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The Problem of Religious DiversityEuropean Challenges, Asian Approaches$
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Anna Triandafyllidou and Tariq Modood

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781474419086

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474419086.001.0001

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Secularism: Public Space and Visible Diversity

Secularism: Public Space and Visible Diversity

Chapter:
(p.93) 5 Secularism: Public Space and Visible Diversity
Source:
The Problem of Religious Diversity
Author(s):

Tariq Ramadan

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9781474419086.003.0005

Secularism is in crisis, or at least it has been ‘destabilised’, to put it in Tariq Modood’s words (Modood 2012: 145). At least, we should acknowledge there is a profound tension stemming from our diverse and contradictory understandings of the ultimate objectives of the ‘secular project’. We are no longer clear about what we mean when we speak of ‘secularism’ or, in French, laïcité. Many studies with equally numerous interpretations and even contradictory conclusions have been produced over the last two generations. The outstanding contributions of scholars such as John Rawls (1971), Jürgen Habermas (1997), Charles Taylor (2007), Bhikhu Parekh (2000), Tariq Modood (2011) and, in the French tradition, Jean Baubérot (2004) or Olivier Roy (2007) to name but a few, have been contested at several levels: philosophical, legal and religious. Secularism, from the outset, has been a disputed notion but the passionate debate about its very meaning and significance has become more and more polarised as Muslims have settled in the West and have become increasingly visible. It is as if their presence has laid down a challenge not only to secularism but also to the identity of Western societies themselves.

Keywords:   Secularism, Visible diversity, Public space

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