What Saudi Arabia’s Vibrant Art Scene Says About Its Internal Struggles

Artists Are Using Ambiguity to Probe the Fault Line Between Modernity and Conservative Islam

When I first saw Ajlan Gharem’s video, “Paradise Has Many Gates,” at an art studio in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, I was amazed.

It opens with a small single-story structure made of chain-link fence standing alone in a flat expanse of sand, crowned by a small dome and a gold crescent moon. A minaret rises above one corner of the building, while a semicircular niche in one wall marks the direction of Mecca. When the call to prayer sounds, a group of men and boys enter. They kneel to pray; then …

More In: Islam

The Origins of Burma’s Old and Dangerous Hatred

A Nationalist Strain of Buddhism Has Unleashed Violence Against a Muslim Minority

In a recent interview with a Guardian journalist, the Burmese monk U Rarzar expressed his country’s rationale for fearing and repressing its Muslim minority. “[The] Ma Ba Tha is protecting …

The Dome Is Where the Heart Is

A Hallmark of Middle Eastern Architecture Helps Muslims Orient Themselves Toward Mecca, and One Another

The green dome of the Omar ibn Al-Khattab mosque in Los Angeles interrupts the low skyline with a quiet gravitas. The mosque has been here since 1982, next door to …

Yes, I’m Muslim—and German

Europe's Largest Nation Integrates Immigrants With High Ideals and Everyday Discrimination

Wars across Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan have sent millions of refugees fleeing to Europe in recent years, the majority of them Muslims. How to integrate these refugees into liberal (but …

Europe Has a Problem With Immigrants, Not With Islam

Reforming Schools and Labor Laws Would Help a Lot More Than Fixating on Religion

In Germany last month, the debate over Europe’s growing Muslim population reached a fever pitch. More than 100 robberies and sexual assaults were reported in Cologne on New Year’s Eve, …

When Muslims Admired the West and Were Admired Back

Lessons on Coexistence from Jane Austen's London

Is it right to talk about friendship in a time of hatred? More specifically, is it right to consider Muslim affection for the West when, from London to Boston …