Religious Claims in Multicultural Societies

How to regulate the claims of neo religious organizations? Is secularismcapable ofrealizing the conditions forthe peaceful coexistence among the greatest possiblenumber ofreligions, identifyingandenforcingthe correctinteractionbetweensecularlawandsuchreligious claims? During the seminarwhose proceedings are collected in this e-book, organized at Luiss “Guido Carli”in July 2013, Jean-François Gaudreault-DesBiens,with the participation,inter alia, of Carmela Decaro Bonella, Eva Pföstl, Francesco Alicino, Valentina Rita Scotti and Mohammed Hashas, tried to reflect on these questions, that are becoming more and more relevant in multicultural societies. In theWestern legal systems,the principle of secularismis nowadays constantly dealingwith instances arising from increasingly diverse, and often conflicting, religious-cultural identities, each claiming its own set of ethical rules as the legitimate source for legal rights. In our global society, and underthe growing pressure ofimmigration,these are themes of a polyphonic debate,inwhichnewprotagonists (such as Islam) appear andmore traditional conservative religious groups return to affirm theirinstances with new vigor. Finding a balance in this tension among religious claims, State’s legislation and basic constitutional principles is perhaps the most delicate new goal for pluralistic constitutional democracies. Atthemoment, no definitive answer or solution can probably be given in orderto solve thesemost complex issues;the conclusions ofthe seminar anyway suggestthat,for sure,no progress caninthisfieldbe achievedwithoutthe respect ofhuman– constitutional – rights,which include onequalfootingnot only the rights of a group to bedifferent, but also individualrights within each cultural-religious community. In this general framework, the Authors’ contributions offer different constitutional and legal perspectives ofthisutterly contemporary,fundamental seek for a new balance between unity and diversity.