The spectral Ground: Religious belief discrimination

Thornton, Margaret and Luker, Trish (2009) The spectral Ground: Religious belief discrimination. Macquarie Law Journal, 9 71-91.

Author Thornton, Margaret
Luker, Trish
Title The spectral Ground: Religious belief discrimination
Journal name Macquarie Law Journal   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1445-386X
Publication date 2009
Sub-type Article (original research)
Volume 9
Start page 71
End page 91
Total pages 21
Place of publication Ryde, N.S.W., Australia
Publisher Macquarie University
Language eng
Abstract This paper considers the ground of religious belief under anti-discrimination law and argues that it is a spectral ground. While discrimination is proscribed in the same way as other grounds, religious belief is never defined; it merely has to be ‘lawful’, which is also not defined. While the proscription emerged from an official commitment to state secularism, in addition to tolerance and diversity, its permeable character allows mainstream Christianity, neoconservative fundamentalism and other variables to seep into it. An analysis of discrimination complaints shows how this occurs metonymically through proscribed grounds, such as sex, sexuality, ethnicity and race. The phenomenon is most marked post-9/11 through what has come to be known as ‘Islamophobia’. The proscription of religious vilification and incitement to religious hatred, which takes discrimination on the ground of religious belief to a new plane, further reveals the tendency of the spectral ground to absorb prevailing political influences.
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
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Created: Tue, 17 Jan 2012, 16:15:29 EST by Carmen Buttery on behalf of T.C. Beirne School of Law