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10 The Role of the State in Balancing Religious Freedom with Other Human Rights in a Multicultural European Context

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Chapter Summary

Cultural rights are human rights but at the same time they may come into conflict with individual human rights. The central question is whether the State has a human rights obligation to interfere in certain religious practices in order to establish harmony between human rights and religious practices. The answer to this question is gradually becoming more and more affirmative: the State must intervene and put an end to those religious practices that are incompatible with human rights. This chapter challenges this affirmation, and points at a further extension of legal claims as a problematic aspect in new discourse. It suggests instead the adoption of a more complex version of Classical European model for state intervention in religious affairs. It analyses the human rights framework in which European states are operating when dealing with religious matters and then offers a redefinition of European model for state intervention in religious practices.

Keywords: classical European model; cultural rights; European states; human rights; religious freedom; religious practices; state intervention



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