Javad Rad of the Payam Nour University of Bojnourd recounts his experience participating in the Arbaeen ceremony in Iraq.
The second of a two-part series by Madison Jones on the soft power of ISIL.
The first of a two-part series by Madison Jones on the soft power of ISIL.
News this week focused on religion's role in public diplomacy.
With global oil prices flailing, Saudi Arabia is turning to another natural resource: billions of dollars gained from religious tourism as the kingdom hosts the annual hajj pilgrimage. “The money spent by pilgrims this year could be from 20 to 25 billion riyals (5.3 to 6.7 billion dollars),” said Maher Jamal, head of Makkah’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry - an estimated 70 percent increase from the previous year.
He stood by a sign that read: 'I am Muslim, I am not a terrorist. I share hugs of love and peace.' The words were written in Catalan, Spanish, English, Arabic and French. [...] The man's gesture echoes the reaction of other Muslims following previous Islamist terror attacks.
Saudi Arabia announced on Thursday that it is reopening its border with Qatar to allow Qataris to attend the hajj, despite a monthslong rift between Doha and four Arab countries led by Riyadh that prompted both sides to trade accusations of politicizing the pilgrimage.