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Politics of Religious Freedom$
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Winnifred Fallers Sullivan, Elizabeth Shakman Hurd, and Saba Mahmood

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780226248479

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226248646.001.0001

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Religious Freedom and the Bind of Suspicion in Contemporary Secularity

Religious Freedom and the Bind of Suspicion in Contemporary Secularity

Chapter:
(p.301) Chapter Twenty-Five Religious Freedom and the Bind of Suspicion in Contemporary Secularity
Source:
Politics of Religious Freedom
Author(s):

Hussein Ali Agrama

Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226248646.003.0030

Taking as an example the courts of the modern Egyptian state, this essay challenges the assumption that the modern state can be a neutral arbiter between competing systems of beliefs. Agrama argues that in any polity the values of the minority are always more subject to the hermeneutics of suspicion than are those of the majority. This is not a result of the failure of the state to be neutral but is rather inherent to the project of secularism.

Keywords:   Egypt, Egyptian courts, Nasr Abu Zayd, secularism, neutrality, public and private, majority, minority

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