The U.N. just rubber-stamped a non-binding resolution. The resolution provides “adequate protection against acts of hatred, discrimination, intimidation and coercion resulting from defamation of religions and incitement to religious hatred in general.”
Sounds good on the face of it, no? Sure, no problem. I would sign that myself … if that was all it said.
This resolution was put forth by the OIC, the Organization of Islamic Conference. After 9/11, they felt it in their best interest to protect themselves from the shrill outcry against them. Understandable again! But there’s more …
“The religious freedom group, Christian Solidarity Worldwide [CSW], said in a statement that the text of the resolution, which calls on national governments to legislate for the protection of religion from defamation, “ultimately empower majorities against dissenters and the state against individuals.”
“Ahmadi Muslims in Pakistan, Christians in Orissa, India, and Baha’is in Iran have one more reason to fear for their lives as the UN lends legitimacy to the criminalization of their peaceful speech,” she said. “States have no place determining what is and is not blasphemy,” Wu added.
Religious zealots tend to conflate peaceful speech as persecution. This very blog has been accused of “hate speech” and “persecution.” People who cling to irrational concepts will typically oppose rational discourse that contradicts them. They will call a mocking cartoon “Blasphemy” or “hate speech.” They will escalate blasphemy to something worthy of the death penalty. History is rife with examples, and holds true to non-religious but irrational concepts as well (i.e., National Socialism). The Dutch cartoons that sparked bloody uprisings a few years ago are an example of the Muslim world going bat-shit-crazy over what most of us would consider peaceful communication. Yes, the cartoons were mocking in nature, but no one should die because of it.
It is a classic move for religious zealots to seize an opportunity (like the post 9/11 prejudice) to legislate their own brand of hatred. Here’s quote from the resolution: ““Islam is frequently and wrongly associated with human rights violations and terrorism.” Sadly, this association is made because … it exists. If Islam doesn’t want to be associated with terrorism they should stop blowing people up.
The good news: support for this bill is eroding. Last year it passed 108-51 with 25 abstaining, and this year it had 86-53 with 42 countries abstaining. The tide is turning.