People have rights. Ideas don’t.
As a project that champions human rights and freedoms, we believe that everyone is entitled to their own religious, political and ideological worldview. People must be free to express their own personal truths, and must not be sanctioned or intimidated to do so.
Recently, we have seen criticism of religion, religious practises, traditions, ideologies and texts conflated with hatred of its adherents. There have been several cases on campus where atheists, reformists and liberals have been tarnished under the label of racism. Misuse of the term undermines its poignancy when assigned to real cases of hatred and bigotry.
We strongly believe that faith can play an immensely positive and powerful role in the lives of individuals and their communities.
However, religious rights and freedoms refer to the individual, not the beliefs themselves.
Our concern is when criticism or hatred toward an ideology is used as a guise, or spills over, into antipathy of adherents. Such as when animosity towards Israel is used to cover antisemitism, or criticism of Islam permeates into a hatred of Muslims.
It is imperative to distinguish between the rights and protections of people, from those of their ideologies and beliefs. This conflation only serves to benefit extremists on all sides.