Limitations on religious rights

Professor Makau Mutua, in a paper of the same title argues that in the human rights corpus, indigenous religions should be protected against the proselytizing religions, that is, Christianity and Islam.

He argues that the two instruments-UN Declaration of Human Rights and International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights- need to not only check on government’s encroachment into the private and personal realm but also powerful private institutions in the private realm including established religion.

It is a known fact that these middle Eastern religions spread to the rest of the world either through deceit or force or both combined. In Africa, the two religions sought to and were successful in destroying that which was different leaving the African as neither European nor Arab. He argues they are imperialist in nature, that is, they seek to dominate the whole world.

It his contention, and I agree, that free exercise of religion and belief should find protection within the human rights universe in the context of respect for diversity without giving license to the destruction of other religions and cultures.

It his final submission that the law need to expand to cover indigenous religions. Much may not be done to recover what has been lost but indigenous peoples should be at the forefront in trying to rebuild this information and passing legislation with the aim of protecting indigenous religions and cultures.

Further reading: Limiting religious freedoms

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