Feb 22, 2009
One of the greatest dangers facing American democracy today is extreme partisanship. The division of public and politics along party lines hinders political discourse and halts social progress at great costs to society. If little else, Americans can agree on that. But, as soon as you ask who is responsible for political bipolarity, people are divided: Fox News or the liberal media, fundamentalist evangelicals or the eastcoast elite, rich republicans or wealthy democrats, SUV drivers or treehuggers.
“Split: A Divided America” is a documentary that shines a light on the roots and consequences of this political divide. While it can’t solve all the problems and leaves the viewer with open questions, there are still some insights to be drawn from it.
Aug 19, 2008
tapmag has been reporting frequently on different religious views and their intertwinement with politics, especially apparent during election times. But religion does not only come into play when it is time to chose a new leader, and to figure out if the candidates match one’s own ethical views, or faith. In many areas of conflict, religious feelings or tradition play an important role, and set a border for political ambitions (in Germany, a prime example is the 24/7 opening of stores, which is still prohibited for the reason of a “sacred” Sunday). But the two main denominations in Germany, lutheran and catholic, also struggle with declining membership and financial problems.
In this article, I explore a different kind of church. Please excuse that for now it is only in German.
Go to article here.
Aug 13, 2008
For years, Muslims and Islam have been the center of some of the most heated and controversial debates in the Western world – about things as fickle as faith, democracy, and values. “Clash of Civilizations;” 9/11; the Cartoon Controversy; the veil (a symbol of oppression, or a symbol of unshakable faith); Palestine and Israel; Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran… Therefore, one could have expected Muslims to take center stage during the 2008 elections. But what happened?
To find out, www.tapmag.net (TM) asked Katrin Simon (KS) of the Free University of Berlin a few questions. Katrin Simon is a PhD student in Islamic Studies, specializing in African American Islam, who just returned from New York where she conducted fieldwork.
Nov 4, 2007
It’s election time in the Danish Kingdom, and what better way to churn out those votes, than to let the Prophet Muhammad work his magic?
The Danish People’s Party (DPP, Dansk Folkeparti) has published election posters (here) featuring a drawing by Alexander Ross from 1683 of the Prophet. The poster reads in bold, capital letters: “Freedom of Speech is Danish, Censorship Isn’t – We Hang on to the Danish Values,” and continues, “Danish People’s Party – Your Country, Your Choice.” According to Danish People’s Party’s party leader, Pia Kjærsgaard, “We [Danish People's Party] are not doing this to provoke, but are doing it exactly because a drawing – a 400 year old drawing of Muhammad – is a symbol of the freedom of speech in Denmark, because we hung on to that freedom of speech.” [Read more]
Sep 7, 2007
When was the last time a hoard of crying Muslims set your flag on fire? If you are from Denmark, like I am, it couldn’t have been more than 20 months ago.
It is a funny thing symbols, really. One day, they’re decorating your birthday cake, the next, they’re burning on the West Bank. One day, they’re in your daily Qur’an, the next, they’re in a Danish, a French or a German newspaper with a bomb in their turban. One day, some Americans think your country is the capital of Stockholm (not kidding!), the next, they’re “supporting the Danes’ rights to freedom of speech” by drinking Carlsberg and eating Danish hot-dogs during football games. Seems ridiculous? It is. And it is not.