Jerome Taylor: Religious freedom is not an absolute right

Source: The Independent

The European Court of Human Rights gets a regular kicking in the British press, often unfairly. So it’s good to see that the judges in Strasbourg have come up with a series of careful and nuanced rulings on the issue of religious discrimination that are a cracking advertisement for exactly why we need such a court.

At the heart of this legal and moral debate is the question of competing rights. Religious freedom is a vital human right recognised by both UK and European law. But it is not an absolute right. That’s because occasionally the religious views of one person may impinge upon the equally valid rights of another group of people. Religious opposition to  same-sex relationships is the most common current example of this dilemma.

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1 reply

  1. Although, I personally believe that religion is a private matter between a human being and the creator and flaunting ones religion in public just to make a point is neither a divine order nor it is beneficial for a society.

    But wearing a cross, a kippah, a headscarf or a supporting a long beard is ones human right and it hurts no one. That is why the State cannot and should not be the judge in the case of wearing religious symbols. Unfortunately, many Western countries do discriminate and punish those who insist on doing so.

    Well now the European Court has ruled that wearing at work is Ok. Hopefully the same will apply to other symbols, especially headscarves because, it is mostly forbidden at work.

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