Pope Francis speaks with Iraqi president Barham Salih  during a meeting at the presidential palace in Baghdad  on March 5th, 2021. Photograph: Vatican media handout/EPA

The influential sociologist Max Weber (1864-1920) proposed the theory that religion would wither away with the advance of science and education. That (...)

An image grab taken from a video shows alleged Islamic State leader  Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in Mosul. Photograph: Al-Furqan Media/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

It seems a strange obsession for men so opposed to graven images that they smash ancient statues with sledge hammers. The jihadists of Islamic State (...)