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State, Religion and Muslims

Between Discrimination and Protection at the Legislative, Executive and Judicial Levels

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Edited by Melek Saral and Şerif Onur Bahçecik

State, Religion and Muslims: Between Discrimination and Protection at the Legislative, Executive and Judicial Levels brings together academics from different disciplines and offers an in-depth analysis of discrimination in specific areas of life which affects Muslims in Western countries. The volume undertakes a comprehensive examination of the discriminatory practices across 12 countries while situating them in their institutional frameworks.

Exploring critical aspects of discrimination against Muslims – in areas such as education, employment, exercise of religion, state relations with religious communities as well as hate crime and hate speech – the volume shows the prevalence of individual, structural and institutional discrimination against Muslims living in Western countries.

Contributors are: Amina Easat-Daas, Andrea Pin, Beesan Sarrouh, Camille Vallier, Dieter Schiendlauer, Eva Brems, Ineke van der Valk, Ksenija Šabec, Maja Pucelj, Mario Peucker, Mosa Sayed, Nesa Zimmermann, Niels Valdemar Vinding and Safa ben Saad.

Migration and Islamic Ethics

Issues of Residence, Naturalization and Citizenship

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Edited by Ray Jureidini and Said Fares Hassan

Migration and Islamic Ethics, Issues of Residence, Naturalization and Citizenship addresses how Islamic ethical and legal traditions can contribute to current global debates on migration and displacement; how Islamic ethics of muʾakha, ḍiyāfa, ijāra, amān, jiwār, sutra, kafāla, among others, may provide common ethical grounds for a new paradigm of social and political virtues applicable to all humanity, not only Muslims. The present volume more broadly defines the Islamic tradition to cover not only theology but also to encompass ethics, customs and social norms, as well as modern political, humanitarian and rights discourses. The first section addresses theorizations and conceptualizations using contemporary Islamic examples, mainly in the treatment of asylum-seekers and refugees; the second, contains empirical analyses of contemporary case studies; the third provides historical accounts of Muslim migratory experiences.

Contributors are: Abbas Barzegar, Abdul Jaleel, Dina Taha, Khalid Abou El Fadl, Mettursun Beydulla, Radhika Kanchana, Ray Jureidini, Rebecca Gould, Said Fares Hassan, Sari Hanafi, Tahir Zaman.

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Nesrine Badawi

In Islamic Jurisprudence on the Regulation of Armed Conflict: Text and Context, Nesrine Badawi argues against the existence of a “true” interpretation of the rules regulating armed conflict in Islamic law. In a survey of formative and modern seminal legal works on the subject, the author sheds light on the role played by the sociopolitical context in shaping this branch of jurisprudence and offers a detailed examination of the internal deductive structures of these works.

Minority Religions under Irish Law

Islam in National and International Context

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Edited by Kathryn O'Sullivan

Minority Religions under Irish Law focuses the spotlight specifically on the legal protections afforded in Ireland to minority religions, generally, and to the Muslim community, in particular. Although predominantly focused on the Irish context, the book also boasts contributions from leading international academics, considering questions of broader global importance such as how to create an inclusive environment for minority religions and how to regulate religious tribunals best. Reflecting on issues as diverse as the right to education, marriage recognition, Islamic finance and employment equality, Minority Religions under Irish Law provides a comprehensive and fresh look at the legal space occupied by many rapidly growing minority religions in Ireland, with a special focus on the Muslim community.

Balaniyot, Baths and Beyond

Israel’s State-Run Ritual Baths and the Rights of Women

Nahshon Perez and Elisheva Rosman-Stollman

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.

Mikhail Antonov

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.

Anicée Van Engeland

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.

Honest Scales

Challenging Structural Discrimination in Alberta v. Hutterite Brethren of Wilson Colony

William Kenny

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.

The Legal Status of Religious Groups in Argentina

Toward a Multi-Confessional System

Fernando Arlettaz

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.

Jeroen Temperman

Article 20(2) of the un’s International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (iccpr) is an odd human rights clause. It provides that “[a]ny advocacy of national, racial or religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence shall be prohibited by law.” Accordingly, this provision does not appear to codify a fundamental right but rather a sui generis state obligation. The present article aims at providing a legal taxonomy of this international incitement clause, ultimately also answering the question as to whether, despite its unique formulation as speech prohibition, it contains a justiciable right to protection from incitement.