image edited by Fernando Kaskais The surprising anthropology of group identity. BY BRIAN GALLAGHER Harvey Whitehouse doesn’t like how New Atheists like Richard Dawkins make religion out to be a mere “set of propositions” amounting to a “failed science.” In a 2013 YouTube video, Whitehouse—the director of the Institute of Cognitive & Evolutionary Anthropology at the University of Oxford—strolls through a park and says, “Clearly religion is not just that.”1 The point of religion is not to produce a rational understanding of nature, according to Whitehouse. It is “more about building cohesion and cooperation in groups, among other things,” he … Continue reading Are Suicide Bombings Really Driven by Ideology?
Hamissi Usi swims with an octopus on Pemba Island, Tanzania, in 2010.Per-Anders Pettersson / Reuters In Zanzibar, cephalopods are getting a leg up from the Quran. by LISA DE BODE ZANZIBAR—Ivory pirates, slave traders, and naturalists alike have long sought out the Zanzibar archipelago, a biodiverse group of islands lying off the coast of Tanzania in East Africa. One of these islands, Misali, is surrounded by a six-mile coral reef. It teems with rare life: hawksbill turtles, flying foxes, coconuts crabs—and lots of octopuses. This island is special to Muslims, who form the vast majority of Zanzibar’s population. According … Continue reading The Muslims Who Want to Save Octopuses
by Hussein Kesvani Hassan al-Khateb, a 34-year-old management consultant from London, and his wife Shireen, are due to give birth to a son in about four months. To prepare for the baby’s arrival, they’ve bought a new house in a leafy suburb, complete with a room for the newborn and umpteen toys and games given to them by friends and family, all of whom are eagerly awaiting the due date. Hassan is definitely excited, too. He’s dreamt of becoming a father since his teens — and especially having someone who he can “teach how to ride a bike,” and more importantly, to … Continue reading The First Generation of Jewish and Muslim Men Conflicted About Having Their Sons Circumcised
Moroccan students studying Islamic theology in RabatAbdelhak Senna / AFP / Getty Images “The women scholars here are even more important than men.” by DINA TEMPLE-RASTON Morocco is in a region vulnerable to terrorist recruitment, but it hasn’t had a significant attack on its own soil since 2011, when terrorists bombed a Marrakesh café. Yet ethnic Moroccans have been at the center of ISIS attacks in Europe. The only alleged survivor of the 2015 Paris rampage is a Frenchman of Moroccan origin; his trial began last week. The men behind the Brussels airport and tram bombings that happened months later … Continue reading The Female Quran Experts Fighting Radical Islam in Morocco
by Isaac Davis, Staff Writer Waking Times With every major event in our world, there is always a side of the story that always brushed under the rug of public awareness for political reasons. For years we’ve been hearing about the mass migration of millions of Muslims into all corners of Europe, and heard the divisive arguments for and against allowing this to occur. In 2016 we reported on comments made by the Dalai Lama, who offered a very realistic viewpoint on the situation, noting that while it is undoubtedly compassionate to help suffering people, there is a limit as to what … Continue reading #120DB – EUROPEAN WOMEN UNITE TO STOP THE WAVE OF SEXUAL ABUSE BY MIGRANT MEN
An Iranian student hides her face during a protest against the renewed death sentence of a professor accused of blasphemy, Hashem Aghajari, in 2004 at Tehran University A vision to protect those persecuted for non-religion by DAVID ROBSON Lubna Yaseen was a student in Baghdad when death threats forced her into exile. Her crime was to think the unthinkable and question the unquestionable—to state, openly, that she was an atheist. Growing up in Hillah, a city in central Iraq, she developed an independent mind at a young age. “My mother is an atheist intellectual person, and she brought up me … Continue reading The ‘Underground Railroad’ To Save Atheists
After 16 years and $1tn spent, there is no end to the fighting – but western intervention has resulted in Afghanistan becoming the world’s first true narco-state. By Alfred W McCoy After fighting the longest war in its history, the US stands at the brink of defeat in Afghanistan. How could this be possible? How could the world’s sole superpower have battled continuously for more than 16 years – deploying more than 100,000 troops at the conflict’s peak, sacrificing the lives of nearly 2,300 soldiers, spending more than $1tn (£740bn) on its military operations, lavishing a record $100bn more on “nation-building”, … Continue reading How the heroin trade explains the US-UK failure in Afghanistan