Alidadi, “Religion, Equality and Employment in Europe”

In June, Hart Publishing will release “Religion, Equality and Employment in Europe: The Case for Reasonable Accommodation,” by Katayoun Alidadi (Bryant University).  The publisher’s description follows:

The management of religious and ideological diversity remains a key challenge of our time, deeply entangled with debates about the nature of liberal democracy, 9781509911387equality, social cohesion, minorities and nationalism, foreign policy and even terrorism. This book explores this challenge at the level of the workplace in Europe. People do not surrender their religion of belief at the gates of the workplace, nor should they be required to do so. But what are the limits of accommodating religious belief in the work place, particularly when it clashes with other fundamental rights and freedoms? Using a comparative and socio-legal approach that emphasises the practical role of human rights, anti-discrimination and employment protection, this book argues for an enforceable right to reasonable accommodation on the grounds of religion or belief in the workplaces in Europe. In so doing, it draws on the case law of Europe’s two supranational courts, three country studies–Belgium, the Netherlands and the UK–as well as developments in the US and Canada. By offering the first book-length treatment of the issue, it will be of significant interest to academics, policy-makers and students interested in a deeper understanding of European and Western inclusion, freedom and equality in a multicultural context.

“A Liberalism Safe for Catholicism?” (Philpott & Anderson, eds.)

In June, the University of Notre Dame Press will release “A Liberalism Safe for Catholicism? Perspectives from The Review of Politics,” edited by Daniel Philpott (University of Notre Dame) and Ryan T. Anderson is (Heritage Foundation).  The publisher’s description follows:

This volume is the third in the “Perspectives from The Review of Politics” series, following The Crisis of Modern Times, edited by A. James McAdams (2007), andWar, p03317Peace, and International Political Realism, edited by Keir Lieber (2009). InA Liberalism Safe for Catholicism?, editors Daniel Philpott and Ryan Anderson chronicle the relationship between the Catholic Church and American liberalism as told through twenty-seven essays selected from the history of the Review of Politics, dating back to the journal’s founding in 1939. The primary subject addressed in these essays is the development of a Catholic political liberalism in response to the democratic environment of nineteenth- and twentieth-century America. Works by Jacques Maritain, Heinrich Rommen, and Yves R. Simon forge the case for the compatibility of Catholicism and American liberal institutions, including the civic right of religious freedom. The conversation continues through recent decades, when a number of Catholic philosophers called into question the partnership between Christianity and American liberalism and were debated by others who rejoined with a strenuous defense of the partnership. The book also covers a wide range of other topics, including democracy, free market economics, the common good, human rights, international politics, and the thought of John Henry Newman, John Courtney Murray, and Alasdair MacIntyre, as well as some of the most prominent Catholic thinkers of the last century, among them John Finnis, Michael Novak, and William T. Cavanaugh. This book will be of special interest to students and scholars of political science, journalists and policymakers, church leaders, and everyday Catholics trying to make sense of Christianity in modern society.

Graybill, “Religion, Tradition, and Restorative Justice in Sierra Leone”

In June, the University of Notre Dame Press will release “Religion, Tradition, and Restorative Justice in Sierra Leone,” by Lyn Graybill.  The publisher’s description follows:

In this groundbreaking study of post-conflict Sierra Leone, Lyn Graybill examines the ways in which both religion and local tradition supported restorative justice initiatives such as the national Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) and village-level Fambul Tok ceremonies.

Through her interviews with Christian and Muslim leaders of the Inter-Religious Council, Graybill uncovers a rich trove of perspectives about the meaning of reconciliation, the role of acknowledgment, and the significance of forgiveness. Through an abundance of polling data and her review of traditional practices among the various ethnic groups, Graybill also shows that these perspectives of religious leaders did not at all conflict with the opinions of the local population, whose preferences for restorative justice over retributive justice were compatible with traditional values that prioritized reconciliation over punishment.

These local sentiments, however, were at odds with the international community’s preference for retributive justice, as embodied in the Special Court for Sierra Leone, which ran concurrently with the TRC. Graybill warns that with the dominance of the International Criminal Court in Africa—there are currently eighteen pending cases in eight countries—local preferences may continue to be sidelined in favor of prosecutions. She argues that the international community is risking the loss of its most valuable assets in post-conflict peacebuilding by pushing aside religious and traditional values of reconciliation in favor of Western legal norms.

“Religion, Education and Human Rights” (Sjöborg & Ziebertz, eds.)

In May, Springer will release “Religion, Education and Human Rights: Theoretical and Empirical Perspectives,” edited by Anders Sjöborg (Uppsala University) and Hans-Georg Ziebertz (University of Würzburg).  The publisher’s description follows:

This book examines the interconnectedness between religion, education, and human rights from an international perspective using an interdisciplinary approach. It deals 9783319540689with compulsory or secondary school education in different contexts, as well as higher education, and has as its common theme the multiplicity of secularisms in different national contexts. Presenting rich cases, the contributions include empirical and theoretical perspectives on how international trends of migration and cultural diversity, as well as judicialization of social and political processes, and rapid religious and social changes come into play as societies find their way in an increasingly diverse context. The book contains chapters that present case studies on how confessional or non-confessional Religious Education (RE) at schools in different societal contexts is related to the concept of universal human rights. It presents cases studies that display an intriguing array of problems that point to the role of religion in the public sphere and show that historical contexts play important and different roles. Other contributions deal with higher education, where one questions how human rights as a concept and as discourse is taught and examines whether withdrawing from certain clinical training when in university education to become a medical doctor or a midwife on the grounds of conscientious objections can be claimed as a human right. From a judicial point of view one chapter discerns the construction of the concept of religion in the Swedish Education Act, in relation to the Swedish constitution as well European legislation. Finally, an empirical study comparing data from young people in six different countries in three continents investigates factors that explain attitudes towards human rights.

“Fragile Freedoms” (Lecce et al, eds.)

In May, Oxford University Press will release “Fragile Freedoms: The Global Struggle for Human Rights,” edited by Steven Lecce (University of Manitoba), Neil McArthur (University of Manitoba), and Arthur Schafer (University of Manitoba).  The publisher’s description follows:

This book is based upon a lecture series inaugurating the new Canadian Museum for Human Rights that took place in Winnipeg, Canada between September 2013 and May 97801902271802014.  Fragile Freedoms brings together some of the most influential contemporary thinkers on the theory and practice of human rights. The first two chapters, by Anthony Grayling and Steven Pinker, are primarily historical: they trace the emergence of human rights to a particular time and place, and they try to show how that emergence changed the world for the better. The next two chapters, by Martha Nussbaum and Kwame Anthony Appiah, are normative arguments about the philosophical foundations of human rights. The final three chapters, by John Borrows, Baroness Helena Kennedy, and Germaine Greer, are innovative applications of human rights to indigenous peoples, globalization and international law, and women. Wide ranging in its philosophical perspectives and implications, this volume is an indispensable contribution to the contemporary thinking on the rights that must be safeguarded for all people.

How the US Hurt Mideast Christians

This month, I’m guest blogging at the Library of Law and Liberty. I’ve begun with a series of posts on the persecution of Christians in the Mideast. This persecution has many causes, including social attitudes formed by centuries of existence as dhimmis. In today’s post, though, I argue that the West bears some responsibility as well, including the US. Here’s a sample:

Finally, there are the recent actions of the United States. The Bush Administration’s invasion of Iraq in 2003, coupled with the precipitous withdrawal of American troops under the Obama Administration, has been a disaster for local Christians. The invasion exposed Christians to reprisals from Islamists; the withdrawal of troops allowed the reprisals to take place on a wide scale. In Syria, the Obama Administration’s signal that it would support the overthrow of Assad—recall the red line in the summer of 2013—encouraged a rebellion; its failure to back up its words with action has led to slaughter. This is not to say the US should have intervened militarily in Syria. But it shouldn’t have encouraged a rebellion it was not prepared to back, either.

You can read the whole post here.

Around the Web This Week

Here are some news stories involving law and religion from this past week:

Chowdhury, “Islam and Women’s Income”

Next month, Routledge will release “Islam and Women’s Income: Dowry and Law in Bangladesh,” by Farah Deeba Chowdhury (York University).  The publisher’s description follows:

This book examines the interrelationship between law, culture, patriarchy and religion 9781138228467in the context of contemporary Bangladesh. It explores the role of Islam in society and politics generally, and its influence on gender equality in particular. The work focuses on the situation of married women. Taking a socio-legal approach, it analyses the changing nature of the dowry practice and its relation to women’s increasing paid labour force activity. Despite anti-dowry legislation, it is argued here that the dowry system continues in the form of the appropriation of wives’ income. The work calls for legal recognition of this action and the amendment of the Dowry Prohibition Act 1980 as a result of the changing social realities that are taking place in the lives of Bangladeshi women. An Islamic approach is applied to equality between men and women in addressing and analysing these issues. The book includes international comparisons on gender equality and discusses the role of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Descrimination Against Women (CEDAW), as well as the dowry system in South Asia.

Yildirim, “The Collective Dimension of Freedom of Religion”

In January, Routledge will release The Collective Dimension of Freedom of Religion: A Case Study on Turkey by Mine Yildirim (Norwegian Helsinki Committee Freedom of Belief Initiative in Turkey). The publisher’s description follows:

collective-dimension-of-freedom-of-religionThe right to freedom of religion or belief, as enshrined in international human rights documents, is unique in its formulation in that it provides protection for the enjoyment of the rights “in community with others”. This book explores the notion of the collective dimension of freedom of religion or belief with a view to advance the protection of this right.

The book considers Turkey which provides a useful test case where both the domestic legislation can be assessed against international standards, while at the same time lessons can be drawn for the improvement of the standard of international review of the protection of the collective dimension of freedom of religion or belief. The book asks two main questions: what is the scope and nature of protection afforded to the collective dimension of freedom of religion or belief in international law, and, secondly, how does the protection of the collective dimension of freedom of religion or belief in Turkey compare and contrast to international standards? In doing so it seeks to identify how the standard of international review of the collective dimension of freedom of religion can be improved.

Fegiery, “Islamic Law and Human Rights”

In September, Cambridge Scholars released “Islamic Law and Human Rights: The Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt,” by Moataz El Fegiery (International Foundation for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders).  The publisher’s description follows:

This book explores the development of the Muslim Brotherhood’s thinking on Islamic 0378232_islamic-law-and-human-rights_300law and human rights, and argues that the Muslim Brotherhood has exacerbated, rather than solved, tensions between the two in Egypt. The organisation and its scholars have drawn on hard-line juristic opinions and reinvented certain concepts from Islamic traditions in ways that limit the scope of various human rights, and advocate for Islamic alternatives to international human rights. The Muslim Brotherhood’s practices in opposition and in power have been consistent with its literature. As an opposition party, it embraced human rights language in its struggle against an authoritarian regime, but advocated for broad restrictions on certain rights. However, its recent and short-lived experience in power provides evidence of its inclination to reinforce restrictions on religious freedom, freedom of expression and association, and the rights of religious minorities, and to reverse previous reforms related to women’s rights.

The book concludes that the peaceful management of political and religious diversity in society cannot be realised under the Muslim Brotherhood’s model of a Shari‘a state. The study advocates for the drastic reformation of traditional Islamic law and state impartiality towards religion, as an alternative to the development of a Shari‘a state or exclusionary secularism. This transformation is, however, contingent upon significant long-term political and socio-cultural change, and it is clear that successfully expanding human rights protection in Egypt requires not the exclusion of Islamists, but their transformation. Islamists still have a large constituency and they are not the only actors who are ambivalent about human rights. Meanwhile, Islamic law also appears to continue to influence Egypt’s law. The book explores the prospects for certain constitutional and institutional measures to facilitate an evolutionary interpretation of Islamic law, provide a baseline of human rights and gradually integrate international human rights into Egyptian law.

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