The Concept of ‘Religious Freedom’ and Experiences of Religious Discrimination in Public Submissions about Anti-Discrimination Legislation in Australia

Monday, 16 July 2018
Distributed Paper
Douglas EZZY, University of Tasmania, Australia
Default conceptions of religion in terms of belief and organsiational membership (Spickard 2017) are often drawn upon in arguments to defend the privilige of dominant western Christian traditions. In contrast, the lived experience of religion, including practices, relationships, and experiences of discrimination and villification are typically elided and ignored. This argument is developed through an analysis of public submissions to an inquiry into Australia’s Federal Anti-discrimination legislation. While the legislation primarily focuses on racial discrimination there is a substantial debate about religious freedom and discrimination in the submissions.