German-Egyptian Scholar: "Catholic Marriage" of Public Sentiment, Politics, Religion Must Be Broken

   

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Published on Aug 20, 2019

German-Egyptian scholar Hamed Abdel-Samad said in an August 8, 2019 interview on Al-Hurra TV (U.S.) that in order for the Arab world to honor freedom of religion more, a compromise must be reached stating that freedom of religion cannot be separated from the freedom to criticize religion. He also said that the "Catholic marriages" between public sentiment, political rule, and religious authority must be broken up. Abdel-Samad explained his statement, saying that since Arabs view religion as the only thing that defines identity, they see challenges to religion as personal attacks rather than as new ideas. He further explained that the political leadership in the Arab world should draw legitimacy from things other than public sentiment and religious authority, and he said that the religious authorities "pounce like rabid dogs" when religion is challenged because religion is their source of income.