U.N. assembly again votes against defaming religion ISLAM
Update:Â Don’t link Islam to terror, Islamic chief thug urges
* We need to Â name and shame the swine who pervert this “human rights” circus, which is designed to destroy us:
By Patrick Worsnip
UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – The U.N. General Assembly condemned defamation of religion for the fourth year running on Thursday, ignoring critics who said the resolution threatens freedom of speech.
The non-binding resolution, championed by Islamic states and opposed by Western countries, passed by 86 votes to 53 with 42 abstentions. Opponents noted that support had fallen since last year, when the vote was 108-51 with 25 abstentions.
The seven-page text urges states to provide “adequate protection against acts of hatred, discrimination, intimidation and coercion resulting from defamation of religions and incitement to religious hatred in general.”
Critics said its provisions strike at basic rights of free expression and opinion. One clause states that exercise of those rights “carries with it special duties and responsibilities and may therefore be subject to limitations.”
The resolution only specifically mentions Islam. It deplores ethnic and religious profiling of Muslims since the September 11 attacks in the United States and says Islam is often and wrongly associated with terrorism.
Islamic states say such resolutions do not aim to limit free speech but to stop publications like the Danish cartoons showing the Prophet Mohammed that sparked bloody protests by Muslims around the world in 2005.
Russia and China joined Arab and some African states in voting for the resolution.
* WTF does Russia and China stand to gain from this? Our demise?
This year’s resolution drew attention because of reports that Islamic states aim to include a similar call against religious defamation in a key U.N. document on racism.
The declaration, to be issued at a U.N. conference in Geneva in April, will update an earlier anti-racism document issued by a conference in Durban, South Africa, which some countries and rights bodies said was marred by anti-Semitism.
A discussion paper from Algeria’s U.N. envoy in Geneva suggests “seriously or gratuitously offensive attacks on matters regarded as sacred by the followers of any religion” ought to be banned.
Angela Wu of the Washington-based Becket Fund for Religious Liberty said Thursday’s U.N. resolution had “given cover to oppressive governments to persecute dissenters … States have no place determining what is and is not blasphemy.”
(Editing by Alan Elsner)
Don’t link Islam to terror, Islamic chief urges
The world’s top diplomat for Islam called on Friday for an end to what he termed efforts to equate the religion withÂ terrorismÂ and said the ‘demonisation’ of Muslims around the world must be fought.Skip related content
* It just so happens that Islam is founded on terrorism, it thrives on terrorism and people who take that belief-system seriously turn into demons./ed
But speaking soon after the U.N. General Assembly passed an Islamic-sponsored resolution condemning “defamation of religion” for the fourth year in a row, Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu said his group was committed to respecting freedom of expression.
There was a “rising tide of incitement to religious hatred and discrimination and intolerance targeting Muslims,” he told a meeting called by the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC) at the United Nations in Geneva. The 57-nation OIC, based in Saudi Arabia, represents 1.5 billion Muslims.
“Attempts to equate Islam with terrorism should be stopped. Stereotyping and demonisation of Muslims should be combated,” said Ihsanoglu, a Turkish history professor who became OIC Secretary-General in 2005.
In a statement on Ihsanoglu’s remarks, Geneva spokesman for the International Humanist and Ethical Union Roy Brown argued that Islam was often linked to terror because perpetrators of many terrorist acts identify themselves as Muslims.
Critics of the OIC — including countries who voted against the “defamation” motion at U.N. headquarters in New York on Thursday — say many Islamic states use defamation or “blasphemy” laws against minorities and free-thinkers.
Referring to the U.N. vote, in which for the first time since the OIC introduced a “defamation” motion in 2005 more countries voted against or abstained than voted for, Ihsanoglu said the motives of the Islamic grouping were misunderstood.
FREEDOM OF SPEECH
The aim of the OIC, he declared, “is not to protect religion against critics based on objective and rational interrogation.” The body, he added, “is firmly committed to respect for freedom of expression, which is a fundamental human right.” (No its not/ed)
In a statement issued earlier this week, watchdogs on freedom of expression for the U.N.’s Human Rights Council and for key regional inter-state organisations inÂ Africa, Europe andÂ Latin AmericaÂ called for an end to “defamation” resolutions.
The four, three of them prominent developing countryÂ human rightsÂ lawyers, said that where “blasphemy” laws existed they had often been used “to prevent legitimate criticism of powerful religious leaders and to suppress the views of minorities, dissenting believers and non-believers.”
In an echo of their comments, U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay told Friday’s meeting that when criticism of religion became incitement to hatred “urgent but proportionate” action should be taken.
But, she added, “speech critical of religions does not necessarily constitute such incitement” and that it should always be assessed “stressing the importance of protecting the rights of both religious minorities and non-believers alike.”
(Editing by Stephanie Nebehay and Ralph Boulton)