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Joint Statement for the Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief, 4 March 2021

Madam President,

On behalf of a group of member countries of the International Religious Freedom or Belief Alliance, we would like to thank the Special Rapporteur for this important report on combatting anti-Muslim hatred and discrimination.

The Alliance is committed to advancing freedom of religion or belief for all around the world. This open and growing group of 32 states brings together a diversity of faiths and beliefs.

We firmly believe that everyone has the right to hold any belief or none, to change religion or belief and to manifest religion or belief, either alone or in community with others.

The report highlights how anti-Muslim prejudice can lead to acts of discrimination and violence that undermine the right to freedom of religion or belief as well as other human rights. It also emphasizes the importance of countering anti-Muslim hatred. It is relevant, therefore, to understand the situation of Muslims who are members of religious minority groups, as well as of members of other minority groups. No one should suffer discrimination on the basis of their religion or belief.

The report presents a range of good practices in countering anti-Muslim hatred. We would appreciate if the Special Rapporteur could elaborate on how anti-Muslim hatred can be countered while protecting freedom of expression.

Thank you.

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