Sunday, September 16, 2012

Religion Provisions of the Constitution of Kyrgyzstan

One of my current research projects involves analysis of the religion provisions of various constitutions enacted since the year 2000. From time to time on this blog, I'll post extracts of those provisions arranged according to categories such as "Religious Freedom" (guarantee of individual rights), "Established Religion" (joining religion and government), "Establishment Clause" (separating religion and government), "Ceremonial Deism" (symbolic references to religion that have little or no legal effect), "Equal Protection of Religion" (non-discrimination guarantees), "Preamble", "Religious Education", and "Religious Limitations."
The 2010 Constitution of Kyrgyzstan has the three mainstays of liberal constitutionalism in the area of religion: a strong establishment clause, equal protection of religion, and religious freedom.

Establishment Clause

Article 1
1. The Kyrgyz Republic (Kyrgyzstan) is a sovereign, democratic, secular, unitary and social
state governed by the rule of law.

Article 7(2) . Religion and all cults shall be separated from the state.

Article 7(3). The involvement of religious associations and ministers of religion in the activity of
state authorities shall be prohibited.

Equal Protection of Religion

Article 16(2)  No one may be subject to discrimination on the basis of sex, race, language, disability, ethnicity, belief, age, political and other convictions, education, background, proprietary and other status as well as other circumstances

Religious Freedom

Article 32
1. Everyone shall be guaranteed freedom of conscience and belief.
2. Everyone shall have the right to confess individually or jointly with other persons any religion
or not to confess religion.
3. Everyone shall have the right to freely choose and have religions and other convictions.
4. No one may be forced to express his/her religious and other convictions or deny them

U.S. Film Causes Worldwide Protests

Much has already been written about the protests in at least twenty countries caused by online dissemination of a film made in the United States that has offended many Muslims.  The New York Times has a good commentary here, while Eugene Volokh of The Volokh Conspiracy has a well-written post about why suppressing such "blasphemous" speech would have negative results here.