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Dealing with tensions of multiculturalism: The politics of ritual slaughter in the Netherlands

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This article deals with the question how cultural diversity, expressed in a parliamentary debate, can influence the space given to religious minorities to substantiate their identity. The debate about the prohibition of non-stunned ritual slaughter in the Dutch Parliament in 2011/2012 serves as case study. A frame analysis reveals that tensions exist between minority rights and majority values and with regard to the regulation of religion in the public sphere. The article concludes that politicians struggle to position themselves amidst those fundamental questions and certainty is sought in the legal, political, scientific, economic and historical domain. There is no simple answer to the question what determines the space given to religious minorities to substantiate their identities. Although a political majority decision was taken at the end of a long trajectory, this was a compromise that leaves the controversy with its related uncertainties unsolved.

    Research areas

  • Cultural diversity, frame analysis, multicultural tensions, multiculturalism, ritual slaughter
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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-20
Number of pages20
JournalEuropean Journal of Cultural Studies
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 22 Sep 2015