Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Understanding the power of religion

RUSSELL: When I look back on my own career and the history of British and American diplomacy, one of our biggest mistakes has been to underestimate religion’s huge galvanizing power. We should not try to reduce religion to politics and economics and assume that people are doing things for reasons we immediately understand. We tend to think that fundamentalists will compromise, because they want more power. But some people don’t want power: They want to go to heaven! We underestimate the sincerity of their beliefs, and for that reason we underestimate the threat they can pose to the kinds of societies we might want to see.

Inside the Middle East’s vanishing ancient religions (http://www.bostonglobe.com/ideas/2014/11/16/inside-middle-east-vanishing-ancient-religions/AGZ4PsXJ4zQStdn7mfVg5O/story.html)

The interviewee has just had an article up in the FT (a long, harmonious history that Islamists deny), which I'm not able to link to at the moment. 

However I'm also copying a snapshot, who knows maybe tolerance will one day flourish in the Ummah as it once did.