A Sunni-Shi’a War in the Middle East? Not Likely

William O. Beeman

The success of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in capturing large territories in Syria and Northern Iraq, and now threatening Baghdad, has raised once again the specter of a Sunni-Shi’a war in the Middle East. Such a scenario is possible, but unlikely. That’s because Sunni and Shi’a believers throughout the world are divided into many factions living under different social conditions and with different religious, social and political agendas. 

Will Iran’s New Moderate President Usher in a New Era of Social Freedom?

William O. Beeman

The Iranian presidential elections did not turn out as expected—happily for many Iranians, and not so happily for Western critics of Iranian society. The victorious Mr. Rowhani, seen as the most moderate of all the six candidates, was not predicted to win by Western pundits, who followed their own ideological bias, predicting that the election would be rigged by ultra-conservative mullahs and the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps to favor the most conservative contender. 

From Salman Rushdie to Sam Bacile: Why Fanatics Are Easily Offended

Sandip Roy

A mysterious man in California hires a soft porn director and tricks some low-rent actors into making a trashy movie about the Prophet Muhammad. Now an Iranian foundation ups the price on Salman Rushdie's head saying that if he had been killed earlier for blasphemy, this newest anti-Islam film would never have been made. We are expected to believe that Salman Rushdie is the slippery slope that has led to Sam Bacile. The logic is so ludicrously tortured that it should be the butt of jokes. Instead it turns deadly serious and leaves a US ambassador and others dead in Libya and a gathering storm of mobs from Pakistan to Yemen.

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