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Secularism is the solution – about religion and violence

Michael Schmidt-Salomon

Michael Schmidt-Salomon

Saturday, May 23, 2015 4:35pm

The title of the talk is a quote. The original was found among other obscene slogans on the wall of a dirty prison toilet in Saudi Arabia. There the phrase "Secularism is the solution!" from Raif Badawi was discovered, the blogger who has been sentenced to 1000 lashes for his calls for tolerance, freedom of thought and respect for human rights.

"Secularism is the solution!" – this simple sentence did not only give Raif Badawi the strength to get through the humiliating conditions of imprisonment in Saudi Arabia, it also contains a central lesson that emerges from the study of history: Because without secular norms, without separation of state and religion there will never be peache, freedom, and justice on earth.

Dr. Michael Schmidt-Salomon, born 1967, is a freelance philosopher and writer. He is also co-founder and spokesman of the Giordano Bruno Foundation.