Rationale

There is an anxiety and tension in Europe and beyond. Some see everything in terms of civilizational conflict, be it, robustly termed, conflict between Christian Europe and Islam; or even between liberal rights and cultural/religious identity. The truth is probably that the social and political situation and atmosphere is changing very quickly and it has become increasingly more complex to rationalize over the processes that take place. The recent migration crisis and current developments in US immigration policies have contributed to the tensions. Proposed solutions to the tensions have varied from strong claims for more religion (also traditional religion/culture) in the public sphere to strong claims of no-religion in the public sphere. Tighter rules have emerged to tackle both real and imagined threats to security. It is perhaps correct to argue that both individual and collective freedom of religion for all has become an endangered species of human rights in this atmosphere.  Thus, it is important to address some of these issues head on. There is a value to mapping the current legal-political-social responses in the European Union to the, if you wish, securitization[1] of religious freedom. Both security and religious freedom are important and need each other, and the aim of the meeting could be to discuss and analyze opportunities to advance both freedom of religion or belief and security.

 



[1] Security seen here as a broader term: including physical security and integrity, but also human security in a broader sense. 

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