How Chechen Strongman Became Putin’s Bridge to Muslim World
Opinion

How Chechen Strongman Became Putin’s Bridge to Muslim World

It was a curious cargo for a Russian military aircraft: No bombs, no munitions, no troops, only women and children. The aircraft landed in Grozny, the capital of Russia’s Chechnya region, last October. The passengers were relatives of radicalized Russian nationals fighting for Islamic State, held captive in Iraqi prisons after being abandoned on the territory…

Reputational Repair: Iran Tries to Capitalise On Myanmar’s Rohingya Crisis
Opinion

Reputational Repair: Iran Tries to Capitalise On Myanmar’s Rohingya Crisis

The Iranian leader, Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei, made a strikingly strong statement on the Rohingya crisis in Myanmar this week, berating “hypocritical” (presumably Western) governments for their double standards on human rights. Addressing a gathering of clerical students, Khamenei on Tuesday urged Muslim countries to apply pressure on the Myanmar government, which according to Khamenei…

Russia and Islam, Connecting the Dots and Discerning the Future
Opinion

Russia and Islam, Connecting the Dots and Discerning the Future

Russia has often been in the news over the past years, mostly as the demonized “Empire of Mordor” responsible for all the bad things on the planet, especially Trump’s victory over Hillary Clinton, the Russian intervention in Syria and, of course, the “imminent” Russian invasion of the Baltics, Poland or even all of Western Europe….

Seven Years After the End of the War, Is It Safe to Travel in Chechnya?
Politics

Seven Years After the End of the War, Is It Safe to Travel in Chechnya?

The two Chechen wars left large scars on Grozny. In 2003 the UN Commission came to Grozny and, if we are to believe the local news, it declared Chechnya’s capital the world’s most devastated city since the Second World War. Around this time a federal program to restore the social and economic life of the region had…