Leave campaign turned Brexit into ‘new religion’, study finds

Boris Johnson has been one of the main drivers of the Brexit campaign.  Photo: Tolga Akmen / WPA Pool / Getty Images
Boris Johnson has been one of the main drivers of the Brexit campaign. Photo: Tolga Akmen / WPA Pool / Getty Images

A new report from the Universities of Birmingham and Warwick claimed the campaigns focused on aspects of Brexit centered on secularized theological concepts such as sovereignty and the concept of a nation to shy away responsibility for British issues at the feet of the ‘European Union.

The document explained that the promise to “take back control” used the NHS as the holy grail of the country that could be rescued from European forces that threatened Britain’s unique historic place in the world.

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The academics explain that this was done by highlighting the greatness of the British people and their ability to change their place in the world.

The Leave campaign has made Brexit a “new religion”, according to a study.

Co-author Dr Peter Kerr, Senior Lecturer in Politics at the University of Birmingham, said: A shrewd political calculation.

“Presenting the NHS as the holy grail to be saved from the threat of the EU superstate and an influx of foreign migrants – symbolized by the ‘Brexit Bus’ – neatly cut into a variety of beliefs and emotions on Britain’s place in the world and its membership in the EU.

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The researchers noted that there were clear differences in reasoning between supporters of Leave and Remain, with the former being more likely to appeal to emotion rather than political or economic reasons.

Dr Steven Kettell, associate professor of politics and international studies at the University of Warwick, explained: implications.

“This approach has effectively isolated the Brexit claims from any sort of rational criticism.

“This emotional disconnect from expert advice, along with the willingness of true believers to accept various claims, created the perfect conditions for the now famous NHS ‘lie’ on the Brexit Bus side to play a central role in the victory. of Leave. campaign. “

The report claims this has led to support for a surge in Brexit, including one without a deal.

In response to the inquiry, Liberal Democrat MP Alistair Carmichael said the UK was “already paying the price” for the decision.

He said: “It should come as no surprise that a nationalist movement like Vote Leave encouraged people to blindly believe in false promises before reality.

“We must learn the lessons of Brexit and not repeat them.

“There are many more nationalist prophets who want people to follow them in faith without asking questions.

“However, we can only move forward as a country if we challenge those who offer easy answers to complex problems.”

Kirsten Oswald, SNP deputy head in Westminster, has called for Scotland to be allowed to join the EU.

She said: “The Tories’ Brexit deal – imposed amid a global pandemic – has taken a heavy toll on our economy, our jobs, our businesses and people’s livelihoods.

“A Scottish government analysis estimates Boris Johnson’s deal could cut Scotland’s GDP by 6.1%, costing £ 9bn, or the equivalent of £ 1,600 for each person,” by 2030 compared to EU membership. “

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Turkish Students Increasingly Resist Religion, Study Finds | Turkey

Esra, 22, from Mersin, is even more bored than usual this Ramadan. Universities are closed and Turkey has taken the unusual step of putting those under 20, as well as those over 65, under a curfew, as many Turkish families live in intergenerational households.

As a result, Esra cannot see any of her friends. And a few days before the Muslim month of fasting, like many young people, she now feels even more suffocated by the religious restrictions imposed by her pious parents.

“Normally they don’t know how I dress when I’m not around, but even at home now wearing tight jeans bothers them and they comment on it,” she said. “They think I’m fasting, but I’m not. I have water in my room.

Despite more than a decade of efforts by Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) to shape a generation of pious Turks, the country’s youth appear to be turning away from religion.

Turkey’s founder Mustafa Kemal Atatürk banned religion from public life, creating a secular, pro-Western republic that broke with the Ottoman past. One hundred years later, Erdoğan put Turkey back on a more religious and socially conservative path, aiming to create a “religious generation” which “will work to build a new civilization”. Some members of the opposition call him the “caliph in waiting”.

President triples number of İmam clerics Hatip high schools in the country, steady increase in funding for the Directorate of Religious Affairs of Turkey and increase in the powers of local authorities muktars, or community leaders, who are usually pious men.

Yet a study earlier this year by Sakarya University and the Ministry of Education on religious studies programs in the Turkish school system found that students “resist compulsory religion classes, the government’s plan. on the “religious generation” and the concept of religion as a whole ”.

Almost half of the teachers surveyed said their students were increasingly likely to describe themselves as atheists, deists or feminists, and to challenge the interpretation of Islam taught in school.

A 2019 Konda Agency poll also found that people aged 15 to 29 described themselves as less “religiously conservative” than older and less religious generations than the same age group a decade earlier – the respondents said they do not necessarily cover their hair, please. regularly or on an empty stomach during Ramadan.

The overall drop in the number of people who described themselves as religiously conservative was 7%, down from 32% in 2008, and those who reported fasting during Ramadan fell from 77% to 65%.

The abandonment of religion among the younger Turkish generation follows a trend observed in many industrialized countries. But some wonder if this is also a backlash of nearly two decades of the AKP’s arrogant political Islam.

The 2019 survey found only a slight drop in religiosity overall. In a country where around half of the 82 million people are under the age of 30, however, even small changes in the attitude of society could have a dramatic impact on Turkish politics in the future.


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India’s population growth depends on development, not religion: study

Indian women have more children than their counterparts in many Muslim countries. (Representative image)

Fertility rates in India are more closely related to education levels and socio-economic development within a state than to religious beliefs, according to an IndiaSpend analysis of government data and research evidence.

The evidence we analyze shows that wealthier families, states with better health facilities, and more literate women have lower fertility rates in India.

Globally, there is little evidence to link religion to fertility rates, with poorer and conflict-ridden states and countries with lower women’s empowerment reporting lower fertility rates. higher population growth.

When the Office of the Registrar General and Census Commissioner of India released fertility rates for India’s population last year, the conversation was hijacked by the difference in population growth rates between religions.

Several newspapers pointed out that the data showed that Muslim women had higher fertility rates than non-Muslims and that the percentage of Muslims in the population was steadily increasing.

This implicit suggestion that Muslims have more children than other religious communities has lacked data that shows how population growth rates and the Total Fertility Index (TFR) vary widely among Indian states.

TFR appears to be more closely related to per capita income, health care, and other basic facilities in this state.

Development and fertility: the case of Kerala and the UP

Compare, for example, Kerala and Uttar Pradesh (UP). In 2011, Uttar Pradesh’s TFR, at 3.3, was higher than the Indian average of 2.4, and higher than Kerala’s TFR, at 1.8, according to census data.

The Muslim population of Uttar Pradesh increased by 25.19%, while the Muslim population of Kerala increased by 12.83% between 2001 and 2011. During the same period, the Hindu population increased by 18, 9% in Uttar Pradesh and 2.8% in Kerala.

The higher growth rates of Muslims in the northern states are “more or less part of a northern culture than a Muslim culture,” said NC Saxena, the former secretary of the Planning Commission. India.

The states with the highest fertility rates in India are all found in northern and central India: Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan (TFR 2.9), Jharkhand (2.8) and Chhattisgarh .

These overall fertility rates seem more related to the development of the state. For example, Kerala has a literacy rate of 93.9%, compared to 69.7% in Uttar Pradesh in 2011.

In the same year, 99.7% of mothers in Kerala received medical care during childbirth, compared to 48.4% of mothers in Uttar Pradesh. In addition, 74.9% of women were over 21 in Kerala at the time of marriage, compared to only 47.6% in Uttar Pradesh.

Another way to interpret population growth rates is the difference between poor states and rich states. The Empowered Action Group (EAG) states, which include India’s poorest – Rajasthan, UP, Uttarakhand, Bihar, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh have higher population growth.

Between 2001 and 2011, the population of the EAG states increased by 21%, compared to 15% for the rest of India. Yet decadal population growth rates, even in the EAG states, have declined from the decadal growth rate of 24.99% between 1991 and 2001.

One of the reasons for higher Muslim fertility within a state could be due to factors related to wealth.

Information from the survey showed that families in the lower wealth quintiles have more children than the wealthiest families.
For example, in Bihar, women in the lowest wealth quintile have a TFR of 5.08 while women in the highest quintile have a TFR of 2.12. The same is true for a richer state, like Maharashtra, where the lowest wealth quintile has an TFR of 2.78, compared to the richest wealth quintile with a TFR of 1.74.

On average, Muslims across India are poorer than Hindus, with average monthly spending per household per capita of Rs 833, compared to Rs 888 for Hindus, Rs 1,296 for Christians and Rs 1,498 for Sikhs , according to a 2013 national survey report based on data from 2009-2010.

Indian women have more children than their counterparts in many Muslim countries

There is little international evidence of the correlation between religion and fertility rates.

For example, according to World Bank data, in 2014 Bangladesh, India’s predominantly Muslim neighbor, had an TFR of 2.2. Iran, another Muslim country, has a TFR of 1.7, below the replacement level, meaning the current population cannot be replaced at the current rate of population growth.

In India, the growth rate of Muslims is declining faster than the growth rate of Hindus.

The 10-year population growth rate of Muslims fell 4.9 percentage points from 29.5 percent in 2001 to 24.6 percent in 2011, while that of Hindus fell 3.5 percentage points from from 20.3% to 16.8%.

In 2001, 65.1% of all Hindus over the age of 7 were literate, while 59.1% of Muslims were literate, according to census data. In 2011, the percentage of literate Hindus rose to 73.3%, while that of Muslims rose to 68.5%.

The fertility rates of populations with higher fertility, such as low-income families and Muslims, decline more rapidly than other groups, as methods of contraception and education spread to these groups, said an expert.


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Atheism is as natural as religion, study finds | The independent

Atheism is as natural as religion, new research suggests, casting doubt on the notion that humans are pre-programmed to believe in gods.

A new study from the University of Cambridge has found that, contrary to popular beliefs, large swathes of the ancient world did not believe in gods

Extensively taken from history books, many atheists actually flourished in polytheistic societies – those that worshiped multiple deities – according to a new book.

The claims, made in Battling the Gods by Greek culture professor Tim Whitmarsh, cast doubt on the idea that we are wired to believe in a higher power – referring to “religious universalism.”

Professor Whitmarsh, Fellow of St John’s College, University of Cambridge, also opposes the idea that atheism is a modern phenomenon.

He said, “These early atheists were making what seem to be universal objections to the paradoxical nature of religion – that it asks you to accept things that are not intuitively there in your world.

“The fact that this happened thousands of years ago suggests that forms of unbelief can exist in all cultures, and probably always have.

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“We tend to see atheism as an idea that has only recently emerged in secular Western societies.”

He suggests that atheism was not only common in ancient Greek or Roman societies, but rather flourished then more than it does now.

The “Age of Atheism” alone came to an end, he suggests, when generally tolerant societies were replaced by imperial forces that demanded the acceptance of one true God.

He added: “The idea of ​​a priest telling you what to do was foreign to the Greek world.”

Using around a thousand years of writings to prove his theory, some of the texts he cites date back to around 570 BC.

But he concludes that this neither proves nor disproves the truth of atheism itself.


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