Blaspheme Laws: The Enemy of Dialogue

On June 6th we learned that the Turkish government has charged one of its citizens “with insulting Islamic values in Twitter messages, the latest in a series of legal actions against Turkish artists, writers and intellectuals for statements they have made about religion and Turkish national identity.” (Turkish Pianist Is Accused of Insulting Islam) The [Read More...]

Abraham’s Children?

Last Wednesday I attended an interfaith dialogue event of exceptional quality. A rabbi, a pastor, and an imam each spoke on Abraham and his role in their distinctive faiths. The presentations were well grounded in the respective traditions, winsome, and affirming of religious diversity. And left me profoundly dissatisfied. Rabbi Hanan Schlesinger explained how Abraham [Read More...]

Religious Freedom and the Arab Spring

The June 1 New York Times offers this headline: “Russian Church Is a Strong Voice Opposing Intervention in Syria” The reason is simple. “the Russian Orthodox Church, . . .  fears that Christian minorities, many of them Orthodox, will be swept away by a wave of Islamic fundamentalism unleashed by the Arab Spring.” A view [Read More...]

The End of Civil Religion in America

Yes, I know. Being civil about religion in America is already long dead. Stridency is the order of the day, with politicians, pastors, imams, rabbis and news commentators trying to outdo each other in inflammatory rhetoric and wounded indignation. America’s public space is like a kindergarten playground at recess. But if we aren’t civil about [Read More...]

The Christian Basis for a Religiously Plural Democracy

In the last blog I asked how those who exercise their political responsibilities out of Christian commitment could share those responsibilities with non-Christians. The answer, if not simple, is itself profoundly Christian. One can start at many different places in the Bible to understand how people of different religions can share in a common human [Read More...]

Islam in Egypt and Freedom of Conscience

Today’s New York Times (April 29, 2012) reports that Egypt’s most conservative Islamic groups have announced their support for the most liberal candidate in the upcoming presidential election: an ex-Muslim Brotherhood leader; Mr. Aboul Fotouh. He is known for saying that the Quranic injunction that there should be no compulsion in religion means that governments [Read More...]

The Arab Spring and the Islamists

To maintain its popular support the MB needs a constitution that will give it a practical mandate to govern a modern state. [Read more...]

Of License Plates and the Slaughter of Cows

What happens when one religion’s ritual actions and public claims flatly assert that another religion’s ritual actions and public claims are worthless or false? [Read more...]

Shari’a in North Africa – Some Clarity Please

Neither ideology nor religion determine how a society works, that belongs to the people of that society alone as they interpret their beliefs into behavior. [Read more...]

Muslims in America

These days if you feel like a stranger in a strange land, then you have in fact come home. [Read more...]


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