Religion

‘Terrorists failed to drive our nations apart, shake belief in freedom & democracy’: UK PM
China, Religion

‘Terrorists failed to drive our nations apart, shake belief in freedom & democracy’: UK PM

Paying tribute to 9/11 terror attack victims, UK PM Boris Johnson has said that the terrorists behind the horrifying September 11 attacks in the United States failed “to shake our belief in freedom and democracy”. Marking the 20th anniversary of the attacks, Johnson said that while the terror threat remained, people refused to live in permanent fear. In a recorded message, the UK PM said, “That we are coming together today - in sorrow but also in faith and resolve - demonstrates the failure of terrorism and the strength of the bonds between us”. Around 2,977 people had died in the terror attacks, including 67 Britons. While recalling the attack, Johnson said that 20 years ago 11 September, 2001 became, in President Roosevelt’s words after Pearl Harbour, "a date which will live in infamy"....
Separates leader Geelani, his life and the journey of Kashmir
Human Rights, Religion

Separates leader Geelani, his life and the journey of Kashmir

Towards The End, Geelani Realized Pakistan Had Used Him At the fag end of his life, Geelani realized how empty and corrupt the so-called movement for the liberation of Kashmir was, and how Pakistan had used him to further its agenda. Geelani had accused Pakistan of using drug as a weapon in Kashmir and had quit the Hurriyat in June 2020. Some called Geelani the man who fought for Kashmir’s freedom. This was wrong. Geelani fought only for Pakistan. For decades this simple fact has remained covered in the smokescreen of emotionally attractive “freedom”. Pakistan’s strategic assets were quick to respond by paying their condolences on social media to the Hurriyat leader. They failed to highlight the loss of lives and destruction caused by Geelani’s narrow worldview. Soon after...
Modi Is Trying to Engineer a Hindu Majority in Kashmir
China, Religion

Modi Is Trying to Engineer a Hindu Majority in Kashmir

In 2019, New Delhi hoped that ratcheting up federal control would make it easier to subdue Kashmir’s population and many groups’ calls for self-determination. It has since unleashed the wrath of federal agencies on local politicians, traders, publishing houses, and even government employees who have been or potentially could become sources of dissent. SRINAGAR, Jammu and Kashmir—The Indian government has commenced preparations to redraw the electoral boundaries in Indian-administered Kashmir two years after New Delhi rescinded the disputed region’s semi-autonomous status and introduced tighter federal controls. SRINAGAR, Jammu and Kashmir—The Indian government has commenced preparations to redraw the electoral boundaries in Indian-administered Kashmir two years after New Delhi rescinded ...
‘It Will Not Be Just a Civil War’
China, Environment, Human Rights, Religion

‘It Will Not Be Just a Civil War’

U.S. President Joe Biden announced on Thursday that the military withdrawal from Afghanistan would be complete by Aug. 31, ending a 20-year presence that followed the 9/11 attacks. Afghan forces have been fighting largely on their own since the international combat mission ended in December 2014. But there are doubts they can prevail against the fierce Taliban offensive. KABUL—In recent weeks, the Taliban’s rapid advance has spread fear among Afghan people that their government could collapse, allowing the insurgents to reestablish their emirate built on Islamist extremism. KABUL—In recent weeks, the Taliban’s rapid advance has spread fear among Afghan people that their government could collapse, allowing the insurgents to reestablish their emirate built on Islamist extremism. U.S. Pres...
How COVID-19 Has Shaped South Asia
China, Environment, Politics, Religion

How COVID-19 Has Shaped South Asia

The highlights this week: What COVID-19 has meant for South Asia, Taliban offensives continue in Afghanistan, and Nepal’s Supreme Court removes an embattled prime minister. Welcome to Foreign Policy’s South Asia Brief. The highlights this week: What COVID-19 has meant for South Asia, Taliban offensives continue in Afghanistan, and Nepal’s Supreme Court removes an embattled prime minister. If you would like to receive South Asia Brief in your inbox every Thursday, please sign up here. Explaining South Asia’s COVID-19 Surge On Monday, Bangladesh tallied nearly 14,000 new COVID-19 cases, which set a new daily record and brought the country’s total number of cases to more than a million. A seven-day lockdown imposed on July 1 was extended into this week, but authorities have announced it ...
Edi Rama Is Building Bridges to Europe—or Nowhere
China, Politics, Religion

Edi Rama Is Building Bridges to Europe—or Nowhere

“There is never enough respect,” the recently reelected prime minister told Foreign Policy in his office in Tirana, Albania. “Too much effort has been made in defining or presenting Albania as a dark reality.” TIRANA, Albania—When he goes to high-level meetings with surly Eurocrats in Brussels wearing sweatpants, colorful socks, sneakers, and a matching blazer, the message he wants to send is clear. Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama could not care less about what those photographed next to him think about his attire. TIRANA, Albania—When he goes to high-level meetings with surly Eurocrats in Brussels wearing sweatpants, colorful socks, sneakers, and a matching blazer, the message he wants to send is clear. Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama could not care less about what those photographed ...
The China Model Will Never Work in Iran
China, Environment, Religion

The China Model Will Never Work in Iran

On Aug. 5, Ebrahim Raisi will be inaugurated as Iran’s eighth president since the revolution. The Biden administration has been eager to reenter the Iran nuclear deal before the hard-liner takes office. But they needn’t worry: Should the administration choose to uphold the pressure until Iran returns to nuclear compliance, Raisi may well sign on to the old Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. He would need sanctions relief to address the regime’s existential economic crisis . In 1979, both Iran and China underwent revolutionary transformations. In China, Deng Xiaoping inaugurated formal diplomatic relations with the United States, repudiating the Maoist Cultural Revolution that had devastated the country. In Iran, Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi was replaced by an Islamist regime committed to o...
In Alaa al-Aswany’s New Novel, Dictatorship Keeps Winning
China, Politics, Religion

In Alaa al-Aswany’s New Novel, Dictatorship Keeps Winning

It was a dizzying time. Factory protests and bread riots flared up every week. I watched as one Egyptian friend of mine, a photographer for Reuters, had his camera snatched by the authorities. “They would have destroyed it,” he said, but for the fact that he spoke German and convinced them he wasn’t Egyptian. Anyone in Cairo at the time could have told you something vast and explosive was building. No one knew it would erupt just 18 months later in the 2011 uprisings, known in Egypt as the January 25 Revolution. Istibdad. That’s the Arabic word I remember from the time I met Alaa al-Aswany, the Egyptian dentist and bestselling author of The Yacoubian Building. It means “absolutism” or “dictatorship,” from a root signifying “to keep for oneself”—a fitting term for an author who has made a ...
China Is Using Tibetans as Agents of Empire in the Himalayas
China, Human Rights, Politics, Religion

China Is Using Tibetans as Agents of Empire in the Himalayas

In April 1998, with the Himalayan passes still more than 6 feet deep in snow, Penpa Tsering, a 22-year-old Tibetan herder, set off to the south from his home in Tibet across a remote 15,700-foot-high pass called the Namgung La. He was leading a train of a dozen yaks carrying tsampa (parched barley flour), rice, and fodder. Penpa Tsering had been dispatched by the village leader of Lagyab, a settlement in Lhodrak county nearly 7 miles northeast of the Namgung La as the crow flies, to take desperately needed supplies to four other Tibetan herders who were spending the winter in a remote grassland area at 14,200 feet on the south side of the pass. Without the food that Penpa Tsering’s yaks were carrying, the herders would not survive the winter. After one day and one night of walking, Penpa ...
The Chinese Communist Party Is Scared of Christianity
China, Religion

The Chinese Communist Party Is Scared of Christianity

Religious controls have been part of communist practice since the foundation of the People’s Republic of China. As a result, churches split into “patriotic” associations, officially sanctioned if frowned upon. Unrecognized denominations’ status ranged, depending on the government’s mood, from fully underground to operating openly but cautiously. In 2018, the Vatican signed a deal with the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), attempting to regularize the status of the underground church. The details of the arrangement were kept secret from the laity. Three years later, however, the repression of Christians, whatever their denomination, is at its highest point since the Cultural Revolution. As the Chinese Communist Party celebrates its centenary, Christianity—and other faiths—remain among the cha...