Is Secularism Failing?


| 11/24/2008 11:24:55 AM


The sectarian violence in Iraq has many people wondering, what is wrong with Islam? A better question may be, what is wrong with secularism? International politics professor Vali Nasr pointed out on NPR’s Speaking of Faith that religion is resurgent in Iraq, Israel, India, and the United States. People throughout the world are turning to religion and challenging the separation between church and state. Nasr asks, “Why is secularism sick?”

Part of the problem may lie in the style of democracy that the U.S. tries to export in places like Iraq. “We have a very good system of government,” said Nasr, “but whenever we go abroad we promote and implement a French one.” In U.S. history, there were strong bridges between religion and commerce in organizations like the YMCA or the Rotary Club. The style of democracy the U.S. has tried to export is more centralized and secularized, according to Nasr, more French than American. Ideally, the government would promote a more federalist system, less centralized, encouraging commerce and religion to work together for stability in places like Iraq and Afghanistan.





Pay Now Save $5!

Utne Summer 2016Want to gain a fresh perspective? Read stories that matter? Feel optimistic about the future? It's all here! Utne Reader offers provocative writing from diverse perspectives, insightful analysis of art and media, down-to-earth news and in-depth coverage of eye-opening issues that affect your life.

Save Even More Money By Paying NOW!

Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. You save an additional $5 and get 4 issues of Utne Reader for only $40.00 (USA only).

Or Bill Me Later and pay just $45 for 4 issues of Utne Reader!




Facebook Instagram Twitter