The Politics of Apology: Zimbabwe After the 2018 Elections

Dr Joram Tarusarira, Assistant Professor of Religion, Conflict and Peacebuilding, reflects on politics in  Zimbabwe after the 2018 elections, cautioning against simplistic calls for apologies and forgiveness.  On 30th July, 2018, Zimbabwe held historic – and disputed – elections, ultimately leading to the inauguration of President Emmerson Mnangagwa. In his inauguration speech on the 26th August, …

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Do Muslims in the Netherlands Fail to Secularise? Reflecting on the SCP Report from an Indian Perspective

Does piety threaten secularism? In this post, Fernande Pool examines the recent Netherlands Institute for Social Research (SCP) report on Islam in the Netherlands, challenging the implicit bias contained within its use of 'religion' and 'secularity'. In June 2018, the Netherlands Institute for Social Research (SCP) published a report titled ‘The religious experience of Muslims …

Is the French State Really ‘Secular’? Some Reflections on Municipal Laïcité

How is laïcité – official state secularism - practiced in contemporary France? In this post, the Centre for Religion, Conflict and Globalisation’s Dr. Julia Martínez-Ariño discusses recent research in the cities of Rennes, Bordeaux and Toulouse to suggest that laïcité takes many forms in French municipalities – including the recognition and support of ‘religious’ actors …

Abortion in Northern Ireland – A ‘Religious’ Problem?

Is membership of a 'religious' community a good predictor of one's views on abortion? In light of last week's referendum on abortion in the Republic of Ireland, Januschka Schmidt reflects on the situation north of the border, where official church teaching and local attitudes appear increasingly out of step. On May 25th, two thirds of …

No More “Harmful Traditional Practices”! Gender Activism and Faith Leaders in International Development

Researchers from the University of Groningen and the University of Stellenbosch recently concluded a one-year study on the role of faith leaders in challenging gender-based violence and gender inequality.[i] The study, which was funded by the UK Department for International Development[ii] and and carried out by the Gender-Based Violence Hub of the Joint Learning Initiative …

Circumscribing the Body Politic: Circumcision, Religious Freedom and Identity in Europe

Méadhbh McIvor, Editor  In February 2018, Icelandic Member of Parliament Silja Dögg Gunnarsdóttir made international news by proposing a bill that would criminalise the circumcision of male children for non-medical reasons. The bill, which is supported by the ruling Progressive Party and Left-Green coalition, has sparked heated debates within Iceland (and beyond): while its supporters argue …

The Power to Call for ‘Inclusion Riders’: Violence and Innocence in Gender Activism

In a post to mark International Women’s Day, Dr Brenda Bartelink problematizes the selective language of ‘harmful cultural practices’, challenging the development sector to confront its ongoing colonial biases as it seeks to improve the lives of women and girls. Today, March 8th, the Netherlands’ former Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, Lilianne Ploumen, …