The secular dead body: feeling awkward about organ donorship

Organ donorship is a sensitive and at times controversial topic in numerous political contexts. In today's post, Ton Groeneweg picks up recent failed efforts to introduce Active Donor Registration in The Netherlands to explore the relationship between these debates and evolving dynamics around religion and secularism. Recently another attempt to introduce the legal principle of ‘Active …

Inviting our future: liberal de-culturalization and the Paris attacks – Part two

  “Perhaps we should ask ourselves if these people have not rather come here to save us.” (Erik Borgman)   In today’s post Ton Groeneweg continues his analysis of liberal de-culturalization as a deeper trend exposed by the responses to the attacks in Paris. In this second part of his blog, he focuses on how …

It’s not all about Islam: misreading secular politics in the Middle East

Western policymakers once understood the dynamics of secular politics in the Middle East, but this knowledge has been subsumed under a fixation on Islam’s supposed threat to western security interests, writes today´s guest contributor Dr Stacey Gutkowski. Much western, particularly French, media coverage of the January attacks on the Charlie Hebdo offices and the kosher …

‘All religions are equal, but some religions are more equal than others’ Part Two

In the first part of this blog, Ton Groeneweg sketched out three existing problems with the notion of Freedom of Religion or Belief (FoRB), and how it is being used and promoted in the context of international platforms arising in its defence. He particularly pointed out the difficulties that emerge with the universality and neutrality …

‘All religions are equal, but some religions are more equal than others’ Part One

This phrase catches a key problem with the concept of ‘Freedom of Religion or Belief’, and how it is practiced and promoted in the world today. Just as in Animal Farm, George Orwell’s famous animal utopia, it suggests that power may cloak itself in the language of equality, and create, in fact, entirely the opposite. …

Living together well: secularism, liberal democracy and uncertainty in the wake of Charlie Hebdo

The Charlie Hebdo attacks in Paris have raised many questions about free speech, liberal democracy, freedom of religion and how to live together in multicultural, multi faith, multi political societies. In today's post, Erin Wilson explores some of these questions and encourages us, rather than seeking for definitive answers, to see the conversation and debate these questions inspire as an …