Alcohol in Iran, Turkey and the USA
Are all taboos justified?
Iran's ban on alcohol has led to a rise in methanol poisonings, revealing the deadly side of prohibition. The situation mirrors past failures in the U.S. and contrasts with more lenient policies in countries like Turkey. By Niloofar Gholami
Women defying hijab laws forced into psychiatric treatment
Authorities in Iran are trying to enforce laws obligating women to cover their hair by sending them for psychological treatment.
Evolving gender rights
In her latest book – "Journeys Toward Gender Equality in Islam" – legal anthropologist and activist Ziba Mir-Hosseini talks to six leading Muslim reformists about gender, women's rights and the latter's evolution over time. Interview by Tugrul von Mende
Indonesia’s Islamic peace diplomacy: Crafting a role model for moderate Islam
Indonesia, the world’s largest Muslim-majority nation, is continuously increasing its Islamic diplomacy portfolio. A central element is the deployment of a moderate Islam discourse for global peace.
Shia clerics in Iran
"Save Islam" – or just the mullahs?
Are the Shia clergy disappearing as a pillar of Iranian society, degenerating into a mere power apparatus? Nationwide attacks, vilification and the murder, or attempted murder, of mullahs are becoming more frequent. Every turban wearer is seen as representing and symbolising the hated regime. By Ali Sadrzadeh
Polarising religious narratives
Religious discussions on the causes and aftermath of the earthquake disaster in Turkey and Syria have dominated Arab discourse recently, revealing the urgent need to support marginalised, humanist religious voices and those placing the human above polarisation and the instrumentalisation of events. By Mustafa Karahamad
Protests in Iran
The longing for a modern form of Islam
Forty-three years after Khomeini's revolution, the regime is facing its greatest internal challenge yet. State Islam in Iran is being rocked from beneath.
The Prophet Muhammad
Oxford study sheds light on Muhammad's "underage" wife Aisha
New scholarship suggests the story of Islam's prophet marrying a minor is baseless propaganda fabricated for political and sectarian motives
Islam’s conscientious thinkers
People of reason vs. people of the hadith
Past attempts to reconcile logic and belief within Islam tend to be dismissed today – not because they lack merit, but because they were politically defeated, argues Mustafa Akyol
Hasan al-Banna and the Muslim Brotherhood
Who was the architect of Islamism?
Renowned scholar of Islamic Studies Gudrun Kramer has just published the first well-founded biography of Hasan al-Banna, founder of the Muslim Brotherhood. Joseph Croitoru read the book
Understanding the Sufis
To understand Islamic mysticism, we must first clear up a number of misconceptions, as Marian Brehmer writes in his essay – part 1 of a new series on Sufism
Female scholars in Islam
Unsung guardians of the 'true' tradition
Back in 1995, when The Times asserted Islam was to blame for the poor levels of education among women in the Muslim world, Mohammad Akram Nadwi began scouring ancient Arabic manuscripts for women's names. Looking specifically for female scholars, his hope was to find maybe 20 or 30 women. What he found was astounding. By Julia Ley