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Holy Fuck! U.N. resolution condemns blasphemy.

vastleft's picture

Is nothing sacred? For example, freedom of expression?

A United Nations forum on Thursday passed a resolution condemning "defamation of religion" as a human rights violation, despite wide concerns that it could be used to justify curbs on free speech in Muslim countries.

The U.N. Human Rights Council adopted the non-binding text, proposed by Pakistan on behalf of Islamic states, with a vote of 23 states in favour and 11 against, with 13 abstentions.

Western governments and a broad alliance of activist groups have voiced dismay about the religious defamation text, which adds to recent efforts to broaden the concept of human rights to protect communities of believers rather than individuals.

Pakistan, speaking for the 56-nation Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC), said a "delicate balance" had to be struck between freedom of expression and respect for religions.

And, why is that, Pakistan? Why does superstition trump freedom? Am I even allowed to ask?

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Damon's picture
Submitted by Damon on

Oh noes.

It may sound good for those living in countries where there are particular cultures are discriminated against because of their religion (i.e. think Bosnia and Kosovo) by a group of another religion, but it totally leaves out considering where atheist would fall in all of this. Ultimately, though, religion is a choice.

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

Link.

It's primarily aimed at keeping the West off Islam's case.

zuzu's picture
Submitted by zuzu on

Submitted by Pakistan on behalf of the OIC, not by the working group that presents to the Human Rights Council. Do you have a link to what was actually adopted?

zuzu's picture
Submitted by zuzu on

I'm having a little trouble finding the vote on the resolution (it would be helpful if the news reports gave the cite), but here are the working group minutes, here is the press release about the resolution when it was under consideration.

Here's a press release about the outcome of the session. You have to scroll down to get to the bit about religious discrimination:

On discrimination based on religion or belief and its impact on the enjoyment of economic, social and cultural rights, the Council emphasizes that discrimination based on religion or belief often has an adverse impact on the enjoyment of economic, social and cultural rights, particularly with regard to members of religious minorities and other persons in vulnerable situations; urges States: to ensure that everyone has the right, inter alia, to education, work, an adequate standard of living, the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health and to take part in cultural life, without any discrimination on the basis of religion or belief.

Looks like it was part of a larger resolution dealing with racial discrimination and racial/religious profiling.

Here's the membership list of the Human Rights Council. The US isn't a member.

In any event, it's non-binding, and it wouldn't be the first time that some idiotic thing got through a subsidiary group of the UN. Eh.

zuzu's picture
Submitted by zuzu on

This is a perennial issue for the HRC, so I don't know what's so different or surprising this year. Looks like they adopt a resolution condemning defamation of religion every year, and have done so since 1999.

Damon's picture
Submitted by Damon on

The difference, this year, seems to be that they voted on making religious defamation (which seems to include blasphemy, and particularly in concerns to Islam) a human rights violation. That is what's new. It means that of the other charges of the violation of human rights the UN can make against a country, it can now charge an individual, group, or country with blasphemy. That's not ok with me. The criticism of religion should not be seen as a human rights violation. This essentially makes the criticism of say the prophet or Jesus a human rights violation in the eyes of the UN. Again, religion is a choice.

When these same nations propose a resolution defending aetheism against criticism they can call me. I will not be lectured about human rights, and particularly those that seek to enshrine defamation of religion (blasphemy) as a violation, by a nations, for instance, that continue to deny the women of their society some very basic human rights.

zuzu's picture
Submitted by zuzu on

Like I said, they've pretty much done the same thing all these years. I haven't seen the resolution as adopted, just the draft resolution. Do you have a link to the final version rather than a report of a final version?

In any event, it's not binding. I don't even think that the US is a signatory to the relevant agreements anyhow.