harun Yahya. What’s new is that these ideas seem to be spreading and academics who defend evolution are holding conferences to discuss the phenomenon.

Muslims angry at German soccer club over song

August 4, 2009

German Muslims have inundated one of the country’s top soccer teams, Schalke 04, with complaints about a verse in the club’s anthem which, they say, is disparaging towards the Prophet Mohammad.