World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 

UN Bans "Defamation of Religion"

UN Bans "Defamation of Religion" in Islamic Bid to Curb Free Speech

But advocacy campaign reduces support from 108 to 85 votes

Geneva, November 24, 2008 - By a vote of 85 to 50, with 42 abstaining, the UN General Assembly today adopted a draft resolution calling on all countries to alter their legal and constitutional systems to prevent "defamation of religions," asserting that "Islam is frequently and wrongly associated with human rights violations and terrorism." Click here for GA draft resolution

The decision, sponsored by Islamic states with the support of Venezuela and Belarus, drew immediate protests from human rights activists and legal experts.

"This is just the latest shot in an intensifying campaign of UN resolutions that dangerously seek to import Islamic anti-blasphemy prohibitions into the discourse of international human rights law," said Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch, an indpendent human rights monitoring group in Geneva.

"Human rights were designed to protect individuals -- to guarantee every person free speech and free exercise of religion -- but most certainly not to shield any set of beliefs, religion included."

"These resolutions legitimize the criminalization of free speech in countries like Sudan, Egypt, Pakistan, and Saudi Arabia," said Neuer. "Muslim moderates, bloggers, women seeking basic freedoms -- all of these will be the first to suffer from the worsening climate of state repression in the name of state-supported Islamic orthodoxy."



"No less is today's enactment aimed at the Western world, to intimidate anyone from criticizing radical Islam and those who commit violence in its name," said Neuer.

Proponents of free speech celebrated one small victory, however.

Successful campaigning by an international human rights coalition, including the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty and UN Watch, led to a decline in support for the resolution compared to last year's vote, which had garnered 108 in support, 51 against, and 25 abstentions.

The proposed draft declaration for the UN's April 2009 "Durban II" conference on racism includes numerous provisions on the "defamation" of Islam. Denmark has threatened to walk out if they are included.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Dog's Brexit: UK MPs Vote Against Amended Deal

MPs in UK's House of Commons this morning have rejected British Prime Minister Theresa May's amended Brexit deal... If a no-deal option is rejected, MPs could get a vote on Friday on whether to request a delay to Brexit from the EU. More>>

ALSO:

Climate Change: The World Talks While Kiribati Suffers

As public discussion on climate change and ways to arrest its impact continue around the world, one of many low-lying atolls in the Pacific wrestles with the issue right now. More>>

Gordon Campbell On Kashmir Escalation And... Why This Guy Shouldn’t Get Nukes

All but unnoticed, two of the world’s nuclear powers have been preparing to go to war this week. Military action has been ramping up between India and Pakistan over (as usual) the disputed territory of Kashmir... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Anti-Corbyn Split In British Labour

The resignation of seven UK Labour MPs in protest against the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn is another example of the centre-left’s readiness to sabotage its own cause ... More>>

 
 
 
 
 
 
  • Pacific.Scoop
  • Cafe Pacific
  • PMC