In contexts of religious diversity, new places of worship often give rise to mistrust and tensions. This is what happened in 2004 in the city of Santa Coloma de Gramenet (Barcelona), where the planned installation of a Muslim prayer-room on the ground floor of a residential building triggered an open conflict between neighbors, the city council and the Muslim community. The roots of these events, as well as the response of the local administration, will be analysed on 24 February by Jaume Romero, from the Santa Coloma's Mediation Service, and Taoufik Cheddadi, from Singuerlín Muslim Community, in the seminar entitled "Freedom of worship, islamophobia and neighborhood cohesion: the prayer-room conflict in Santa Coloma de Gramenet". 

In situations of multicultural conflict, it is frequently suggested or even asserted that the solution lies in the principle of tolerance, the teaching of tolerance, the creation of tolerant habits that foster coexistence, respect and harmony. Such has been the case, for instance, following the abominable attacks against the editorial office of Charlie Hebdo, or in order to criticise the atrocities of Islamic State, or, a few years ago, regarding the controversy sparked by the publication of Muhammad cartoons.

From February to May 2015, external researchers, officials and civil society representatives will join the members of R&D project "Human rights, multicultural societies and conflicts" in order to pinpoint legal and political measures that might contribute to the prevention and resolution of ethnicity-related conflicts. The seminar series will kick off on 18 February with a presentation by Prof. Javier de Lucas on the concept of tolerance. Subsequent sessions, which are public and free, will analyse specific cases linked to the construction of places of worship, the use of public spaces by ethnic minorities, access to healthcare, school segregation and the prohibition of religious clothing or symbols.

On 17 November, Ángeles Solanes Corella moderated a seminar with Mario Losano, professor of legal philosophy at University of Eastern Piamonte (Italy), who discussed the incorporation of gender equality in the constitutional arrangements of traditionally Muslim states. Drawing on the case of Tunisia, professor Losano highlighted the opportunities opened by the Arab spring as well as the challenges currently facing Muslim feminism. To watch the full presentation, have a look at our "video" section.

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