Rashid al-Ghannushi votes for Tunisian parliamentary election

Tunisian Elections Raise Hopes for Democracy

Since the start of the Arab Spring four years ago, hopes of democracy and stability for many Middle Eastern countries have faded. Elections in Egypt were followed by a military coup within a year, and the country has since been led by the heavy-handed Sisi. The removal of Muammar Gaddafi did the opposite, sparking anarchy,…

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ISIS in China: Key Questions

Recently, ISIS has issued statements condemning the People’s Republic of China for its attacks on Islam and Xinjiang Muslims. A conflict that goes decades back, the Uighur people of Xinjiang have been engaged in a separatist movement from the PRC, along with Tibet. While no large-scale warfare or movement has been arranged from the Uighur…

Incumbent Brazilian candidate Dilma Rousseff in 2012.

Challenges Facing Brazilian Politics

  Brazil captured international attention this month with one of the most heated presidential elections since its re-establishment of democracy in the 1980’s.  The October 5th general election pitted Worker’s Party incumbent Dilma Rousseff, Brazil’s first female president, against eleven other candidates.  Her main adversaries were Aecio Neves from the Brazilian Social Democracy Party (PSDB)…

open mosque

South Africa’s Open Mosque

In late September, Cape Town opened its first “Open Mosque,” forcing Muslims in South Africa to tackle issues of gender equality, sexual orientation, and religious freedom.  Essentially, the Mosque is open to all genders, sexes, religions, and races.  The Mosque is owned by Cape-Town born, Muslim academic, Taj Hargey.  There have been multiple backlashes from…

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Venezuela Update: Protests and Peace Talks

The past few weeks have seen a dramatic increase in the political unrest and military pushback that has ravaged Venezuela since February.  The protests have been dubbed a “Venezuelan Spring,” in reference to its revolution-minded demonstrations reminiscent of the ongoing Arab Spring in the Middle East.  Like participants in the Arab Spring, Venezuelan protesters have…