Derecho y Religión - Numero I – 2006
“Islam in Europe”
(Ed. Agustín Motilla)
I. Islam and Terrorism
1. Religion and Security in Europe after September 11 (R. Mazzola, University of Piamonte Orientale”.)
2. The Reaction to Islamic Terrorism and the Implications for Religious Freedom After September 11: A United States Perspective (C. Durham, Bringham Young University-B. D. Liggett- Bringham Young University)
3. Beyond March, 11:Present and Future of Islamic Institutionalization Process in Spain (I. Jiménez Aybar, University of Zaragoza)
II. The legal Status of Islam in Europe
1. Islam and the European System of Church-State Relations: a (False) Problem?(S. Ferrari, University of Milan)
2. The Representation of Islam in France: Challenges and Perspectives (A. Garay, University of Aix-Marseille III)
3. The Legal Status of Islam in Great Britain (J. Rivers, University of Bristol)
4. The legal Status of Islam in Spain (J. Mantecón, University of Cantabria)
III. Islamic Family Law and Its Legal Effects in European Law
1. Polygamy in Europe (R. Aluffi Beck-Peccoz, University of Torino)
2. Islamic Repudiation of Male and the Modernization of the Law in Islamic World (Z. Combalía, University of Zaragoza)
3. Arab Women, Social Changes and Islamic Identity (C. Pérez-Beltrán, University of Granada)
IV The Problem of the Headscarf in school
1. French Public Opinion and Islamic Headscarf (B. Chelini-Pont, University of Aix-Marseille III)
2. The Islamic Headscarf in Germany (G. Robbers, University of Trier)
3. Muslim Dress in English Law: Lifting the veil on Human Rights (M. Hill, University of Cardiff-R. Sandberg, University of Cardiff)
Numero Rivista (pdf)
This volume 1 of “Derecho y Religion” (Law and Religion) at hand, devoted to “Islam in Europe” represents a contribution, from the study and rational systemization of the problems, to the description of some conflictive aspects in the relations between countries and their Islamic minorities, as well as to opening the way for solutions which could best contribute to peaceful integration within European society.
The thematic proposal of the authors, renowned experts in matters regarding the social and legal relevance of religion in contemporary society, deals with four issues of unquestionable timeliness, which permit a detailed analysis of the attitude of governments that are facing the challenge represented by integration of and co-existence with a Muslim minority.
The first issue deals with the bloody terrorist acts that were carried out by Islamic groups in the United States and Europe, and how said events have altered the concept of security as limiting religious freedom, particularly in reference to the Muslim community. The recent enactment of antiterrorist laws which likewise affect groups with a religious ideology, are an example of the timeliness of the problems presented. The recounting of the North American experience can not be excluded; given its value as a precedent for many other countries in Europe.
The second group of articles offers an overview of the problems of Islam in Europe, in addition to focusing on certain countries in particular. Concerns of the Islamic communities such as construction of places of worship, the observance of religious holidays, dietary restrictions, the teaching of Islam in schools, and finally, the carrying out of religious worship in prisons and hospitals, are dealt with from the legal perspective. Noteworthy among these problems is the representation of persons who profess the Muslim faith, related to the consequences of one of features of European Islam – projection, at the same time, of the situation of Islam at the international level–: the plurality of groups, ideologies, ethnicities, and nationalities that make up Islam. This factor greatly hinders understanding in legitimately obtaining representative bodies before public powers in different countries. The exposition regarding the situation of Islamic groups in some European countries and the problems of leadership which have even obliged public authorities to intervene in search of democratically elected representatives, are the themes of interest in the published articles.
The volume closes with two groups of articles with a common thread: paths for integrating Islamic law into European law. The first is Islamic family law, and in particular matrimonial law within the categories of private international law and the relegation of the internal law code to national law. Institutions of Islamic matrimony in contrast with principles of values of European legal system such as the rights of polygamous marriage or unilateral repudiation by the husband are studied as indicators of the conflict that could arise in the process of recognising the institutions originating in the precepts of the Sharia. These two institutions highlight the patriarchal nature and the predominance of the male over the female which inspire Islamic law. One of the articles focuses precisely on the study of women in the Arab world.
The second thematic group– the fourth and last of the volume– has as its aim one of the cultural and religious manifestations of Islamic women which has caused a veritable social war in certain countries: the Islamic veil. The symbol of Islam fanaticism for some, and for others, a mere manifestation of Islamic cultural identity or that of the profession of faith of a minority that feels pushed aside, the problem of the headscarf or the Islamic hijab has, especially in France, became a theme of constant debate which has even warranted the attention of lawmakers. The comparative study of the events in that country and in others countries of the European Union will serve to analyse different approaches to the same issue.
Hence, the search for mechanisms which guarantee free profession of the Islamic faith and respect for its cultural identity, together with the protection of the fundamental values in which European society is based, translate into a challenge for a European Law which has to be applied in a multicultural society. Only through the necessary making more flexible of the legal institutions allowing for the incorporation of new assumptions, and the adaptation of the Muslim minority to the basic principles of social and legal order, can the basic integration of the Muslim minority be correctly channelled, avoiding the tensions, and even the violence that has occurred in some countries.