It just so happens that today is a great day for posts and articles relating to religion online.
William Safire on the advent of the pejorative term "Christianist"/"Christianism" to describe members of America's religious right. Andrew Sullivan claims credit for it; Hendrik Hertzberg recently used it in The New Yorker.
I think this might be a pretty useful term to have, especially when discussing global religion politics with people who have an anti-Muslim bias. I still have my doubts as to whether it will take off in the mainstream media. If it does, it will probably start in Europe.
The blogger who calls himself Abdul-Walid has a brilliant post on belief. He is basically doing something like negative theology, except his goal is to distinguish religious belief ("I believe in God") from a more intellectual and secular conception of divinity. Ironically, the latter may take the idea of God more seriously than standard affirmations of religious belief do. (Read it...)
Chapati Mystery has a great post on Kingdom of Heaven, which refers to earlier representations of Salahuddin (aka Saladin and Salah ud Din) in Hollywood. Apparently Cecil B. DeMille's 1937 film The Crusades was very popular in Egypt back in the day. I'm a little torn about whether to bother with KoH. Paradoxically, I would be more likely to go see it if there were more controversy about the film's portrayal of Islam. Perhaps Ridley Scott should have thrown in some gratuitous anti-Islamic, anti-Eastern Orthodox Christian, and anti-Semitic sentiments? A Kingdom of Heaven without any semblance of political correctness would be both more historically accurate and -- in certain obvious ways -- more in touch with George W. Bush's America.
Moorish Girl links to a great interview with Tariq Ramadan in Egypt Today. The only odd thing is, they remove the interviewer's questions from the piece, so you have to speculate on what he's responding to (though it's not hard to guess). Ramadan comes off pretty well here. He seems to have a reasonable perspective on the Hijab ban in France ("France is still not a racist country"). I was also happy to see he is against the advent of Sharia courts in Canada for family law (along the lines of the differential civil codes in India). It was being discussed a fair amount last year (read this BBC article for more background)
Dilip D'Souza has an interesting piece in Tehelka on Kashmiri Pandits, exiled from Srinagar, who have ended up in permanent relief camps in places like Delhi. These folks don't get a lot of attention these days, partly because any sympathy for their plight runs the risk of being interpreted in political terms.