Egypt, Democracy and Islam
In a survey conducted last spring, a majority of Egyptian Muslims said that democracy was preferable to any other kind of government. An overwhelming majority also believes Islam’s influence in politics is positive.
Faith on the Hill
Many analysts described the November 2010 midterm elections as a sea change, with Republicans taking control of the U.S. House of Representatives and narrowing the Democratic majority in the Senate. But this political overhaul appears to have had little effect on the religious composition of Congress, which is similar to the religious makeup of the previous Congress and of the nation.
Muslim Publics Divided on Hamas and Hezbollah
While Hamas and Hezbollah continue to receive mixed ratings from Muslim publics around the globe, opinions of al Qaeda and bin Laden are consistently negative. Meanwhile, most Muslims surveyed welcome a significant role for Islam in their countries’ politics, and most also say democracy is preferable to any other kind of government.
Indonesia’s Place Along the Spectrum of Global Religious Restriction
Indonesia, where President Barack Obama will visit this month and where he spent part of his childhood, is among those countries of the globe where such restrictions and hostilities are highest.
In the Courts: Voucher Battle Redux
A coming Supreme Court case on an Arizona law allowing funds donated to religious schools to be subtracted from state taxes owed by donors could severely limit future Establishment Clause challenges.
Public Opinion in Pakistan: Concern About Extremist Threat Slips
Pakistanis have grown markedly less concerned about extremist groups, and are far more worried about the external threat from India. America’s image remains negative and support for U.S. involvement in the fight against extremists has waned. Many Pakistanis endorse extreme views about law, religion and society.
High Court Rules Against Campus Christian Group
A divided Supreme Court has ruled, 5-4, that a public law school can deny recognition to a student group that excludes gays and lesbians. In Christian Legal Society v. Martinez, the Court said the school could enforce a policy requiring official student organizations to accept all students who want to join.
Rights of Conscience vs. Civil Rights
New “conscience protection” cases have emerged in the health care area expanding the debate beyond abortion and birth control to discrimination protection for certain groups, notably gays and lesbians.
Supreme Court Rules on Religious Display
The court overturned a lower court ruling that had ordered the removal of a cross from a World War I memorial located in California’s Mojave National Preserve.
Broad Criticism of Pope Benedict’s Handling of Sex Abuse Scandal
Amid new revelations of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church, Pope Benedict XVI’s job ratings for handling the scandal have plummeted.