Large-scale migration of Muslims into Europe and North America and subsequent debates over bans on Muslim migration, headscarves, and mosque construction draw into sharp relief unresolved tensions within the contemporary human rights regime. A legacy of the post-1945 state system, the contemporary human rights regime is poorly equipped for dealing with the religious freedoms of Muslim immigrants and contributes to the political turbulence surrounding immigrants and asylum-seekers in Europe and North America. To what extent does mass migration to Europe reveal gaps in protections of religious freedom under the contemporary international human rights regime? What might these gaps tell us about the human rights regime itself? The notion of contradictions in the rights regime sheds light on the ironic situation where European politicians appropriate the language of human rights to justify potentially illiberal immigration controls.
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