The ‘religion or secularism’ debate on women’s equality obscures the real problem: patriarchy

  Is ‘religion’ patriarchal, antithetical to gender equality? This was a question posed last night during the Centre for Religion, Conflict and the Public Domain #IWD2017 panel discussion on ‘Gender and Sexual Equality in a Post-Truth Age’. On International Women’s Day 2017, Erin K. Wilson explores this question, arguing that actually, this is the wrong …

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 …

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. …