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Religion, Terrorism and Speech in a ‘Post-Charlie Hebdo’ World

In: Religion & Human Rights
Author:
Agnes Callamard Columbia University New York USA

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This article reviews the policy responses and the freedom of expression case law following the Charlie Hebdo attack. It unpacks the ‘Countering Violent Extremism’ frame-work from a freedom of expression standpoint and analyses court decisions related to glorification of terrorism and incitement to hatred with a particular focus on France and the United States as well as Russia, and Scandinavia. It shows the determination of governments to tackle the non-violent “ideological” bases of “terrorism”, and to treat religion as largely a public order issue. It concludes that in a post-Charlie Hebdo world, courts also have taken short cuts, instrumentalising not only speech to perceived higher needs, but judicial reasoning and practices as well.

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