Religion

Big gods came after the rise of civilisations, not before, finds study using huge historical database

When you think of religion, you probably think of a god who rewards the good and punishes the wicked. Authors: The Conversation But the idea of morally concerned gods is by no means universal. Social scientists have long known that small-scale traditional societies – the kind missionaries used to dismiss as “pagan” – envisaged a spirit world that cared little about the… Their concern was less about whether humans behaved nicely towards one another and more about whether they carried ... Read More »

Recep Tayyip Erdogan: The New Zealand killer and the Islamic State are cut from the same cloth

Fifty innocent people lost their lives in last week’s terrorist attacks in Christchurch, New Zealand. By Recep Tayyip Erdogan The Washington Post March 19 Recep Tayyip Erdogan is president of Turkey. Dozens of other Muslims, who had gathered at local mosques to perform the Friday prayer, survived the assault with injuries. There were many historical references on the murder weapons and in a manifesto that the suspected terrorist published online. The number of times he mentioned both Turkey and myself was both curious and worth ... Read More »

Diaspora Politics: Turkey’s New Balkan Ambassadors

More and more Turks are ‘coming home’ to the Balkans. As a new diaspora community takes root, will it transplant the values of Erdogan’s ‘new Turkey’? Hamdi Firat Buyuk, Alexander Clapp and Serbeze Haxhiaj BalkanInsight A few steps from the wooden Ottoman fountain that looms over Bascarsija square in central Sarajevo, shoppers in a Turkish grocery store browse tea, spices and Turkish delight. Murat Ozkaya, the store’s owner, considers himself a trailblazer. The former stockbroker from the eastern Turkish city ... Read More »

In the aftermath of the Christchurch massacre hatemongers are having a field day

As there were Turkish victims of the attack, Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay and Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu travelled to Christchurch to emphasize Turkey’s common resolve against Islamophobia and xenophobia. Samuel Huntington and the Christchurch Massacre Posted by Robert Ellis Furthermore, Fuat Oktay called on the entire world to stop promoting some kind of provocative language. Back home, Fuat Oktay’s call fell on deaf ears. The day after the attack, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who is not known to mince ... Read More »

It is now beyond question that the Tory party is institutionally Islamophobic

There is a very serious problem of anti-Muslim bigotry inside the Conservative Party and the problem gets deeper all the time. Peter Oborne Middle East Eye It’s just under two weeks since I last wrote in Middle East Eye about the noxious anti-Muslim bigotry that infests Theresa May’s Conservative party. I make no apology for doing so again in light of the eruption of two more very serious problems. Toxic Islamophobia The first of these concerns last night’s very troubling revelation by ... Read More »

A letter to our leaders: as Australian Muslims we live in fear, please remember our pain

How is it right that in our parliament it is OK to call Islam a ‘disease’, it is OK to refer to a ‘final solution’, it is OK to ridicule our religious attire? Anonymous The Guardian Dear Mr Morrison and Mr Shorten, I am an Australian Muslim woman. I am highly educated and hold a professional job. In fact, I spend a great deal of my working life with the Australian legal system. I am a wife. I am a ... Read More »

How European ideas motivated Christchurch killer

The self-described ‘fascist’ may have picked up ideas during a trip to France in 2017. Europe can’t turn a blind eye to the Christchurch killings. By NICHOLAS VINOCUR Politico Even though the attack happened on the other side of the world, the man who carried it out declared that he started his planning after a trip to France — inspired by ideas that have filtered into right-wing discourse across the European Union. The links were on display in a 73-page manifesto ... Read More »

Christchurch Shooting Updates: 40 Are Dead After 2 Mosques Are Hit

Forty people were killed in shootings at two mosques in central Christchurch, New Zealand, on Friday, in a terrorist attack that Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern described as “an extraordinary and unprecedented act of violence.” The New York Times • Officials said that four people were in custody, and that a number of explosive devices were found attached to vehicles that they had stopped. • A Muslim leader in New Zealand said the attack was especially shocking as it took place ... Read More »

‘This is New Zealand’s darkest day’: Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern responds to Christchurch shootings

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has confirmed the man responsible for the horrific New Zealand mass shooting was Australian-born, labelling him an “extremist, right-wing, violent terrorist”. Shannon Molloy, news.com.au Townsville Bulletin Addressing reporters in Sydney, Mr Morrison extended his sympathies to all New Zealand people and “particularly those of Islamic faith”, following the Christchurch attacked that claimed at least 40 lives. “Australia and New Zealand — we’re not just allies, we’re not just partners. We’re family. As family members… we grieve, ... Read More »

Opinion: After Cardinal Pell verdict, Catholic Church must reform

Pope Francis once made George Pell one of the Vatican’s most powerful men. Now, the cardinal is headed to prison for sexual abuse. It is time for the Catholic Church to reform itself, says DW’s Christoph Strack. Cardinal George Pell, the Vatican’s third-highest ranking official who once served as the pope’s finance chief, was sentenced to six years behind bars on Wednesday for child sex abuse. The Australian is the most senior Catholic to ever be convicted of such crimes. Pell’s lawyers ... Read More »

Pell verdict: Judge Kidd got it absolutely right with the sentence

After the deafening storm of publicity surrounding the conviction of Cardinal George Pell, finally there was silence. Duncan Fine The Age For one hour Chief Judge Peter Kidd delivered his sentencing and the reasons behind it. Courtroom 3.3 of the Victorian County Court went quiet. Pell stood calmly, with his arms behind his back. The sentence was six years with a non-parole period of three years and eight months. Immediately, the storm started up again. Some groups representing abuse survivors ... Read More »

It’s time for a Green Lent

Many churchgoers have yet to seriously engage with the topic of climate change Tomas Buitendijk The Irish Times Imagine a second global flood, occurring tomorrow. A modern Noah, having spent weeks aimlessly drifting across the world’s oceans, releases a dove in search of land. To his surprise, the animal returns within two minutes and has found something. It is carrying a slightly faded, but otherwise completely intact, soaking wet Tesco shopping bag. On its side, Noah reads: “Use me again!” You’ll know ... Read More »

Andrew Bolt, please stop implying that you know all the facts about George Pell

Clare Linane, whose husband Peter Blenkiron is a survivor of clerical child abuse, writes in response to Andrew Bolt’s defence of George Pell Clare Linane The Guardian I am a Ballarat local who has been living with the aftermath of child sexual abuse for many years. My husband, Peter Blenkiron, is a survivor of clergy abuse at 11-years-old. You met him whilst in Rome three years ago. I am compelled to write to you after you expressed your opinion that ... Read More »

My anger with George Pell has been replaced by immense sadness

I don’t see a monster. I see all the women and children and men and nuns and priests destroyed by shame, fear and lies Christos Tsiolkas The Guardian I  have been angry with Cardinal George Pell for a long time. That anger was first stirred by his absolute disdain for extending compassion to people living with Aids, and also by his refusal to accept queer people into Catholic fellowship. I was also made furious by his perverting of the teachings ... Read More »

Supreme Court will look at whether a cross is promotion of religion or war memorial

The Supreme Court justices, long divided on the role of religion, are set to decide whether a 40-foot Latin cross sitting at a busy intersection in Maryland is an unconstitutional official endorsement of Christianity or a… David G. Savage Los Angeles Times It will be the first major religion case for Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh, and the outcome could signal whether the court’s five conservatives are prepared to give small towns, counties and… At issue is the 1st Amendment’s ban ... Read More »

Ukraine’s crisis of faith

The Kiev-Kremlin conflict catalyzes a religious schism centuries in the making. Christopher Miller Politico VORSIVKA, Ukraine — For years, Father Vasily spent his Sundays behind the altar at St. Nicholas, a church in the small town of Vorsivka, in north-central Ukraine. That all changed in early January, not long after the Ukrainian Orthodox Church officially split from the Moscow-based Russian Orthodox Church in one of the biggest schisms in Christian history. That’s when the village faithful held a vote to decide whether their ... Read More »