Freedom, Equality, Minarets

Res Publica 20 (1):45-63 (2014)

Abstract
This paper discusses the Swiss minaret ban as a threat to equal citizenship rather than a threat to freedom of religion. The main argument of the paper is that cultural differences can threaten the fair value of equal political participation rights as well as socio-economic ones. These differences are morally troubling despite legitimate emphasis on the need for a shared (political) culture. To ensure that the state treats its citizens as equals with regard to cultural differences requires a form of liberal neutrality which consists of two elements. Equal citizenship requires, first, justificatory neutrality in deciding which matters are legitimate concerns for legislation. It requires also—as a second safeguard—institutional arrangements which ensure that in the process of implementing justificatory neutral decisions the interests of all affected citizens receive a fair hearing. This means that the factors which tend to undermine the equal standing of citizens in society should be counteracted
Keywords Neutrality  Equality  Citizenship  Freedom of religion  Cultural differences
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DOI 10.1007/s11158-013-9224-8
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References found in this work BETA

Political Liberalism.John Rawls - 1993 - Columbia University Press.
Inclusion and Democracy.Iris Marion Young - 2000 - Oxford University Press.
On Nationality.David Miller - 2001 - Mind 110 (438):512-516.
Muslim Dress in Europe: Debates on the Headscarf.W. Shadid - 2005 - Journal of Islamic Studies 16 (1):35-61.

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