The Catholic Pope’s visit to the Arabian Peninsula reprised Abbasid times

by Rashmee

Posted on March 6, 2019


Weeks after Pope Francis visited the United Arab Emirates, the implications remain profound. For the Middle East, birthplace and cradle of Judaism, Christianity and Islam, there is considerable resonance in the document signed by the Pope and  Sheik Ahmad el-Tayeb, Grand Imam of Egypt’s al-Azhar mosque and university. The ‘Document on Human Fraternity’, as it’s called, … Continue reading “The Catholic Pope’s visit to the Arabian Peninsula reprised Abbasid times”

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John Chau shouldn’t be forgotten. His fatal ‘civilising’ mission has resonance, past and present

by Rashmee

Posted on December 3, 2018


No one’s talking about John Chau any more, but we should. The young man died trying to convert a tiny hunter-gatherer tribe on India’s remote North Sentinel Island. I thought of ‘Rain’, Somerset Maugham’s short story when I first heard about the American missionary. Maugham wrote the story in 1921 but nearly a century on, … Continue reading “John Chau shouldn’t be forgotten. His fatal ‘civilising’ mission has resonance, past and present”

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Trump lit slow-burning cultural fuse setting the tone for Jerusalem speech

by Rashmee

Posted on December 10, 2017


Some political events are volcanic; others are like a slow-burning fuse. US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital is a political volcano but days earlier he lit an interfaith cultural fuse by retweeting three anti-Muslim videos originally posted by a fringe far-right British group. One of the three videos merits particular … Continue reading “Trump lit slow-burning cultural fuse setting the tone for Jerusalem speech”

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Muslim and Christians will be at level pegging globally by 2050. So?

by Rashmee

Posted on April 6, 2015


Is the West Ready for More Muslims? asks Christopher Flavelle  on Bloomberg View.  He quotes a new Pew Research Centre study’s numbers: by 2050, Muslims worldwide will have grown by 70 per cent, adding more co-religionists than any other faith. It will then equal the number of Christians. And 1 in 10 people in France, … Continue reading “Muslim and Christians will be at level pegging globally by 2050. So?”

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Rashmee has lived and worked in several countries in the past decade, including Afghanistan, India, Haiti, Tunisia, the UAE, US and UK