Last week, with little fanfare and under heavy security, an historic meeting took place in Rome which marked a turning point in interfaith relations. Inside the 16th century Casina Pio IV villa, home to the Vatican's Pontifical Academy of Sciences, seven clerics representing over five billion people overcame lingering traditions of suspicion to commit to the eradication of modern day slavery by the year 2020.
The Kurdish people have lived under different political establishments, none of which has led to independence. Modern day Kurdistan reaches across four sovereign states (Iraq, Iran, Turkey, and Syria) yet still manages to inhibit an acknowledged ethnic community. Which is impressive, considering Kurdistan's history - suppressed acts of resistance, and betrayal by foreign entities.
All Muslims must stand together and not only condemn them but work together to defeat extremists like ISIS. Some critics of Islam blame the strict interpretation of Islam by Wahhabism a Saudi strand of Islam and the teaching of children to curse and hate kuffars for the rise in fundamentalism and extremism.
There won't be an end to political gridlock yet, there's just a movement of the chokepoint from the Senate to Obama's veto. People were very frustrated that nothing got done in Washington the last couple of years, but they should not count on DC becoming a smooth, tough, lean and mean operator just because of one election. Some market friendly decisions now have a better chance of being taken, but politics in general in America will not begin to work better overnight.
A verdict in Ghavami's case is reportedly expected this week. A spokesperson for the Iranian judiciary, Ghulam Hussein Mohseni Ejeyie, has claimed - highly improbably - that "Miss Ghavami's arrest and imprisonment has nothing to do with the issue of sports and women's participations in stadiums", and is instead "a national security matter". Quite what the issues of national security might be here are ... er, unclear.
Could it be that we are our happiest in the toughest times? That when the going gets rough, we band together and find comfort in others? One of my favourite films is Silver Linings Playbook (not just because of the bipolar element). The overall message of the film, unsurprisingly, is that if you work your hardest, you have a shot at a silver lining.
Just after dawn prayers, my Twitter newsfeed was filled with breaking headlines confirming that the US along with its Arab allies had begun airstrikes against ISIS in the Syrian city of Raqqa. Both the Assad regime and the Obama administration have denied any collusion regarding this military offensive but if you scratch beneath the surface, it becomes relatively clear that there was a lot more collaboration behind closed doors than most would think.
For the West to acknowledge that there are at least two prominent enemies to freedom and stability in the Middle East would be a start. But by embracing one and opposing the other the West may disrupt the current flow of violence, but it will never halt the growth of extremism. As long as a Shiite theocracy remains in place in Iran, new Sunni extremists will always stand ready to compete with it for control over the soul of the Muslim world.