The Problem is Religion – but not in the way we think

The terror attacks in Brussels on Tuesday have once again raised questions about the relationship between religion and violence. In today's post, Erin Wilson reflects on these issues, exploring key arguments made by Prof William Cavanaugh during his recent lecture in Groningen and book The Myth of Religious Violence.  On Tuesday this week, ISIS claimed responsibility for two …

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Accepting Ambiguity: Being Content with Uncertainties amidst the Urge for Security

Since the events in Iraq, Beirut and Paris last week, we have all been trying to make sense of what has happened and how to respond. Over the coming weeks, The Religion Factor will be publishing reflections from staff and fellows of the Centre for Religion, Conflict and the Public Domain on these events from …

The struggle for justice of Dutch young Muslims in Syria

“I am powerless. (...) Please do something. Do not forsake me and all the other mothers”. 18-year-old Robin converted to Islam one and a half years ago. In November he and his friend left their homes departing for Syria to take part in the armed conflict against Bashar al-Assad. Robin’s mother, Joland, is crying out for …

Securitizing Religious Violence: the Cases of Mali and Syria – Part Two

Suzanne Klein Schaarsberg continues her exploration of the securitization of religion in the conflicts in Mali and Syria. In Part One of this post, I discussed securitization as the tool that enables competing conceptions of the threat posed by Al Qaeda to exist in the worldviews of the same actors. In Part Two, I want …

Securitizing Religious Violence: the Cases of Mali and Syria – Part One

Yesterday French President Francois Hollande announced that French troops will begin withdrawing from Mali in April, instead of March, as originally planned. Suzanne Klein Schaarsberg explores how religion, particularly religious violence, has been labelled as a threat in the political rhetoric surrounding Mali... but not Syria. A common assumption in public discourse and in academic …