Category Archives: Currents

Al Jazeera America: Land of Lost Opportunity

The New York Times today reported on fresh sectarian violence in Baghdad, jihadists coming home to stoke unrest in Cairo and the take-him-home-to-mother charms of pledges to a newly minted Muslim fraternity with chapters on college campuses in Dallas and … Continue reading

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Female Politician Blames Women For Rape

By Chhaya Nene Protests follow a rape in India.  Then there is another rape. Followed by more protests.  What cultural factors are at the root of the country’s violent misogyny? Which politicians stoke the flames? Do any political leaders offer … Continue reading

Posted in Currents | 1,249 Comments

Terrorist! Tyrant! Time-out! Covering the Syrian Peace Talks in Geneva

As the Wall Street Journal frames the story, the fractious Syrian National Coalition, whose members oppose President Bashar al-Assad in Syria’s unending civil war, arrived in Geneva like a bloodthirsty Eliza Doolittle—an uncouth rabble cleaned up and taught how to … Continue reading

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The Absence of Religion in Indian Media

By Brianna Sacks The 2012 fatal gang rape of a 23-year-old woman in New Delhi shook India, and the world. More specifically, the event pushed rape and crimes against women to the forefront of India’s news media coverage. Since that … Continue reading

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The Religious Underbelly of a Diplomatic Debacle

by Melissah Yang Devyani Khobragade, a deputy consul charged with committing visa fraud and providing false statements to allow Sangeeta Richard, her nanny, to enter the U.S., returned to India on January 10 after a diplomatic standoff threatened relations between … Continue reading

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Hearts of Darkness: African Leaders Tighten the Limits of Tolerance

President Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria and Gen. Abdel Fattah Sisi of Egypt are playing fast and loose with the unsettled rules of democracy in two of Africa’s most populous and volatile countries. Dismay colors the narrative in most news media … Continue reading

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Seeing the Big Picture in a Small Story from Tunisia

A disciple of Hillel, the 1st-century rabbi who founded a dynasty of scholar-sages, exhorted students struggling with a perplexing passage from the Torah not to give up but to “turn it and turn it, for everything is in it.” Good … Continue reading

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(Not) Covering the New Gilded Age

A century ago, muckraking journalism was in its heyday, Progressive Era religious activists were organizing movements for social justice and a series of legislative initiatives—from Teddy Roosevelt’s “Square Deal” to the ratification of the Seventeenth Amendment in 1913—imposed tight constraints … Continue reading

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Seeing Burma in the News-Media Funhouse Mirror

Through the lens of the prevailing mainstream news media narrative, religious movements tend to be either completely invisible or distorted in order to play up violence and sensationalism. This complaint has appeared countless times in the USC Knight Chair blog, … Continue reading

Posted in Currents | 766 Comments

Links in the Chain of Trauma

“Leaders have tried to wipe away histories of atrocities by foot-dragging on investigations until new bloodshed dulls memories of the old.” That line from a New York Times article on Egypt’s military government jumped out at me. Authoritarian regimes know … Continue reading

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