UN Expert Stresses Role Of States In Promoting Religious Tolerance

October 27, 2009

Author: Staff Writer

Source: UN News Centre


Governments have a central role to play in either preventing or contributing to religious friction, an independent United Nations expert said today, noting that a State’s commitments to non-discrimination, as well as its policies and messages, can promote tolerance.

Asma Jahangir, the UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief, told a news conference in New York that there are preventive measures governments can take to avoid further polarization on the basis of religion before it erupts into violence.

She also noted that while governments are talking about issues such as defamation of religion, there is “less addressing of the issue of religious incitement to violence, discrimination and hatred.”

In her presentation to the General Assembly last Friday, Ms. Jahangir discussed warning signs and prevention, as well as how religion is being used for political purposes.