State-Religion Relationships and Human Rights Law: Towards a Right to Religiously Neutral Governance
This book examines the question of how the mode of state religion identification affects the state s scope for compliance with human rights law. It presents a human rights-based assessment of the various modes of state religion identification and of the various forms of state practice that surround and characterize these different state religion models. A close assessment of norms of human rights law substantiates that, although human rights law on the face of it is seemingly neutral to the issue of state religion identification, legal principles can be extrapolated that have a profound bearing on the question of legitimacy of the possible diverse relationships that may exist between the state and religion. A range of thematic case studies on, among other issues, Establishment of Religion & the Equal Religious Rights of Others, Religion & Freedom of Expression, Religion & Political Rights, Religion & Educational Rights, Religion & Freedom of Association and Religion & Equal Employment Opportunities, demonstrates that existing regimes of positive state identification with religion are not devoid of forms of institutionalised discrimination and "de facto" practices of discrimination on grounds of religion or belief (or lack thereof). At the same time, it is observed by the author that in some secular or separationist states the ideals of state secularism and separationism have come to be considered ends in themselves. This has given rise to situations where the principles of secularism and separationism are construed so as to impose illegitimate limits on the activities of religions or illegitimate limits on the individual manifestation of certain beliefs. This book makes a case for the recognition of a state duty to remain impartial with respect to religion or belief in all regards so as to comply with people s fundamental right to be governed, at all times, in a religiously neutral manner.
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amended An-Na’im argued artt Bahrain Basic Law Belarus Bosnia and Herzegovina Brunei Darussalam Buddhism Catholic Church CEDAW Chapter Christian Concordat considered Const Constitution constitutionally context Court Declaration democratic denomination discrimination discriminatory ECtHR ensure establishment of religion explicitly Federal forms freedom of expression freedom of religion fundamental gion gious Government ground for limitation hereinafter Holy Human Rights Committee human rights law Ibid ICCPR instance international human rights Iran Israel issue Jewish La´citÚ Law supra note Maldives Moldova Muslim neutral non-religious norms oath observed official one’s religion Orthodox Church paras Penal Code People’s political parties position practice preamble principle prohibition proselytism protection provides public schools reli religion or belief religious affiliation religious association religious communities Religious Freedom religious laws religious organizations Republic respect right to freedom Saudi Arabia secular Shari’a specific state–religion identification state’s status tion Tuvalu U.N. Doc Vatican City women