A New Poll Shows Americans Welcome Public Displays of Religion

March 30 2022

In 2019, the Canadian province of Quebec banned a range of public-sector employees from wearing religious garb, including yarmulkes and turbans, on the job. France recently tightened such restrictions as well, in an effort to curtail Islamic extremism. This month, an Indian court upheld a ban on wearing hijabs in certain schools. These and other laws reflect a growing suspicion of religious expression in the public square. In the U.S., however, support for such expression is high, as indicated by polling results and recent state laws protecting religious liberty. Kelsey Dallas reports:

Even as interest in organized religion declines in the United States, Americans remain incredibly supportive of public displays of faith, according to new research from the Deseret News and Marist Poll.

The survey showed that more than nine in ten U.S. adults, including 93 percent of those who do not practice a religion, feel “very comfortable” or “comfortable” with people wearing religious symbols or attire. Republicans (96 percent) and Democrats (92 percent) are almost equally supportive of this practice, as are the youngest Americans and the oldest.

Meanwhile, state legislatures in the U.S. are passing laws creating additional protections for people of faith. In the past year, both Illinois and Ohio adjusted school sports rules to ensure that young athletes can wear faith-related garb as they compete.

However, these new policies and the research showing strong public support for religious attire does not mean the U.S. is problem-free. . . . In 2020, more than half of Jews (53 percent) said they were feeling less safe than they had in the past and 15 percent said they’d been called offensive names in the past year, according to Pew Research Center.

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Read more at Deseret News

More about: American Religion, Anti-Semitism

How European Fecklessness Encourages the Islamic Republic’s Assassination Campaign

In September, Cypriot police narrowly foiled a plot by an Iranian agent to murder five Jewish businessman. This was but one of roughly a dozen similar operations that Tehran has conducted in Europe since 2015—on both Israeli or Jewish and American targets—which have left three dead. Matthew Karnitschnig traces the use of assassination as a strategic tool to the very beginning of the Islamic Republic, and explains its appeal:

In the West, assassination remains a last resort (think Osama bin Laden); in authoritarian states, it’s the first (who can forget the 2017 assassination by nerve agent of Kim Jong-nam, the playboy half-brother of North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un, upon his arrival in Kuala Lumpur?). For rogue states, even if the murder plots are thwarted, the regimes still win by instilling fear in their enemies’ hearts and minds. That helps explain the recent frequency. Over the course of a few months last year, Iran undertook a flurry of attacks from Latin America to Africa.

Whether such operations succeed or not, the countries behind them can be sure of one thing: they won’t be made to pay for trying. Over the years, the Russian and Iranian regimes have eliminated countless dissidents, traitors, and assorted other enemies (real and perceived) on the streets of Paris, Berlin, and even Washington, often in broad daylight. Others have been quietly abducted and sent home, where they faced sham trials and were then hanged for treason.

While there’s no shortage of criticism in the West in the wake of these crimes, there are rarely real consequences. That’s especially true in Europe, where leaders have looked the other way in the face of a variety of abuses in the hopes of reviving a deal to rein in Tehran’s nuclear-weapons program and renewing business ties.

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Read more at Politico

More about: Europe, Iran, Israeli Security, Terrorism