- Is Indonesia Becoming Like Pakistan? with Andreas Harsono
The maximum penalty for blasphemy in Pakistan is death, and public protest is not allowed. Indonesia is nowhere near as bad as this--yet. "Indonesia is now going down the Pakistan route," says Andreas Harsono of Human Rights Watch. "There are more and more political manipulations using the blasphemy law, and there are more and more discriminatory regulations against minorities in Indonesia."
- Articles Resulting from Carnegie Council Religion and Tolerance Research Delegation to Indonesia, October 2017
In October 2017, Carnegie Council's Asia Dialogues program led a group of 12 Pacific Delegates from seven countries and a diverse set of professional backgrounds to Indonesia. Amid growing Islamophobia and populism in Europe and the United States, a more complete picture of Islam is crucial, and as the world's largest Muslim nation, Indonesia has the potential to shape the way the world's fastest growing and most contentious religion is perceived worldwide.
- Iran: A Modern History, with Abbas Amanat
There are few countries in the world that are more misrepresented in the West than Iran. By exploring the imperial rivalries that played out there, the dynastic changes and revolutions, the population explosion, the role of religion, and Iran's relations with other nations in the Middle East, Abbas Amanat provides a context that helps us to demystify present-day Iran, one of the most powerful nations in the Middle East.
- Moral Leadership Missing in Burma, with Ambassador Derek Mitchell
Former ambassador to Burma Derek Mitchell examines the complex situation there, including the roots of the ongoing Rohingya crisis and China's influence there. Aung San Suu Kyi is not providing the necessary leadership, he says--despite her constraints she should be speaking out about the Rohingya and about free speech, for example. Nevertheless, she has been given too much flak, and this has become counterproductive.
- Tunisia: An Arab Anomaly with Safwan M. Masri
Did you know that Tunisia started championing women's rights in the eighth century, and is still far ahead of most Arab and Muslim-majority countries? Indeed Tunisia's trajectory on many fronts has been radically more progressive than that of other Arab nations. So while it it may serve as an inspiration, its unique history probably makes its success impossible to duplicate, says Safwan Masri.
- Digital World War: Islamists, Extremists, and the Fight for Cyber Supremacy, with Haroon Ullah
Despite defeats like Mosul and Raqqa, ISIS and other extremist groups are thriving, says Ullah. For them, the most important battlefield is not the physical one but the information one, and there they are winning. They are nimble, moving from open-source platforms to encrypted ones and are not afraid to fail, getting instant feedback on what propaganda works best. We need a much more concerted effort--a "Manhattan project"--to combat this.
- The Rohingya Crisis: "Myanmar's Enemy Within" with Francis Wade
Francis Wade, author of "The Enemy Within," a new book on the Rohingya crisis in Myanmar, explains the historical background to the persecution of the Muslim Rohingya minority and gives a first-hand account of the terrible situation now. Has democracy been good for Burma? Will some Rohingya refugees become Islamic extremists?
- What the Qur'an Meant: And Why It Matters with Garry Wills
How can we engage with Muslims around the world without really understanding what they believe? On studying the Qur'an, religious scholar Garry Wills found that many of our perceptions of Islam are false or distorted. Most surprisingly, Islam is a very inclusive religion, more so than Judaism or Christianity. What's more, the Qur'an gives women more property rights than early Christian women had. Don't miss this important talk.
- The Once and Future Liberal: After Identity Politics with Mark Lilla
"Democrats/liberals need to understand how we lost our grip on the American imagination. Why is it that we are unable to project an image of the kind of country that we want to build together, a vision that would draw people together?" Mark Lilla blames identity politics and argues that the U.S. case offers a window on the crisis of democratic citizenship worldwide.
- An Uncertain Ally: Turkey Under Erdoğan's Dictatorship with David L. Phillips
"We need to face the fact that Turkey under Erdoğan has become a rogue regime," declares David L. Phillips. It's a corrupt, repressive, Islamist dictatorship. The U.S. should no longer regard it as an ally, but as a strategic adversary.
- Islam in Indonesia's Political Economy with Wayne Forrest
Indonesia is enjoying economic growth and the reemergence of democracy, yet it is troubling that the influence of Islam in politics is also growing. "I'm still optimistic that Indonesia can weather these outside Islamic influences that come from the Middle East and that are not really from their culture," says Wayne Forrest, president of the American Indonesian Chamber of Commerce (AICC).
- Ethics on Film: Discussion of "Malcolm X"
Malcolm X is seen by some as a symbol of the enduring struggle for equal rights for all human beings; but for others his legacy is tainted by his embrace of the Nation of Islam's fiery rhetoric. Spike Lee's epic film explores all incarnations of the civil rights icon and shows how and why he evolved. Fifty years after Malcolm X's assassination and 25 years after the film was made, it is as relevant as ever.
- James Traub on Immigrants and Refugees
What happens when Sweden, one of the most welcoming countries on Earth for migrants, simply runs out of beds? What are the unpleasant (and politically incorrect) truths about the difficulties of assimilation in Europe? How can we have honest policy discussions about this? Author James Traub has been spending time in Sweden, France, and Germany and has given these sensitive issues much thought. Don't miss his unflinching analysis.
- The Soul of the First Amendment
In this timely event, Floyd Abrams, a noted lawyer and award-winning legal scholar specializing in First Amendment issues, examines the degree to which American law protects free speech more often, more intensely, and more controversially than is the case anywhere else in the world, including democratic nations such as Canada and England.
- Terror in France: The Rise of Jihad in the West
From January 2015 to July 2016, 239 people in France died in terrorist attacks. In this gripping talk, leading French scholar Gilles Kepel explains the causes behind this new wave of violent jihad and discusses why Europe is the main target.
- Democracy and the Deep State in Myanmar
In this fascinating interview, Maureen Aung-Thwin, founder of the Burma Project at Open Society Foundations, describes how the Project helped Burma's transition to democracy starting in 1993, and what the situation is today. Our aim was to put ourselves out of a job, says Aung-Thwin, and you could say we succeeded--but there's still a lot of work to do.
- The Intersection of Religion, Identity, and Peacemaking with Rev. Robert Chase
Rev. Robert Chase has spent 10 years as director of Intersections International, working "to bring disparate groups together in search of peaceful and socially just resolution to long-held conflicts." In this wide-ranging talk, he discusses his time in Pakistan and Kazakhstan, working with New York's Muslim community, and how then-Senator Obama inspired him in 2004.
- Protestants: The Faith that Made the Modern World
Understanding Protestantism is fundamental to understanding the modern world, says Professor Alec Ryrie. It has shaped democratic liberalism, capitalism, limited government, the notion of free inquiry, and continues to gain converts all over the world. How did this all blossom from Martin Luther's "Ninety-five Theses" 500 years ago?
- A Question of Order: India, Turkey, and the Return of Strongmen
Journalist Basharat Peer recounts the rise of two strongmen: Erdogan in Turkey and Modi in India. What they have in common "is a lack of concern or respect for all liberal democratic values, whether it's rule of law, dissent, freedom of expression, or the rights of minorities."
- Indonesia's Jihadists, and the Rise of Female Terrorists
Indonesia is sometimes described as "the smiling face of Islam," but the reality is much more complex. Naraniyah explains the shifting landscape of Indonesian Islamic extremist groups, and notes that women are playing an increasingly important role, many of them inspired by images on social media of female ISIS supporters around the world.