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Council on Foreign Relations Religion and Foreign Policy Bulletin
July 2013

July 2013

New CFR Memo on Ending Gaza's Isolation

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(Yiorgos Karahalis/Courtesy Reuters)


The U.S. policy of isolating Gaza is counterproductive and inadvertently helps entrench control by the terrorist group Hamas, writes CFR Senior Fellow Robert M. Danin in this new Policy Innovation Memorandum. Danin contends that if peace between Israelis and Palestinians is to be achieved, the Obama administration must encourage trade between the West Bank and Gaza, reestablish national institutions and elections, and support Palestinian reconciliation.


Call for Applications: 2014–2015 International Affairs Fellowship Programs

The Council on Foreign Relations' (CFR) Fellowship Program offers unique opportunities for mid-career professionals who are interested in pursuing proposed research and broadening their perspective on issues at the nexus of religion and foreign affairs. Click here to learn more about the program, fellowship opportunities, and application process.

Boko Haram Terrorizes Schoolchildren in Nigeria

Viewing education as a challenge to monotheism in Islam, radical Islamic extremists in northern Nigeria have begun viciously attacking young pupils, writes CFR's John Campbell on his blog "Africa in Transition." As a result, many parents have pulled their children out of school, and some schoolhouses have been closed altogether. Visit the Blog »

Ending Child Marriage

This special report by CFR Fellow Rachel B. Vogelstein illustrates how child marriage, a human rights violation, threatens the prosperity and stability of the countries in which it is prevalent. Read the report to better understand how the practice of child marriage undermines U.S. development and foreign policy priorities.
Download the Report »

CFR Interview: Dim Prospects for Egypt's Salafis

While ultraconservative Salafis played a prominent role in the removal of Egyptian president Mohammed Morsi, they are unlikely to shape the country after the transition, says Georgetown University professor Jonathan A.C. Brown in this CFR interview. According to Brown, Salafis "think that they're going to be able to promote and protect the gains they've made so far in the constitution by being involved in the process. But the people who have been named to the constitution writing committee are all dyed-in-the-wool secularists." Read the Interview »

How Syria's Civil War Became a Holy Crusade

Experts Thomas Hegghammer and Aaron Y. Zellin analyze the influence of Yusuf al-Qaradawi, an influential Sunni Egyptian theologian who recently called for Sunni Muslims worldwide to fight against the regime of President Bashar al-Assad and Hezbollah in Syria. They speculate that in the months ahead, "Qaradawi's statement will surely quicken the stream of foreign fighters into Syria. Before long, Syria's civil war could turn into an all-out sectarian conflict involving the entire region." Visit Foreign Affairs »