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Freedom of Religion or Belief - An International Law Commentary by Bielefeldt, Prof Heiner; Ghanea, Nazila, Dr; Wiener, Michael, Dr (21st January 2016)

Part 2 Discrimination, 2.1 Discrimination on the Basis of Religion or Belief/Interreligious Discrimination/Tolerance

Heiner Bielefeldt, Nazila Ghanea, Michael Wiener

From: Freedom of Religion or Belief: An International Law Commentary

Prof Heiner Bielefeldt, Nazila Ghanea, Michael Wiener

Subject(s):
Religion — Freedom of association — Freedom of expression — Freedom of thought, conscience, and religion — Minorities — Human rights remedies — Refugees

This chapter focuses on religious discrimination. Not only does freedom of religion or belief prohibit undue infringements into a person’s religious freedom; it also prohibits discrimination—the denial of equality and unfair treatment based on religion. The discussion on discrimination has become more and more complex in recent debate, both with a view to different types of actors (State institutions, de facto authorities, and non-State institutions) and to different forms of discrimination (direct, indirect, structural, intersectional). While many experiences of discrimination continue to be overt and recognizable, more sensitivity has also arisen concerning concealed forms of discrimination, such as indirect discrimination, sometimes hidden under seemingly neutral rules. Reasonable accommodation should be used to tackle these phenomena. Moreover the State bears the responsibility to address the root causes of intolerance, societal discrimination, and violence committed in the name of religion.

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