Chicago Journal of International Law

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This Comment explores the intersection of race and religion in cases brought before the Human Rights Committee alleging violations of Article 20(2) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. This article proposes a positive requirement for states parties to prohibit hate speech. Specifically, the following analysis considers Committee determinations of standing in cases brought by Muslims living in Europe who sought to challenge a state party's response to discriminatory remarks made by public figures. This Comment argues that these determinations, which appear to implicitly endorse a lower threshold for group standing when both race and religion are under attack (rather than religion alone) lead to three undesirable outcomes: 1) they weaken promised protections for minorities; 2) they fail to acknowledge the internal racial diversity of religious communities and the growing salience of religious identity; and 3) they do not account for the range of ways in which religion, race, and ethnicity are coded in the content and interpretation of the hate speech. In light of this analysis, this Comment argues for a more consistent application of the Human Rights Committee's own broad standard of admissibility.

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