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Council on Foreign Relations Religion and Foreign Policy Bulletin
March 2014

March 2014

CFR Interview: Why the Crimean Referendum is Illegitimate

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(Baz Ratner/Courtesy Reuters)


For expert analysis on the crisis in Ukraine and Russia's annexation of Crimea, visit On our homepage you will find timely interviews, op-eds, blog posts, and videos by CFR's Eurasian and energy experts.

For additional resources on Ukraine and U.S.-Russia relations, visit

Join CFR for a Luncheon Conversation in Toronto!

We invite you to attend the annual CFR event at ISA in Toronto. The luncheon discussion on "The Future of Energy: International Security, Economics, and Climate" will take place on Thursday, March 27, from 12:00 to 1:30 p.m., at the Marriott Downtown Eaton Centre, Trinity Ballroom, and will feature:

  • Michael A. Levi, David M. Rubenstein Senior Fellow for Energy and the Environment, Director of the CFR Program on Energy Security and Climate Change, co-author with Elizabeth Economy of By All Means Necessary: How China's Resource Quest is Changing the World, and author of The Power Surge: Energy, Opportunity, and the Battle for America's Future.
  • Joseph Nye, Distinguished Service Professor, Harvard Kennedy School and author of Soft Power: The Means to Success in World Politics, Understanding International Conflicts (7th edition).

There is no charge for the event. To register, please visit

We hope you will also visit CFR and Foreign Affairs in the exhibition hall to browse and collect free publications. We will be located at booths 309 and 311 at the Sheraton Centre Toronto.


Moscow and the Mosque

The Putin government has worked hard to co-opt the country's Muslim population for its own political goals, but the ever-changing Islamic landscape defies categorization. Read this Foreign Affairs essay by Robert D. Crews to better understand the history or Russia's relationship with Islam. Visit "Foreign Affairs" »

One Cleric's War on Extremism

CFR's Ed Husain participated in a rare meeting of Islam's top religious authorities in Abu Dhabi last week. Organized by Mauritanian scholar Sheikh Abdullah bin Bayyah, the conference brought together imams and muftis from around the world to address extremist narratives. In this op-ed, Mr. Husain explains why this gathering, supported by the United Arab Emirates, represented a crucial step in the right direction for Muslim thought leadership. Learn More »

Jordan's Fragile Sanctuary

In this Foreign Affairs snapshot, Marisa L. Porges, research fellow at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, details the burdens Jordan is experiencing as a result of its ever-growing Syrian refugee population. If Jordan does not get the help it needs from the United States and others, preexisting problems like access to affordable housing, education, and medicine, will be exacerbated and further destabilize the region. Read the Snapshot »

CFR Must Read: "Rein in the Saudi Police"

Writing about Saudi Arabia's Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice, the New York Times's Manal al-Sharif suggests that the government is walking a fine line between moderates and conservatives. Sharif writes, "while dismantling of the force is unrealistic, this delicate moment opens a window of opportunity for Saudis" to "weaken the commission's influence." Read the Op-ed »