Looted landmarks: how Notre-Dame, Big Ben and St Mark’s were stolen from the east

Most cultures borrow from each other:

It is not only the twin towers and rose window that have their origins in the Middle East, she pointed out, but also the ribbed vaults, pointed arches and even the recipe for stained glass windows. Gothic architecture as we know it owes much more to Arab and Islamic heritage than it does to the rampaging Goths. “I was astonished at the reaction,” says Darke. “I thought more people knew, but there seems to be this great gulf of ignorance about the history of cultural appropriation. Against a backdrop of rising Islamophobia, I thought it was about time someone straightened out the narrative.”

Source: Looted landmarks: how Notre-Dame, Big Ben and St Mark’s were stolen from the east

Christian leaders from Middle East ask for Canada’s help

Will be interesting to see if this is picked up more widely:

A trio of Christian leaders from the Middle East are calling on Canada’s government to provide direct aid to Christians being persecuted in that region.

The three church leaders — one from war-torn Syria, one from Iraq and one from Lebanon — were in Toronto Wednesday as part of the Knights of Columbus’ annual Supreme Convention gathering.

All three spoke of the persecution of Christians in Middle Eastern hotspots by radical Muslim groups, such as the Islamic State (ISIS).

Archbishop Bashar Warda of Erbil, Iraq, says Canada — like the U.S. — has a “moral responsibility” to help.

“The Canadian people have a long tradition of helping and supporting the persecuted and marginalized people around the world,” said Warda, using Canada’s 1994 peacekeeping mission in Rwanda — albeit a doomed one — as an example. “Canadians were there. We’re not asking some extra efforts here. It is just the commitment of the Canadian people and the Canadian nation, that they would be always defending the marginalized and the (victimized) around the world. Here, there is a clear case … there are people being persecuted because of their faith, because of their way of life.”

The problem, says Warda, is that Canada’s government does not deal with church-affiliated organizations directly, but funnels aid money through various “institutions.”

“How much of this … (has reached) the Christian … refugees? … It is a very small amount,” he said.

Source: Christian leaders from Middle East ask for Canada’s help | Canada | News | Toron

Canadian vs. Syrian multiculturalism | Toronto Sun

One of the sillier arguments around. Canadian multiculturalism came from a long history of living together among aboriginal Canadians, French Canadians, English Canadians, further enriched by Ukrainian Canadians who settled the West and successful waves of European and other immigrants. Not without debates, not without tensions, but not artificial like the deep and long-standing sectarian divisions in many of the artificial borders of the Mid-East.

Canadian vs. Syrian multiculturalism | Columnists | Opinion | Toronto Sun.

At al-Azhar Mosque, struggle over Islam roils a revered Egyptian institution – The Washington Post

Good profile on how the political tension plays out at the central place of religious learning.

At al-Azhar Mosque, struggle over Islam roils a revered Egyptian institution – The Washington Post.