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Interview with Muslim rock star Sami Yusuf

Interview with Muslim rock star Sami Yusuf

Kourosh Ziabari - Tehran Times: He is indubitably the greatest name in Islamic rock and pop music. Iranians feverishly call him their fellow citizen, but he has spent only his first 3-4 years of life in Iran. He immigrated to Britain with his parents when he was a child. He prefers to be simply called a Muslim artist, and not be associated with his national roots in order for his message to reach out to as many people across the world as possible instead of simply appealing to a certain nation or group of people. Referred to as “Islam’s biggest rock star” by the Time magazine, Sami Yusuf is a well-known singer, songwriter, composer and multi-instrumentalist who was has received widespread worldwide acclamation for his unique...

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Islamophobia Is a Lucrative Industry: Nathan Lean

Islamophobia Is a Lucrative Industry: Nathan Lean

Kourosh Ziabari - Fair Observer: The US-based Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life predicts that over the next two decades, Muslims will make up 26.4% of the world’s population of 8.3 billion people. This means that the worldwide Muslim population will have grown by 25% at the end of 2030. However, while the population of Muslims in the West is growing, a fear of Islam as an ideology is increasing. This has sometimes resulted in aggressive and discriminatory measures against Muslims, which compels some scholars and thinkers to warn against the rise of “Islamophobia.” The belittling and mocking of Islamic beliefs, the Quran and the Prophet Muhammad — often in popular culture and the media — indicate that Muslims face a...

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The Torture Reports Indicates a Serious Rift between Senate and CIA

The Torture Reports Indicates a Serious Rift between Senate and CIA

Kourosh Ziabari - Fars News Agency: An eminent American journalist believes that the publication of the US Senate’s report on CIA’s “detention and interrogation program” indicates a growing rift between the legislative body and intelligence apparatus of the United States. Reese Erlich, who is the author of several books about the Middle East and US foreign policy, tells Fars News Agency that the torture methods used against the terrorism suspects following the launching of the War on Terror by President George W. Bush were endorsed and approved by the high-ranking White House and CIA officials and they were certainly aware of the extent and severity of the torture program used in the US’s overseas jails. The winner of...

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It Is Impossible to Address Terrorism Without the Role-Playing of Religion

It Is Impossible to Address Terrorism Without the Role-Playing of Religion

Kourosh Ziabari - Iran Review: The horrific actions being committed under the banner of religion, as manifested in the atrocities of the terrorist group Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), have made people across the world, especially youths, doubtful about the peaceful nature of divine religions and raised many questions on the relationship between Islam and terror, and the growth of what some have come to call Islamic fundamentalism. There are hardline commentators and pundits who capitalize on the mass killings and executions of civilians by the ISIS to propagate this belief that Islam is a religion of violence that preaches the killing of innocent people, and that Islam and peace are irreconcilable. They ignore the calls by...

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Estonia is One of the Most Advanced E-Societies in the World: Keit Pentus-Rosimannus

Estonia is One of the Most Advanced E-Societies in the World: Keit Pentus-Rosimannus

Kourosh Ziabari - Fair Observer: The standoff between the European Union (EU) and Russia over eastern Ukraine has not left Estonia unaffected. Sharing a 294-kilometer border with Russia, Estonia has felt threatened since Moscow increased its military presence in the region. The country is now looking for US and NATO backing to preclude the menace of a possible Russian aggression. Estonia’s airspace was violated by a Russian jet in December 2014, a charge that Russian officials vehemently denied. US President Barack Obama pledged in a speech in Tallinn that Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia will not lose their independence again. Pioneering a globally-reputed program of e-government and e-citizenship, Estonia is a dynamic and...

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It is possible to bridge the gaps between Iran and the West: Richard Bacon MP

It is possible to bridge the gaps between Iran and the West: Richard Bacon MP

Kourosh Ziabari - Iran Review: It’s possible to bridge the gaps that keep Iran and the West apart and actualize the normalization of relations between them. This is the substance and gist of statements made by Richard Bacon MP who talked to Iran Review in an extensive and in-depth interview conducted in December last year. Richard Bacon, a British Conservative Party politician and the Member of Parliament for the South Norfolk constituency, believes that Iran has engaged in constructive negotiations with the six world powers over its nuclear program, and it’s really imminent that it will strike a deal with them to put an end to the decade-long nuclear crisis. On the rise of the terrorist group ISIS in the Middle East, Mr....

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Interview with former Norwegian Prime Minister Kjell Magne Bondevik

Interview with former Norwegian Prime Minister Kjell Magne Bondevik

Kourosh Ziabari - Fair Observer: One of Norway’s most popular politicians, former Prime Minister Kjell Magne Bondevik is probably the world’s first statesman who admitted that he suffered from depression while in office. For his honesty and willingness to speak of his psychological disorder, Bondevik was commended and received thousands of letters offering support. Bondevik was Norway’s prime minister from 1997-2000 and 2001-2005. He is currently president of Oslo Center for Peace and Human Rights, which he founded in 2006, and works closely with the Norwegian Nobel Committee, the Carter Center and the Crisis Management Initiative. The Oslo Center is tasked with engaging in conflict resolution plans, peace meditation and...

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Interview with former Icelandic Foreign Minister Jon Baldvin Hannibalsson

Interview with former Icelandic Foreign Minister Jon Baldvin Hannibalsson

Kourosh Ziabari - Fair Observer: We usually don’t find it making the headlines, but Iceland is a nation that has struggled with the question of whether to join the European Union (EU) or not. It has historically played a significant role in regional developments and made important contributions to security and democracy in Europe. Along with Haiti, Mauritius, Monaco, Panama and Vanuatu, Iceland is one of few countries that have no standing army but a limited military. It has been Iceland’s policy to not maintain an army since 1869, however, it is an active and founding member of NATO and joined the Atlantic coalition in 1949. Iceland is an official candidate to join the EU, even though its former foreign minister, Jon Baldvin...

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Interview with Amb. Akbar Ahmed on Islamophobia and interfaith dialog

Interview with Amb. Akbar Ahmed on Islamophobia and interfaith dialog

Kourosh Ziabari - Fair Observer: The terrorist attacks in France earlier this month, which resulted in the death of 17 people, has prompted a heated debate over free speech and religious intolerance. Charlie Hebdo, a French satirical magazine that was targeted in Paris on January 7, has a long history of publishing controversial cartoons, especially those of Prophet Muhammad. The attack on the magazine’s office attracted global sympathy. World leaders from over 40 countries gathered in Paris and marched to show solidarity and express their strong support for freedom of speech. Leaders of Muslim-majority countries condemned the terrorist attacks and made it clear that such acts have no place in Islam. However, the circumstances...

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Interview with former U.S. Congressman Jim Slattery

Interview with former U.S. Congressman Jim Slattery

Kourosh Ziabari - Iran Review: With the rise of the terrorist group ISIS in the Middle East and its intensified campaign against the peoples of Iraq and Syria, which is resulting in increased insecurity and instability in the already-turbulent Middle East, more attention is being paid to the role of Iran in leading a regional front for fighting violence and extremism. Although Iran was not officially included in the U.S.-led anti-ISIS coalition, there are many American politicians and academicians who lay emphasis on the importance of Iran’s contribution to the global battle against terrorism and believe that the U.S. government’s decision to exclude Iran was wrong. The role of Iran in addressing the concern of violence and...

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Iran Is Being Punished for Not Possessing Nuclear Weapons

Iran Is Being Punished for Not Possessing Nuclear Weapons

Kourosh Ziabari - Iran Review: The First International Conference on World Against Violence and Extremism (WAVE) held in Tehran on December 9-10 last year following the endorsement of President Hassan Rouhani’s proposal for the establishment of a global front against terrorism and extremism was a landmark event in the final days of 2014 in Tehran and brought together hundreds of government officials, diplomats, peace activists intellectuals, scholars and academicians from some 40 countries to the Iranian capital. The big international gathering underlined the leading role Iran has been playing in confronting terrorism and violence in the Middle East, especially following the rise of the terrorist group ISIS in Iraq and Syria and...

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Islam and Christianity Are the Religions of Peace and Moderation

Islam and Christianity Are the Religions of Peace and Moderation

Kourosh Ziabari - Iran Review: The First International Conference on World Against Violence and Extremism (held on December 9-10, 2014) was an opportunity for hundreds of public figures, including politicians, diplomats, intellectuals, academicians, religious leaders and thinkers of more than 40 world countries to come to Tehran and discuss one of the most pressing and sensitive issue of the 21st century with each other: terrorism and extremism. The debate on violence and extremism has become more heated and controversial with the rise of the terrorist cult ISIS, which has established a self-proclaimed Islamic Caliphate in parts of Iraq and Syria, and harbors inauspicious plans for dominating larger parts of the Middle East and even...

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