An official website of the United States government

Interactive Dialogue with the High Commissioner on Drivers of Religious Hatred
Statement As Delivered by Ambassador Michèle Taylor
October 5, 2023

Interactive Dialogue with the High Commissioner on Drivers of Religious Hatred

Human Rights Council – 54th Session

Statement by the Delegation of the United States of America

As Delivered by Ambassador Michèle Taylor


Thank you, Mr. President.

And thank you High Commissioner Turk for your update.

Anti-Muslim hatred, antisemitism, and acts of religious desecration are intricately linked to the broader landscape of hate. All forms of discrimination, violence, and other destructive behaviors are unacceptable in any society. We strongly condemn and remain deeply concerned by continued acts of Quran burning, attacks on religious minorities, destruction of cemeteries and places of worship, and other acts of religious desecration.

While we condemn acts of hatred, we strongly oppose blasphemy laws and criminalization of hate speech. Combating hate requires that we promote fair and inclusive governance and address issues like disinformation, abusive policies that segregate and divide, and education that encourages hatred and intolerance.

True enlightenment comes when nations confront their shadows, listen to all sides, and work towards the light of justice and equality. Protecting human rights instead of placing limitations on freedoms of expression, association, and peaceful assembly is an essential part of combating hate and ensuring freedom of religion or belief for all.

We again reaffirm our commitment to Resolution 16/18 and its action plan to combat intolerance based on religion or belief. We similarly advocate for freedom of expression; interfaith and intercultural dialogue; and the active role political, religious, educational, and other leaders can play in condemning hate and promoting mutual respect and inclusive societies.

High Commissioner, what tools can governments and civil society use to address hatred while protecting both freedom of expression and freedom of religion or belief, including non-belief?

I thank you.