Archive for the ‘Religious freedom’ Category

“Fighting God” – Presentation with David Silverman

Monday, November 2nd, 2015
"Fighting God" - Dave Silvermann in Basel

"Fighting God" - Dave Silvermann in Basel

The name David Silverman is the intrepid Fire branding Atheism strategy, which he translates as president of American Atheists in most PR-oriented promotions and mega events. His Reason Rally was in 2012 as the largest atheist event in world history. On the European tour for his book «Fighting God” Silverman makes a stop in Basel. Presentation in English with simultaneous translation.

Saturday, 07.11.2015 – Until 23.00 clock from 19.00

Hörsaal 1 – Pharmazentrum

Klingelbergstrasse 50

4056 Basel


Sonntag, 08.11.2015 – Until 18.00 clock from 14.00

Zentrum Karl der Grosse

Kirchgasse 14


ECHR: Prohibition of full-face veil legitimate

Tuesday, July 1st, 2014

In today’s Grand Chamber judgment in the case of S.A.S. v. France (application no. 43835/11), which is final, the European Court of Human Rights held, by a majority, that there had been no violation of Article 8 (right to respect for private and family life) of the European Convention on Human Rights, and no violation of Article 9 (right to respect for freedom of thought, conscience and religion); unanimously, that there had been no violation of Article 14 (prohibition of discrimination) of the European Convention combined with Articles 8 or 9.
The case concerned the complaint of a French national, who is a practising Muslim, that she is no longer allowed to wear the full-face veil in public following the entry into force, on 11 April 2011, of a law prohibiting the concealment of one’s face in public places (Law no. 2010-1192 of 11 October 2010).
The Court emphasised that respect for the conditions of “living together” was a legitimate aim for the measure at issue and that, particularly as the State had a lot of room for manoeuvre (“a wide margin of appreciation”) as regards this general policy question on which there were significant differences of opinion, the ban imposed by the Law of 11 October 2010 did not breach the Convention.
Click here to download the press release.

Ticino to vote on burka ban

Monday, August 26th, 2013

On September 22, Ticino will become the first Swiss canton to hold a referendum on banning face-covering headgear in public places. Political commentators say the initiative has good chances of being accepted.

ECHR: Right to manifest religion at work is protected but must be balanced against rights of others

Tuesday, January 15th, 2013

In today’s Chamber judgment in the case of Eweida and Others v. the United Kingdom (application nos. 48420/10, 59842/10, 51671/10 and 36516/10), which is not final1, the European Court of Human Rights held:
by five votes to two, that there had been a violation of Article 9 (freedom of religion) of the European Convention on Human Rights as concerned Ms Eweida;
unanimously, that there had been no violation of Article 9 of the European Convention, taken alone or in conjunction with Article 14 (prohibition of discrimination), as concerned Ms Chaplin and Mr McFarlane; and
by five votes to two, that there had been no violation of Article 14 taken in conjunction with Article 9 as concerned Ms Ladele.
All four applicants are practising Christians. Ms Eweida, a British Airways employee, and Ms Chaplin, a geriatrics nurse, complained that their employers placed restrictions on their visibly wearing Christian crosses around their necks while at work. Ms Ladele, a Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages, and Mr McFarlane, a Relate counsellor complained about their dismissal for refusing to carry out certain of their duties which they considered would condone homosexuality.
The Court did not consider that the lack of explicit protection in UK law to regulate the wearing of religious clothing and symbols in the workplace in itself meant that the right to manifest religion was breached, since the issues could be and were considered by the domestic courts in the context of discrimination claims brought by the applicants.
In Ms Eweida’s case, the Court held that on one side of the scales was Ms Eweida’s desire to manifest her religious belief. On the other side of the scales was the employer’s wish to project a certain corporate image. While this aim was undoubtedly legitimate, the domestic courts accorded it too much weight.
As regards Ms Chaplin, the importance for her to be allowed to bear witness to her Christian faith by wearing her cross visibly at work weighed heavily in the balance. However, the reason for asking her to remove the cross, namely the protection of health and safety on a hospital ward, was inherently more important than that which applied in respect of Ms Eweida and the hospital managers were well placed to make decisions about clinical safety.
In the cases of Ms Ladele and Mr McFarlane, it could not be said that national courts had failed to strike a fair balance when they upheld the employers’ decisions to bring disciplinary proceedings. In each case the employer was pursuing a policy of non- discrimination against service-users, and the right not to be discriminated against on grounds of sexual orientation was also protected under the Convention.{%22itemid%22:[%22003-4221189-5014359%22]}

No God, not even Allah

Tuesday, November 27th, 2012

Ex-Muslim atheists are becoming more outspoken, but tolerance is still rare:

The Use and Abuse of Religious Freedom

Tuesday, July 3rd, 2012

What are the proper limits of religious freedom? Marianne Thieme, leader of the Party for the Animals in the Netherlands, offers this answer: “Religious freedom stops where human or animal suffering begins.”

ECHR: Freedom of belief includes freedom not to reveal belief

Saturday, December 31st, 2011

Panayote Dimitras (founder of the Humanist Union of Greece) and some of his colleagues in the Greek Helsinki Monitor (affiliated to the International Helsinki Federation) have won a case (against Greece at the European Court of Human Rights.

In their work under the Helsinki process, they frequently have to make depositions or give evidence in court.  Despite constitutional guarantees of freedom of religion or belief, Greek law requires that as a default they have to take an oath according to the Greek Orthodox faith or else to justify their wish to take a different oath or to affirm by revealing their adherence to another belief or their lack of belief.

The Strasbourg Court has again in this case underlined that freedom of religion or belief includes “the right of the individual not to be obliged to manifest his religion or his religious beliefs and not be obliged to act in such a way that such convictions or their lack can be deduced. In the eyes of the Court, state authorities have no right to intervene in the field of freedom of conscience of the individual and to seek his religious beliefs, or to force him to express his beliefs about the divinity” (judgement, para. 28).

Source: EHF; ECHR

No right to pray for Muslim pupil at Berlin school

Thursday, December 1st, 2011

Germany’s top administrative court has ruled that a student does not have an automatic right to pray at school. The case was brought by an 18-year-old Muslim pupil at a Berlin school after he was told by his head teacher that prayer was not allowed on the school grounds. The teenager and several other pupils kneeled in a hallway during a break to pray. The court found that the school could ban prayer if the act caused conflict.

Austria accepts pasta colander as a confessional headgear

Thursday, July 14th, 2011

AN AUSTRIAN MAN has won a three-year battle to have local authorities issue him with a driving licence including an image of a pasta strainer.

Niko Alm wanted to have his photo, with the upside-down colander atop his head, included in his licence for religious reasons – claiming he adheres to the religion of Pastafarianism.

But AFP reports that when he submitted a photograph – claiming it was appropriate under the country’s usual rules which allow headgear to be included in official photographs for “confessional” reasons – he ran into problems with Austrian licence authorities.

Ireland: Religion in schools may be breach of human rights

Thursday, December 2nd, 2010

The central role of religion in the overwhelming majority of schools in the Republic of Ireland may be a breach of the human rights of some children. And allowing pupils from minority faiths or none to opt out of religious instruction may not be enough to rectify the situation because the Catholic Church’s ethos permeates the day-to-day life of most schools, a discussion paper has said. (…)

The Irish position faced challenges under the European Convention on Human Rights, International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination.

Read more on The Belfast Telegraph‘s website.
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