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Religious Freedom, Secular Forum - Essay Example

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This was after a group of Muslim students proposed that men and women should sit separately in the public meetings (Malik, 2014). The UK universities however found…
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Religious Freedom, Secular Forum
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Religion and Theology Religious Freedom, Secular Forum 16-Jan Controversy has been raised concerning whether gender segregation should be allowed during Muslim public meetings. This was after a group of Muslim students proposed that men and women should sit separately in the public meetings (Malik, 2014). The UK universities however found it acceptable as long as the women were not forced to sit at the back. The Prime Minister David Cameron opposition spokesman Chuka Umunna however opposed the proposal claiming that the government would not allow segregation in the universities (Malik, 2014). According to some people this was an expression of Islam phobia criticizing Muslim practices. For others, it demonstrated how the UK universities were willing to appease Islamists extremists so as not to offend the minority groups.
The issue of gender segregation being the latest in a series of clashes has led to other questions including blasphemy, same sex marriages and other demands of a secular society. It also raises a question on what is really meant by religious freedom and the extent of tolerance that could be allowed in religion (Malik, 2014). In the modern secular society, religion no longer plays a part in political and intellectual disputes. Religious freedom today could therefore be defined as expressing freedoms and beliefs in a much broader way rather than a special kind of liberty (Malik, 2014). This is so long as one’s religious freedom does not cause harm to another individual. This indicates that there is a limit that cannot be crossed in the name of religious beliefs.
In my point of view, the Muslim and other minority groups in the society should be allowed to carry on with their religious practices freely and without having to interfere with the rights of other religions. On the subject of gender isolation in public meetings, it should be allowed since it does not interfere with the other groups in the university. Furthermore, it does not interfere with the policies and practices of the university. Limits should however be defined to ensure order and consistency in the practice.
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Malik, K. (2014, Jan 12). Religious Freedom, Secular Forum. The New York Times. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/13/opinion/malik-religious-freedom-secular-forum.html Read More
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