Author ORCID Identifier

Rabiat Akande: 0000-0001-7536-4018

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More than half a century after the United Nations General Assembly’s adoption of the International Convention on the Prohibition of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD), efforts are underway to formulate a protocol to the landmark convention. Much of the momentum for that endeavor comes from sustained local and global advocacy against racism. An integral part of contemporary anti-racism efforts is a push for legal recognition of the intersectional dimensions of racial domination and subjugation to address the unique precarity of persons inhabiting marginalized axes of identities and experiences. United Nations (UN) debates over repowering the ICERD have therefore featured proposals to intersectionalize the international legal response to racism and racial discrimination. The proposals have sought to address a number of intersectional experiences, but the axis of race and religion has been particularly contentious. Emanating from the global south and sponsored by state parties to the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC), the African bloc, and several Asian states, that proposal has called for ICERD’s recognition of religious discrimination as it intersects with racial discrimination in the experiences of persons who are simultaneously racial and religious minorities. A dimension of that proposal, however, goes beyond calling attention to the “race-religion” intersectional axis; it seeks international legal recognition of contemporary discrimination against religious minorities as a form of racism. Proponents cite the common practice of attributing homogenizing racial markers to internally diverse religious minority groups as a notable manifestation of this “racing” of “religion,” and argue that such homogenization paves the way for “race-religion” discrimination.


"American Journal of International Law: Forthcoming"