Full text: 2001 to present
Description: The annual Report to Congress on International Religious Freedom – the International Religious Freedom Report – describes the status of religious freedom in every country. The report covers government policies violating religious belief and practices of groups, religious denominations and individuals, and U.S. policies to promote religious freedom around the world. The U.S. Department of State submits the reports in accordance with the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998.
Tensions between religious freedom and equality law are newly strained in America. As lawmakers work to protect LGBT citizens and women seeking reproductive freedom, religious traditionalists assert their right to dissent from what they see as a new liberal orthodoxy. Some religious advocates are going further and expressing skepticism that egalitarianism can be defended with reasons at all. Legal experts have not offered a satisfying response--until now. Nelson Tebbe argues that these disputes, which are admittedly complex, nevertheless can be resolved without irrationality or arbitrariness. In Religious Freedom in an Egalitarian Age, he advances a method called social coherence, based on the way that people reason through moral problems in everyday life. Social coherence provides a way to reach justified conclusions in constitutional law, even in situations that pit multiple values against each other. Tebbe contends that reasons must play a role in the resolution of these conflicts, alongside interests and ideologies. Otherwise, the health of democratic constitutionalism could suffer. Applying this method to a range of real-world cases, Tebbe offers a set of powerful principles for mediating between religion and equality law, and he shows how they can lead to workable solutions in areas ranging from employment discrimination and public accommodations to government officials and public funding. While social coherence does not guarantee outcomes that will please the liberal Left, it does point the way toward reasoned, nonarbitrary solutions to the current impasse.
This book considers the extent to which religious interests are protected at work, with particular reference to the protection against religious discrimination provided by the Equality Act 2010. It establishes a principled basis for determining the proper scope of religious freedom at work, and considers the interaction of freedom of religion with the right not to be discriminated against on grounds of religion and belief. The book locates the debates surrounding religion and belief equality within a philosophical and theoretical framework in which the importance of freedom of religion and its role within the workplace are fully debated. This second edition is fully revised and updated in the light of recent case law from the UK and the European Court of Human Rights, which deals with religious discrimination and freedom of religion.
How have Christian theologies of religious superiority underwritten ideologies of white supremacy in the United States? According to Hill Fletcher, the tendency of Christians to view themselves as the "chosen ones" has often been translated into racial categories as well. In other words, Christian supremacy has historically lent itself to white supremacy, with disastrous consequences. How might we start to disentangle the two? Hill Fletcher proposes educational strategies that will help foster racial healing in America, the first of which is to demand of white Christians that they accept their responsibility for racist policies and structural discrimination in America.
The term "Islamophobia" may be fairly new, but irrational fear and hatred of Islam and Muslims is anything but. Though many speak of Islamophobia's roots in racism, have we considered how anti-Muslim rhetoric is rooted in our legal system? Using his unique lens as a critical race theorist and law professor, Khaled A. Beydoun captures the many ways in which law, policy, and official state rhetoric have fueled the frightening resurgence of Islamophobia in the United States. Beydoun charts its long and terrible history, from the plight of enslaved African Muslims in the antebellum South and the laws prohibiting Muslim immigrants from becoming citizens to the ways the war on terror assigns blame for any terrorist act to Islam and the myriad trials Muslim Americans face in the Trump era. He passionately argues that by failing to frame Islamophobia as a system of bigotry endorsed and emboldened by law and carried out by government actors, U.S. society ignores the injury it inflicts on both Muslims and non-Muslims. Through the stories of Muslim Americans who have experienced Islamophobia across various racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic lines, Beydoun shares how U.S. laws shatter lives, whether directly or inadvertently. And with an eye toward benefiting society as a whole, he recommends ways for Muslim Americans and their allies to build coalitions with other groups. Like no book before it, American Islamophobia offers a robust and genuine portrait of Muslim America then and now.
The idea of security has recently seen a surge of interest from political philosophers. After the atrocities of 11 September 2001 and 7 July 2005, many leading politicians justified encroachments on international legal standards and civil liberties in the name of security and with a view to protecting the rights of the people. Suggestions were made on both sides of the Atlantic to the effect that the extremism of terrorism required the security of the many to be weighed against the liberties of other citizens. In this collection of essays, Jeremy Waldron, Conor Gearty, Tariq Modood, David Novak, Abdelwahab El-Affendi and others debate how to move beyond the false dichotomy whereby fundamental human rights and international standards are conceived as something to be balanced against security. They also examine the claim that this aim might better be advanced by the inclusion in public debate of explicitly religious voices.
Weiler-Harwell examines continuing, legal, discrimination against atheists, as made clear in two cases: Boy Scouts of America v. Dale (2000) and Elk Grove Unified School District v. Newdow (2004). These rulings created a new, discriminatory level of distinction for believers versus non-believers that is ahistorical in light of previous Supreme Court precedent. Both cases created new standards for analyzing equality under the law for non-conformists such as atheists, shaping a new hierarchy of protected and unprotected forms of religious belief. The new judicial standards elevate monotheistic religious belief over the neutrality standard that had been heralded in prior Supreme Court decisions and create a kind of American Civil Religion.
The UN International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights obliges state parties to prohibit any advocacy of religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination or violence. This book traces the origins of this provision and proposes an actus reus for this offence. The question of whether hateful incitement is a prohibition per se or also encapsulates a fundamental 'right to be protected against incitement' is extensively debated. Also addressed is the question of how to judge incitement. Is mens rea required to convict someone of advocating hatred, and if so, for what degree of intent? This analysis also includes the paramount question if and to what extent content and/or context factors ought to be decisive. The author extensively engages with comparative domestic law and compares the workings of the UN Human Rights Committee with those of the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination and the European Court of Human Rights.
In a remarkably short period of time, the realization of religious freedom has achieved broad consensus as an indispensable condition for peace. Faced with widespread reports of religious persecution, public and private actors around the world have responded with laws and policies designed to promote freedom of religion. But what precisely is being promoted? What are the cultural and epistemological assumptions underlying this response, and what forms of politics are enabled in the process? The fruits of the three-year Politics of Religious Freedom research project, the contributions to this volume unsettle the assumption--ubiquitous in policy circles--that religious freedom is a singular achievement, an easily understood state of affairs, and that the problem lies in its incomplete accomplishment. Taking a global perspective, the more than two dozen contributors delineate the different conceptions of religious freedom predominant in the world today, as well as their histories and social and political contexts. Together, the contributions make clear that the reasons for persecution are more varied and complex than is widely acknowledged, and that the indiscriminate promotion of a single legal and cultural tool meant to address conflict across a wide variety of cultures can have the perverse effect of exacerbating the problems that plague the communities cited as falling short.