Politics and Religion
In Paris in the autumn of 1989 three Muslim girls, observing their own religious custom, went to school wearing Muslim headscarves. The ensuing political storm, which continued unabated into 1990, has brought sharply into focus one of the fundamental questions related to Western democracy: the nature of the relationship between religion and the state. The 'scarves affair' was primarily a dispute between practitioners of Islam and the secular state. However, the controversy in France and similar recent controversies elsewhere have forced a general and radical reappraisal of the wide and complex issue of religion and its relation to politics. This issue of Contemporary European Affairs is a contribution to that debate.
For academics, students and the general reader interested in the politics of religion.