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

Part 4 Intersection of Freedom of Religion or Belief with Other Human Rights, 4.1 Freedom of Expression Including Questions Related to Religious Conflicts, Religious Intolerance, and Extremism

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

Heiner Bielefeldt, Nazila Ghanea, Michael Wiener

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

This chapter examines freedom of religion or belief in relation to freedom of opinion and expression. While these rights have their distinct features and applications, they at the same time share many characteristics. Foremost among these is their role in protecting intellectual and communicative freedoms that contribute to a democratic discourse in pluralistic societies. In addition, the legal formulations in articles 18 and 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights show striking similarities. It is all the more surprising that freedom of religion or belief and freedom of expression have come to be seen as allegedly standing in contradiction towards each other. Recapturing their close interrelatedness is also important for designing effective policies of combating incitement to acts of religious hatred, in line with the 2012 Rabat Plan of Action elaborated by the United Nations.

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