From riots to peace treaties, from brutal government crackdown to interfaith action—this was a year of massive change, both progressive and regressive, in global Islam.
This list, in links and headlines, just skims the surface—but every one of these topics bears watching in 2013.
1. A US Army report confirms over 1,000 copies of the Qur’an and other Islamic Sacred Texts Burnt in Afghanistan by the US military.
2. YouTube Video “Innocence of Muslims” ignites protests in the Muslim world setting deep divisions between interfaith communities and liberal and orthodox Muslims.
3. Moro Islamic Liberation front and Phillippine government Sign Peace Accord regarding the four-decade conflict, which has cost over 150,000 lives.
4. Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and Al-Nahda in Tunisia Claim Victories in post-Arab Spring elections to establish new governments and constitutions.
5. Bahrain Continues to Crack Down on Dissent and peaceful protests, violate human rights, and issue extreme sentences on detainees.
6. Rise of Militants in Mali and Libya reflects the growing network of radical extremism operating in Africa.
7. The US Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, is Attacked—US Ambassador Stevens and three Foreign Service workers are killed.
8. Civil War in Syria Creates Over 300,000 Refugees; the frustration of rebels waiting for Western military support brings them closer to al-Qaeda extremists.
9. Malala Yousufzai, Pakistani Teenage Education Activist Escapes an Assassination Attempt by Taliban.
10. Brazen Taliban attacks in Afghanistan/Pakistan cause over two thousand deaths—but they still participate in negotiation talks in France and Qatar.
11. Boko Haram, Radical Islamists in Nigeria, Increase Attacks against Christian churches, moderate Muslim mosques, and Nigerian security institutions setting off ethnic and religious violence.
12. Sectarian Violence in Burma between Rohingya Muslim minority and ethnic Rakhine Buddhists displaced over 100,000 Muslim refugees and killed over 1,000.
13. Over 3,000 Muslim Olympians Fasted 17-hour Days During Ramadan at the London Olympics.
14. Michele Bachmann and Republican Colleagues Condemned for Anti-Muslim Witch Hunt by US Catholic Bishop Conference and 41 secular and religious groups.
15. Anti-Muslim Ads in US Subway Spur Controversy over freedom of expression and incitement of hatred. National and local interfaith coalitions are formed to speak out against rising Islamophobia.