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Vukovar Re-Visited

Vukovar Re-Visited

“Does this train strike you as taking you to a nice place?” asks my only fellow passenger in the sole carriage of an old “Swede”. We’re on our way to Vukovar. The train was built in Sweden in the early 1980s and, having completed its service there, was installed in Croatia in the 1990s. This […]

Ground Zero Mosque

The United States is currently engaged in a debate that has been transformed from a local deliberation into a fight for the very soul of American values. The proposed construction of an Islamic community center at Park 51 in Manhattan has sparked fierce and impassioned debate, encompassing issues of constitutionalism and religious freedom, as well […]

A Plea for Peace

A Plea for Peace

Robi Demelin and Mazen Faraj make an odd couple. The 65-year-old Demelin is an Israeli from Tel Aviv and the 32-year-old Palestinian Faraj lives in a refugee camp near Bethlehem. While only 59 km away (37 miles), they’re worlds apart. But what the two have in common is a shared belief that there is more […]

The Strings That Bind

The Strings That Bind

  A grim-faced Daniel Barenboim strode out on to the stage of Berlin’s Staatsoper on Monday night, Jan. 12, for an anniversary concert no one knew how to celebrate. Ten years ago, the Israeli conductor joined forces with Palestinian intellectual Edward Said to create the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra of young musicians from Israel, Palestine and […]

Intercultural Blunders

Intercultural Blunders

In the summer of 1997, Time magazine covered the G7 summit near Denver and reported the following: As soon as it happened, the incident became legend. Germans called it ‘the boots fiasco.’ French commentators sniggered over it. On June 21, as Bill Clinton was playing host to world leaders in Denver, the guests were asked […]

Retreat from Radical Islam

Retreat from Radical Islam

Maajid Nawaz, 31, is a good-looking, eloquent young Englishman – not how you would imagine an Islamist who once set up radical cells all across Europe. Rather than a beard he wears Hugo Boss, he is cosmopolitan and convinced that the Muslims in the West need to establish a western type of Islam. A few […]

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