Support for UN religious defamation rule drops
The Organisation of the Islamic Conference’s ongoing campaign to bring an international religious defamation resolution into effect suffered a decline in support for the 3rd year running.
Last year 85 countries in the UN’s Third Committee on Human Rights voted for the resolution, which a reduction in support from 95, in 2007. This year that number dropped to 81. Similarly, the number of countries voting against the proposal rose to 55 this year, from last year’s 50.
Perhaps the fact that the wording of the resolution is indefensible has something to do with the waning of support.
Islam is frequently and wrongly associated with human rights violations and terrorism.
However, while support for these non-binding resolutions is dropping, a major maneuver to create a legally-binding blasphemy law has taken place in Geneva. On Oct 30th Pakistan moved to make a binding treaty amendment to the International Covenant on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD) which would include a ban on “defamation of religions”.
Belief groups have united with the International Humanist and Ethical Union to oppose the ban.
Matt Cherry, head of the IHEU delegation to the United Nations in New York:
Outlawing ‘defamation of religion’ will create a global law against blasphemy that takes rights from individuals and gives them to governments and religious leaders… The range of belief groups opposing this measure—including Humanist, Muslim, Christian and Hindu organizations—reveals that this proposal is opposed even by the believers it claims to protect