Malaysia’s reputation as moderate Muslim nation hangs by a thread

Mosque in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Malaysia is seen by most Western countries as one of the moderate Muslim nations, an ally to be cultivated and befriended in the battle against militant Islam. The country’s Prime Minister, Najib Razak, was among one of the leaders to visit US President Donald Trump in his first year of . . . Read More

How serious is Saudi Arabia about religious freedom?

How serious is Saudi Arabia about religious freedom?
Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman, says he wants to move his conservative Muslim country towards a more moderate version of Islam, but how serious is he about religious freedom? Speaking at a conference for investors in Riyadh last month the 32-year-old Crown Prince said the conservative version of . . . Read More

‘Careful response needed’ after Mozambique’s first Islamist attack

Mozambiques President Filipe Nyusi addresses the 71st session of the UN General Assembly in New York on 21 September 2016. (Photo: Getty Images)
Mozambique experienced its first confirmed Islamist attack earlier this month when a local group raided three police stations in the coastal town of Mocimboa da Praia. Now a “careful response” is required from the government, says African historian Eric Morier-Genoud. A group of about 30 armed men launched the attack . . . Read More

Indonesia: ‘Saudi influence behind rise in Islamic extremism’, as churches continue to be closed

Thousands of Muslims from across Indonesia joined the Islamic-hardliners in Jakarta to protest against Jakarta’s (former) Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama ('Ahok') on 4 November 2016 for allegedly insulting Islam when citing a Quranic verse. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
“The election and trial of Jakarta’s former governor ‘Ahok’ have exposed increasing radicalization in Indonesia, especially among the young … and it has led to a more aggressive campaign to confront Islamist radicalism,” writes Paul Marshall. In his article for the Lausanne Movement, the Wilson Professor of Religious Freedom at . . . Read More

IS guilty of genocide, says US Secretary of State

rex tillerson flickr
The US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has stressed that the actions of the Islamic State (IS) group against Christians, Yazidis and Shia Muslims constitute genocide, and also criticised America’s ally, Saudi Arabia, for religious freedom violations. Tillerson made his “genocide” comments in the preface to the State Department’s annual . . . Read More

Middle East faith & money toxic for Horn of Africa

There’s a long-standing connection between the Horn of Africa and the Arabian Peninsula, shaped by trade and faith. Former BBC Africa Editor Martin Plaut explores this relationship, which has caused increased tensions between and within the countries in the Horn, and which has affected the Christians there badly. Over centuries, . . . Read More

Cameroon must deal with religious radicalism

The emergence of radical religious groups has dramatically changed the landscape in Cameroon, paving the way for religious intolerance, says the International Crisis Group (ICG), in a new report. Unlike its neighboring Nigeria and the Central African Republic, Cameroon has never experienced significant sectarian violence. However, ICG reports, the emergence . . . Read More