26 August 2013

Muslim Brotherhood: A Force Throughout The Muslim World

Muslim Brotherhood: A Force Throughout The Muslim World, by Krishnadev Calamur (NPR, 17 August 2013)

Excerpt:
The Muslim Brotherhood, which has a presence in dozens of Muslim countries, has been banned, repressed or restricted for much of its more than eight-decade history in Egypt, the place where it was born. After ruling Egypt for the past year, the group was effectively ousted when the military overthrew Mohammed Morsi as president on July 3. The security forces have cracked down on the Brotherhood and its supporters this past week, resulting in leaving hundreds dead.

For Arab World's Christians, An Uncertain Fate

For Arab World's Christians, An Uncertain Fate (NPR All Things Considered, 25 August 2013)

Abstract:
As Egypt plunges into unrest amid the military-backed government's crackdown on demonstrators, the country's Christian minority has been targeted by Islamic extremists. Dozens of churches have been burned, ransacked and looted since the government began fighting against supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood and ousted President Mohammed Morsi two weeks ago.
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24 August 2013

Higher social class predicts increased unethical behavior (PNAS)

Higher social class predicts increased unethical behavior, by Paul K. Piff, Daniel M. Stancato, Stéphane Côté, Rodolfo Mendoza-Denton, and Dacher Keltner (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, January 26, 2012)

Abstract:
Seven studies using experimental and naturalistic methods reveal that upper-class individuals behave more unethically than lower-class individuals. In studies 1 and 2, upper-class individuals were more likely to break the law while driving, relative to lower-class individuals. In follow-up laboratory studies, upper-class individuals were more likely to exhibit unethical decision-making tendencies (study 3), take valued goods from others (study 4), lie in a negotiation (study 5), cheat to increase their chances of winning a prize (study 6), and endorse unethical behavior at work (study 7) than were lower-class individuals. Mediator and moderator data demonstrated that upper-class individuals’ unethical tendencies are accounted for, in part, by their more favorable attitudes toward greed. 
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22 August 2013

‘Strong’ Catholic Identity at a Four-Decade Low in U.S. (Pew Research)


Excerpt:
The percentage of U.S. Catholics who consider themselves “strong” members of the Roman Catholic Church has never been lower than it was in 2012, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of new data from the General Social Survey (GSS). About a quarter (27%) of American Catholics called themselves “strong” Catholics last year, down more than 15 points since the mid-1980s and among the lowest levels seen in the 38 years since strength of religious identity was first measured in the GSS, a long-running national survey carried out by the independent research organization NORC at the University of Chicago.
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18 August 2013

Syria refugees swell Christian community in Turkey

Syria refugees swell Christian community in Turkey (BBC News Magazine, 10 August 2013)

Abstract:
Syria's Christians belong to one of the oldest Christian communities in the world, but chased away by the threat of violence some are heading for neighbouring Turkey, where they have been greeted with considerable enthusiasm.

Science and Islam (BBC Documentary)

Part 1 of 3: The Language of Science

Physicist Jim Al-Khalili travels through Syria, Iran, Tunisia and Spain to tell the story of the great leap in scientific knowledge that took place in the Islamic world between the 8th and 14th centuries. Its legacy is tangible, with terms like algebra, algorithm and alkali all being Arabic in origin and at the very heart of modern science - there would be no modern mathematics or physics without algebra, no computers without algorithms and no chemistry without alkalis.For Baghdad-born Al-Khalili this is also a personal journey and on his travels he uncovers a diverse and outward-looking culture, fascinated by learning and obsessed with science. From the great mathematician Al-Khwarizmi, who did much to establish the mathematical tradition we now know as algebra, to Ibn Sina, a pioneer of early medicine whose Canon of Medicine was still in use as recently as the 19th century, he pieces together a remarkable story of the often-overlooked achievements of the early medieval Islamic scientists.


Part 2 of 3: The Empire of Reason

Physicist Jim Al-Khalili travels through Syria, Iran, Tunisia and Spain to tell the story of the great leap in scientific knowledge that took place in the Islamic world between the 8th and 14th centuries. Al-Khalili travels to northern Syria to discover how, a thousand years ago, the great astronomer and mathematician Al-Biruni estimated the size of the earth to within a few hundred miles of the correct figure. He discovers how medieval Islamic scholars helped turn the magical and occult practice of alchemy into modern chemistry. In Cairo, he tells the story of the extraordinary physicist Ibn al-Haytham, who helped establish the modern science of optics and proved one of the most fundamental principles in physics - that light travels in straight lines.Prof Al-Khalili argues that these scholars are among the first people to insist that all scientific theories are backed up by careful experimental observation, bringing a rigour to science that didn't really exist before.


Part 3 of 3: The Power of Doubt

Physicist Jim Al-Khalili tells the story of the great leap in scientific knowledge that took place in the Islamic world between the 8th and 14th centuries.Al-Khalili turns detective, hunting for clues that show how the scientific revolution that took place in the 16th and 17th centuries in Europe had its roots in the earlier world of medieval Islam. He travels across Iran, Syria and Egypt to discover the huge astronomical advances made by Islamic scholars through their obsession with accurate measurement and coherent and rigorous mathematics.He then visits Italy to see how those Islamic ideas permeated into the West and ultimately helped shape the works of the great European astronomer Copernicus, and investigates why science in the Islamic world appeared to go into decline after the 16th and 17th centuries, only for it to re-emerge in the present day.Al-Khalili ends his journey in the Royan Institute in the Iranian capital Tehran, looking at how science is now regarded in the Islamic world.

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"The Life of Muhammad" (BBC / PBS Documentary)







A ground-breaking three-part series presented by Rageh Omaar charts the life of Muhammad, a man who - for the billion and half Muslims across the globe - is the messenger and final prophet of God.

In line with Islamic tradition the programme does not depict any images of the face of Muhammad, or feature any dramatic re-constructions of Muhammad's life.

Part 1: The Seeker
In a journey that is both literal and historical, and beginning in Muhammad's birthplace of Mecca, Omaar investigates the Arabia Muhammad was born into - a world of tribal loyalties and polytheistic religion. Drawing on the expertise and comment of some of the world's leading academics and commentators on Islam, the programme examines Muhammad's first marriage to Khadijah and how he received the first of the revelations that had such a profound effect both on his life, and on the lives of those closest to him.

Part 2: Holy Wars
In this second episode of The Life of Muhammad, presenter Rageh Omaar continues to chart the story of The Prophet Muhammad. Drawing on the expertise and comment from some of the world's leading academics and commentators on Islam, Omaar assesses and shines a light on key events in Muhammad's life including the Night Journey to Jerusalem, his life threatening departure from Mecca, through to the establishment of the Constitution of Medina and the eight year war with the Meccan tribes.

Part 3: Holy Peace
In the final episode of The Life of Muhammad, presenter Rageh Omaar continues to chart the story of The Prophet Muhammad. Drawing on the expertise and comment from some of the world's leading academics and commentators on Islam, Omaar analyses and investigates key events during the later part of his life, including the introduction of a moral code known as Sharia and the concept of Jihad. The programme also explores Muhammad's use of marriage to build alliances, and looks at the key messages included in his final sermon.

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