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Religion and the Public Sphere in India

May 23rd, 2011, Comment & Analysis

In contrast to most South Asian countries, modern India has always been officially “secular”, a word the country inscribed in its Constitution in 1976. Secularism, here, is not synonymous with the French “laïcité”, which demands strong separation of religion and the state. India’s secularism does not require exclusion of religion from the public sphere. On the contrary, it implies recognition of all religions by the state. This philosophy of inclusivity finds expression in one article of the Constitution by which all religious communities may set up schools that are eligible for state subsidies.

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Secularism to the Rescue of the Arab Spring

May 12th, 2011, Comment & Analysis

London – Spring has come early this year to the Arab world. Climate change has awakened the once comatose Middle East from the stupor of singular leaderships. A new dawn of democracy and freedom is sprouting from Morocco to Oman. Or so we are told.

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Javeed Alam

March 3rd, 2011, Academia, Activist/Humanitarian, Asia, Asia, Author/Novelist, Civil Society, English, India, India, Law and Human Rights, Media, New Delhi, Terrorism, Urdu, War and Conflict


Professor Javeed Alam is former Head of Department of Centre For European Studies, CIEFL. Mr. Alam is India specialist and his wide range of expertise include e.g. philosophical treatment of modernity, secularism, marxism and communist movement, democracy as well as politics and the caste system in India.

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Franz Brugger

March 1st, 2011, Austria, English, Europe, Europe, German, International Relations, Italian, Migration and Integration, North Africa and Middle East, Religion, Terrorism, United Nations, Vienna, War and Conflict


Franz Brugger is an expert on the relations between Islam and the West, particularly in Europe and the Middle East. He has worked as an advisor to the UN Alliance of Civilizations and has undertaken extensive academic research on politics and religion.

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Solving the burqa debate

May 12th, 2010, Comment & Analysis

One always wishes that a debate as complicated as the one on the burqa takes place in an environment where there is neither an opportunistic, polarized discussion on national identity, nor a vote against minarets in a neighboring country. But we do not live in an ideal world. The burqa debate has entered the public sphere, and now must be addressed. The solution is for Parliament should express its rejection of any sign undermining women’s dignity.

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Caroline Fourest

Writer and columnist

April 21st, 2010, Academia, Author/Novelist, English, Europe, Europe, France, French, Journalist/Commentator, Paris, Religion, Women's Rights

Caroline Fourest

Caroline Fourest is a French writer and columnist. She has a weekly column in Le Monde discussing French culture, and teaches about multiculturalism and universalism at Sciences Po-Paris.

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