The Islamic State: Saudi Arabia’s Dark Twin

The Islamic State-known to Arabs as DAESH-is essentially a product of Saudi Arabian politics and financing, writes Jamal Mohammed Taqi in al-Safir al-Arabi. But has the Saudi state’s strange offspring really become its dark twin, its Nemesis?

Waging jihad against those it considers apostate Muslims is the central religious doctrine of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant [DAESH or ISIS]. The principle of jihad against apostates is also the central religious doctrine of the followers of the Wahhabi school of religious jurisprudence.

The Radical Vegetarians Are Coming For Your Steak Knives

The growth of militant Hinduism in India, which this year swept the BJP nationalists to power, is expressed in numerous and occasionally unexpected ways. In Open Magazine, Lhendup G Bhutia writes that militant vegetarianism is on the rise around the country.

Vegetarian activism in India, unlike the West, is not limited to spot-shaming celebrities wearing fur or the token protest over a dinner table.

‘The Elites Despise the City For Its Democratic Qualities’

Demonstrations and strikes are the way a city talks to itself; ripping universities out of the urban fabric and transplanting them into the suburbs amputate part of the city’s soul: an interview with one of Brazil’s greatest living architects, from El Pais Brasil:

Paulo Mendes da Rocha, the 86 year old Brazilian architect, today occupies a place reserved for very few individuals. In 2006 he was awarded the Pritzker Architecture Prize.

‘Russians Are Volcanoes With Snow-Covered Slopes’

For more than a decade one of the finest foreign correspondents in Russia, El Mundo’s Daniel Utrilla last year quit his job and went native. Here, excerpts from a much longer interview he gave to Spain’s Jot Down magazine: observations by a Russophile in an increasingly Russophobic world:

I was having dinner the other day with a friend, and she said this sentence that struck me; for me it perfectly defines the Russian soul. She said, “We’ll go back to eating potatoes if we have to, but we’ll still be with Putin.”

Fearing Police Violence in Sao Paulo, a Neighborhood Empties

As in the United States, police in Brazil routinely shoot poor (and largely black) suspects with legal impunity. El Pais’s Gil Alessi here profiles a neighborhood in the south of Sao Paulo where a spate of police violence is forcing residents to flee.

Carrying her four year old daughter Emanoele, Aparecida Lima da Silva, 38, is walking along Carlos Lacerda Avenue in the south Sao Paulo neighborhood of Campo Lindo.

Across France, a Witch Hunt Among the Children

After the massacre at Charlie Hebdo, the French justice system rounded them up by the dozens across the country: drunkards and madmen and children, all charged with a new and strange crime, ‘justifying’ an act of terrorism.

In Saudi Arabia, they sentence bloggers to a thousand lashes and ten years in prison for “insulting Islam.” In France under the Socialists, they arrest children and throw them in jail, charging them with ‘advocating terrorism.’

In the San Francisco Library, a City’s Generosity and Its Meanness

Amid the vast wealth and ostentation of the internet boom, San Francisco also accommodates an enormous and growing population of homeless people. The city’s public library, writes Daikha Dridi, perfectly crystallizes the ambiguous attitude of this affluent place toward its least fortunate.

Like an ocean liner of glass and concrete, the San Francisco library indifferently shrugs off the deluge of rain that has splashed down on this city for the past few days.

No Bluffs or Bargaining With Syriza

The predicted earthquake in Athens has come to pass, as voters handed a near-absolute majority to the Coalition of the Radical Left- Syriza. Last week, Spain’s El Mundo interviewed political economist Yanis Varoufakis, who has famously described the IMF/EU treatment of Greece as “fiscal waterboarding.” Today, Varoufakis was named Greece’s Finance Minister. Excerpts from a frank and very revealing roadmap to Syriza’s plans:

The most recent data shows that the Greek economy is growing.

True Sons of the Republic

In this powerful essay by a trio of schoolteachers from the banlieue ghettos of the Paris suburbs, the writers urge a different view of the Kouachi brothers, whose murderous rampage at Charlie Hebdo last week shocked the world. The Kouachis, born in Paris, orphaned and raised by the French state, are in a sense the true sons of modern France, and their murderous end cannot simply be blamed on foreign religious values.

We are schoolteachers in the Seine-Saint-Denis department.

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