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«GAIR-MITTEILUNGEN 2012 4. Jahrgang Herausgegeben von Hatem Elliesie – Peter Scholz durch die Gesellschaft für Arabisches und Islamisches Recht ...»

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The first goal the RELIGARE-project has set itself is to inventorise the major conflicts which in practice have indicated discords between, on the one hand, the official law of the countries chosen for this project and, on the other hand, other norms arising from personal, religious and philosophical convictions; and, the way in which these conflicts are currently handled, either by judicial or by legislative or regulatory means and in some instances simply through the use of certain (good) practices. How can adequate responses be offered that balance the principles of equality and non-discrimination with the freedom of thought, conscience and religion, protected as fundamental rights?

The research covers two periods: In the first period (i.e. from February 2010 to August

2011) the purpose was to identify the issues which arise in the daily lives of the inhabitants of the 10 countries involved in RELIGARE, and which illustrate the difficulties in addressing various claims made on the grounds of religion or belief in the legal forum. The second period (running from September 2011 to January

2013) is dedicated to identifying court decisions, legislation and/or practices that may serve as potential responses to these issues, as they pertain to the four research fields addressed within the framework of the RELIGARE project: the family, the labour market, the public space and State support to religions (see below).

Four major research fields: the family, the labour market, the public space and state support to religions In order to inventorise the major issues and basic tensions which arise in practice we selected four main research fields.

The first of these concerns the broad area family law and personal status. The second is concerned with labour law and the workplace, the protection of social rights, more generally, and the importance of the principles of equality and nondiscrimination and the freedom of religion in this vast and crucial area. The third and fourth research fields put into perspective the relations – institutional and other – between a state and the various convictions and/or religious and philosophical communities that fall within its jurisdiction, focusing in particular on the constitutional and legal framework(s) set up to govern these relations. The articulation of the relations between the State and religious groups or communities and/or those who identify with other beliefs or philosophies, covers various aspects: on the one hand, the research project looks at the legal status and protection granted to these convictions, their expression and visibility in the public space and, on the other hand, the analysis centres on the mechanisms – or lack thereof – by which states (financially) support religious communities and groups or those identifying with other beliefs and philosophies.

The research focuses in all four fields in particular on the implementation in practice of two fundamental rights: the freedom of religion and the right to equal treatment – 50 – and non-discrimination, as enshrined in the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (hereinafter ECHR) and other international, European and national legal instruments. In principle, in a classical or formal conception of liberal democracy, equal treatment generally means not taking a person’s belief(s) and/or philosophical convictions into account, so that the person in question would not be excluded or disadvantaged because of his or her belief(s)/conviction. However, other conceptions of equality also play a role in the current context of religious pluralism, including a conception that concentrates on substantive equality or participation.

The socio-legal nature of the RELIGARE research project The research so far done under the aegis of the RELIGARE project reveals an increasing sensitivity to the claims asking for recognition of religious practices and symbols in the countries under scrutiny. These claims are a reality that Member States (and their legal systems) must take into account. In practice, particular groups already enjoy protection, in some cases constitutionally guaranteed, and for the most part developed in the course of the country’s history. But the arrival of new groups and communities across Europe may, according to some, render it necessary to review certain forms of protection, and to adapt them to the new societal circumstances.

Yet, advancing actual policy recommendations requires taking into account the specific aspirations of the various social groups that stand to be particularly affected by the degree to which their freedom of religion is legally protected. For this

reason, the RELIGARE-project has been designed as an interdisciplinary one:

a series of sociological investigations are carried out jointly in 6 selected countries (Denmark, Turkey, Bulgaria, France, the Netherlands and the UK [England]). The purpose is to examine the specific expectations of designated persons and groups on the question of the protection of religious freedoms. The surveys cover the four major abovementioned research fields. The aim is to realise a well-grounded sociological work (based on semi-directive interviews conducted as part of a qualitative study) covering (persons representing) religious and philosophical groups, social actors, political actors, media personalities, school principals, judges, civil servants, etc. The respondents have been selected on the basis of previously determined criteria: all must be directly involved in the actual implementation of the protection of freedom of religion and belief and, preferably, also have some role in public opinion making.





The sociological research is meant to enrich the legal research and, above all, to inspire the quest for viable legal and political solutions, by providing important but hitherto unavailable information on specific concerns as expressed by the respondents in the different countries. As noted, the respondents have been selected on the basis of their role and responsibility, within their respective countries, in respect of the matter of religious freedom. Clearly, the goal cannot be to satisfy every request – this is neither desirable nor possible; rather, it is to glean from the interviews those elements that give voice to a lived experience – 51 – of the principle of freedom of religion and conviction and its protection under State law.

By means of the sociological surveys, the RELIGARE-project should enable a clearer image of the actual challenges which actors on the ground face today when taking a stance on the question of religious freedom and its protection under State law.

All too often, in the quest for legal and political solutions, the voice of individual actors is disregarded. The public debates on the question short-change the effort of listening to actual testimonies on the way in which religious and other convictions are lived out day-to-day, and the basic tensions that people and groups perceive and experience in this regard. These may not necessarily be in harmony with the dominant discourses, but they should not, solely for that reason, be ignored. With the help of the sociological component of the project, and through the contribution of qualitative data meticulously gathered by teams of sociologists intimately acquainted with the context of each particular country included in the sociological part of the research, we hope to avoid this pitfall. Therefore, in the recommendations that the project is expected to bring out at its conclusion the sociological data collected will be integrated as fully as possible.

Provisional conclusion: achieving pluralism that can benefit European societies A gradual familiarisation with the reality of an ever-increasing religious and philosophical diversity in European societies will likely mean that, over time, the law will find adequate responses in order to arrive at a situation which is cognizant of the plurality of religions and beliefs and which is sustainable. When we – i.e. the 13 research teams spread across 9 European countries and Turkey – took up the challenge in 2009 to respond to the European Commission’s call for proposals, our goal was to undertake collective work on the question of how State law responds to the increasing religious pluralism in Europe today.

We sought to draw, in particular, from the various national experiences that, taken together, can help provide better understanding of certain underlying challenges and responses to the specific concerns of those who, on the ground, are tasked with the handling in practice of the principle of religious freedom in a pluralist context. Two research tools will be particularly helpful in this regard: the meticulous collection of basic comparative data extracted and derived from the legislative policies and the case law of the States involved in the study, and (a selection of) significant testimonies on contentious issues of religious pluralism through the sociological surveys.

Ultimately, the purpose of RELIGARE is to formulate policy advice, at both the European and national levels. We acknowledge that although there may not be fully satisfactory and directly implementable responses to all the issues that are identified. In fact such clear-cut proposals may appear thin. Nonetheless, the RELIGAREproject strives to offer a set of valuable principles for achieving the recognition of religious pluralism in law and jurisprudence in a way that can benefit European societies as a whole. The expectation is that, after three years of intensive teamwork (2010–2013), the RELIGARE research project will achieve this goal.

– 52 – AUFSÄTZE Die Frage nach der Sanktionsbedürftigkeit der „Religionsbeschimpfung“ im deutschen und islamischen Strafrecht1 Çefli Ademi* Einleitung Für Kurt Westergaard hat es für seine Mohammed-Karikaturen Preise geregnet, in einem Fall sogar von der Bundeskanzlerin persönlich überreicht. 2 Es mag für deutsche Muslime bzw. für Muslime in Deutschland, aber auch für manche Nichtmuslime gleichermaßen provozierend wirken oder auch nicht, jedenfalls bleibt die Frage, warum der mittlerweile zwar weltbekannte aber durchschnittliche Karikaturist erst fünf Jahre nach seinen streitbaren Karikaturen volksrepräsentativ ausgezeichnet wurde.3 Nicht zu leugnen ist der gegenwärtig wiedererstarkte4 Kulturdefinitionseifer von Europas Politelite, der oft strukturell in Abgrenzung zum Islam formuliert wird,5 und damit das kulturpolitische Signal, das von solchen Auszeichnungen ausgeht. Während „Religionsbeschimpfungen“ im christlichen Europa nämlich aufgeklärt hingenommen würden, reagierten Muslime überaus sensibel, in Teilen sogar gewalttätig, wenn etwa ihr Prophet diffamiert werde. Dies liege besonders am monolithisch-orientalischen nicht-säkularen Islam selbst, der insoweit nicht aufklärbar sei.6 Vor diesem Hintergrund wird auch die Legitimationsdebatte um § 166 Strafgesetzbuch (StGB) vermehrt zum Inbegriff des Gegensatzes der konstruierten7 und unverBei dem vorliegenden Beitrag handelt es sich um eine Überarbeitung des vom Verfasser im Rahmen seines Rigorosums an der Bucerius Law School in Hamburg am 27.04.2011 gehaltenen Vortrags. Für den vorliegenden Aufsatz wurde über die in den Fußnoten genannten Verweise hinaus Nachfolgendes herangezogen: Thomas Assheuer, Die neuen Feinde, 23.10.2010, http://www.zeit.de/2010/43/Leitkultur/seite-1 (zuletzt aufgerufen 04.03.2011); Christian Geyer, So wird Deutschland dumm, 26.08.2010, http://www.faz.net/artikel/C30128/sarrazinsthesen-so-wird-deutschland-dumm-30302688.html (zuletzt aufgerufen 04.03.2011).

2 Vgl. Leonie Seifert, Merkel und der Mohammed-Zeichner, 09.09.2010, www.zeit.de/gesellschaft/zeitgeschehen/2010-09/westergaart-preisverleihung (zuletzt aufgerufen 04.03.2011).

3 Vgl. Carsten Lißmann, Natürlich darf man über Jesus lachen, 09.10.2010, www.zeit.de/gesellschaft/zeitgeschehen/2010-10/kurt-westergaard-mohammed-karikatur (zuletzt aufgerufen 04.03.2011).

4 Vgl. Iman Attia, Die „westliche Kultur“ und ihr Anderes: zur Dekonstruktion von Orientalismus und antimuslimischem Rassismus, Bielefeld 2009, S. 71ff.

5 Vgl. insbesondere den erstaunlich klischeehaften Anhörungsbogen des Bundestags über Religionsfreiheit und europäische Identität: Ursula Spuler-Stegemann, Gemeinsamer Fragenkatalog für die öffentliche Anhörung des Ausschusses für Menschenrechte und humanitäre Hilfe am 27.10.2010 zum Themenkomplex „Religionsfreiheit und europäische Identität“, [ohne Datum], www.bundestag.de/bundestag/ausschuesse17/a17/anhoerungen/Religionsfreiheit/StN_SpulerStegemann.pdf (zuletzt aufgerufen 04.03.2011); Attia, Die „westliche Kultur“ und ihr Anderes, S. 73ff.



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