[law] secularism

The Islamic state is a controversial issue in the West, as recent news confirms. Last October, an imam was killed and six men arrested by the FBI in Detroit for allegedly conspiring to establish an Islamic state in the United States. In the United Kingdom, government officials worry that extremist groups like Hizb-ut-Tahrir have infiltrated Muslim schools to propagate their vision of an Islamic state. Public opinion in the West reflects the fear that radical Muslims are trying to impose their values on the rest of the world. But the nebulous term "Islamic state" is not merely a concern for the anxious Western world, it is actually a point of discord and contention within the Muslim world itself.

Bangladesh’s dozens of Islamic political parties must drop Islam from their name and stop using religion when on the campaign trail following a court ruling, the country’s law minister said on Monday. The Supreme Court on Sunday upheld an earlier ruling by the High Court from 2005 throwing out the fifth amendment of the constitution, which had allowed religion-based politics to flourish in the country since the late 1970s. “All politics based on religion are going to be banned as per the original constitution,” Law Minister Shafique Ahmed said.

Comment expliquer le rejet soudain et massif des minarets en France ? La société française est sécularisée. Pour autant, elle n’est pas devenue sans religion. L’imaginaire national reste pétri par le christianisme. François Mitterrand avait posé devant un clocher pour sa campagne de 1981, « la force tranquille ». Le minaret vient heurter ce paysage culturel, pour imposer un pluralisme religieux, qui passe mal. Les Français, comme les Européens, ont une réaction souverainiste, une réticence à la mondialisation, économique, culturelle et religieuse.

This is a report circulated by Azar Majedi, chairperson of the Organization for Women’s Liberation and a member of the Worker-Communist Party of Iran (WPI) leadership.
Writer on race and politics, Kenan Malik, argues that twenty years on it is time we laid to rest the myths of the Rushdie affair.
The leader of a polygamous community in western Canada who has admitted having numerous wives and dozens of children was arrested Wednesday [7 Jan. 2009] and charged with practicing polygamy, according to court documents and local officials.
Presently aged 21 and 22, two young women were expelled at the beginning of 1999 from the school of Flers, in l’Orne, France after having refused to remove their headscarves during physical education class, despite repeated requests by their professor. The European Court of Human Rights observed that the purpose of the restriction on the applicants’ right to manifest their religious convictions was to adhere to the requirements of secularism in state schools.
"The extent to which a woman is allowed or denied her fundamental rights granted by the state is mediated by her ethnic or religious group and its relationship with the state."
A French appeals court reinstated the marriage of a Muslim couple today, overturning an earlier annulment won by the groom after the bride admitted lying about her virginity.
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