August 22, 2022: ICHRRF Commemorates Victims of Acts of Violence Based on Religion or Belief
The ICHRRF envisions a global humanity that truly allows to respectfully and peacefully live and let live without fear, without aggression, without judgment, without shame and without hate.
Resolution A/RES/73/296, of the UN General Assembly designated 22 August as the International Day Commemorating the Victims of Acts of Violence Based on Religion or Belief to acknowledge the value of providing various forms of support and assistance to primary and secondary victims of acts of violence based on religion or belief, in accordance with applicable law.
Violent acts perpetrated against people based on their religion or belief system is heinous, not to mention a violation of international law. It is also illegal and deplorable to offend against homes, businesses, schools, properties, cultural centers, religious places and places of worship. Yet inhumane treatment of people solely based on their beliefs persists.
For instance, FBI Hate Crime Statistics (2020) shows that the most prevalent bias-driven hate crimes were incited by white persons and motivated largely by race/ethnicity/ancestry, sexual orientation and religious bias. While most hate crimes occurred near residences, many also occurred in public spaces such as parking garages, streets, schools, parks and playgrounds-areas that can affect any one of us.
Governments are responsible for promoting and protecting human rights which includes the right for people to exercise their religion or beliefs freely. This includes the rights of religious minorities. However, governments can widely vary in cultural and legal practices. More specifically, The Country Reports on Terrorism 2020 provides an overview of state-sponsored terrorism to include racially or ethnically motivated violent extremism (REMVE). There are growing movements that attempt to address REMVE. What’s more, concerns of forced conversion, conversion by fraud and deception or more subtle religious coercion persist today and those that pretend it does not exist are complicit. Inconsistent laws, diverse public discourse, lack of acknowledgement, lack of advocacy for policy reform, and failure to embrace diversity, equity, and inclusion can be frustrating, dismissive, and invalidating to primary and secondary victims of acts of violence based on religion or belief. This can dampen and delay the healing process and harm quality of life. Ultimately, where one person’s rights end, another person’s rights begin.
For this reason, the ICHRRF commemorates victims of acts of violence based on religion or belief by speaking on this matter today.