Multiculturalism and moderate secularism
Title: Multiculturalism and moderate secularism
Author: MODOOD, Tariq
Series/Number: EUI RSCAS; 2015/47; Global Governance Programme-174
What is sometimes talked about as the ‘post-secular’ or a ‘crisis of secularism’ is, in Western Europe, quite crucially to do with the reality of multiculturalism. By which I mean not just the fact of new ethno-religious diversity but the presence of a multiculturalist approach to this diversity, namely: the idea that equality must be extended from uniformity of treatment to include respect for difference; recognition of public/private interdependence rather than dichotomized as in classical liberalism; the public recognition and institutional accommodation of minorities; the reversal of marginalisation and a remaking of national citizenship so that all can have a sense of belonging to it. I think that equality requires that this ethno-cultural multiculturalism should be extended to include state-religion connexions in Western Europe, which I characterise as ‘moderate secularism’, based on the idea that political authority should not be subordinated to religious authority yet religion can be a public good which the state should assist in realising or utilising. I discuss here three multiculturalist approaches that contend this multiculturalising of moderate secularism is not the way forward. One excludes religious groups and secularism from the scope of multiculturalism (Kymlicka); another largely limits itself to opposing the ‘othering’ of groups such as Jews and Muslims (Jansen); and the third argues that moderate secularism is the problem not the solution (Bhargava).
Subject: Moderate secularism; Multiculturalism; Muslims in Western Europe
Type of Access: openAccess