Religious freedom across the two Mediterranean shores

La moschea di Casablanca
La moschea di Casablanca

Institutional Communication Service

15 March 2018

The MEM Freethinking Platform has just launched a new series of lectures focused on political, social and religious issues concerning the Middle East Mediterranean region. The guest speakers, from Swiss and foreign Universities and experts in the region, will further enrich the path outlined by Prof. Kepel in his lectures.

The second lecture of this new series, entitled Religious freedom across the two Mediterranean shores: for a common path, will be given by Alessandro Ferrari, professor of Canon Law and Church Law at Università dell’Insubria. It will be held on Thursday 22 March (6:30, room A-11, Lugano Campus).

Steering clear of stereotypes and essentialism, and paying particular attention to the legacy of colonialism and decolonisation, the lecture illustrates the transformations of the religious scene on the Southern shores of the “Muslim Mediterranean” in relation with juridical and cultural changes happening on the Northern shore at the same time.

One tends to think of freedom of religion as a right and prerogative exclusive to the North-Western hemisphere, unknown or considerably thwarted in so-called Muslim societies.  In reality, however, the question is far more complex. Globalization – together with the European difficulties in managing the growing cultural and religious pluralism – has highlighted the limits of the Old Continent’s universalism and while bringing about deep transformations in the lands of Mediterranean Islam.

The full list of public MEM Freethingking Platform events is available at: