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Jakarta, Indonesia (CNN) – It would be easy not to pay Joko Widodo a second glance as he rides his bike down a Jakarta boulevard wearing track pants and white sneakers.
But fill that boulevard with thousands of Javanese out for the Sunday stroll, and you soon realize he is no ordinary Indonesian.
"Jokowi!" they shout - using the nickname by which the country's new President is universally referred - reaching out to him for handshakes and selfies.
"Pagi!" - "Good morning!"
In October, he took office as president of this enormous Pacific archipelago of about 250 million people - the largest Muslim-majority country in the world.
By Madalena Araujo, CNN
As Charlie Hebdo’s first issue since last week’s Paris attacks hit the newsstands in epic proportions, Muslims have reacted to the satirical magazine’s latest edition, which once again depicts the Prophet Mohammed on the cover.
The survivors issue features a teary Prophet declaring “All is forgiven” while holding a banner of the now-famous slogan “Je suis Charlie”. It sold out in France within hours.
“I think Charlie Hebdo could have put something else on the first cover, for example to condemn terrorism and to say that Islam had nothing to do with what happened one week ago,” Madjid Messaoudene, a City council member from the Paris suburb of Saint Denis, which has a significant Muslim population, told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Wednesday.
Madjid knew Stéphane Charbonnier, the editor of Charlie Hebdo, and economist and journalist Bernard Maris. They were both killed along with 10 other people when gunmen shouting “Allahu Akbar” attacked the publication’s headquarters a week ago.
He is of the opinion “that drawing the Prophet would offend, would insult millions, thousands of Muslims all over the world.”
By Mick Krever, CNN
Islam must be a religion, not a political agenda, the rector of the Great Mosque of Paris told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour in Paris on Monday, calling for reform in the training of imams.
“Today we want to appeal for a change in religious thinking in Islam – that we abandon political Islam, that we should not turn it into a policy but to keep it as a religion, a religion which doesn’t ask people to kill anyone nor to carry out anti-Semitic acts, or anything political,” Dalil Boubakeur said through a translator.
More than anytime in recent memory, France and French Muslims are trying to grapple with what Islam means for the country.
Last week, a terror attack by gunmen shouting “Allahu Akbar” left 17 people dead at Charlie Hebdo magazine and a Kosher supermarket.
“Islam is a religion of peace, a religion of tolerance, a religion which people can live together in which people can be brought up in accordance with the ethics and morals of democracy and it should be an example of humanism.”
Elsa Ray, of the Collective Against Islamophobia, tells Christiane Amanpour we must "get united and say we have to stop these vicious circles of hate." Click above to watch.
As ISIS commits terrible crimes in the name of Islam, Christiane Amanpour speaks with two experts on the religion.
Click above to watch.
Nadia Manzoor wanted to be an astronaut.
“Nadia, how can you be astronaut?,” she recalls her father asking. “Other women can't be astronauts. Who will cook? Who will clean? Who will feed your husband if you're floating about in space?”
For the Pakistani Brit, that experience was less demoralizing than inspiring – inspiration for sardonic humor, and a one-woman show, “Burq Off!”
Comedy, she told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Thursday, was a tool “that allowed me to look at difficult things like, you know, dogmatism and traditional thinking and patriarchal oppression” in a lighthearted way.
“My father from the earliest I can remember reminded me that I shouldn't get fat, I shouldn't eat too many French fries, because my inherent purpose would be jeopardized, which is to be a wife and a mother.”
Malala Yousafzai, the world’s most famous advocate for girls’ right to education, tells CNN's Christiane Amanpour that "girls in Nigeria are my sisters."
Yousafzai survived an assassination attempt by the Pakistani Taliban in her native country in 2012. The group targeted her because of our outspoken support for girls' education.
She says that Boko Haram, which kidnapped nearly 300 girls in Nigeria, does not understand Islam.
"I think they haven’t studied Islam yet, they haven’t studied Quran yet, and they should go and they should learn Islam," she told Amanpour from Birmingham, in the UK, where she has been living and attending school. (She is now the face of The Malala Fund.)
"I think that they should think of these girls as their own sisters. How can one imprison his own sisters and treat them in such a bad way?"
You can see Amanpour's full interview with Malala below. FULL POST
Major religious faiths around the world are joining forces to fight the scourge of modern-day slavery and human trafficking.
Australian billionaire and mining magnate Andrew Forrest has signed up major religious heavyweights –Pope Francis, the Archbishop of Canterbury, and the Grand Imam of the al-Azhar mosque in Egypt, Islam's highest-ranking Sunni cleric.
This week their representatives gathered at the Vatican to sign on to Andrew Forrest’s initiative, the Global Freedom Network.
Forrest joined Amanpour in her London studio, along with Archbishop David Moxon of the Anglican Church and Bishop Marcelo Sanchez Sorondo of the Catholic Church.
“I got dragged, really, kicking and screaming, into this cause by my daughter, Grace,” Forrest said. “When she was 15, she worked in an orphanage in Nepal and our intelligence was that there was something was suspect about the orphanage.”
When she returned to the orphanage they discovered that the only children left were “severely disfigured” or “mentally handicapped, i.e. could not be sold.”
The Global Freedom Network has ambitious goals: to get 162 governments to publicly endorse the fund, get 50 multi-national businesses to modern slavery-proof their supply chains, and convince the G20 to adopt an anti-slavery initiative.
By Tom Evans; Sr. Writer, AMANPOUR.
(CNN) –The Islamic scholar who issued a powerful fatwa, or religious ruling, against terrorism and suicide bombers said Thursday that he was not afraid of reprisals from his enemies and did not fear for his life.
"I am not afraid of any human being on the surface of Earth," Sheikh Muhammad Tahir ul-Qadri told CNN's Christiane Amanpour.
"I am working ... to bridge up the Muslim world and the Western world, to remove the hatreds, to remove all misunderstandings."
"So this is a good cause. I am not afraid of anybody. It depends upon whatever my Lord wants. If I have to live, I will live. Otherwise, I am not afraid."
Ul-Qadri was speaking to CNN just over a week after he issued a 600-page fatwa in London denouncing terrorists as "the biggest enemies of Islam."
Today we speak with Dr. Tahir ul-Qadri who has issued a 600-page fatwa against terrorism. Can it stop suicide bombings and encourage moderate Muslims to take a stand against terrorism? We want to launch a conversation how much influence you think a Fatwa has on different societies. So please read the English summary here and tell us what you think in our comment section below:
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