This is a paper I wrote recently on the issue of religious literacy:
It discusses an article originally from the Washington Post by Daniel Philpott which can be found here:
In it he argues that there is nothing inherent in Islam that prevents Muslim countries from having freedom of religion. While I agree with the basic thrust of his argument and quite a bit of his analysis, my Commentary picks up some issues in his language that seem to me to be problematic. My argument is not therefore so much with Philpott, with whom I agree, but with the way he phrases this which I suggest is indicative of a lot of media commentary, academic commentary from outside of Religious Studies on religion, and popular discussion which fails to understand religion by the way it talks. Indeed, I suggest the language itself is part of the problem. Does the wrong kind of language cause us to think about religion in essentialist and homogenising ways?