Title: Culture shocks in a globalised world: how 'accommodating' do states need to be regarding the use of religious symbols in the public sphere?

Authors: Eric Tardif

Addresses: Procuraduria General de la Republica, Subprocuraduria Juridica y de Asuntos Internacionales, Coordinacion de Asesores Reforma 213, Piso 11, Col. Cuauhtemoc, Mexico, Distrito Federal, 06500, Mexico

Abstract: Three regions of the world – Western Europe, North America, and Australia – are probably the most popular options when families of emerging countries decide to emigrate in order to better their economic future. As the flow of immigrants establishing themselves in the receiving societies allows for these countries to get culturally richer, it creates, on the other hand, legal tensions as to the extent religious practice is to be accommodated by the governments of secular societies in order to facilitate the insertion of the newcomers into the workplace, social networks, and education system. In order to eliminate or diminish the effect of legal provisions that cause an indirect harm to religious minorities, several countries have taken steps in order to |reasonably accommodate| them. This paper looks at these efforts made by receiving states, taking into account both the legislative aspect and the interpretation of the statutes and constitutional provisions by national as well as international tribunals; it also gives a critical appreciation of the results that have been obtained in the societies that have implemented those shifts in their legal system.

Keywords: globalisation; burqa; burkha; burka; burqua; niqab; Islamic veil; Islam; Muslims; human rights; immigration; secularism; religious symbols; reasonable accommodation; culture shock; national government; public sphere; UK; United Kingdom; Holland; Netherlands; Denmark; Norway; France; German; Belgium; Austria; Australia; United States; USA; Canada; Western Europe; North America; Switzerland; emerging countries; migration; immigrants; immigration; receiving states; cultural diversity; legal tensions; religious practices; secular societies; newcomers; workplaces; social networks; education systems; legal provisions; legislation; religious minorities; religion; statutes; constitutional provisions; laws; national tribunals; international tribunals; legal systems; integration; Turkey; multicultural societies; multiculturalism; public law; public policy.

DOI: 10.1504/IJPLAP.2011.041891

International Journal of Public Law and Policy, 2011 Vol.1 No.1, pp.83 - 99

Published online: 15 Aug 2011 *

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