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Religious Laws & The State

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Chapter Summary

This study substantiates the claim that certain forms of state practice that surrounds and characterizes states that are officially entangled with religion run counter to different norms of international human rights law. It will equally be highlighted that different types of human rights abuses can be discerned in states which are premised on or which act in accordance with rather objectionable interpretations of the principles of secularism and separationism. Starting with the former issue, this chapter deals with what arguably characterizes the most strict type of 'religious states': state enforcement of religious laws and principles. In the latter part of this Chapter it is argued that a series of more fundamental human rights problems surround and characterize those systems of domestic political organization that are premised on state enforcement of religious laws. In this Chapter an active role for the state as enforcer of religious laws has been firmly dismissed.

Keywords: human rights; religious laws; state enforcement



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