Parliamentary Debates on Ritual Slaughter. a Contextual Discourse Analysis

Thursday, July 17, 2014: 11:00 AM
Room: Harbor Lounge B
Oral Presentation
Sipco VELLENGA , University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Parliamentary Debates on Ritual Slaughter: A Contextual Discourse Analysis

During the last three decades the visibility of religion has increased in the public sphere of many European societies. This has not only to do with the arrival and settlement of large numbers of Muslims and other non-western immigrants in these countries, government policies for managing religious and ethnic diversity, but also with political agenda setting of powerful secular forces. Illustrative for this is the political debate on ritual slaughter in the Second Chamber and the Senate of Dutch parliament in 2011, initiated by the Party for the Animals. In this presentation, the argumentation used in this debate will be analysed from the perspective of contextual discourse analysis. The arguments will be related to features of the main participants in this debate as well as to the wider context of Dutch politics in the wake of ‘9/11’ and ‘the Fortuyn revolt’ in 2001.  These events have attributed to a reframing of Dutch identity in cultural and secular terms. Within the new created frame religious rites such as Jewish and Islamic ritual slaughter are defined in opposition to secular Dutch identity.