Secularism isn’t the answer to Islamic extremism, but arguably its cause

Crux | 3/24/2019 | Staff
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SOUTH BEND, Indiana - At the end of March Pope Francis will make a quick overnight trip to Morocco, marking the latest chapter in modern papal outreach to the Islamic world. It’s a story that reaches back at least to 1964, when Paul VI became the first pope to leave Italy in modern times by visiting the Holy Land, starting with Jordan.

While these outings have many aims, these days one primary objective is to promote a greater climate of religious freedom - which, among other things, should make life a bit easier for the pope’s own small flocks in these places.

February - Trip - United - Arab - Summit

During his February trip to the United Arab Emirates that featured an interfaith summit, for instance, Francis delivered a mini-manifesto on the topic.

Surrounded by imams, rabbis, Buddhist monks and Hindu leaders, the pope distinguished real religious freedom from mere freedom of worship, saying that “without freedom, we are no longer children [of God] but slaves.”

Book - Professor - Daniel - Philpott - University

In a new book, Professor Daniel Philpott of the University of Notre Dame wrestles with the vital question of whether, and how, it’s possible to open up breathing space for religious minorities in the world’s 47 majority Muslim states.

Ultimately, Philpott’s answer is hopeful: Not only are there strands within Islam that lend themselves to an appreciation of religious freedom - what he calls “seeds of freedom” - but a close examination of those 47 states shows that one-quarter already are largely tolerant and pluralistic, especially a belt of states in Western Africa where Islam wasn’t imposed by colonial conquest but rather grew organically as a result of cultural exchange and missionary activity.

Book - Tidbits - Point - Food - Thought

While the book is filled with interesting tidbits, one point offers especially useful food for thought for Western readers: Whatever the pathway to religious freedom may be in the Islamic world, it almost certainly doesn’t...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Crux
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