What should come first – religious rights or human rights?

HR image

Deborah Orr writes very convincingly that establishing and maintaining human rights is more of a prerequisite for human flourishing than a focus on religious rights.

Controversially she also says that the liberal left’s condemnation of those people who thought the ANC were terrorists during their fight against apartheid in South Africa and then went on to eulogize Mandela at the time of his death was insensitive. She says “It is crucial to remember that people can learn and change, quickly and en masse. One of the sad things that followed Nelson Mandela’s death was the sight of people on the left recounting the past pro-apartheid beliefs of others, real and imagined. The anti-apartheid movement existed to change minds. Lingering suspicions that some of the most spectacular converts are only pretending undermines and belittles the movement’s most necessary and hard-won achievements.” Read more in the Guardian article here

Another interesting article very much relates to these issues. In it  says “On 12 January I participated in a BBC debate on human rights and religious rights. Two students were wearing T-shirts depicting a stick figure of Jesus saying “Hi” to a stick figure called Mo, who replied: “How you doin’?” Some Muslims, having just argued for their own right to veil, took issue with the students. I argued that just as Muslim women have the right to veil, atheists have the right to wear these T-shirts.” This started a chain of events that ended in death threats and police involvement. Again there is  friction between those exersising their human rights and those exersising their religious rights. Read more here

How do we get the balance right between basic human rights and the freedom to worship and have religious faith?

Do you believe that human rights trump religious rights? Is this a false dilemma and are they one and the same thing?

Update: The Royal Secular Society takes a dim view of Channel 4’s decision to censor the image of Mohammed from the catoon in the  case – read more

Update 19:2:14 –  Denmark bans Halal meat and says that Animal rights come before religion

See the article here in The Independent

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