The Right to Freedom of Religion and the Right against Religious Discrimination: Theoretical Distinctions
International Journal of Constitutional Law (Forthcoming)
17 Pages Posted: 27 Nov 2018 Last revised: 13 Mar 2019
Date Written: October 28, 2018
This paper argues that, while they are often conflated, the right to freedom of religion and the right against religious discrimination are in fact distinct human rights. Religious freedom is best understood as protecting our interest in religious adherence (and non-adherence), understood from the committed perspective of the (non)adherent. The right against religious discrimination is best understood as protecting our non-committal interest in the unsaddled membership of our religious group. Thus understood, the two rights have distinct normative rationales. These differences reveal a complex map of two overlapping, but conceptually distinct, human rights which are not necessarily breached simultaneously.
Keywords: religious freedom, discrimination law, human rights law, religious interests, religious adherence, religious group membership
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