Religious Diversity and Multiculturalism: Theoretical Issues

H. A. Hellyer

in Muslims of Europe The ‘Other’ Europeans

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print September 2009 | ISBN: 9780748639472
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748671342 | DOI:
Religious Diversity and Multiculturalism: Theoretical Issues

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Religion is not ordinarily an ethnic identity, although it may be reinterpreted to construct one; and even if it is not reinterpreted to construct one, it may still be considered relevant for multiculturalism. In the context of discussing the presence of Muslims in Europe, it is not easy to get around an engagement with the subject of multiculturalism and a critical assessment of what the challenges of posing it are. The multiculturalists insist that differential treatment is sometimes not only permitted by the concept of ‘justice’, but also demanded by it. Perhaps, to differentiate this concept of ‘justice’, we might call it ‘equity’ or ‘fairness’: a more nuanced and sophisticated form of justice. This chapter explores theoretical issues in religious diversity and multiculturalism in the context of Muslim presence in Europe. It first discusses the notions of fairness and equity and then looks at the debate on citizenship and civic virtue and how a multiculturalist society should be defined. It also considers women and the hijāb and concludes with a discussion on multiculturalist citizenship.

Keywords: religious diversity; multiculturalism; Muslims; Europe; fairness; equity; citizenship; civic virtue; women; hijāb

Chapter.  19076 words. 

Subjects: Islam

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