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-UN Supports Measure to Stop Criticism of Islam

by Dr. D ~ March 28th, 2009

image News Report:  GENEVA  — The U.N.’s top human-rights body approved a proposal by Muslims nations Thursday urging passage of laws around the world to protect religion from criticism.

The resolution initiated and supported by Muslim nations, calls for member states to provide legal protection against the “defamation of religions and incitement to religious hatred in general.”  The only religion specifically mentioned as needing protection in the document was Islam.

Representatives from Muslim countries  argued that religions, in particular Islam, must be shielded from criticism in the media and other areas of public life. They cited cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad as an example of unacceptable free speech along with the constant Western media association of the Islam religion with terrorism. According to the resolution:

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

Different kinds of media are specifically targeted in the document including:

“the use of printed, audio-visual and electronic media, including the Internet.”

Some members of the media responded–‘Reporters Without Borders’–issued the following statements:

“The Council had just dealt a severe blow to the freedom of expression it is supposed to defend,”

“By approving a resolution that seeks to suppress criticism of Islam, this UN body has once again shown that it is incapable of defending human rights effectively.”

“This resolution is outrageous. On the grounds of combating discrimination, it assails the news media for the ‘targeting of religious symbols’ and ‘sacred persons,’ especially those of Islam. In other words, the UN is asking the media to stop criticising Islam in the name of combating incitement to religious hatred. This is unacceptable to all those who feel strongly about the defence of free expression.”

“The UN is on a slippery slope that poses a danger for freedom of opinion. All the freedoms must be defended with equal strength. It is not acceptable for the UN to take such an extreme stand in defence of one freedom at the expense of another. It goes against all of the UN’s fundamental principles.”

The resolution was opposed by nearly all the Western nations, including Canada, all European Union countries, Switzerland, Ukraine and Chile. The USA is not currently part of UN Human Rights Council so had no vote.

Response: Most of the countries supporting the resolution do not recognize the ‘freedom of expression’ or ‘freedom of the Press’, particularly when it comes to Islam. Nearly all Muslim nations have laws in place that make it illegal to criticize or question Islam in any way under penalty of prison or even death.

Ironically, some of those supporting countries also don’t allow the ‘freedom of religion’ within their own borders. In many Muslim nations, members of other religions are not protected equally under the law and the persecution of Christians, Jews, and others is allowed or even seemingly encouraged.

These same Muslim countries are hoping to force Western nations to comply with Islamic rules on religious discourse about Muslim leaders like Muhammad and the depiction of Islamic symbols and pictures. Since Islamic law prohibits pictures or paintings of their ‘prophet’, they are hoping to eliminate any type of representation of Muhammad in the media–particularly negative cartoons.

Notice that the Internet is included in the measure. Any site which posts on comparative religions or apologetics would presumably be in violation. This ‘Christian’ blog in particular probably has at least 30-40 articles which are critical of Islam in some form or another by accident, by design, and sometimes most definitely on purpose.            *Top 

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