Tag Archives: Religion

Five truths about the hijab that need to be told

A women is more than what she wears. Darrin Henry/Shutterstock Peter Hopkins, Newcastle University Rio 2016 is proving not just to be a platform for sporting prowess, it is also helping to shake up some traditionally-held cultural misconceptions too. In the West, many regard traditional Muslim dress like the hijab as a sign of oppression, with women forced to wear …

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The term ‘Judeo-Christian’ has been misused for political ends – a new ‘Abrahamic’ identity offers an alternative

The term ‘Judeo-Christian’ serves political agendas. 1000 Words/Shutterstock Toby Greene, Bar-Ilan University Upcoming elections in the Netherlands and Germany in 2021 will test the strength of the radical right, which has a distinct vision of European identity. In contrast to those who view democratic values as essentially secular and universal, and not tied to specific cultural or religious roots, radical …

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The meaning of life – a psychologist’s view

Shutterstock/LedyX Steve Taylor, Leeds Beckett University The search for meaning in life is a familiar challenge to many of us. Some materialist scientists and philosophers consider it a futile search. Prominent atheist Richard Dawkins, for example, claims that human beings are just “throwaway survival machines” whose only purpose is to survive and replicate genes. Otherwise, the theory goes, there is …

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Is belief in God a delusion?

Hassan Saleh/Unsplash, FAL Ryan McKay, Royal Holloway and Robert Ross, Macquarie University As the pandemic raged in April, churchgoers in Ohio defied warnings not to congregate. Some argued that their religion conferred them immunity from COVID-19. In one memorable CNN clip, a woman insisted she would not catch the virus because she was “covered in Jesus’ blood”. Some weeks later, …

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Religion, race and nationality – what are our prejudices and how can we overcome them?

Finding common ground. Melitas/Shutterstock Julian Hargreaves, University of Cambridge What do you think of your neighbours? And what do they think of you? Concerns around increasing division and polarisation in the UK have persisted stubbornly since the EU referendum in 2016. We hear a lot from academics, politicians and journalists about a supposedly fractured nation. But how divided is Britain? …

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Pourquoi le sport est devenu une cible pour les islamistes

William Gasparini, Université de Strasbourg Selon une information révélée par Le Parisien le 18 octobre 2020, Abdoullakh Anzorov, l’assassin du professeur Samuel Paty à Conflans-Sainte-Honorine, avait fréquenté un club de lutte. En 2017, dans ce même club, des dérives communautaires avaient été signalées, notamment des prières dans les vestiaires ou des pressions sur les tenues vestimentaires des jeunes femmes licenciées. Placée …

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‘Caliphate’ podcast and its fallout reveal the extent of Islamophobia

An anti-Islamic protester during a demonstration at Toronto City Hall on March 4, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Christopher Katsarov

An anti-Islamic protester during a demonstration at Toronto City Hall on March 4, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Christopher Katsarov Fahad Ahmad, Carleton University and Tarek Younis, Middlesex University On Sept. 25, the RCMP arrested Shehroze Chaudhry, a Muslim man, for allegedly fabricating his affiliation with the Islamic State group (ISIS). Chaudhry — popularly referred to by his supposed nom de guerre, …

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The puzzle of home education in Hasidic communities


While educating children at home is a big challenge for any parent, it is an achievement for most Hasidic parents. Fathers have not been able to develop their skills in this regard, not having received sufficient secular education themselves, and mothers, in charge of large families, often work outside the home. The issue is all the more important given that home education is …

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Iran’s secular shift: new survey reveals huge changes in religious beliefs

Iran is becoming more secular. Abedin Taherkenareh/EPA

Pooyan Tamimi Arab, Utrecht University and Ammar Maleki, Tilburg University Iran’s 1979 Islamic revolution was a defining event that changed how we think about the relationship between religion and modernity. Ayatollah Khomeini’s mass mobilisation of Islam showed that modernisation by no means implies a linear process of religious decline. Reliable large-scale data on Iranians’ post-revolutionary religious beliefs, however, has always …

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Will the UK’s sharia councils struggle to meet the challenge of Covid divorces?


Shutterstock Fouzia Azzouz, University of Bristol Sharia councils across the UK could be facing a potentially significant rise in their workload as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, and many don’t have the resources to cope. The predicted rise in divorce rates and reported increase in cases of domestic violence associated with lockdown measures will touch Muslim relationships just like …

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