The CEDAR Forum on Difference is a blog focusing on contemporary issues of living with difference in a global society. Contributors include CEDAR network alumni, staff, and associates who have been part of the CEDAR experience and write from within their local contexts on issues of difference and public life. The forum serves to critique popular assumptions on religion and difference through the experience and insight of the CEDAR network. The views expressed in the CEDAR Forum on Difference are those of the individual authors and are intended both to generate discussion and to extend the CEDAR experience.
It is evident from lived experience that cultures are distinct from each other; each culture has unique elements. However, attempts to address human problems—conflicts, violence, poverty, etc.—tend to propose generalized solutions that create tensions among local cultures. Solutions, after all, cannot always be generalized. When standardized approaches to peace, development, and rights programs ignore the…Read More »
Of all the many uncomfortable truths this election has forced us all to face, surely one of the most important is our discomfort with difference. This attitude was made clear in the months leading up to the elections, in much of the campaign rhetoric and the slogans repeated at many rallies. It was made clear…Read More »
Why do Central Asians join ISIS? What little we know suggests that the non-religious reasons Central Asians join ISIS are more important than the religious factors often cited by analysts. For almost a year, the foremost question in the minds of security analysts of Central Asia has been why some Central Asians have joined “jihad”…Read More »
The International Crisis Group’s (ICG) latest report on the radicalization of Muslims in Central Asia, Syria Calling: Radicalization in Central Asia (20 Jan 2015), focuses specifically on the recruitment of Central Asians to Islamic State (IS) and the consequences of this phenomenon for the region’s security. This short report repeats the ungrounded assumptions of earlier…Read More »
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On Wednesday December 17th 2014, after an exhausting bus ride on bumpy, dusty, and unpaved roads, we finally reached Kyaka II. We were traveling to this refugee settlement in western Uganda as part of the Equator Peace Academy’s (EPA) two-week program “Coping with Refugees in a Foreign Land,” which was devoted to the refugee question.…Read More »