Why Religious Freedom Promotes Human Well-being?

Author: Bugra Kalkan* Secularization of the public sphere and public education through strong and restrictive public policies has been often offered to solve the religious conflicts and religious radicalism problems in Muslim-majority countries. From this perspective, explicitly or implicitly, Islamic religious beliefs and organizations are seen in conflict with the idea of constitutional democracy, innovation…

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Religious Persecution Over Time and Countries

Author: Bugra Kalkan* Is religious persecution a unique phenomenon in Muslim-majority countries? Of course, not! Christian-majority countries and other-majority countries have also serious religion related violence issues. But this does not mean that there is no problem concerning Muslim-majority countries. As a matter of fact, Brian Grim and Roger Finke show that “religious persecution is…

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Islam and Classical Liberalism: Are They Compatible?

Mustafa Akyol* At first glance, classical liberalism and Islam may seem not just incompatible, but in complete opposition. Classical liberalism is a political philosophy that aims at maximizing individual freedom. Islam, on the other hand, is a religion that stresses “submission” and “obedience.” Moreover, today’s predominantly Muslim societies are not beacons of liberty — to…

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Why Governments Regulate Religion?

Author: Bugra Kalkan* Even in pluralistic Western Europe countries governments cannot resist to regulate religious affairs. The obvious result of these regulations is the monopolization of the religions. In developed liberal democracies, such as Western Europe, religious pluralism is under surveillance in highly regulated religious markets. Especially the dominant religion in these countries is monopolized…

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Understanding Islam as an Entrepreneurial Religion

* This interview is originally published in My Salaam website.   Postdoctoral scholar Ali Aslan Gumusay’s work involves organization theory, entrepreneurship, business ethics and leadership. Here, he explains entrepreneurship from an Islamic perspective. 1. What are you currently working on? At the heart of my research are issues around people, organizations and societal values, guided by…

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Harmony at the Expense of Liberty

Author: Wan Saiful Wan Jan Nalla Mohamed Abdul Jameel is an Imam at the Jamae Chulia Mosque in Singapore.  Last week on 3 April he was fined SGD4,000 by a Singapore court for committing an act deemed inconsistent with the maintenance of harmony between religious groups. Nalla committed the offence on 6 January 2017, when…

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Religious Markets versus Secularization

Author: Buğra Kalkan* Secularization and socialization theories are the dominant explanations originated in sociology in religious studies. Advocates of secularization comprehend religious behavior as irrational behavior or childish superstitions that will be evaporated as the advancement of science and modernity. It is claimed that once the humanity understands how the nature and the society works…

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