The terrorist murder of French professor Samuel Paty in the Paris suburb in autumn 2020 has re-opened a debate concerning the liberty of teaching, freedom of expression and the role of secularism in a pluralist society. What is the specific nature of French laïcité? To what extent is there a growing confrontation with a part of the Muslim world? Why has this provoked a diplomatic incident between France and Turkey, and more broadly the boycott of French products in many Muslim countries? The on-going ideological debate concerning the role of religion in a secular society, has shown both its local and international implications, where many different actors use it for various strategic purposes. This dossier on the one hand will discuss the boundaries, the origins and the contemporary effects of freedom of expression and laïcité comparing the French, the Western and the Muslim contexts. On the other hand, it will analyse the geopolitical, local and international stakes of this debate.
- France, just like the rest of Europe, has changed so much since 1905 that socio-political pressures to review the relation between State and religions has become a must. The bill recently put forward by its government aims at a global reform that would, if passed, directly impact freedom of worship, claims Philippe Portier.
- To open the way for a fresh and reformist reading and understanding of the Qur’an, Massimo Campanini refers to the teachings of Edmund Husserl and Enzo Paci on God’s truth not being absolute but telos, an objective, a truth to be reached as as to Egyptian philosopher Hassan Hanafi’s concept that “God is not logos but praxis”” Gos is man’s action in society and in history.
- In Pankisi, Georgia, lives an ancient Muslim community highly influenced by Sufist traditions. The green valleys and enchanting forests host a small society of different ethnic origins and cultural roots at the crossroads of Western Asia and Eastern Europe.
- A response to Adam Seligman and David Montgomery’s “The Tragedy of Human Rights”
- The number of incidents of communal violence in India increased between 2014 and 2017. What causes lie behind such clashes and what solution to tame further social tensions?
- Islam calls for unity within diversity says Nayla Tabbara, co-founder of the Lebanese Adyan Foundation for Solidarity, Diversity and Human Dignity.