Israeli author David Grossman on the influence of religion on Israeli politics:
"A very basic problem of us as a state today [is] that there is too much connection between religion and the state. For the last 60 years almost, Israel prioritized the political goals of religion over the political goals of the state. For example, many things that have happened to us since the Six-Day War, the '67 War, [things] that drove the occupation of the occupied territories, were highly dominated by religious aspirations. And the religious are so much involved now in politics in Israel today. It's so much dominant in our politics. And it's dangerous because also on the other side, on the Palestinian side, we see the same phenomenon. They are now ruled by not only religious people, which I can respect, but they are ruled by fundamentalists, by fanatics."
Martin Amis, author of a recent book on the Soviet Union, KORBA THE DREAD: LAUGHTER AND THE TWENTY MILLION, on the U.S.S.R's attempt to completely eliminate religion:
"But it seemed that ideology was going to take over from religion. Ideology was a kind of Methadone that would get you off heroin, you know. And it was far more virulent than religion."
"The Bolsheviks got rid of their nearest ideological neighbors, the Mencheviks, as soon as they had the power. They killed the lot. You know? Too close to them. They got rid of any other socialists. They wanted to be the only true church brand of socialists. So any theocracy in [the United States] would immediately eliminate all other competing religions if they could … [that] is exactly how they would operate, because that's what happens under those kinds of arrangements. You want to be the power, the only power, and anybody who could be a rival power, you'd get rid of them."
Salman Rushdie on the triumph of secularism over sectarianism in India's history:
"The great founding fathers like Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru were absolutely convinced that to secularize India was the only way of keeping various [religious] communities safe. But in order to avoid a repetition of the bloodshed of partitioning, you had to not allow any religious community to dominate any other. And therefore India was given a secular constitution.