Muslims in Nigeria attend Eid prayers at the Kofar Mata prayer ground in Kano Nigeria, Sunday, May 24, 2020. 

Random rules: Part I

Critical State, a foreign policy newsletter by Inkstick Media, takes a deep dive this week into the role of sharia in northern Nigeria.

Two masked people hold a blue and white sign with "Generation Identity" written on it.

What is ‘Islamo-leftism,’ France’s topic du jour?

Sacred Nation
French President Emmanuel Macron stands at a podium with French flag behind him.

French Muslims worry ‘separatism law’ may create more division

Sacred Nation
A decapitated religious statue

This region of Indonesia was known for its religious harmony. Now, Catholics face growing intolerance.

Young boys wearing white robes and caps stand behind green flag with Arabic script.

The world’s largest Islamic group wants Muslims to stop saying ‘infidel’


Women in Tunisia wary of surge in Islamist power, fearful of losing their rights

With elections in Tunisia slated for Sunday, women and moderates are worried that surging Islamist parties will roll back the liberal policies that have set Tunisia apart from the rest of the Arab states.

An antiquated warplane belonging to Libyan pro-government forces prepares to attack ISIS-linked rebels in Benghazi. Italy and Egypt are pushing for the US-led anti-ISIS coalition to join the fight in Libya.

Why the US doesn’t want to call ISIS’ offshoots parts of ISIS at all


As ISIS grows its reach into new countries, the US and its allies are debating whether those affiliates should be attacked. And that decision has a lot to do with who’s considered a part of ISIS at all.

Rafida Ahmed, lost her thumb during an attack by jihadi assailants in Bangladesh. Ahmed's husband, Avijit Roy, a Bangladesh-born U.S. citizen and blogger was killed in that attack.

Another blogger — the third this year — is hacked to death in Bangladesh


Since the beginning of this year, three bloggers have been hacked to death in Bangladesh. They were attacked on busy streets and in broad day light. Many say the Bangladeshi government is not doing enough to protect the country’s bloggers.

Afghan National Army soldiers fire artillery during a battle with Taliban insurgents in Kunduz on April 29, 2015.

Afghan officials say ISIS and the Taliban have joined forces in at least one province


The Afghan government is having trouble containing an attack on the important northern city of Kunduz, which appears to be under fire from a new alliance of Taliban and ISIS fighters that the provincial governor calls a new Taliban — and a new war.

Restaurant window damaged in 2008's militant attack is seen at the railway station in Mumbai.

Did bulk surveillance programs really stop an American-born terrorist? Probably not


After Edward Snowden, the US government said its controversial surveillance programs had stopped a terrorist – David Coleman Headley. But a number of Snowden documents show otherwise.