Religious freedom has been increasingly under attack in France in the last 10 years. In 2004, religious symbols were banned in public high schools, and in 2011, covering the face in public spaces was prohibited. These measures were largely a response to, and have disproportionately affected, Muslim communities – especially Muslim women. They may also be jeopardizing pluralism, democracy, and certain conceptions of freedom.
We seek to understand some of the factors that led to the passing of these laws. We will examine how the restrictions have affected Muslims in a small community just south of Paris and draw attention to how these events have effected discussions around the integration of minority populations. Lastly, we will look at how these issues have been negotiated legally, both in France and at the European Court of Human Rights.
Dr. Melanie Adrian currently holds a faculty position in the Department of Law and Legal Studies at Carleton University. Dr. Adrian holds her Ph.D. in Social Anthropology and the Study of Religion from Harvard University. Her forthcoming book is entitled, Risking Religious Freedom: France, Muslims and the Right to Act on Faith. She is the recipient of six teaching awards.
A reception will follow the talk in PAS 1053.
This talk is sponsored by the Departments of Religious Studies, Sociology and Legal Studies, and Women's Studies.
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