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Council on Foreign Relations Religion and Foreign Policy Bulletin
September 2012

Spotlight on Joanna Brooks

A national voice on Mormon life and politics, Joanna Brooks explicates the evolution of Mormonism and posits her faith in today's world. Ms. Brooks is the author of The Book of Mormon Girl: A Memoir of an American Faith and senior correspondent for the online magazine Religion Dispatches. In 2012, she was named one of thirteen "Religious Women to Watch" by the Center for American Progress. Ms. Brooks chairs the Department of English and Comparative Literature at San Diego State University and serves on the boards of several progressive Mormon organizations. Visit her website for her analysis of religion and American culture.

September 2012

Arab Spring and Freedom of Dissent

CFR Senior Fellow for Middle Eastern Studies Ed Husain comments on the recent protests in the Middle East and North Africa and challenges facing Arab societies in the aftermath of decades of authoritarian leadership.

"When sexual harassment of women increases on the streets of Egypt, when centuries-old shrines of Muslim saints are destroyed with explosives in Libya, when screenings of films such as "Persepolis" trigger riots in Tunisia, and Christian minorities across the Middle East feel under siege, then we must stop pretending that all is well with the Arab Spring. But all is not lost either."

Related Reading: Muslims Must See the West Is Not at War With Islam


New eBook: Iran and the Bomb

A compilation of articles from Foreign Affairs and, Iran and the Bomb: Solving the Persian Puzzle, tells the story of the Islamic Republic of Iran's quest for nuclear weapons and the outside world's struggle to respond. The collection, which spans more than fifteen years of analysis, includes the opinions of world-renowned experts from several disciplines, backgrounds, and countries. Read Foreign Affairs editor Gideon Rose's introduction to the ebook.
Visit Foreign Affairs »

Religion and Foreign Policy Conference Call: Syria Update

In this CFR Religion and Foreign Policy Conference Call, listen to CFR Senior Fellows Elliott Abrams and Ed Husain analyze the conflict in Syria and answer questions from religious leaders and scholars from around the country.

If you are interested in receiving invitations to future conference calls, please email

The Civil Liberties Debate Lives On

In this CFR interivew, Adjunct Senior Fellow Matt Waxman discusses controversial U.S. counterterrorism policies adopted in the wake of the September 11, 2001 attacks. Waxman examines the ethics behind the United States' use of targeted killings, the legal underpinnings for the war on al-Qaeda, and the importance of gaining the trust of religious minorities. Read more »