The Free Exercise of Exclusion: On Veils, Enemies, and Militant Democracy
University of Bologna; Johns Hopkins University - Bologna Center
March 13, 2011
This paper focuses on the mechanisms of exclusion of Islam from the European public sphere, in the light of veil-related laws and cases adopted and decided in different European jurisdictions. It depicts the exclusion of Muslim symbols from the public sphere as a contemporary and distorted implementation of a “militant” model of democracy, i.e. of a democracy that exclude ex ante movements that supposedly advocate non democratic political agendas. It argues that, under the pretenses of removing an obstacle to democracy, anti-veil measures actually aim at artificially reinforcing the cultural and religious homogeneous character of the European public sphere, thus pursuing an “identitarian” (schmittian) model of democracy.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 16
Keywords: headscarf, burqa, Islam, Christianity, Militant democracy, identitarian democracy, Carl Schmitt, Islamophobia, Anti-Semitism, Religious freedom, political pluralism, unity, homogeneityworking papers series
Date posted: March 18, 2011
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