When Islam becomes politics, assorted;
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Islamic Renaissance now
Death demanded for UK teacher
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Hey, it's better than being shot
How a row over the naming of a teddy bear in Sudan has stoked interfaith tension
Perhaps the hardest question that Muslims in the West face from sceptical fellow-citizens is whether they are prepared in any circumstances to defend the harsh penalties, such as lashing and stoning, which the sacred texts of Islam prescribe, in particular for sexual offences, or blaspheming against the faith.
Tariq Ramadan, an influential Muslim philosopher, has called for an indefinite moratorium on capital and corporal punishment, using elaborate theological arguments to support his view that these penalties have resulted in horribly cruel treatment for vulnerable people, including women and the poor. Scholars in the Muslim heartland do not go far enough when they say the necessary conditions for the application of these traditional punishments are “almost never” fulfilled, Mr Ramadan has argued. Some westerners (including France’s President Nicolas Sarkozy, in the days when he was interior minister) taunted Mr Ramadan over the use of the word moratorium: did that mean stoning might resume in the future? But to traditional scholars, Mr Ramadan is clearly going too far. The gap he is trying to straddle is already a wide one, and the story of Ms Gibbons suggests that it risks growing even wider.
Censorship in cyberspace
Saudi oil plants targeted in missile plot
The dangers for the region and the world of the continued radicalization of Arab youth via the US presence in Iraq
The Akond of Swat
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Nigeria Turns From Harsher Side of Islamic Law