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Secularism and liberalism as paradigms of interpretation of human rights. Reflections on shaping religious freedom in the light of the French debate on the Islamic headscarf

article

<oai:doaj.org/article:ce2851e825924a03a3c2a3e08a7c2ffb>
KeywordsTriple Keywords
Liberation
Emancipation
Civil liberty
Liberty
Freedom
Personal liberty
Judiciary
Courts
Courts--Law and legislation
Public sphere
Sphere, Public
Religion, Primitive
Religion
Truth
Conviction
Doubt
Belief and doubt
Concepts
Concept formation
Liberal egalitarianism
Liberalism
Volition
Conation
Will
Individuality
Individuation (Philosophy)
Particulars (Philosophy)
Individuation
Individuals (Philosophy)
Autonomy
Independence
Self-government
Value
Standard of value
Worth
Axiology
Values
Ontology
Being
Consciousness
Legislative enactments
Laws (Statutes)
Law
Legislative acts
Acts, Legislative
Enactments, Legislative

Abstract

The use of Islamic headscarf by girls in France has sparked an important debate on laicism, multiculturalism and religious freedom. This debate has reached the European Court of Human Rights, which has delivered several judgments concerning it. The requirement of neutrality, a fundamental principle of laicism, allows the secular State, in order to protect the freedom of conscience of non-religions, to refer the exercise of religious freedom to the domestic sphere and, while requiring neutrality, to seek to impose in the public sphere a sort of civilian religion, denying the right to freedom of expression in religious matters. These two elements are not only among the founders and current representatives of secularism, but can also now be seen in authors who, without saying secuicists, propose to relegate one’s own conviction to the private and to have a social fate of civil religion. The underlying fundamental error lies in the concept of freedom that they have inherited from the illustrated liberalism, a mistake which ultimately responds to a limited conception of man. The claims of these positions are unachievable, since religion cannot be relegated only within man, and if States adhere to these positions there will be no limits on the advancement of individual freedoms. Therefore, instead of seeing religion as a toxic element in the social sphere, the relationship between the state and religion must be marked by positive laicism, with legitimate autonomy between the two, while recognising the positive value of religion for individual and social life, at the point of being enshrined as a human right.

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