Posts Tagged ‘Muslims’


Mark David Hall on Religious Accommodations and the Common Good

As a number of religious accommodation cases are winding their way through the U.S. court system, we invite Prof. Mark David Hall (George Fox University) to discuss the history of religious exemptions in American history. In addition to whether or not a florist or baker should be exempted from providing services to same-sex weddings based on religious beliefs, we also examine rights of conscience accommodations granted to religious groups for military service, the swearing of oaths, mandatory school attendance, and vaccinations. Prof. Hall explains how “Americans at their best” have accommodated religious views since colonial days and speculates on what the future holds.

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Eileen Kane on the Russian Hajj

As industrialization progressed in the 19th century and railroads became more commonplace, the costs of making the pilgrimage to Mecca (hajj) became more affordable for the large number of Muslims who lived in Russian territory. Prof. Eileen Kane, a historian at Connecticut College, discusses how the Russians tsars and the Soviets managed the pilgrimage routes to facilitate their geo-political and economic goals, and how Muslims in turn reacted. This story has heretofore gone untold but reveals a great deal about religion and politics, not only in centuries gone by, but for our contemporary world as well.

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Claire Adida on Discrimination Towards Muslims in France

France has a sizable and growing Muslim population, but how well are they integrated into national life? Prof. Claire Adida discusses a multi-pronged study conducted with David Laitin and Marie-Anne Valfort assessing the extent of discrimination on religious grounds and why it occurs. We discuss “rational” and “non-rational” Islamophobia (listen to the podcast for full definition of these terms) and the self-reinforcing “discriminatory equilibrium” that has resulted in the country. She also discusses the field experiments conducted as part of this research.

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David Smith on Episodic Religious Persecutions

Despite being a nation prided upon religious freedom, the United States has witnessed several episodes of intense persecution of religious minorities. Prof. David Smith (University of Sydney) discusses why these episodic violations of civil liberties happen with specific reference to the Latter Day Saints in the mid-19th century and the Jehovah’s Witnesses in the early 20th century. He links these (and other) events to the threat that they generate towards the political status quo. We also discuss how this may relate to harassment of Catholics, Jews, and Muslims in US history over the past two centuries.

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Christopher Scheitle’s Religious Road Trip

What do you get when to take a seasoned sociologist and a senior research associate, put them in a rented Dodge Charger for six weeks, and them tell them to find academic enlightenment? A religious road trip, that’s what! Christopher Scheitle tells us tales of his trip with Roger Finke to far flung places such as Memphis, Houston, Colorado Springs, San Francisco, Detroit and Brooklyn in search of what the American religious experience is all about. They visit a wide variety of congregations and take away some important lessons about the diversity and similarities of religious folks in the United States. We also find out who is the better driver – Chris or Roger.

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Ahmet Kuru on Islam in Europe

Prof. Ahmet Kuru of San Diego State Univeristy joins Research on Religion to discuss the increasing presence of Islam in Europe and how various European nations are accomodating Muslim immigration. We address the contemporary origins of this immigration and how countries such as Great Britain, Germany and Frane have had different responses to integrating Muslims into their political and cultural arenas. We cover the recent ban in the hijab (Muslim headscarf) in France and also talk about how the US response to Muslim immigrants differs than Europe. Prof. Kuru introduces us to his concepts of assertive and passive secularism.

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