Fasten your seatbelts: UN passes measure limiting free speech

* Looks like the chickens are coming home to rrrroooossst!

Will you submit?

This has been a long time coming. The UN anti-blasphemy measure, although non-binding at this point, is part of a larger and long-term effort to restrict speech that Islamic authorities dislike, including honest examination of the motives and goals of jihad terrorists. The only victors can be the jihadists themselves: Western authorities, already mired in politically correct myopia, will grow even more afraid to speak openly about what they’re trying to do and what we can do to stop it. The losers can only be those who value freedom of speech and understand why it is so important in a genuinely pluralistic society. The UN measure moves the West one step closer to submitting to the hegemony of Islamic norms.

“UN anti-blasphemy measures have sinister goals, observers say,” by Steven Edwards forCanwest News Service, November 24 (thanks to Kathy Shaidle) via JW

UNITED NATIONS – Islamic countries Monday won United Nations backing for an anti-blasphemy measure Canada and other Western critics say risks being used to limit freedom of speech.

Update: UN: Explanation of vote on behalf of EU on combating defamation of religions

What? Canada still has free speech?

Combating Defamation of Religions passed 85-50 with 42 abstentions in a key UN General Assembly committee, and will enter into the international record after an expected rubber stamp by the plenary later in the year.But while the draft’s sponsors say it and earlier similar measures are aimed at preventing violence against worshippers regardless of religion, religious tolerance advocates warn the resolutions are being accumulated for a more sinister goal.

“It provides international cover for domestic anti-blasphemy laws, and there are a number of people who are in prison today because they have been accused of committing blasphemy,” said Bennett Graham, international program director with the Becket Fund, a think tank aimed at promoting religious liberty.

“Those arrests are made legitimate by the UN body’s (effective) stamp of approval.”

Passage of the resolution is part of a 10-year action plan the 57-state Organization of Islamic Conference launched in 2005 to ensure “renaissance” of the “Muslim Ummah” or community.

While the current resolution is non-binding, Pakistan’s Ambassador Masood Khan reminded the UN’s Human Rights Council this year that the OIC ultimately seeks a “new instrument or convention” on the issue. Such a measure would impose its terms on signatory states.

“Each time the resolution comes up, we get a measure of where the world is on this issue, and we see that the campaign has been ramped up,” said Hillel Neuer, executive director of the Geneva-based monitoring group UN Watch.

While this year’s draft is less Islam-centric that resolutions of earlier years, analysts note it is more emphatic in linking religion defamation and incitement to violence.

That “risks limiting a broad range of peaceful speech and expression,” Neuer argues.

The 2008 draft “underscores the need to combat defamation of religions, and incitement to religious hatred in general, by strategizing and harmonizing actions at the local, national regional and international levels.”

It also laments “Islam is frequently and wrongly associated with human rights violations and terrorism.”


But of course they are referring to non-Muslims who report on how Muslims associate Islam with human rights violations and terrorism. They are not referring to the Muslims who actually make these associations.

But Western democracies argue that a religion can’t enjoy protection from criticism because that would require a judicial ruling that its teachings are the “truth.””Defamation carries a particular legal meaning and application in domestic systems that makes the term wholly unsuitable in the context of religions,” says the U.S. government in a response on the issue to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.

“A defamatory statement . . . is more than just an offensive one. It is also a statement that is false.”


And that’s just it. Here, here and here are three examples of Islamic groups regarding truestatements about Islam as defamatory. And that reveals the real agenda of anti-blasphemy measures.

The paper also points out the legal difficulty of even defining the term “defamation” since “one individual’s sincere belief that his or her creed alone is the truth conflicts with another’s sincerely held view of the truth.”


Yemen, on behalf of OIC, successfully introduced the measure to the UN General Assembly for the first time in 2005 after Pakistan first tabled it 1999 for annual consideration in the Human Rights Commission – the Council’s forerunner. […]Muslim countries say they are only trying to cut down of what they see as extensive bias against Islam in the West. In the lead-up to Monday’s vote, many referred, for example, to the 2005 publication of Danish cartoons that satirized Muhammad, and which touched off riots through the Muslim world….


Cut down on Islamic terrorism, and you will see an end to this alleged “extensive bias against Islam in the West.”

Hugh comments:

What kinds of things would not be permitted, what kinds of things would be forbidden, were this (thankfully) “non-binding resolution” to be taken seriously by the advanced (politically and morally) states and peoples of the world?

Would one be allowed to note that Muhammad is for Muslims the Model of Conduct (uswa hasana) and the Perfect Man (al-insan al-kamil), worthy of emulation through time and space, and that this Model of Conduct and Perfect Man consummated his “marriage” to little Aisha when she was nine years old?

Would one be allowed to note that the Perfect Man took delight in the decapitation of the bound prisoners of the Banu Qurayza tribe?

Would one be allowed to note that the Perfect Man was pleased to hear of the murder of Asma bint Marwan, who had written some satirical verses about him, the Perfect Man and Model of Conduct?

Would one be allowed to note that the Perfect Man and Model of Conduct lead a murderous raid on the innocent Jewish farmers of the Khaybar Oasis, not because they resisted him (or even knew a thing about him) but because they had property and women, and both could be seized as loot, divided up according the rules supplied by the Perfect Man and Model of Conduct?

Would a historian of science, such as Jaki, or Huff, be allowed to study and puzzle over why, after a brief flourishing in the earliest days of Islam, that is when most of the conquered populations consisted largely of Jews and Christians and Zoroastrians, or of those who, while they have become Muslims, were still raised in or affected by, a non-Muslim intellectual milieu, that science — what might most accurately be called not “Islamic science” or, as George Saliba likes to call it, “Arabic science,” but rather the “science of those living in the countries first conquered by Muslims, who used the Arabic language, and many of whom had, misleading for many of us, Arabic names though they were neither Arabs nor, in many cases, Muslims.”

Would a historian of the history of philosophy be allowed to study and puzzle over ditto, note all of those who translated Aristotle and others, and whose work is often carelessly and exaggeratedly invoked as showing that “the Arabs kept alive the inheritance of Greece” and so — here you can enter any tariq-ramadanian, or david-levering-lewisite nonsense you wish, about how the “Arabs” or “the Muslims” are somehow “responsible” for the Renaissance, and therefore, so we are further told, of the West itself.

Would human-rights organizations be permitted to note that the mistreatment of women, while it can be found, to some degree, everywhere, has a particular ferocity, in the modern world, that does not dissipate, much less disappear, in the Muslim lands, and that this, so these organizations might contend if they were honest, has something to do with the clear position, taken in the Qur’an and re-emphasized in the Hadith, about the natural inferiority of women?

Would groups still attempting to stamp out slavery in West Africa and in East Africa, that is the enslavement of black Africans by Muslim Arabs — see the Sudan, see Mauritania and Mali –and even in darkest Saudi Arabia (who knows what goes on behind those palace walls, given that as late as 1962 there were hundreds of thousands of black slaves all over Saudi Arabia, and that the “formal” abolition of slavery did not reflect any change of belief in its rightnes but only Western pressure, at that time possible because the trillions in oil revenues had not yet started)– be allowed to discuss the fact that in Islam slavery has always been legitimized, is legitimate for all time, because Muhammad and his fellows lived at a time when slavery was a given, and Muhammad himself legitimizes the practice, so that there never was, and never will be, a Muslim Wilberforce, and one can find any day of the week a justification for slavery, based on Qur’an and Sunnah, from any number of perfectly learned Saudi (and other) clerics — imams and muftis — and no one can deny that Islam, that is the immutable texts of Islam (which do not admit of moral judgments to be made by Muslims, who must simply take, as “slaves of Allah,” that which has been handed down as the immutable, not to be questioned, law as to What Is Commanded and What Is Prohibited).

Will it be permissible for economists to note that the inshallah-fatalism of Islam, by which the role of individual men, and their efforts, are constantly belittled, and in societies suffused with Islam, the role of Allah, whimsical Allah, who does whatever he feels like, is ever-present, and this surely gives rise to what Europeans used to describe as “Oriental fatalism” which, as we can see from the last few decades, when many Muslims have been drowning in oil wealth, in trillions of unearned dollars, and yet have been completely unable to create modern economies, and remain dependent on armies of foreign wage-slaves, while the poorer Muslims remain cleverly dependent on aid of all kinds not from their rich fellow Muslims (somehow that duty of sharing-and-caring within the Umma has been elided or forgotten), but from Infidels, endlessly and idiotically generous.

Would the fact that Islam bans most kinds of artistic expression — including sculpture, representations in painting of living creatures, and most music (there is nothing in Islam comparable to the religious music of the West) — be a subject which, under the regime of world-wide censorship that this “Combating of Religous Defamation” bill would impose, that would simply be off-limits?

And what about the thousand other things — you can supply them yourselves — including those passages in the Qur’an and stories in the Hadith that inculcate hatred of non-Muslims? Would the kind of thing that Qur’an and Hadith contain, for example, about Jews and the calls to kill them, not be allowed to be noted, to be discussed, simply beyond all criticism from here on out, to the end of time?

One has to keep rubbing one’s eyes in disbelief at this measure. Fortunately the Western world — Russia has chosen not to be part of the advanced Western world to which it once belonged — has stood firm, and the “Combating of Religious Defamation” bill will simply be held up, now, for inspection, analysis, and — among the intelligent — will only evoke ridicule and disgust and, one hopes, a little fear. For fear is the right response, along with that riducle, and that disgust.

This is what organized Islam, this is what Muslims, work and will always work, to achieve: a world where Islam cannot be criticized, cannot be discussed, can only be praised.

Laser-lights may now be shone on this attempt to lower the curtain, and this attempt to have us all descend into the same darkness. Shone, and continuing to shine, with the full blaze of noon. 

Posted by: Hugh [TypeKey Profile Page] at November 25, 2008 12:46 PM


Another Victory for the ‘Stealth Jihad’  

By Kathy Shaidle

In what one observer decried as “a very Orwellian moment,” the fight against radical Islam suffered a setback in the halls of the United Nations last Monday. Islamic countries won UN backing for an anti-blasphemy measure called “Combating Defamation of Religions,” which passed 85-50 with 42 abstentions in a meeting of the UN General Assembly’s Third Committee on November 23.

The measure calls on all countries to ensure their legal systems provide protection against “acts of hatred, discrimination, intimidation and coercion resulting from defamation of religions.”

Sponsors of the proposal say it is merely “aimed at preventing violence against worshippers regardless of religion,” and indeed, “Combating Defamation” is at first glance slightly less Islamic-centric than previous UN resolutions with similar aims.

However, the resolution is part of a ten year plan launched by the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) in 2005, to “ensure the renaissance of the Muslim Ummah” or worldwide Islamic community. Sure enough, the document claims that “Islam is frequently and wrongly associated with human rights violations and terrorism.”

Catherine Loubier, spokeswoman for the Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister, quickly and succinctly expressed reservations about the resolution, stating, “Canada rejects the basic premise that religions have rights; human rights belong to human beings.” (Ironically, however, Canada is one of the few Western nations that still has a law forbidding blasphemy on its own books, although it hasn’t been invoked in 70 years.)

Other nations expressed their disapproval during voting, when more countries than expected either abstained or opposed the resolution outright. According to one report, this is a hopeful sign that a “push back against the Islamic bloc-driven campaign is gaining traction.”

The executive director of the independent group UN Watch, Hillel Neurer, declared that “Combating Defamations of Religions” 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.”

“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,” due to resolutions like this one, said Neurer, which are designed solely to intimidate anyone who criticizes radical Islam.

Robert Spencer agrees. The author of the new book Stealth Jihad: How Radical Islam is Subverting America without Guns or Bombs told FrontPage that the latest UN anti-blasphemy measure is “a thinly veiled attempt to restrict speech that Islamic authorities find offensive or inconvenient, including honest discussion of the motives and goals of jihad terrorists and of how they make use of Islamic texts and teachings to gain recruits and justify their actions.”

Spencer adds that the right to free speech is threatened by such measures, even though that right is “the only possible cornerstone of peaceful coexistence in a genuinely pluralistic society.”

“Combating Defamations of Religions” is yet another attempt to increase Muslim hegemony around the world, says the Jihad Watch director.

An expert in the field of Islamic terrorism and anti-Semitism, Phyllis Chesler told FrontPage that this latest salvo in the OIC’s attempts to silence any criticism of Islam “should be the final straw.”

“Democracies should now pull out of the United Tyrannical Nations so that it will in no way be bound by such resolutions. Artists, intellectuals, dissidents, feminists have all been silenced or killed by Islamic terrorists in Muslim countries and increasingly in Europe,” mentioning murdered filmmaker Theo Van Gogh, his colleague Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Rachel Ehrenfeld, who was sued by a Saudi billionaire for writing a book exposing the financial backers of Islamic terrorism.

Chesler says radical Islam is getting bolder in its demands and advances, while “Western societies are either increasingly duped or terrified” by signs of creeping sharia and Muslim supremacism.

“What Islamists call ‘blasphemy’ we in the West call ‘free speech,’” Chesler states bluntly. “The UN is a collection of tyrannies, not democracies, whose demented defamation of only-Israel should be reason enough for America and Europe to stop paying taxes and depart from the UN.”

Anne Bayevsky, a professor at Toronto’s York University who heads up the watchdog group EYE on the UN, explained to FrontPage that the Organization of Islamic Conference “wields enormous power throughout the UN and is using the organization to undermine radically universal human rights standards.”

Bayevsky points out the “great irony” of a Muslim group touting “freedom of religion” while in many Islamic countries, apostasy is punishable by death.

She describes UN resolutions like as “Combating Defamation of Religions” as part of  “the corpus of soft international law, molding public opinion and changing minds” and an “assault” that “ought to be of tremendous concern to freedom-loving people everywhere.”

“There is only one solution,” Bayevsky declares, echoing Phyllis Chesler. “The taxpaying citizens of free states ought not to be paying for their own demise.  A United Democratic Nations is long overdue.”

Kathy Shaidle blogs at Her new book exposing abuses by Canada’s Human Rights Commissions, The Tyranny of Nice, includes an introduction by Mark Steyn.

8 thoughts on “Fasten your seatbelts: UN passes measure limiting free speech”

  1. Its time for all Democratic countries to pull out of the Islamic and fellow travellers dominated Useless Nations. This pathetic, toothless, ridiculous organisation has long passed its sell by date and now is just an embarrassment.

  2. Yes, please don’t visit a Muslim country and I wished that they could not come to the West.
    Do they have to shut up? Or is it again a one way street.
    Submit, Never!!!

  3. The road to hell is paved with good intentions. The do-gooders are certainly sending Islam on a trip down Dante’s lane

  4. .
    We must never fear, resist or mock the precious and ever peaceful Islam. Who are we to say that raping 6 year-olds is immoral? Who are we to say that stoning gays and rape victims to death is evil? That is just their culture and it MUST be respected. Morality is all relative, we must remember that.
    absurd thought –
    God of the Universe wants
    all planets Islamic

    Earth is one of many
    in process of conversion

    absurd thought –
    God of the Universe wants
    many Taliban planets

    stonings and beheadings
    billions served daily

    absurd thought –
    God of the Universe says
    allow Islamic conquest

    enjoy the dhimmi life
    of second class citizens

    absurd thought –
    God of the Universe says
    convert the infidels

    or make them pay a tax
    if they don’t want to die

    All real freedom starts with freedom of speech. If there is no freedom of speech there can be no real freedom.
    Philosophy of Liberty Cartoon
    Help Halt Terrorism Today!


  5. Submit. Never.

    The UN-What a bunch of fools it only took 60 years to turn a noble idea into a farce.

    Thank goodness for organizations like UN Watch.

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