Blog

Translating Questions Of Religion Conversions to Issues of Human Rights: The Proposed Ban on Religious Conversions in a Secular Indian State

- 30th January 2015

In recent months, the political focus in India has shifted towards the sensitive issue of “forced religious conversions”, known as, “Ghar Wapsi” (Homecoming Ceremony). The conversions of 200 Muslims in Agra and Christians in Gujarat to Hinduism, thought to have been forcefully carried out by radical Hindu groups, have sparked controversy and generated disruption in […]

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Clash of Rights at Centre of Canadian Law School Controversy

Ravi Amarnath - 28th October 2014

The debate over whether to recognise a proposed law school in Canada has pitted fundamental freedoms against one another. Trinity Western University (TWU) is a private, Christian university located in the Canadian province of British Columbia. TWU requires its students, faculty and administrators to sign and abide by the terms of a Community Covenant, which […]

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Religious anti-gay refusal – valuing dissent without making it lawful

Davina Cooper - 22nd July 2014

According to Supreme Court judge, Lady Hale, the law has yet to find the right balance between accommodating people’s beliefs and avoiding anti-gay discrimination. Her remarks, made during a lecture at the Law Society of Ireland, take a position common amongst judges, politicians, activists and scholars seeking to find a midway point between privileging beliefs […]

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Professor Frances Raday Comments on SAS v France

Frances Raday - 19th July 2014

In the Grand Chamber judgment in the case of S.A.S. v. France, the European Court of Human Rights held, by a majority, that Law no. 2010-1192 of 11 October 2010 which made it illegal for anyone to conceal their face in public places did not violate the European Convention of Human Rights. Further details of the judgment, […]

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Conform or be confined: S.A.S. v France

Lucy Vickers - 8th July 2014

The European Court of Human Rights ruled on 1st July that France’s ban on face coverings, known as the burqa-ban, does not breach the European Convention on Human Rights. The ban criminalises anyone wearing clothing designed to conceal the face in public. Although not limited to the burqa, the legislative history of the provision makes […]

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International Law and the Denial of Minority Status to Indian Muslims

Stephanie Berry - 3rd July 2014

On 27th May, the Indian Minister of Minority Affairs, Najma Heptullah, declared that ‘Muslims are not minorities, Parsis are’, the suggestion being that Muslims are too large in number to constitute a minority. Yet out of a population of 1.2 billion people, Indian Muslims, at approximately 138 million, clearly constitute a numerical minority. While India […]

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Meriam Ibrahim Saved from 100 Lashes and the Death Penalty

Jon Yorke - 28th June 2014

On 11 May 2014, Meriam Yahia Ibrahim was found guilty by the Al-Haj Yousif Criminal Court of charges under the Sudanese Penal Code (1991), Articles 126 for the crime of ridda (apostasy from Islam) and 146 for the crime of zena (unlawful intercourse in the act of adultery). Her husband, Daniel Wani, a US citizen, […]

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Using faith to reinforce human rights of Bahá’ís in Iran

Nazila Ghanea - 20th May 2014

Editor’s note: this is a redacted version of the original post, which can be found on the openGlobalRights website.   An Islamic cleric’s gesture to the persecuted Bahá’í community in Iran shows that in countries where universal human rights standards have little local resonance, appeals for tolerance based on religion, cultural traditions, and domestic history, […]

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Conscientious Objection to Military Service in International Human Rights Law

Ozgur Cinar - 30th January 2014

Conscientious objection to military service is a means of resisting war and military service for reasons of conscience based on profound religious, ethical, moral, philosophical, humanitarian, or similar convictions. It generally concerns the exemption of people from fulfilling legal obligations that would necessitate a violation of their conscience, religion, or belief. The phenomenon of conscientious […]

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Navigating the Troubled Waters of Religious Accommodation

Stephanie Tsang - 29th January 2014

Recent reports concerning a situation in York University, Toronto, have reignited discussion on the complex subject of the right to religious accommodation. A male student, enrolled on an online course, requested permission from his professor to be excused from participating in group work with female students in person, citing his undisclosed religious belief as his […]

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