The Tenth Parallel

Monday, August 15, 2011

Award-winning investigative journalist Eliza Griswold talks about the tenth parallel—the line of latitude 700 miles north of the equator—the geographical and ideological front line where Christianity and Islam collide. In The Tenth Parallel Griswold looks at Nigeria, the Sudan, Somalia, Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines—places where religious conflicts are also conflicts about land, water, oil, and other natural resources, and where local and tribal issues are often shaped by religious ideas.


Eliza Griswold

Comments [16]

dizzy5 from nyc

What a terrible speaker this Griswold is...."Absolutely" unlistenable. She makes Imus and Bernie sound intelligent.

Aug. 17 2011 08:29 AM
Ed from Larchmont

It's funny, Ms. Griswold kept promising to discuss the conflict within religions, and Leonard Lopate's was interested, but it never was expanded on. All that happened was that in each country she mentioned, she said 'a lot of Christians are being killed there'. The suffering Church in Sudan, Egypt, Nigeria, etc.

She didn't mention the great Catholic Bishop Gassiz in Sudan, nor Catholics in general.

Her father wore a bullet proof vest to the ordination of Bishop Gene Robinson - but no one shot at him. They just left the Anglican Church, moslty for the Catholic Church (see the Anglican Ordinariate).

The prosperity Gospel in Africa is different than it is here - it's not so much that I can have the extra car, but that God wants me to have a meal every day,which is so.

There was an identity made between Jihad and the Crusades, but it's not accurate. The Crusades were a response to the Muslim Jihads: they took over the Christian lands, and they threatened Europe, and the emperor asked the pope for troops to keep them out of Europe. The Crusades, which is the name we give them, were a defensive and penitential effort. (The nineteenth century imperialists re-wrote them in dominating terms.)

Finally, the priests speak of martyrdom in Africa because their people face martyrdom, they prepare them for it because they are under attack, as Ms. Griswold indicated.

Aug. 16 2011 08:14 AM

Hi! thanks for the research and writing and thanks to leonard for the interview! after listening to this interview i am reminded how little i know of the world ... and i am also dismayed and wonder why are so many people so religious and why do we continue to fight over religion - i just do not understand!!! thanks! deb ps i saw ms griswold at the afghanistan plays ... and i have her book - she was great at the talkback!

Aug. 15 2011 06:51 PM
amalgam from NYC by day, NJ by night

@ jgarbuz from Queens -

I would LOVE to to take your little wager on there not being a Caliphate "any time soon." (That's just great.)

How about I just keep keep my "non-Caliphate tracker" going and I'll just remind you about it over the short- and the long-long-term.

Aug. 15 2011 02:16 PM

@ jgarbuz from Queens


Aug. 15 2011 02:13 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

So who wants to lay bets there'll be no Caliphate anytime soon? Anyone?

Aug. 15 2011 12:40 PM
Fuva from Harlemworld

JAKE, give us a BREAK.

Aug. 15 2011 12:35 PM

@ Jake

WOW!! Good job!!!


Aug. 15 2011 12:35 PM

I can see why the black muslims wanted to get Ms. Griswald a date. She is a reasonably cute blond and that probably carries a lot of currency with the dark guys there.

Aug. 15 2011 12:32 PM
ebun from bk

My uncle Kunle set up a bunch of businesses in Jos, he is leaving, abandoning his businesses. I just spent 2months in Nigeria and I don't know, it is a tough place.

Aug. 15 2011 12:27 PM
Amy from Manhattan

Are the descendants of the early Muslims who went to Ethiopia still present as a distinct population that practices Islam? If so, is it different from the better-known branches of Islam? I'm thinking of how the Ethiopian Jews (Beta Israel) practiced their own form of Judaism.

Aug. 15 2011 12:25 PM
yael kanarek from new york

Do events such as the Arab Spring have effect in the tenth parallel?

Aug. 15 2011 12:23 PM

The Economist recently sited some statistics showing up to 80% of people in some Isalic countries support aspects of Islamic law such as stoning for adulterers, chopping off hands for theft, etc.. How can these aspects not present a clash of civilizations? Do you think these harsh punishments are a cultural phenomenon, not necessarily supported in the areas of the 10th parallel?

Aug. 15 2011 12:22 PM


They're ALL NUTS!!

Less religion. More brains!!

Aug. 15 2011 12:20 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

Ask your guest what happened to the Jews of Arabia (the Hijaz), as well as the Christians for that matter.Why are there no Jews or Christians living in Saudi Arabia?

Aug. 15 2011 12:17 PM
Patrick from Bronx

Just wondering if the recent creation of Southern Sudan is the latest chapter in the conflict between Christianity and Islam.

Aug. 15 2011 05:45 AM

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