Kenan Malik provides an excellent guide to religious freedom and then makes the mistake of straying away from the principles to the controversial details and what I think is an effort to accommodate mainstream views. For example, is it legitimate for a state to ban the burqa? His answer is “not legitimate” but then brushes off concerns such as security or ignores other such as having a woman in burqa teach children and the impact this may have on young children and the quality of their education. Another detail, Malik could’ve avoided and left to be determined on a case-by-case basis is the question of should an employee be allowed to wear a cross at work? His answer is "generally yes", fine but what about an employee wearing a swastika?
As I said earlier the part I liked in Malik’s guide is when he discusses principles. For instance his discussion of the evolution of religious freedom concepts hits a nerve as it reinforces how the Muslim world is still in the early stages of reflecting into what it means in our world today. Excerpt from Malik's article in The Humanist:
Image: Painting of the St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre by Huegenot painter Francois Dubois [ca 1572-84].