Human rights in Asia
Tajik women turn to polygamy to survive
Dire economic conditions are spurring an increasing number of women in Tajikistan to enter polygamous marriages. But it comes at a price. With few rights to underpin their existence, they bear a burden of social stigma that taints not only their lives but those of their children too. Madina Shogunbekova reports
Human rights and Islamism in the Gulf
This Barbie can't go to Kuwait
The recent ban of the Barbie film is part of a growing crackdown on feminism and freedom of expression in Kuwait. Hind Al Ansari argues that instead of tightening controls, the government should focus on developing spaces for open dialogue
Mahsa Amini: one year on
Tehran has lost the battle for credibility
One year after Mahsa Amini died in police custody, sparking nationwide protests, the Iranian regime has quashed all displays of public discontent. But the 2022 protest movement was not a lost cause and its impact on Iranian history cannot be undermined, writes Leela Jacinto
Financial Times: How to make lab-grown meat halal
Meat grown in a lab could be considered halal, according to advice from Islamic scholars in Saudi Arabia to a U.S. food start-up, as the industry starts to explore certification for products to fit religious dietary rules.
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
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.
"Not our Islam!"
German imams condemn ban on university education for Afghan women
German imams have publicly expressed their solidarity with the women of Afghanistan. In a letter of protest, the clerics say that the Taliban regime's decree barring women from universities cannot be justified by Islam and is even "in fatal contradiction" to the religion
Protests in Iran
Rethinking Sharia and democracy
According to a recent survey, half of all Iranians say that they have left Islam as a religion, while two-thirds believe Islamic law should be excluded from their legal system. In the following essay, Ahmet T. Kuru explores the implications
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