The United Nations Human Rights Council has passed a resolution urging a global prohibition on the defamation of religion. For “religion” read “Islam”, because the main thrust of the resolution focussed on that particular belief system. This is unsurprising, as the resolution was pushed through by the Organisation of the Islamic Conference countries, and opposed only by European countries plus Canada, Japan, and South Korea.
According to the International Herald Tribune:
The resolution […] “expresses deep concern at attempts to identify Islam with terrorism, violence and human rights violations.”
It makes no mention of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Judaism or any other religion besides Islam, but urges countries “to take resolute action to prohibit the dissemination of racist and xenophobic ideas and material aimed at any religion or its followers that constitute incitement and religious hatred, hostility, or violence.”
It was passed by a 24-14 vote.
Needless to say, the Islamic countries and their allies (China, Cuba, Russia) don’t exactly have the greatest human rights records, especially when it comes to freedom of expression, which, according to the resolution:
may … be subject to limitations as provided by law and necessary for respect of the rights or reputations of others … or morals and respect for religions and beliefs.
It was the Danish Motoons which prompted this action. Fortunately, the UNHRC has no power other than to draw attention to human rights issues. This decision will do nothing for its already terrible reputation.
For a scathing analysis of the UNHRC, and an even more revealing response, watch this video: