U.N.H.R.C votes to outlaw “religious defamation”

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:


8 Responses to “U.N.H.R.C votes to outlaw “religious defamation””

  1. Evil European says:

    I would not rule out the Christian fundies also supporting this resolution. They appear to be getting alot louder in Europe, and have been a major force in US poltiics for decades

  2. Paul says:

    “dissemination of racist and xenophobic ideas and material aimed at any religion”

    I know I’m probably preaching to the converted here (and I know that that’s an unfortunate turn of phrase) but it is worth mentioning – again – that you cannot be racist about a religion.

    A religion is a set of opinions and entitled to no more and no less protection than any other set of opinions.

    And maybe it’s just me but that video – especially the response – was depressing beyond belief.

  3. D-Notice says:

    I wonder if they’ve got this idea from the UK’s Racial & Religious Act 2006?

  4. Marc says:

    If this gets passed into law, we’re fucked.

  5. Bartholomew says:

    This is just same as usual stuff from the UNHRC. They pulled a similar stunt back in 2005.

  6. G. Tingey says:

    All religions are blackmail, and kill and torture.

    What else did you expect?

    Peace & love?

    Grow up.

  7. Stuart says:

    Interesting to see how a related topic was ignored though. Babu Gogineu of the International Humanist and Ethical Union (an NGO with rather less clout than the Vatican!) waited a day and a half to put his resolution on caste and government-led abuse of ‘untouchables’, only to be told it wasn’t a big issue and there was no time.
    Also, only two people could be found to mention child marriage in a supposedly major debate on violence against children, and in total, according to the IHEU, in the three week session a grand total of 7 minutes was alloted for comments about human rights abuse excused by nature of religious beliefs.