Religious state and non-state authorities have entered into a discussion about the legitimacy of political resistance, says Malika Zeghal. Al-Azhar, through the presence of some of its members in Tahrir Square, has shown its relevance to the recent political mobilization and has asserted its role in shaping a narrative of hope against tyranny.
Western stereotypes frequently cast Muslims as either "good" (quietist) or "bad" political, with Sufis wholly identified with the former camp, says Omid Safi. This dichotomy ignores a third group of Muslims: Those who, whether mystically inclined or not, want to neither destroy the world nor acquiesce to the wishes of the Empire, but rather seek to redeem the world by speaking truth to power.
AltMuslim, a very stimulating US/UK website that offers global perspectives on Muslim life, politics and culture, has been reflecting on some of the lessons of the largely unarmed revolution in Tunisia last month (January 2011).
The Bishop of London, Richard Chartres, has suspended ("withdrawn from public ministry" in church speak) the Bishop of Willesden, Pete Broadbent, over remarks he made on Facebook about the engagement of Kate Middleton and William Windsor. Whatever view you or I take of the monarchy, the Church of England or the opinions of Pete Broadbent, this news raises some worrying questions.