Extreme Secularism vs. Religious Radicalism: The Case of the French Burkini

23 ILSA Journal of International & Comparative Law (2017)

26 Pages Posted: 27 Jun 2017  

Mohamed Abdelaal

Alexandria University - Faculty of Law; Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law

Date Written: June 24, 2017

Abstract

The French theory of Laïcité, or assertive secularism, has rapidly developed to become a significant part of the French constitutional legacy, which subsequently brought out what should have been expected: conflicts between the right to self-determination, local culture, religious freedom, and the state interest in curbing radicalism and extremism. This article analyzes these conflicts based on the decision of the Conseil d'État, which lifted the French ban on the burkini on August 26, 2016. This article discusses the two opposite ways one could read the decision: some could see it as shielding fundamental rights and freedoms, while others could see it as an obstacle in the way of protecting France against Islamic extremism. In doing so, the article aims to provide a critical analysis of the significance of the Laïcité policy on individual freedom and religious liberty by following the Conseil d'État, and the European Court of Human Rights, in regards to their ban of religious symbols and attires in France and different comparative jurisdictions.

Suggested Citation

Abdelaal, Mohamed, Extreme Secularism vs. Religious Radicalism: The Case of the French Burkini (June 24, 2017). 23 ILSA Journal of International & Comparative Law (2017). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2992013

Mohamed Abdelaal (Contact Author)

Alexandria University - Faculty of Law ( email )

Moustafa Mshrafa st.
Souter
Alexandria
Egypt

Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law ( email )

530 West New York Street, Lawrence W. Inlow Hall
Indianapolis, IN 46202
United States

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