Islam is a growing presence practically everywhere in Europe. In Italy, however, Islam has met a unique model of state neutrality, religious freedom and church and state collaboration. This book gives a detailed description of the legal treatment of Muslims in Italy, contrasting it with other European states and jurisprudence, and with wider global tendencies that characterize the treatment of Islam. Through focusing on a series of case studies, the author argues that the relationship between church and state in Italy, and more broadly in Europe, should be reconsidered both to secure religious freedom and general welfare. Working on the concepts of religious freedom, state neutrality, and relationship between church and state, Andrea Pin develops a theoretical framework that combines the state level with the supranational level in the form of the European Convention of Human Rights, which ultimately shapes a unitary but flexible understanding of pluralism. This approach should better accommodate not just Muslims' needs, but religious needs in general in Italy and elsewhere.
"Professor Pin has done yeoman service in bringing this revealing and promising story of Muslim religious culture and religious freedom in Italy to the attention of the English speaking world. His writing is deeply researched, refreshingly comparative, boldly proffered, and often wise beyond his youthful years. It is a privilege and pleasure to commend this important study." - John Witte, Jr., Emory University, USA
"Islam challenges both the secular and the Catholic tradition of Italy. This book designs a triangle, where the Italian Catholic background and secular legal system react to the Islamic presence through judicial accommodations and political negotiations fostering the contamination of models and identities. A key contribution to understand one of the most interesting patterns of integration in Europe." - Silvio Ferrari, University of Milan, Italy
"The countries of Europe have adapted in different ways to the collapse of their monolithic Christian inheritance and the rise of Muslim traditions, laws and practices. Professor Pin explores the extent to which Islam has become integrated into civil society and church-state relations in Italy. His study reveals the self-made difficulties which have arisen in consequence of insufficient attention being given to adapting existing structures, modelled on Vatican concordats, to the requirements of an unfamiliar faith which is neither fully accepted nor properly understood. This book is a thoughtful and profound analysis of the current dysfunctionality of Italy's governmental engagement with Islam, and a convincing plea for it to be revisited through a more honest, focussed and pragmatic dialogue." - Mark Hill QC, Cardiff University, UK
"Andrea Pinâ's book offers an encompassing account of the legal treatment of religious minorities in Italy. Interestingly enough, it shows that the Italian constitutional culture and its state-religion model look well equipped to address one of the biggest challenges of our times: the place of Islam in the West." - Marta Cartabia, Italian Constitutional Court
Foreword, John Witte, Jr.; Introduction; Islam in Italy; The role of state-religion agreements in Italy: an imperfect pluralism; Islam and the state: tradition and modernization; Islam and relations with the Italian state; Making sense of religious freedom for Italian Muslims; The Italian version of state neutrality: ‘laicità’; State ‘laicità’ vis-à-vis the Muslim community’s demands; Conclusion: finding religious freedom in today’s ‘hybridization’; Index.