IM SÄKULAREN RECHTSSTAAT.
Vom Recht der Muslime zur
Mitgestaltung der Gesellschaft.
by Heiner BIELEFELDT
|Der interkulturelle Dialog, Band 2.
Herausgeber: Die Ausländerbeauftragte des Landes Bremen. Bremen 1999,
Herdentorsteinweg 7, D-28195 Bremen, Telefon 0421 - 361 6835 Telefax
0421 - 361 2592.
Secularism is defined and defended by the author,
not as an exclusive, Western ideology of progress, but as a juridical principle
that is vital for any constitutional state (Rechtsstaat) claiming
to uphold freedom of religion and conscience as a basic human right. It
follows that full equal rights for Muslim believers in our societies, far
from endangering the institutional separation between "state" and "church",
are a requirement for securing the legitimacy of the constitutional state
as such. Rightly rejecting Huntington's culturalistic dichtotomy, Dr. Bielefeldt
argues that non-Christian minorities as well, and more especially Muslims,
are perfectly able, and should be allowed to understand and valorise this
kind of constitutional secularism on the basis of their own religious and
cultural traditions. Europe's Muslims indeed should get full opportunity
to participate actively in giving form and shape to what is their society
as well. Problems of mutual distrust notwithstanding, the followers of
radical islamist movements too can and should be involved in these interactive
social and political processes.
Dr. Heiner Bielefeldt (b.
1958) is since 1995 a scientific collaborator at the Institute for Interdisciplinary
Research on Conflict and Violence (Institut für interdisziplinäre Konflikt-
und Gewaltforschung), at the University of Bielefeld. He publishes regularly
on philosophy of law, ethics and philosophy of human rights, and the positions
of Christianity and Islam. His most important publication up till now is
his book, "Philosophie der Menschenrechte. Grundlagen eines weltweiten
Freiheitsethos". Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, Darmstadt 1998,