domingo, 7 de noviembre de 2010

Stanley Fish: la religión y el Estado liberal

Fish responde en su blog a los comentarios que le hacen a propósito de una nota sobre la Sharia y la ley liberal: La Religión y el Estado Liberal. La nota es interesante, pero me parece rescatable la parte de multiculturalismo con respecto al debate que sobre integración se tiene en Alemania. Ver la nota del fin de semana pasado de Habermas.

En la primera nota, Fish habla sobre la compatibilidad del liberalismo con las minorías religiosas:
“Shari’a in the West,” (a collection of learned and thoughtful essays by some of the world’s leading scholars of religion and the law)...central question is stated concisely by Erich Kolig, an anthropologist from New Zealand: “How far can liberal democracy go, both in accommodating minority groups in public policy, and, more profoundly, in granting official legal recognition to their beliefs, customs, practices and worldviews, especially when minority religious conduct and values are not congenial to the majority,” that is, to liberal democracy itself?

This is exactly the question posed by John Rawls in a preface to the second edition of “Political Liberalism,” his magisterial account and defense of liberal political principles: “How is it possible for those affirming a religious doctrine that is based on religious authority . . . also to hold a reasonable political conception that supports a just democratic regime?”

With these concepts as the baseline of “accommodation,” accommodation is going to fall far short of anything that will satisfy the adherents of a religion that “encompasses all aspects of public and private law, hygiene, and even courtesy and good manners” (A. A. An-Na’im). In liberal thought these areas are the ones in which the individual reigns supreme and the value of individual choice is presupposed; but, as Ann Black explains, “Muslims do not conceptualize Islam in terms of the Westernized sociological categorization of religion which places the individual at the centre of all analyses.”
On the one hand, there is the liberal desire to accord one’s fellow human beings the dignity of respecting their deepest beliefs. On the other hand, there is the fear that if those beliefs are allowed their full scope, individual rights and the rule of law may be eroded beyond repair.
Más adelante, Fish se refiere a la respuesta que en el libro mencionado presenta John Milbank:
“Liberal principles,” declares Milbank, “will always ensure that the rights of the individual override those of the group.” For this reason, he concludes, “liberalism cannot defend corporate religious freedom.” The neutrality liberalism proclaims “is itself entirely secular” (it brackets belief; that’s what it means by neutrality) and is therefore “unable to accord the religious perspective [the] equal protection” it rhetorically promises. Religious rights “can only be effectively defended pursuant to a specific and distinctly religious framework.” Liberal universalism, with its superficial respect for everyone (as long as everyone is superficial) and its deep respect for no one, can’t do it.
Milbank plantea que el problema es que el liberalismo no entiende a las religiones y las respeta como quien respeta las curiosidades o las excentricidades y por ello propone un marco religioso, cristiano, para respetarse entre religiones (!):

Christianity can acknowledge the worth of Islam not merely in an act of tolerance but in an act of solidarity in the same way that Christian sects can acknowledge each other. If you are a Catholic, Milbank explains, “and you do not agree with the Baptists you can nevertheless acknowledge that, relatively speaking, they are pursuing social goals that are comparable with, and promote a shared sense of human dignity” as defined by a corporate religious identity. Liberalism can acknowledge individual Muslims or individual Baptists or individual Catholics, but the liberal acknowledgment detaches these religious believers from their community of belief and turns them into citizens who are in the things that count (to liberalism) just like everyone else.
Fish le concede razón, aunque concluye diciendo que la esperanza del liberalismo que Rawls propone queda chiflando en la loma. En su segunda nota, Fish plantea el problema de una persona que comete un delito o falta sancionada por la ley de un Estado liberal pero que justifica en su cultura:

but the principle invoked — this is the way we do it where I come from and so I shouldn’t be punished for doing it here — is not foreign to U.S. courts, where it has had some success, more often in the penalty or sentencing phases than in the determination of innocence or guilt.

The name of the principle is the “cultural defense” — the argument by a defendant, often but not always an immigrant, that his or her allegedly criminal behavior should be excused or subject to a lesser penalty because in the culture of origin that behavior is an accepted and even commanded norm...The answer divides social and legal commentators in a way that mirrors the division produced by the specter of “supplementary” religious courts: The “larger debate,” explains legal scholar Doriane Lambelet Coleman, “concerns whether there is and should be a unifying American culture that guides our institutions, including the justice system, or whether the United States is and should be a culturally pluralistic nation in all respects, including in the law” (Doriane Lambelet Coleman, “Individualizing Justice Through Multiculturalism: The Liberals’ Dilemma,” Columbia Law Review, June 1996)...

There are three responses one might give to these questions and to the cultural defense when it is invoked. (1) I see your point; you were acting in the grip of a sincere belief; go and sin no more (2) That may be the way they do it back home, but you’re here now and our laws trump your culturally acquired beliefs, and (3) That may be the way they do it back home, but here we do it differently, and the way we do it here is the right way and should be the way it’s done in the culture you came from.

Fish parte del ejemplo que le plantean en uno de los comentarios: el de un hombre musulmán de Marruecos que fue absuelto del delito de violación conyugal por una juez en Nueva Jersey porque "estaba actuando bajo su deseo de tener relaciones sexuales...cuando el quisiera es consistente con su prácticas religiosas"
Me viene a la mente los casos de homicidio por honor que han habido en Alemania, en que hermanos de chicas musulmanas las asesinan por haber manchado el honor de la familia con su estilo de vida demasiado occidental. O el caso de una jueza de Hamburgo que, igual que la de Nueva Jersey, justificó en el Corán la violencia de un alemán de origen marroquí contra su esposa.
O la costumbre que existe en algunas comunidades indígenas en México de vender a las hijas, o en general la discriminación hacia las mujeres indígenas basada en los "usos y constumbres" los que por cierto están protegidos por la vía del artículo 2 de la Constitución (!).

Por ello, me quedo con la opción #3 de las posibles respuestas que da Fish al multiculti:

Response #3, on the other hand, is genuinely universal; it recognizes cultural difference and the existence of many legal systems, but insists that there is only one right way to conceive of law, and that nations that conceive of law differently — by, for example, encoding male supremacy or corporal punishment for female adultery — are not just different; they’re wrong. Multicultural deference, procedural neutrality as a local norm, procedural neutrality as a norm every nation should embody in its laws.

Pensemos en la posible lapidación de Sakineh por adulterio en Irán, podemos justificarla culturalmente?

Lo anterior se encuentra justificado en la idea de Estado liberal:

Liberalism is the name of an enlightenment theory of government characterized by an emphasis on procedural rather than substantive rights: the law protects individual free choice and is not skewed in the direction of some choices or biased against others; the laws framed by the liberal state are, or should be, neutral between competing visions of the good and the good life; the state intervenes aggressively only when the adherents of one vision claim the right to act in ways that impinge upon the rights of others to make their own choices.

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