Populism, Islam and the Rule of Law

On Monday 10 April, GCRL President Giulio Terzi intervened in a conference organized at the Turkish Embassy in Rome on the issues of populism, Islam and the Rule of Law. President Terzi stressed the fundamental role of the universality of human rights and the rule of law globally.

He also dwelled upon the very delicate historical moment that Turkey is going through in terms of democratic stability. In respect of the reforms that the country is trying to implement, President Terzi stated the absolute necessity to keep the EU-Turkey accession negotiations open.

By stressing the fundamental importance of the Rule of Law and Freedom of Religion and Belief (FORB) as essential and constitutive elements of liberal and democratic societies he recalled Marco Pannella’s decision to launch the Global Committee for the Rule of Law, aimed at raising awareness among like-minded countries and civil societies.

In respect of Islam and the debate within Arab-Muslim countries and societies he said:

“I believe that in order for it to be successful, it must include from the outset the wider public, Muslim and not. A large and truly open popular debate on human rights and religion, democratic values and Islam, on the place of religion in modern society, is key to any fundamental revolution. As a cornerstone of the human right to know, public debate is an essential tool for change and participation in a democratic society. The revolution proposed by Al-Sisi (and not only) cannot succeed if it is not carried by the population. I am personally convinced that the wider Muslim society supports democratic ideals and the universality of human rights, but too often they are silenced by a more influential minority that seeks to represent them also in the West. A true public debate must therefore give voice to all Muslims, and not a select chosen or appointed few who are deemed worthy or, better, serve certain interests. In this sense I fully support the initiative “Musulmani Laici” that was launched last week, as it represents a strong voice in favour of giving religious freedom back to Muslims who feel themselves robbed of that freedom by other so-called fellow Muslims, and I sincerely hope the initiative may be the start of a large and open debate on the issue, not only in Italy”.

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