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Byse Workshop – Legal Debates over Secularism and Religious Freedom in Comparative Contexts

March 12, 2019 @ 10:00 am - 11:30 am

Session VI: Constitutional Theocracies: Debating Political Islam in Turkey and Nigeria

In session six, we will explore the constitutional discourse on secularism and religious freedom in Turkey and Nigeria. In both cases, the emergence of forms of ‘political Islam’ has threatened the state’s de jure avowal of non-establishment of religion. Yet, the entanglements of religion and politics has taken different forms in both settings in terms of the framing of the debate, the positions of the parties and the jurisprudence of the courts.

Through the lens of the struggles over Islamic penal laws in Nigeria and the headscarf in Turkey, we will attempt to unravel the debates in the Turkish and Nigerian contexts by teasing out what is at stake in these struggles and paying attention to how the disputants package and present their claims via the language of secularism and religious freedom. In exploring these debates, we will pay attention to the question whether ‘political Islam’ brings any special dimensions to these struggles.

This workshop has no pre-requisites and is open to all students.

For more information and workshop materials, visit:


March 12, 2019
10:00 am - 11:30 am
Event Category:
Graduate Program


WCC 5052 Room


Rabiat Akande