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Snapshot,
Amjad Mahmood Khan

Pakistan's terrorism problem has its roots in a group of draconian laws—known as the blasphemy laws—that a military dictator, Zia ul-Haq, enacted decades ago.

Snapshot,
M.J. Akbar

Long before ISIS declared a caliphate in Iraq and Syria, Mahatma Gandhi gave Indian Muslims support for their Caliphate movement.

Snapshot,
Victor Gaetan

While in Turkey, the pope will publicly demonstrate his respect and affection for Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I as part of an ongoing, 50-year dialogue between Catholics and Orthodox. The pope also aims to boost the standing of the beleaguered patriarch in the face of a dismissive Turkish government and an often overbearing institutional daughter, the Russian Orthodox Church.

Snapshot,
Nick Danforth

Western pundits and nostalgic Muslim thinkers alike have built up a narrative of the caliphate as an enduring institution, central to Islam and Islamic thought between the seventh and twentieth centuries. In fact, the caliphate is a political or religious idea whose relevance has waxed and waned according to circumstance.

Snapshot,
Gunes Murat Tezcur and Sabri Ciftci

The past few weeks have seen a wave of Muslims from all around the world joining the ranks of ISIS. Although most of the attention has been on those coming from the United States and Europe, the bulk of foreign fighters has actually come from places like Turkey, from which the flow of jihadists is particularly puzzling.

Snapshot,
Nick Danforth

Today, many in Turkey will celebrate Eid by purchasing sheep or cows, slaughtering them, and distributing the meat to the poor. Meanwhile, many members of Turkey’s self-consciously Western elite will participate in their own tradition: denouncing the whole thing as barbaric. Alongside these two basic positions, however, there are a host of more surprising arguments, many put forward by pro-sacrifice conservatives eager to claim the modernist high ground.

Snapshot,
Benjamin Miller

There seems to be little connecting recent violence in Ukraine to the destabilization of Iraq. But both conflicts spring from a common source, the mismatch between state boundaries and national identities -- a “state-to-nation imbalance.”

Snapshot,
Kevin Russell and Nicholas Sambanis

The strategy Obama laid out last Thursday -- the United States will share intelligence with Iraq and help the country coordinate a plan to turn back ISIS in return for Maliki promising to share power with Sunni leaders -- won’t work. The sectarian dilemma will persist even if ISIS is defeated, and any feints at sharing power are likely to be short-lived.

Postscript,
Reidar Visser

With the situation in Mosul rapidly deteriorating, Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki seems to be considering two main alternatives: proceed with forming a new cabinet, which would require him to include at least some of his political enemies, or consolidate his influence among Iraqi Shia, with little regard for what happens to the Sunni and Kurdish parts of the country.

Snapshot,
Victor Gaetan

Cynics might regard Pope Francis’ prayer summit with Israeli President Shimon Peres and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas as a glorified photo opportunity. And plenty of pictures will be taken. But for five reasons, the meeting could help resuscitate the Middle East peace process.

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