This study examines the causes of government-based religious discrimination (GRD) against religious minorities in Western democracies. We focus on two causes. First securitization theory posits minorities which are perceived as security threats are more likely to attract GRD. Second, many posit that GRD has its origin in societal discrimination (SRD) and prejudices. We test these theories using new data from the Religion and State-Minorities round 3 dataset (RASM3) which includes 116 religious minorities in 26 Western democracies. Our findings support securitization theory’s predictions, but this result pertains mostly to Muslims because they constitute most minorities in Western Democracies which engage in violence against the majority religion, thereby posing a security threat. Similarly, the theorized relationship between SRD and GRD holds only for Muslim minorities which we posit is due to their securitization.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Political Science and International Relations