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The Busted Halo Question Box
Ask our spiritual experts virtually anything!
This is the place where you can ask all of those burning questions that you wouldn't dare ask in person. We will post questions here (using your byline only with permission); we guarantee an answer to everyone.

Have your own question? Then pitch it to us!

Caitlin Kennell Kim
Fr. Rick Malloy, SJ
General Questions
Fr. Tom Ryan, CSP
Ecumenical, Interfaith
Neela Kale
Culture, Moral Theology
Ann Naffziger, M.A., M.Div.
Mike Hayes
Our readers asked:

Did the uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt have any basis in religion?

Neela Kale Answers:

The protests that have gripped the Middle East in recent months have had secular triggers: rampant poverty, high unemployment, government corruption and political oppression. While religious voices have been a part of the upheavals, they have not been at the forefront. Protesters clamor not for an Islamic state but for democracy and individual freedoms, ideas that some see as Western imports foreign to Islam. However, religion is so deeply rooted in culture – and vice versa – that the nascent process of political change in the Muslim world must chart its own distinctively Muslim course. Political turmoil exposes other fractures in society, as revealed by recent sectarian clashes in Egypt. In Egypt and elsewhere, defining the role of Islamist movements in the future government remains a pressing challenge. By way of comparison, consider how Indonesia, the world’s largest Muslim nation, undertook a similar transition to democracy after protests overthrew its president in 1998. Find an excellent analysis at http://yaleglobal.yale.edu/content/religion-may-not-dominate-middle-east.

The Author : Neela Kale
Neela Kale is a writer and catechetical minister based in the Archdiocese of Portland. She served with the Incarnate Word Missionaries in Mexico and earned a Master of Divinity at the Jesuit School of Theology. Some of her best theological reflection happens on two wheels as she rides her bike around the hills of western Oregon.
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Please note that the editorial staff reserves the right to not post comments it deems to be inappropriate and/or malicious in nature, as well as edit comments for length, clarity and fairness.
  • Feliciano Tapia

    Oops Olvide: I’m from School of Ministry in the diocese of Fresno, I know Maripaz Ramos and Miriam Banno a quien vere en la jornada teologica de dos semanas: esperanza de liberacion y teologia
    Regards. Feliciano Tapia

  • Feliciano Tapia

    Hola Neela, ayer supe que ya no estas en Oaklan (te ando siguiendo y no te encuentro)Ahora sera difil conocerte pero si me gustaria hablar contigo sobre algunas cosas. Mi cell 916-271-6825

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