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Données sociologiques et juridiques sur la religion en Europe et au-delà

Tweeter Rss

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Pays-Bas

  • August 2017

An article from Sophie Bijsterveld shows that religion remains an influential force in our time despite the prophecy of secularization theory which argued that religion would fade away. In the context of migration, this expectation hardly came through, even in Europe where secularization is deeply rooted, because the presence of Muslim and other faith groups poses many challenges. This article examines the trajectory of state-religion relations in the Netherlands and looks at its impact on Muslims in this country. Traditionally, the state’s position has been marked by an open and friendly attitude towards religion. In recent years, however, debates on religion in the public, political, and academic domains have taken a sharper edge, and the questions that now arise with regard to religion in the public domain have become more controversial. Three elements of this new dynamic are mentioned : (1) the renewed attention to the “values” side of religion, especially in cases where these values do not easily mesh with the dominant values in Dutch society, (2) rising concerns on the balance between pluralism and social cohesion, and (3) new discussions on the functioning of fundamental rights in general and of freedom of religion in particular.

Sophie van Bijsterveld (2015), "Religion and Law in the Netherlands", Insight Turkey, 17-1, p. 121-141.

  • 2012 : Draft regulation on ritual slaughter

In early October 2012, the Dutch Agriculture Minister, Henk Bleker, signed a draft regulation governing the use of ritual slaughter in the Netherlands. The decree provides for animals to be knocked out 40 seconds after having their throat slit and in particular defines the size of knife to be used. This text follows several months of discussion and attempts at regulation and ought to be submitted to the Council of Ministers by the end of the year.

In 2011, a large majority of the lower chamber of the Dutch Parliament had passed a law introduced by the Party for the Rights of Animals (PvdD), which was seeking a total ban on ritual slaughter in the Netherlands.

The senate, however, rejected this text in late 2011, arguing that the law violated the right to religious freedom. The government therefore sought a compromise between the different parties and a preliminary agreement ahead of the decree was signed in June 2012 between organizations representing Jewish (NIK) and Muslim (CMO) communities and the Association of Abattoirs and Meat Producers (VSV).

For further information, see the text of the agreement of 5 June 2012 (Convenant onbedwelmd slachten volgens religieuze riten, in Dutch)