Posts Tagged ‘protests’
On the 11th anniversary of the September 11, the U.S. Embassy in Cairo, Egypt and U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya were attacked amidst protests over a trailer for a purported film entitled Innocence of Muslims.
Last Saturday, a regional political rally in the German city of Bonn turned violent as Salafists, followers of a conservative and literalist approach to Islam, fought with police protecting a political demonstration by the right-wing German group, Pro-North Rhine-Westphalia.
Reports that NATO personnel had burned copies of the Qur’an first appeared in the New York Times on Tuesday, February 21.
From very early in the movement, spirituality and faith have played a role in the Occupy movement. Religious observances began happening at Occupy Wall Street and around the country, such as the Muslim Jumu’ah and the Jewish Kol Nidre. Religious leaders have come out in support of the Occupy movement, and its social vision, especially in the wake of the wave of crackdowns by local governments on the movement in November.
On September 17, protesters heeded the call to occupy Wall Street and set up camp in a semi-public park in downtown Manhattan’s Financial District that is once again known as Liberty Plaza. In the roughly three weeks since the Occupy Wall Street protests began, several commentators have begun reflecting on the place of faith in the movement. The meditation area on Liberty Plaza is only the most overt of the influences of faith or spirituality on the protest movement.
Two writers at the The Guardian enter into the conversation about this year’s World Youth Day and the public reaction that accompanied Pope Benedict’s visit to Madrid. Andrew Brown asks why the public appears not to recognize the Church’s accomplishment, citing the role of the media in creating a narrow narrative of the event, while Miguel-Anxo Murado turns the discussion to politics, claiming that the protests were perhaps not as successful as it may have appeared.
Why have I chosen the term “asecular,” and not, say, “non-secular” or “post-secular,” to describe the power manifested by these protests? The term “non-secular” is too easily confused with the notion of the religious. And unlike post-secularity, asecularity is not a temporal marker. It allows for the possibility that asecularity has, in different forms, always been with us, even from within the traditions from which state secularity arises. Explorations of post-secularity typically try to identify the emergence of new norms. Such attempts fail to recognize that the process of identifying and distinguishing secular from non-secular norms is part of what secularism is, and that this process is integral to its power. In contrast, the term asecularity specifies a situation not where norms are no longer secular, but where the questions against which such norms are adduced and contested as answers are no longer seen as necessary.