- Liberal equality and toleration for conservative religious minorities
- Decreasing opportunities for religious schools in the Netherlands?
- Book title
- Religious schools in Europe
- Book subtitle
- Institutional opportunities and contemporary challenges
- Pages (from-to)
- London: Routledge
- ISBN (electronic)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR)
Liberal democratic states face new challenges in balancing between principles of religious freedom and non-discrimination and in balancing these constitutional principles with other concerns, including social cohesion, good education, and immigrant-integration. In a context of increased prominence of secular and antiIslamic voices in political debate, there are demands to reduce legal ‘exceptions’ for (conservative) religious groups in the Netherlands. This article focuses in particular on public debate and jurisprudence with regard to education and explores discussions of associational freedoms that are of importance to religious schools, including the right to select and refuse pupils (the debate on the socalled duty to enrol (acceptatieplicht)), the possibilities for schools to refuse hiring staff who do not support the school’s philosophy (for example in relation to sexual orientation), and teaching on sexuality and sexual diversity. The article concludes by arguing that the Netherlands is undergoing a shift in the conceptualisation of religious freedom in relation to liberal equality, which in the longer run may destabilise a tradition of toleration and substantial collective freedoms for conservative religious groups.
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