Religion


The recent allegations of sexual abuse within the Catholic Church has turned into a public relations disaster for the Vatican who, under the leadership of a mild mannered Pope, has failed to take the necessary steps in response to these damning accusations. This failure in crisis management has also unearthed internal power struggles still raging after the Vatican elected Cardinal Ratzinger to the Papacy in 2005. The scandal has also brought to the surface some veiled, but albeit dangerous, sectarian attacks against the Catholic Church.

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Gordon Brown and the Irish Taoiseach Brian Cowen are locked in talks in Stormont trying to prevent a collapse of devolution in Northern Ireland. The key issue is over the devolution of policing and justice powers from Westminster to Stormont, with Sinn Fein pushing for an immediate transfer and the DUP hoping to stave off the move until a later date. But why are these issues crucial to devolution? And why is a deal proving so difficult?

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 On Monday Nigel Farage of UKIP came out in favour banning the burka in public across the UK. Gaps in the Dialogue speaks to him about how he justifies this, why its potentially unworkable and why he hates the Archbishop of Canterbury.

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This week the government announced that they were to ban the extremist Muslim group Islam4UK following the public outcry over the planned protest at Wootton Bassett. It is clear that most British people find the group’s views offensive: they espouse Sharia law in the UK, the domination of Islam across the globe and are accused of encouraging suicide bombings in the UK.

What is up for debate is whether a ban will be effective – at least twice before Anjem Choudarys party’s have been banned before and, through a variety of semantic tricks, the trained lawyer has been able to reinvent the organisation under new names.

Gaps in the Dialogue speaks to one of Britain’s most hated men about why he feels the ban will make his party stronger, his failure to condemn suicide bombings, and the Iranian revolution. (more…)