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Ethnic and religious plurality is inextricably linked with Ambonese history. The conflict of 1999–2003 disrupted this stability and caused great damage, segregation, and radicalization. Reestablishing peace proved difficult because of complex social, economic, political, and religious factors, and parties struggled to address deep-rooted issues such as intergroup distrust and hatred. The Baku Bae Peace Movement (gbb) was an informal movement with humble beginnings, which quickly developed into a community effort and reignited intergroup fraternity by deploying a series of effective strategies. This article examines the gbb, its key strengths and weaknesses, and the contextual factors that led to its success. The success of the gbb may be attributed to inclusive grassroots participation and the invocation of shared moral values. This article concludes that although the gbb is difficult to replicate elsewhere, its core values can be implemented in other conflict regions to minimize or resolve religious violence, polarization, and fundamentalism.

In: Journal of Law, Religion and State
In: Journal of Law, Religion and State

The purpose of this research is to identify the peculiarities of religious legal consciousness and to review the conflicts, gaps, and additional specific problems arising amidst a convergence of peoples confessing Islam within the European legal-cultural domain. Approaching this question from the perspective of Russian scholarship, the authors evaluate and apply methods of inquiry such as sociological surveys and analysis of law enforcement practices, together with historical, dialectico-materialistic, interdisciplinary, and logical approaches. The given article highlights problems of cultural interaction with special reference to the role of religion in this process, including relative degrees of legal implementation of religion and the influence of religion on personality formation. Here religion is regarded both as a means of social regulation and as a reflection of the specific characteristics and cultural environment of a particular community with its concepts of justice, legality, and ethics. In general, modern secular states fail to take into account the different roots of religious legal consciousness in different cultures, instead perceiving the legality of a juridical fact through the prism of their own respective cultures. Nonetheless, understanding the mechanisms through which legal consciousness forms – including the impact of religion on such formation – represents an important tool for addressing and resolving a number of grave social problems.

In: Journal of Law, Religion and State

The decision in Alberta and Hutterite Brethren of Wilson Colony refocused attention on the role played by the final limb of the Oakes test when considering the proportionality of the limitation of a Charter right. This article seeks to re-examine this decision and challenge the structural discrimination it created by requiring minorities whose belief gives a religious value to a facially utilitarian practice which may not be apparent when considered from a secular perspective. In particular it examines the potential benefits of allowing a liberal perspective of group rights to inform the weight courts’ give to the detriment faced by a community and argues that this revised approach to balancing would result in outcomes more reflective of the values codified in the Charter.

In: Journal of Law, Religion and State

The Argentinian Constitution of 1853 established a religious policy based on two main principles: freedom of religion and the privileged status of the Catholic Church. In 1966, an agreement with the Catholic Church eliminated the power of the government to interfere in ecclesiastical matters, but maintained the privileged status of Catholicism. Today, the religious configuration of Argentinian society differs greatly from that of the 19th century. Amidst increasing religious diversity, some legal changes point to the transformation of the Argentinian regime from a nearly confessional state into a multi-confessional, yet not an egalitarian one.

In: Journal of Law, Religion and State

Ritual immersion in Israel has become a major point of contention between Israeli-Jewish women and the state-funded Chief Rabbinate of Israel. In order to conduct a religious household, Orthodox Jewish women are required to immerse in a ritual bath (mikveh) approximately once a month. However, in Israel, these are strictly regulated and managed by the Chief Rabbinate, which habitually interferes with women’s autonomy when immersing. The article presents the case, then moves to discuss two models of religion-state relations: privatization and evenhandedness (roughly the modern version of nonpreferentialism), as two democratic models that can be adopted by the state in order to properly manage religious services, ritual baths included. The discussion also delineates the general lessons that can be learned from this contextual exploration, pointing to the advantages of the privatization model, and to the complexities involved in any evenhanded approach beyond the specific case at hand.

In: Journal of Law, Religion and State

This paper analyzes the cultural constraints imposed in the Russian legal system by the prevailing social philosophy, which is characterized by a significant degree of religious conservatism and communitarianism. This conservatism is predictably opposed to sexual minorities and to those who want to defend or justify them. The author concludes that this philosophy strongly affects decision-making in Russian courts, and can sometimes overrule the provisions of the Russian Constitution and the laws that formally grant protection to sexual minorities. In turn, this conservative social philosophy and communitarian morality are based on religious patterns that are still shaping the mindsets and attitudes of Russians. These attitudes cannot be ignored by judges and other actors in the Russian legal system, who to some extent are subject to the general perception of what is just, acceptable, and reasonable in society, and are factually bound by this perception.

In: Journal of Law, Religion and State

According to some interpretations of Islam supported by gender activists, the veil can be perceived as a passport that enables women to participate in public affairs. This argument has been overlooked by the courts, including the European Court of Human Rights. The latter has adopted a discourse that considers the veil to be a threat to public order and gender equality, and more recently, an obstacle to social cohesion. By doing so, the Court has excluded veiled European Muslim women from the public sphere. The Court has justified curbing freedom of religion by granting states a wide margin of appreciation on the basis of the concept of “living together.” I argue that the Court needs to take the “passport veil” into account to be consistent with its argument on living together. A shift of approach and discourse would constitute a new way of understanding integration through the veil.

In: Journal of Law, Religion and State

The decision in Alberta and Hutterite Brethren of Wilson Colony refocused attention on the role played by the final limb of the Oakes test when considering the proportionality of the limitation of a Charter right. This article seeks to re-examine this decision and challenge the structural discrimination it created by requiring minorities whose belief gives a religious value to a facially utilitarian practice which may not be apparent when considered from a secular perspective. In particular it examines the potential benefits of allowing a liberal perspective of group rights to inform the weight courts’ give to the detriment faced by a community and argues that this revised approach to balancing would result in outcomes more reflective of the values codified in the Charter.

In: Journal of Law, Religion and State

The Argentinian Constitution of 1853 established a religious policy based on two main principles: freedom of religion and the privileged status of the Catholic Church. In 1966, an agreement with the Catholic Church eliminated the power of the government to interfere in ecclesiastical matters, but maintained the privileged status of Catholicism. Today, the religious configuration of Argentinian society differs greatly from that of the 19th century. Amidst increasing religious diversity, some legal changes point to the transformation of the Argentinian regime from a nearly confessional state into a multi-confessional, yet not an egalitarian one.

In: Journal of Law, Religion and State