Shah: Religious Perspectives On Democracy, Civil Society And Constitutional Issues Today

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On March 14, RFI Senior Advisor Timothy Shah presented the opening keynote presentation at the Religious Perspectives On Democracy, Civil Society And Constitutional Issues Today conference organized by the Institute of Islamic Understanding Malaysia (IKIM) and the Kairos Dialogue Network. 

In his paper, Shah argued that many of the secularist aims, rather than protecting the rights of all have been controlling of religious claims and a threat to limit freedom and democracy in drastic ways. He argues that there is a way to go "beyond secularism" but not "beyond religious freedom." 

In order to make progress towards the legitimate goals of authentic religious freedom and religious tolerance as well as an authentic and genuinely liberal form of democracy premised on equal citizenship for all, it is necessary to go “beyond secularism” — though not “beyond religious freedom” — by recovering a sound understanding of religious liberty rooted in (and not hostile to) the world’s religious, cultural, and philosophical traditions.
— Timothy Shah