José Casanova

Spain’s Amnesty Act of 1977 ensured that, during the first two decades of democracy, the memory of the Civil War and the human rights violations of the Franco dictatorship remained taboo. Initiatives by the Zapatero government to redress historic injustices signal a new era, yet there is a way to go before Spanish society is unanimous about its past, writes historian Julián Casanova.

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The rapid and drastic process of secularization in western Europe over the last decades has not diminished the continuing unease with which Europe considers the Islamic religion and Muslims in its midst. In this benchmark essay from 2004, José Casanova argues that the “Islam problem” is an indicator of the disparity between liberal and illiberal strands of European secularism.