Religion changes and mutates. Some of these religious mutations can be positively harmful in a changing Middle East. But other religious innovations can help religion accommodate itself to modernity, says Ahmad Sadri. It doesn’t matter whether a society has or does not have religion per se. What is important is what kind of religion or irreligion pervades in that society.
While the Middle East uprisings have not revolved around religion, faith has not been absent from Arab scenes of protest in the last two months, says Shatha Almutawa. God and scripture are invoked by revolutionaries and those who oppose them for the simple reason that Arab dialects and ways of life are infused with religion.
A hurricane of change is blowing through the Arab world. Even now, many Arab regimes are still in denial, says Nadim Shehadi. But this volatile situation also challenges the West to grasp a new political reality.
Living with uncertainty is the reality of existence, says Sande Ramage. Pretending otherwise by constructing systems and traditions that look reliable is a human preoccupation, until we are stopped in our tracks by disaster such as that which has struck Christchurch.
Despite the pernicious narratives of past decades, and despite dismissive Western attitudes towards the Middle East and North Africa, Arabs are showing that they can practise democracy after all, says Harry Hagopian. This moment in history is not just a revolt, it is a struggle for the Arab soul.
The 'Palestine Papers' published by al Jazeera, giving a detailed insight into the negotiating tactics of the PLO leadership, raise crucial and difficult issues for Palestinians, says Harry Hagopian. But could the world community convert the attention into another initiative for peace with justice in the region?
Disabled people stand to lose much and gain little from the government's cuts. The social model of disability suggests that people are largely "disabled" by society, says Nicola Sleap. Christians should take a stand on disability rights, responding to Jesus' call to heal by healing a society that continues to marginalise people.
In encountering Tupac Enrique Acosta in prison, Colin Bossen met someone with an analysis of the Arizona anti-immigration bill's place in a history that put it firmly within the context of the ongoing repression of the indigenous peoples of North America.
The fear and hatred that inspired David Kato’s killers are not confined to the uneducated, says Bishop Pierre W. Whalon. Sadly, they have been replicated by many Christians. But God does not hate, and those who would call themselves Christian cannot do so either.
On 3 March 2011, the Welsh people vote in a referendum about the future of Wales. They have the chance to claim better powers for their Assembly. Aled Edwards explains why Christians and people of good faith want to see that happen, and why there is a moral imperative for change in terms of the most vulnerable in society.
History was made at the UN climate talks last week – not by the achievement of a breakthrough in negotiations, unfortunately, but by the unprecedented walk-out by 800 civil society groups and trade unions, says Caroline Lucas MP, assessing what has happened and what needs to happen next.
What worries many powers today are Iranian encroaching attempts to enrich high-grade uranium. Has the deal that has just been done alleviated those fears, or merely been a piece of window dressing? Regional commentator and Ekklesia associate Dr Harry Hagopian examines the complexities, political dynamics and regional (global, indeed) implications of the Iran nuclear deal.