"As societies build walls of separation between communities,
ICAAD works to remove each brick to illuminate our common humanity"

French Ban on Religious Identity Reports

ICCPR Shadow Report on the French Ban on Religious Manifestation

Summary The International Center for Advocates Against Discrimination (ICAAD) submits this report to highlight concerns regarding Frances Law No. 2004-228 of 15 March 2004 (the Act), which prohibits students in public primary schools, secondary schools, and lycée from wearing symbols and clothing manifesting a religious affiliation. French […]

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UPR: France, 15th Session, 2013

United Nations Human Rights Council Universal Periodic Review: France The International Center for Advocates Against Discrimination (ICAAD) submits its analysis on Law No. 2004-22 of Mar. 15, 2004 (also known as the French Headscarf Ban) as a contribution to the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of UNHRC member-state […]

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Report on the French Ban to the UK All Party Parliamentary Group

Submission: All Party Parliamentary Group (AGGP) Article 18: An Orphaned Right Structural discrimination that is embedded in “seemingly” neutral legislative policy and has the impact of marginalizing vulnerable communities is one of the most pernicious forms of discrimination. Today, the assault on religious manifestation has extended to […]

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UN Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights cited ICAAD on France

Quotes about ICAAD recommendations from the Office of High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) NGO Summary: “HRW and ICAAD recalled that France rejected recommendations during the previous UPR to repeal the 2004 ban on students wearing ostentatious religious symbols in public schools. They reiterated their objections to […]

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#RaiseYourShield

This Civil Rights and Martin Luther King Jr. Day, we’d like to challenge you to reflect on how fear may have influenced your opinions, especially of others, and to take a step towards the courage to overcome those fears. Why the focus on fear you might ask?

Famed marketer and author Simon Sinek in his book “Start with Why” outlines six typical manipulations used in sales and marketing, one of which is the use of fear. On fear, Sinek says, “When fear is being employed, facts are incidental. Deeply seated in our biological drive to survive, that emotion cannot be quickly wiped away with facts and figures.”

In the current political atmosphere, in the U.S. and around the globe, fear is often used by politicians and campaigners to polarize debates and to demonize marginalized communities, using them as scapegoats for the real economic, social, and political challenges that societies face.

Martin Luther King, Jr. understood how important fear is, so much so that he gave a sermon on it named “Antidotes for Fear.” It’s worth reading in its entirety, especially because it recognizes the importance, necessity, and creativity of fear (kinginstitute.stanford.edu/king-papers/documents/draft-chapter-xiv-mastery-fear-or-antidotes-fear). However, particularly pertinent section was highlighted by King’s wife Coretta Scott King in her book “My life with Martin Luther King, Jr”:

“First Martin spoke of the many kinds of fear that troubled men and women in this period of change and "calamitous uncertainty"— fear of illness or economic disaster, fear of personal inadequacy in our highly competitive society. More terrible was the fear of death, even racial annihilation, in this atomic age, when the whole world teetered on "a balance of terror . . . fearful lest some diplomatic faux pas ignite a frightful holocaust."

"Some fears are normal and necessary," he said, like the fear of snakes in a jungle, but when they become neurotic and unchecked, they paralyze the will and reduce a man to apathy or despair. He quoted Emerson, who wrote, "He has not learned the lesson of life who does not every day surmount a fear."

How, then, to overcome fear? First, Martin said, "We must un-flinchingly face our fears . . . this confrontation will, to some measure, grant us power. . . . "Second, we can master fear through one of the supreme virtues known to man— courage . . . courage is the power of the mind to overcome fear.”"

MLK Coretta Scott King Simon Sinek
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