Strengthening the ties between the United States, United Kingdom, and the English speaking world.

Theresa May’s Impossible Choice

By Sam Knight

The British Prime Minister, Theresa May, often strikes people as cautious, but her political career has been defined by acts of boldness, often on behalf of unfashionable causes, or in the face of seemingly impossible circumstances. The misconception arises in part because she is an awkward person. May, who is sixty-one, is tall and stooped, serious and shy. Since she was elected to Parliament, in the late nineteen-nineties, she has dressed in sharp, eye-catching clothes, as if to offset the fact that she is not personally vivacious, but the effect is often to accentuate what is not there. May doesn’t say much, by anyone’s standard, let alone that of a politician. On a recent sunny afternoon, in the garden of the Prime Minister’s residence, at 10 Downing Street, I watched her being guided by an aide through the beginning of a party to mark London’s Pride celebrations. As May was introduced to a line of leaders from Britain’s gay and transgender communities, she smiled each time and then started to nod. She nodded faster, dozens of times, to encourage them to say more. She extended her neck, like a bird leaning over a pond, nodded a final time, and moved on. She scarcely said a word.

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Trump’s Best Overseas Bet Is Elizabeth

By Conrad Black

On the heels of my misguided intuition, expressed on another site last week, that Judge Amy Coney Barrett was the president’s most likely selection for the Supreme Court vacancy, the president should be (but won’t be), commended for choosing the least controversial candidate, Judge Brett Kavanaugh. The nomination of Judge Kavanaugh, a Bush appointee and friend, may be taken as (but again probably won’t be) a conciliatory gesture to traditional Republicans.

Whatever appearances, conservatives are placated, moderates have nothing to complain about, and an obviously highly qualified candidate is unlikely to be seriously damaged by the Democratic kamikaze attacks, which did not await the banal formality of having the name of the justice-designate before hurling themselves at the unnamed choice.

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British Jews Find Their Voice

By Ben Judah

What has changed is not so much the community, but the environment of British politics.

Sometimes, I don’t think I recognize British Jews anymore. For decades my community has been quiet and watchful, slow to place itself in the public eye. But last week, watching British Jews call out antisemitism in Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party I had to pinch myself. Were these really the Jews of Britain: publicly furious, outraged, venting their fear and disgust as they faced down what might well be Britain’s next government?  I was stunned, because growing up, I never sensed that pride, or fearlessness. 

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US SecState Pompeo: Religious freedom a fundamental human right

By Devin Watkins

In an interview with Vatican News, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says religious freedom is a fundamental human right and invites all faiths and countries to promote it.  

The United States Department of State is hosting the first-ever international summit on the topic of religious freedom.

The event is slated for July 24-26 in Washington D.C., and will gather over 80 delegations, including more than 40 foreign ministers.

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Stop the Fake News That Hungary Is Anti-Semitic

By Lee Cohen  (Lee is the New York Director of TAS) 

Next week Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban makes his first visit to the state of Israel. This symbolic and diplomatic event, considered against a consistent record of pro-Israel support and concrete measures to confront anti-Semitism in Hungary, should bring closure to the myth, popular among the Left, global Jewish organizations, and in the world press, of Hungary’s contemporary anti-Semitism. Instead of derision and conjecture, Orban deserves praise for his zero-tolerance policy on anti-Semitism and commitment to protecting all Hungarian citizens, including Hungary’s Jews.

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Jeremy Corbyn’s Anti-Semitism Crisis

By Sam Knight

During the improbable summer of 2015, when Jeremy Corbyn went from being an unknown, sixty-six-year-old leftist Member of Parliament to the leader of Britain’s Labour Party, there was a natural urge to know more about him. Journalists and bloggers, supporters and skeptics, all picked over Corbyn’s thirty-two-year parliamentary career, reading old speeches and looking into the causes he had adopted and the company that he kept. There was plenty to go through. Ever since he was elected as a Labour councillor for Haringey, in North London, in 1974, and later, as the M.P. for Islington North, in 1983, Corbyn has been the kind of politician who shows up to a pro-Sandinista rally on his bicycle, stays late in the House of Commons to protest the removal of Tamil asylum seekers, or sits through a sleepy Saturday conference about abolishing nuclear weapons.

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Playing Hardball with Hungary

By Bruce Bawer

The EU’s disgraceful attempt to bring PM Orban to heel.

Criticize the government of Viktor Orban, prime minister of Hungary since 2010, all you like. But the European Union's despotic and disgraceful attempt to bring him to heel, which came to a head with a vote in the European Parliament on September 12, has nothing whatsoever to do with the purported “erosion of democracy” in his country.  First, let it be said that the vote itself was a result of a report by Judith Sargentini, a Dutch MEP who belongs to her country's GreenLeft Party. In the report, Sargentini accused Hungary of “a serious breach...of the values on which the Union is founded,” namely “the values of respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights.” She proceeded to reel off dozens of complaints about the way things work in Hungary.

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Extremism Advances in the Largest Muslim Country

By Benedict Rogers

Indonesia’s president, once considered an ally of religious minorities, puts a radical cleric on his ticket.

Indonesia, the world’s largest Muslim nation, has long stood as a role model for religious pluralism. That’s changing. Political Islam and violent extremism have been taking root in society and may soon do so in the government. President Joko Widodo’s choice of Ma’ruf Amin, a 75-year-old cleric, as his running mate in next year’s election marks an ugly turn for Indonesian politics.

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A Visit to Islamic England

By Andy Ngo

Muslims headed to Friday prayer while non-Muslims went the other way. No one made eye contact.  

Other tourists may remember London for its spectacular sights and history, but I remember it for Islam. When I was visiting the U.K. as a teenager in 2006, I got lost in an East London market. There I saw a group of women wearing head-to-toe black cloaks. I froze, confused and intimidated by the faceless figures. It was my first encounter with the niqab, which covers everything but a woman’s eyes.

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U.S. gathering on religious freedom sets up competing narratives

By Nahal Toosi and Lorraine Woellert

The U.S. will host a first-of-its-kind gathering on international religious freedom next week, an assembly being hailed by evangelical voters who helped propel President Donald Trump into office.

The three-day Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom has become the hottest ticket in Washington, with more than 80 countries sending delegations, hundreds of rights activists attending, and a number of others being shut out for political reasons as well as lack of space.

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As the Church reels, is an even larger scandal building?

By William Kilpatrick

As the gap widens between what the hierarchy says about Islam and what ordinary Catholics can see in the news or encounter in their own lives, many Catholics will become alienated from the Church.

The Church has been deeply damaged in recent weeks by revelations of widespread clerical sex abuse in Chile and Honduras, the further revelation that Cardinal McCarrick’s predatory behavior had been hushed-up, and now claims by an archbishop that Pope Francis knew about sanctions imposed on McCarrick by Pope Benedict XVI but repealed them.

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