For everyone trying to understand the implications of Salman Taseer's assassination, this essay from 2007 is good place to start (h/t Abu Muqawama). "The Politics of God" is about why Europe decided, after years of warfare over the correct interpretation of Christianity, to separate church and state. But it is also relevant to Pakistan, where the killing of the Punjab governor over his opposition to the country's blasphemy laws has shown that what was left of Pakistani secularism, is, if not dead, at least in intensive care.
(Photo: Posters of candidates of the banned Muslim Brotherhood in Alexandria, 27 Nov 2010/Goran Tomasevic)
It seemed too good to be true when Amira Antar walked into the polling station to vote for Egypt’s Islamist opposition, the Muslim Brotherhood, unimpeded by security forces or hired thugs. She quickly found out it was. After she made her choice, the polling station supervisor unfolded Antar’s ballot, ticked the candidate of President Hosni Mubarak’s ruling party and put her now spoiled paper in the box.
from Tales from the Trail:
Hold onto your, er, hats.
Talk that U.S. President Barack Obama has canceled a visit to The Golden Temple in Amritsar because of a dispute over headgear may be premature, the White House said on Wednesday.
(Photo: Tea Party member Ellie Mels at a Tea Party Fair in Charlotte, Michigan July 24, 2010/Rebecca Cook)
Many supporters of the conservative Tea Party movement that has shaken up politics share the same views as the Christian right on social issues like abortion and the role of religion in public life, according to a poll released on Tuesday.
First the French banned Muslim face veils, now the Dutch have decided to follow suit. With debates about outlawing burqas and niqabs spreading across Europe, a third ban — perhaps even more — may not be far behind.
(Photo: Women in headscarves shop in Berlin’s Neukoelln district September 6, 2010/Tobias Schwarz)
A little-known Berlin politician named Rene Stadtkewitz, who wants headscarves banned, mosques shuttered and state welfare payments to Muslims cut, is the newest face of a powerful anti-immigrant strain in European politics that is winning over voters and throwing mainstream politicians onto the defensive.
There used to be a television series about the New York Police Department that ended with the voiced-over sign-off: “There are eight million stories in the Naked City. This has been one of them.” We’ve been hearing mostly about only one of the religion stories in New York these days, the controversy surrounding the planned Islamic center and mosque near the World Trade Center site. On a recent visit to New York, I had the pleasure of hearing a very different type of New York story when I interviewed the NYPD officers who led the unusual interfaith tour of the Holy Land described in my feature here.
A public opinion poll showing Americans are increasingly convinced, wrongly, that he is Muslim does not trouble him, President Barack Obama said on Sunday.
China’s ruling Communist Party has a testy and often bitter relationship with religion. During the chaos of the 1966-76 Cultural Revolution, temples and churches were shut, statues smashed, scriptures burned, and monks and nuns forced to return to secular life, often after receiving a good beating or even jail.