Machteld Zee

  • PhD Fellow at the department of Jurisprudence, Leiden University

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Machteld Eveline Zee (MA, LL.M. Leiden University) is PhD-Candidate at the Department of Jurisprudence. She is a political scientist and legal scholar. Her dissertation is part of the research program ‘Securing the rule of law in a world of multilevel jurisdiction’ and is supervised by prof.dr. Paul Cliteur.

Choosing Sharia? Multiculturalism, Islamic Fundamentalism and British Sharia Councils

There are five models for the relation between state and religion. These are 1) Political atheism; 2) Political agnosticism; 3) Multiculturalism; 4) State Church Doctrine, and 5) Theocracy. The model of political agnosticism stands for treating – or ignoring – all religions and non-religions alike: the state principally does not take a position in favour of or against religion and religious believers. Multiculturalism focuses on a positive treatment of minorities. Choosing Sharia? focuses on the second model, multiculturalism, and on the fifth model, theocracy. The research question is: what are the implications of the political ideologies of multiculturalism and Islamic fundamentalism? And, more in particular, what is the interaction between these ideologies when it comes to the debate on the legitimacy of sharia councils in the United Kingdom?

Ms. Zee will defend her dissertation 'Choosing Sharia? Multiculturalism, Islamic Fundamentalism and British Sharia Councils' on 1 December at 13.45 o’clock. Her research consists of in-depth analysis of multiculturalism and Islamic fundamentalism as political ideologies and fieldwork in the United Kingdom, including visiting hearings at Sharia councils. Zee actively contributes to the public debate. She has written extensively about these topics and other imminent issues for numerous academic and popular journals, magazines, and newspapers. Ms. Zee has also clerked for the The Hague court (Immigration Law), lectured several courses at the Leiden Law School, and was guest lecturer at universities in the Netherlands, Italy, Belgium and the United Kingdom.

Last Modified: 26-07-2016