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This week’s front page editor


Sunny Hundal is openDemocracy’s social media editor.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

Will the left ever get religion?

Can there ever be a truly successful, secular revolution? 

Is secularism bad for women?

Gender equality should not be pitted against religious freedom, so what kind of political arrangements could guarantee religious women’s rights and full social inclusion? 

Women and the Arab Spring: a dream turned nightmare

Change must start from within each individual. As quoted in the Quran, “Indeed, Allah will not change the condition of a people until they change what is in themselves.”  

First, do no harm: expanding our moral circle beyond religion

Secular values and commitments are all that’s needed to anchor the deep transformation of society.

Christianity was liberation for you—for me it was slavery: a tale of two kingdoms

Can religious conservatives be enlightened out of their convictions? If not, what are the implications? The launch of a new Transformation series on religion.

Political Islam in neoliberal times

Neoliberalism devours other competing world-views through the commodification of cultural difference—turning a tidy profit. Wrest this monopoly on political readings of Islam away from capital and authoritarianism.

Iran’s unresolved conflict between reformers and fundamentalists

Either the Islamic Republic wishes to remain in its fundamentalist cocoon and alienate more educated, westward-looking young Iranians, as well as be regarded as a pariah by the international community, or it wishes to join the modern world

Islamophobia, a foreseeable consequence of ultra-liberalism?

Islamophobia does not result from a specific strategy to create the ideal scapegoat, but Muslims came in opportunely to fulfil this function within ultra-liberal European societies.

Saudi's husseiniya massacre: sectarianism coming home to roost

The murder of Shi'a worshippers in the Eastern Province, by fighters who are returned jihadis, is the latest instance of blow-back. The Saudi regime must quickly change course.

Islamic State: power of belief

The strength of the new jihadi movement is to link ideology and combat experience. The failures of its western enemy add fuel to its cause. 

What was the role of religion in the Arab Spring?

The Arab Spring was caused by a multitude of factors (economic, political, social, cultural and religious), but its origins also lay in belief. Not a singular belief, but a collective, multifaceted belief that liberation is not only needed, but also possible.

Human rights without religion is like a fish without a bicycle

Is separation between religion and the state essential to human rights?  Meredith Tax says secular space is necessary for the protection of religious and sexual minorities, freedom of thought and expression, and women's rights. It might even be central to the survival of the planet.

Hindu chauvinism and the denigration of human rights

Such baseless and cynical claims are the stock-in-trade of Hindu chauvinist propagandists: as if to be critical of the BJP’s pogroms is to be supportive of the Congress party’s or Maoist or Communist violence or for that matter violence by misguided and fanatical members of disadvantaged communities. 

States, religious diversity, and the crisis of secularism

In India, the existence of deep religious diversity has ensured a conceptual response not only to problems within but also between religions. Without taking it as a blue print, the west must examine the Indian conception and learn from it, regarding peace between communities, community-specific rights, the rights of minorities, the porous divide between the modern state and religion, and the skills to accommodate the latter. They might begin by jettisoning the preoccupation with ‘equal treatment’.

'Jesus was a feminist'

Ghanaian feminist theologian Mercy Amba Oduyoye speaks to Nana Darkoa Sekyiamah about religion, patriarchy and reinterpreting the Bible from a feminist perspective

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