The Status of Religious Minorities in Deeply Divided Societies: A Comparative View

Monday | 22/02/21 | 07:00 pm

The Status of Religious Minorities in Deeply Divided Societies: A Comparative View

A discussion on the occasion of the publication of the book by

Michael Karayanni |

A Multicultural Entrapment

Religion and State among the Palestinian-Arabs in Israel
(Cambridge University Press, 2021)

 

In many countries the relations between state and religion are defined by the attitude toward religious minorities. In this way it is possible to understand, for example, the controversies in Europe over kosher or hallal slaughter, the argument in France over wearing a head covering in the secular public sphere, and the disputes in India surrounding the Muslim holy places. In Israel, in contrast, the discourse regarding religion and state is defined only by means of the tension between the democratic component of the state and its Jewish-religious component. This is an internal Jewish discourse that excludes the Arab-Palestinian population. This exclusion is not coincidental; it derives from the constitutional characterization of the State of Israel as a Jewish nation-state, and it is expressed, among other ways, in the minimal recognition of Arab-Palestinians’ religious institutions and very limited intervention in the personal religious law of this population.
Does nonintervention mean multicultural tolerance? How should we understand the exclusionary nature of the discourse about relations between religion and state in Israel as opposed to this discourse in other places? What is the responsibility of a state that has an official national religion toward the religious institutions and religious customs of a religious minority within it? In the discussion on the occasion of the appearance of Michael Karayanni’s book we will try to understand the relations between religion and state in deeply divided societies and the absence of Arab-Palestinians from questions of religion and state in Israel.

Participants

Opening and Chair: Dr. Honaida Ghanim, Independent Sociologist

Participants:

Prof. Moshe Halbertal, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem and New York University

Prof. Ayelet Harel-Shalev, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev

Prof. Michael Karayanni, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

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