NAVIGATING FOR PEACE IN THE CONUNDRUMS OF RELIGION AND LAW
Keywords:Essential Religious Practices, Freedom of Expression and Religion, Public Order, Reasonable Accommodation, School Uniforms, SDG 16 Peace Justice and Strong Institutions
It is a critical question whether unrestricted freedom of religion is detrimental to the development of peace. Recently the religious dictate of wearing a hijab has come in conflict with the prescription of uniforms at educational institutions. This led to large-scale violence and unrest in society. It raised concerns about the scope of the right to freedom of expression, protection of religious expression, the overarching requirement of a need for public order, and reasonable accommodation of diversity in society. This research explores these issues in the context of educational institutions by critically analysing the laws and operative principles and the role of law and religion in promoting social cohesion and integrity. It addresses the counterarguments of reasonable accommodation and argues that the concept of reasonable accommodation fails to address deep-rooted structural inequalities, and in an education setup prescription of uniforms is justified as it portrays higher values of equality, development, and peace.
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