Islam, the West and the Challenges of Modernity: A Conversation With Tariq Ramadan
What can Western Muslims do to balance faith and modernity? What lies ahead for the future of Islam in Europe, the U.S. and the rest of the world? A controversial Muslim scholar discusses these and related topics.
Religion in the 2008 Presidential Election
An analysis of newly released exit poll data finds that Barack Obama succeeded in attracting a larger share of the vote among some religious groups than John Kerry did in 2004. The contours of religion and politics, however, were largely the same in 2008 as in 2004.
Growing Number of Americans Say Obama is a Muslim
More than a year into his presidency, 18% of Americans say that Barack Obama is a Muslim. A plurality say they do not know what religion he follows. The view that president is a Muslim is highest among his political opponents. Yet the public also generally says Obama handles his religious beliefs appropriately.
Religious Beliefs and Political Issues
Religious beliefs continue to be influential in shaping some Americans’ views about social issues such as abortion and same-sex marriage. Far fewer cite religion as a top influence on issues such as immigration, the environment and poverty.
Religion in the 2010 Elections
Following voting trends, white Protestants voted overwhelmingly Republican and religiously unaffiliated voters overwhelmingly supported Democrats. But Catholic voters swung to the GOP, and Republicans made gains in all three groups.
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.
The Tea Party, Religion and Social Issues
Tea Party supporters’ conservative opinions extend beyond economic matters to social issues such as abortion and same-sex marriage. The Tea Party also draws disproportionate support from the ranks of white evangelical Protestants.
Religion in the News: 2010
Though still small in volume, mainstream media coverage of religion in 2010 doubled over the preceding year. Events and controversies related to Islam — especially a proposed Islamic center in New York City — dominated coverage, bumping the Catholic Church from the top spot.
Continuing Divide in Views of Islam and Violence
The public remains divided over whether Islam is more likely than other religions to encourage violence among its believers. Political and ideological divisions are wide, though. Most conservatives and Tea Party supporters link Islam with violence.
Churches in Court
American religious institutions have been at the center of many legal controversies in recent years. These and related lawsuits raise complex constitutional questions that have been troubling American courts for more than a century. Are legal disputes involving churches and other religious institutions constitutionally different from those involving their secular counterparts, and if so, how?