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SOROBAS – Separation of Religion
or Belief and State
1986 - Tolerance for Diversity of Religion or Belief
2012 - The Tandem Project Fellowship
Now is the Time

 

 

 

THE TANDEM PROJECT
http://www.tandemproject.com.
info@tandemproject.com

UNITED NATIONS, HUMAN RIGHTS,
FREEDOM OF RELIGION OR BELIEF

The Tandem Project is a UN NGO in Special Consultative Status with the
Economic and Social Council of the United Nations

Separation of Religion or Belief and State

ISSUE

Can a person who is Muslim choose a religion other than Islam?

Human Rights Lesson – Coercion and Freedom to Choose on Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the 1981 UN Declaration on the Elimination of all Forms of Intolerance and of Discrimination  Based on Religion or Belief.

The question Can a person who is Muslim choose a religion other than Islam? is from an article in The Economist asked of Ali Gomaa, Grand Mufti of Egypt: http://www.aligomaa.net/. Shari’ah Law is a respected religious paradigm linked here to Human Rights Law, a secular paradigm on Freedom of Religion or Belief: Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam

Objective

Separation of Religion or Belief and State

The right of all persons to their own values, cultural identity and core principles based on religion or belief, separate
from the state in tandem with international human rights law on freedom of religion or belief for the common good.

Lesson: http://www.tandemproject.com/part2/article1/art1_2.htm
Reply: http://www.tandemproject.com/databases/forms/card_int.htm#1_2

Surely one of the best hopes for humankind is to embrace a culture in which religions and other beliefs accept one another, in which wars and violence are not tolerated in the name of an exclusive right to truth, in which children are raised to solve conflicts with mediation, compassion and understanding.

Can a person who is Muslim choose a religion other than Islam? In The Economist article many Muslims found it an affront to Islamic traditions and cultural norms to even ask the question. For others, Muslims and non-Muslims, not to have the right to change one’s religion or belief is seen as coercion and a challenge to the universality of human rights.


BACKGROUND


International Human Rights Law on Freedom of Religion or Belief

International human rights law on freedom of religion or belief protects theistic, non-theistic and atheistic beliefs, as well as the right not to profess any religion or belief, - General Comment 22 on Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. States Parties to the Covenant may sign and ratify with Reservations: http://www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/hrc/index.htm

The General Comment on Article 18 of the Covenant provides equal protection against discrimination for all members of all religions and beliefs or no belief.

http://www.unhchr.ch/tbs/doc.nsf/(Symbol)/9a30112c27d1167cc12563ed004d8f15?Opendocument


2007 - UN Human Rights Council Resolution Adopted Without Consensus

Resolution A/HRC/6/L.15/Rev.1 sponsored by Portugal in 2007 on behalf of the European Union (EU) was not adopted by consensus  in the sixth session of the UN Human Rights Council. Abstentions were based on objections from Pakistan speaking on behalf of the 57 country Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) that norms in Muslim countries prohibit leaving Islam as a religion and were not being honored in the draft resolution.

http://ap.ohchr.org/documents/E/HRC/resolutions/A_HRC_RES_6_37.pdf


2011- UN Human Rights Council Resolution Adopted By Consensus
Resolution A/HRC/16/18 - Combating Intolerance, Negative Stereotyping, Discrimination and  Incitement to Violence & Violence Against Persons Based on Religion or Belief

Introduced by Pakistan on behalf of the Organization of the Islamic Conference  (OIC)  adopted by consensus without a vote by the UN Human Rights Council on 24 March 2011.
UN Human Rights Council Panel Discussion - Culture of Tolerance and Peace - 14 June 2011


Somalia: Draft Shari’ah Law

The Human Rights Lesson – Coercion and Freedom to Choose  uses the Draft Constitution of the Federal Republic of Somalia. The Draft Constitution of the Federal Republic of Somalia has 179 articles under Shari’ah Law. Article 22, Freedom of Religion and Belief, states no Muslim can renounce Islam. Each constitution under Shari’ah Law has different wording but the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) countries seem to agree, constitutions, national laws and religious norms prohibit leaving Islam.

FINAL CDC 30 July ENG; FINAL ISSUES  QUESTIONS 30 JULY ENG; Final Main Consultation 30 July - ENG


Conference, Course and Questionnaire

The Tandem Project 1986 international conference on Tolerance for Diversity of Religion or Belief. http://www.tandemproject.com/tolerance.pdf. relevant  in 2011.

The Tandem Project Internet Course on the 1981 UN Declaration on Freedom of Religion or Belief: http://www.tandemproject.com/toc/toc.htm

Indicators to measure inclusive and genuine awareness and understanding of International Human Rights Law on Freedom of Religion or Belief.
QUESTIONNAIRE


The Tandem Project a non-governmental organization (NGO) founded in 1986 to build understanding, tolerance, and respect for diversity of religion or belief, and to prevent discrimination in all matters relating to freedom of religion or belief. The Tandem Project has sponsored multiple conferences, curricula, reference material and programs on Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights- Everyone shall have the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion – and the 1981 United Nations Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Intolerance and Discrimination Based on Religion or Belief.

In 1968 the United Nations deferred work on a legally-binding treaty on religious intolerance as too complex and sensitive and passed a non-binding declaration in its place. The Tandem Project believes until a core legally-binding human rights Convention on Freedom of Religion or Belief  is adopted international human rights law will be incomplete.  It may be time to begin to consider reinstating the 1968 Working Group to bring all matters relating to freedom of religion or belief under one banner, a core international human rights legally-binding treaty.

Documents Attached: Background - Human Rights & Freedom of Religion or Belief; Can a Person who is Muslim Choose a Religion Other than Islam; Egypt - Role of Islam in Public Life; UN Human Rights Council Panel Discussion - Culture of Tolerance and Peace - 14 June 2011