Freedom of religion is a huge, controversial and more often than not debatable issue in most part of the world.

 

Freedom of religion is a huge, controversial and more often than not debatable issue in most part of the world. It has become a polemic that is intensely discussed and debated among societies of the world with diverse religion. However, there is no definite outcome or solution regarding the issue of freedom of religion as people opinions differs with each other. Freedom of religion that is professed in certain countries is also under huge scrutiny and criticisms on how it should be practiced in order to satisfy the needs and expectations of that community. Hence, it is nearly impossible to come into a collective conclusion on how it should be properly practiced.

 

Furthermore, the ongoing struggle for religious liberty has been in the making for centuries and has even lead to countless, often tragic conflicts. However in the twentieth century saw codification of common values related to freedom of religion and beliefs in numerous international treaties, declarations and conventions. For example, the United Nations had recognized the importance of freedom of religion in the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Universal Declaration)[1], Article 18 of which states “ everyone shall have the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion. This right shall include freedom to have a religion or whatever belief of his [her] choice.”  Similar provisions can also be found in the 1966: International Covenant on Civil and Political rights, (Article 18)[2], 1981: Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Intolerance and of Discrimination Based on Religion or Belief[3], and 1993: Human Right’s Committee’s General Comment Number 22 on Article 18 of the Civil and Political Covenant[4].

 

However, there is no enforceable, binding documents specifically related to the freedom of religion or belief has ever been successful. Therefore according to the matter and provisions stated above, the purpose of this assignment is to discuss the polemic of freedom of religion as observed by us. This assignment will cover the subtopics of the feeling of unjust between the non-Muslims in Malaysia in accordance to Article 11 of the Federal Constitution of Malaysia, the concept of freedom of religion in Malaysia, the right to practice in Malaysia and also the right to practice the freedom of religion according to the perspectives of countries such as United States (US), Iran, Saudi Arabia and also France.



[1] Universal Declaration of Human Rights, G.A. res. 217A (III) U.N. Doc A/810 at 71 (1948). Retrieved from hrlibrary.umn.edu

[2] International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, G.A. res. 2200A (XXI), 21 U.N. GAOR Supp. (No. 16) at 52, U.N. Doc. A/6316 (1966), 999 U.N.T.S. 171, entered into force Mar. 23, 1976. Retrieved from hrlibrary.umn.edu

[3] Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Intolerance and of Discrimination Based on Religion or Belief, G.A. res. 36/55, 36 U.N. GAOR Supp. (No 51) at 171, U.N. Doc. A/36/684 (1981). Retrieved from hrlibrary.umn.edu

[4] Human Rights Committee, General Comment 22, Article 18 (Forty-eighth session, 1993). Compilation of General Comments and General Recommendations Adopted by Human Rights Treaty Bodies, U.N. Doc. HRI/GEN/1/Rev.1 at 35 (1994). Retrieved from hrlibrary.umn.edu                                 


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