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Asia Watch: In and out of focus

Asia Watch: In and out of focus Categories: Asia, China, Terrorism, Turkey     Author: Michael Shannon

Despite the saturation coverage and the massive police and intelligence effort, information on the perpetrators of the Bangkok bombing has been slow to emerge, with lines of inquiry centring on possible retaliation for the Thai government's decision to deport more than 100 Uighur refugees to China i

Asia Watch: Enemies real and imagined Categories: Asia, Islamic Extremism, Israel     Author: Michael Shannon

Indonesia's historic reputation for religious tolerance took a beating for several years as an unholy coalition of Islamist politicians and self-styled enforcers like the Islamic Defenders Front harassed and sometimes violently attacked minorities, including Christians and Shi'ites, Sufi and Ahmadiy

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The Last Word: The beginning of a new era?

The Last Word: The beginning of a new era? Categories: Asia, Australasia, Interfaith Dialogue     Author: Jeremy Jones

There is a wonderful Indonesian celebration known as Hallal bi Hallal. Shortly after the end of Ramadan, Indonesian Muslims, and their guests, gather to strengthen interpersonal bonds and make peace with each other, just as during Ramadan they had been concentrating on their relationship to, an

Asia Watch: Fear and Loathing Categories: Asia     Author: Michael Shannon

Such is the mesmerising effect of atrocities perpetrated by ISIS that any act committed in its name appears only to be the tip of the iceberg. Far from its epicentre in Syria and Iraq, the spate of ‘lone-wolf' attacks means that Islamic groups and individuals expressing any identification with

Asia Watch: Breaking Point Categories: Asia     Author: Michael Shannon

Since the 2013 election, UMNO and particularly Prime Minister Najib Razak has courted PAS by murmuring tacit acquiescence for its plans to institute hudud (Islamic law backed by harsh medieval punishments) in an effort to break up the opposition coalition. Now PAS appears set to align itself with UM

Asia Watch: Across the Spectrum Categories: Asia, Islamic Extremism, Palestinians     Author: Michael Shannon

Support for the Palestinian cause and antipathy towards Israel is a rare point of agreement in the bare-knuckled Malaysian political debate. But there are outliers, like the hardline Muslim NGO Ikatan Muslimin Malaysia (Malaysian Muslim Solidarity) - known as ISMA. The move by the Vatican to recogn

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Israel in the frontline in Nepal

Israel in the frontline in Nepal Categories: Asia, Israel, Updates     Author: Anthony Orkin

In times of humanitarian crises anywhere in the world, Israel has developed a reputation of having unique expertise in offering much-needed assistance - particularly in terms of search and rescue and emergency medicine - more quickly than anyone else. This was exemplified by the fact that, as of Mon

Iran and the North Korea Precedent

Iran and the North Korea Precedent Categories: Asia, International Security, Iran     Author: Dan Blumenthal and Edward Linczer

In his March 3 address to the US Congress, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu rightly compared the ongoing nuclear negotiations with Iran to Washington's past experience with North Korea. But the Obama Administration appears to be willfully ignoring the record with North Korea. It also seems

The Last Word: In the Spirit of Gus Dur

The Last Word: In the Spirit of Gus Dur Categories: Asia, Interfaith Dialogue, Israel     Author: Jeremy Jones

On a sunny mid-winter's afternoon in Jerusalem, a group of travellers stopped a passerby and asked for the direction of Mecca. After a brief, friendly exchange, the men and women began afternoon prayers - in Yad Vashem, Israel's Museum and Monument to the victims of the Nazis' genocide. Later, those

The Last Word: Religion and Conflict

The Last Word: Religion and Conflict Categories: Asia, Interfaith Dialogue     Author: Jeremy Jones

The words were delivered in a matter of fact manner. The speakers were calm, rational, authentic and authoritative.The information the two men shared was spine-chilling. Both were from the Central African Republic. One Christian, one Muslim, each committed to their faith and to the well-being of the

Abu Sayyaf - Jihadists or ordinary thugs?

Abu Sayyaf - Jihadists or ordinary thugs? Categories: Asia, Islamic Extremism, Terrorism     Author: Zachary Abuza

The Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) has returned to the international spotlight following its July pledge of allegiance to ISIS and its 24 September threat to behead a 71-year-old German hostage unless a US$5.6 million ransom was paid and Germany pledged to quit the coalition attacking the Islamic State. Bot

The significance of the Netanyahu-Modi meeting in New York

The significance of the Netanyahu-Modi meeting in New York Categories: Asia, Israel, Updates     Author: Sharyn Mittelman

Israel and India have been gradually developing closer ties since India's formal diplomatic recognition of Israel in 1992. Today Israel is one of the largest military suppliers to India, and Israeli agricultural technologies including drip irrigation are helping feed India's huge population. While t

Israel and Japan sign historic R&D agreement

Israel and Japan sign historic R&D agreement Categories: Asia, India, Israel, Updates     Author: Gabrielle Debinski

Japan's Minister for Economy, Trade and Industry, Toshimitsu Motegi, touched down in Israel on Sunday for an official visit, heading a delegation of senior members of his ministry as well as leading Japanese business people. The trip, which came about through an invitation from Prime Minister Netany

Asia Watch: Volunteers Abroad Categories: Antisemitism, Asia, Islamic Extremism     Author: Michael Shannon

Indonesian jihadists periodically swarm the streets to noisily proclaim their intention to fight alongside their Muslim brethren in various Middle East hotspots, but these displays seldom result in verifiable action abroad. Now, there is no doubt that Indonesians are joining the procession of jihad

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