Monday, November 19, 2007
Wednesday, November 07, 2007
Saturday, November 03, 2007
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Back in the 20th century, most Western politicians and intellectuals (and even some clerics) assumed religion was becoming marginal to public life; faith was largely treated as an irrelevance in foreign policy. Symptomatically, State Department diaries ignored Muslim holidays until the 1990s. In the 21st century, by contrast, religion is playing a central role. From Nigeria to Sri Lanka, from Chechnya to Baghdad, people have been slain in God's name; and money and volunteers have poured into these regions. Once again, one of the world's great religions has a bloody divide (this time it is Sunnis and Shias, not Catholics and Protestants). And once again zealotry seems all too relevant to foreign policy: America would surely not have invaded Iraq and Afghanistan (and be thinking so actively of striking Iran) had 19 young Muslims not attacked New York and Washington.