Killing in the Name of Islam? Assessing the Tunisian Approach to Criminalising the Practice of Takfīr and Incitement to Religious Hatred against International and Regional Human Rights Instruments

Badar, Mohamed and Florijančič, Polona (2021) Killing in the Name of Islam? Assessing the Tunisian Approach to Criminalising the Practice of Takfīr and Incitement to Religious Hatred against International and Regional Human Rights Instruments. Nordic Journal of Human Rights. ISSN 1891-8131 (In Press)

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Abstract

The rise of different strands of political Islam in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East since the 1970s and the lack of a robust political alternative during the Arab Spring have paved the way for the widespread issuance of ‘accusations of unbelief’ (takfīri ‘fatwas’), i.e. pronouncements of unbelief against individuals, groups of people or even institutions by Islamist movements. These fatwas fit into the broader context of radical Islamist ideologies spread by systematic hate propaganda and together form a deadly combination amounting to instigation to murder. A need to address this particular form of incitement, together with the spread of terrorist ideology in general, has arisen in states with large Muslim populations in order to protect the essential human rights impacted by such speech and to fulfil the obligations imposed by UN Security Council Resolutions. Tunisia has chosen a head-on approach to addressing this problem by criminalising accusations of takfīr and incitement to religious hatred and loathing as terrorist offences. Such an approach can be seen as an encroachment upon the right to freedom of expression, yet it has to be balanced against states’ positive obligations in protecting essential competing human rights. Drawing on the jurisprudence of the Human Rights Committee of the ICCPR and the African Commission of the ACHPR as well as literature in the field of human rights, this paper demonstrates the interrelation between the right to life, freedom from fear, security of the person and the right to dignity and their violation through unfettered takfīrism.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Tunisia criminalisation of takfīr, takfīr (excommunication/declaration of infidelity), incitement to hatred, African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights, International Covenant for Civil and Political Rights
Subjects: M200 Law by Topic
Department: Faculties > Business and Law > Northumbria Law School
Depositing User: John Coen
Date Deposited: 01 Nov 2021 11:53
Last Modified: 01 Nov 2021 12:00
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/47601

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