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Hindu Muslim relations are in a rout. Fear and prejudice have been weaponized. To discuss this, I'm joined by A. Faizur Rahman, a prominent Indian Muslim thinker and Secretary General of the Islamic Forum for the Promotion of Moderate Thought.
Moderate Muslims and militant Hindu nationalists are strange bedfellows at the best of times, particularly when they come together to reshape Hindu-Muslim relations in troubled India. Yet, that is what Indonesia’s Nahdlatul Ulama and India’s Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) seek to achieve.
If real estate is anything to go by, Dubai is snubbing its nose at Saudi efforts to replace it as the Middle East's go-to business and expatriate hub.
For the United Arab Emirates, it’s business as usual as Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s newly formed government wastes no time in implementing hardline policies aimed at forcing Palestinians to give up on the notion of an independent state and accept Israeli rule.
Saudi Arabia isn't wasting time to milk for what it’s worth soccer superstar Cristiano Ronaldo’s move to the kingdom. Neither are others in the Gulf eager to join the bandwagon.
An official visit to Xinjiang to assess the fate of Turkic Muslims in the troubled north-western Chinese Province is a risky proposition by any definition. Even so, it would be worth the risk if China and Turkey could agree on the terms of a visit.
One-upmanship in Middle Eastern sports just wretched up a notch as superstar Cristiano Ronaldo joins state-owned Saudi football club Al Nassr FC for reportedly a whopping US$241 million over 2.5 years.
Qatar 2022 put the myth of a separation of sports and politics to bed. Like in Qatar, human, worker, and LGBT rights are likely to be left, right, and centre as other Gulf and North African states move centre stage as hosts of and bidders for some of the world’s foremost mega-sporting events, the 2030 World Cup and the 2036 Olympics, and major Asian tournaments, including the Asian Cup and the Asian Games.
Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu’s far-right, Jewish nationalist, ultra-conservative coalition government threatens to put the Jewish state on a collision course with Diaspora Jewry and could weaken or undermine a pillar of Israeli national security: unquestioned US support. The looming crisis with two of Israel’s crucial constituencies, the United States and Diaspora Jewry, stems from Mr. Netanyahu's embrace of the far-right and willingness to sidestep the rise of anti-Semitism among Christian nationalists and Evangelicals, two groups that constitute the mainstay of US grassroots support for Israel.
This decade and beyond could be the era of Middle Eastern sports. It may not have sunk in yet, but the Qatar World Cup was the kickoff rather than the finale. Qatar and Saudi Arabia will be this decade's focal points of Asian sports. By 2030, Egypt and Turkey could become part of the global sports-hosting mix.
At first glance, Islamic scholars discussing the religious legitimacy of the United Nations and the nation-state sounds esoteric. It's not. On the contrary, it’s potentially revolutionary.
France defeated Morocco 2:0 on the pitch, but off the pitch Morocco is up 4:0. Ultimately, the effects of Morocco’s off-the-pitch success may ripple much longer than the fallout of its stellar performance in the stadium.
Muslim religious soft power rivalry, a battle for the soul of Islam, just got hotter. The rivalry’s latest battlefield is not Mecca, Medina, Cairo, Tehran, or Istanbul. It’s Hindu nationalist Delhi. That is because, for the next year, India chairs the Group of 20 largest economies in the world.
The Biden administration excels in scoring its own goals, nowhere more so than in the Middle East. Missed in the hype of Chinese President Xi Jinping's recent visit to Saudi Arabia is that no part of the world lends itself more than the Middle East to put into practice the administration's vision of a world in which the United States and China simultaneously cooperate and compete.
Pomp and circumstance are important. So are multiple agreements to be signed during Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to Saudi Arabia this week, his first venture beyond East and Central Asia in three years. The visit allows Gulf states, with Saudi Arabia in the lead, to further diversify their foreign relationships and hedge their bets as the world moves from a unipolar to a bipolar, if not multipolar, order. In addition, Mr. Xi’s visit boosts the positioning of Mr. Bin Salman and his kingdom as undisputed leaders of the Muslim world.
If the Qatar World Cup proved anything, it’s that sports and politics are inseparable Siamese twins joined at the hip.
Hungary didn't qualify for the Qatar World Cup, but that hasn't stopped Prime Minister Victor Orban from exploiting the world's current focus on soccer to signal his Putinesque definition of central European borders as defined by civilization and ethnicity rather than internationally recognized frontiers.
Protest on the soccer pitch has proven to be a mixed blessing for World Cup host Qatar, exposing double standards in the Gulf state’s position as well as that of its critics.
Barely out of the starting blocks, the Qatar World Cup has already produced a fair share of upsets as well as politically and personally sensitive situations and incidents.
As Indonesia passed the chairmanship of the Group of 20 (G-20) to India earlier this month, major Muslim and Hindu organisations, some backed by their governments, are battling to define the role of religion in global politics and whether the world's significant faiths need reform to harness the power of their convictions.
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