atheism, censorship, christians, culture, justice, politics, religion, Things We Should Know, willful blindness to absurd extremes

U.N.: Unbelievably Naive

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The United Nations Human Rights Council, in an act of political correctness and moral weakness run amok, has passed a resolution decrying the “defamation of religion”, which could be used to effectively criminalize criticism of religion. A few choice excerpts (emphasis in text from UN Watch):

The Human Rights Council,

Reaffirming the pledge made by all States, under the Charter of the United Nations, to promote and encourage universal respect for and observance of all human rights and fundamental freedoms without distinction as to race, sex, language or religion,

Reaffirming also that all human rights are universal, indivisible, interdependent and interrelated,

Recognizing the valuable contribution of all religions to modern civilization and the contribution that dialogue among civilizations can make towards improved awareness and understanding of the common values shared by all humankind,

Noting with deep concern the instances of intolerance, discrimination and acts of violence against followers of certain faiths, occurring in many parts of the world, in addition to the negative projection of certain religions in the media and the introduction and enforcement of laws and administrative measures that specifically discriminate against and target persons with certain ethnic and religious backgrounds, particularly Muslim minorities following the events of 11 September 2001, and that threaten to impede their full enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms,

Stressing that defamation of religions is a serious affront to human dignity leading to restriction on the freedom of religion of their adherents and incitement to religious hatred and violence,

Noting with concern that defamation of religions, and incitement to religious hatred in general, could lead to social disharmony and violations of human rights, and alarmed at the inaction of some States to combat this burgeoning trend and the resulting discriminatory practices against adherents of certain religions and in this context stressing the need to effectively combat defamation of all religions and incitement to religious hatred in general and against Islam and Muslims in particular,

Expresses deep concern at the continued serious instances of deliberate stereotyping of religions, their adherents and sacred persons in the media, as well as programmes and agendas pursued by extremist organizations and groups aimed at creating and perpetuating stereotypes about certain religions, in particular when condoned by Governments;

Recognizes that, in the context of the fight against terrorism, defamation of religions, and incitement to religious hatred in general have, become aggravating factors that contribute to the denial of fundamental rights and freedoms of members of target groups, as well as to their economic and social exclusion;

Expresses deep concern in this respect that Islam is frequently and wrongly associated with human rights violations and terrorism and in this regard regrets the laws or administrative measures specifically designed to control and monitor Muslim minorities, thereby stigmatizing them and legitimizing the discrimination they experience;

Deplores the use of the print, audio-visual and electronic media, including the Internet, and any other means to incite acts of violence, xenophobia or related intolerance and discrimination towards any religion, as well as targeting of religious symbols and venerated persons;

Well, you get the idea by now. Given that, in particular, a ‘negative depiction’ of a religion is entirely subjective, the UN has officially declared religion as immune from criticism – although the text refers specifically to muslims, the principles are effectively broad enough to include all religions: scientology, satanism, you name it. While I am against violence, and even stereotyping, giving blanket protection to a particular class of people, insulating them from criticism under an undefined concept of ‘defamation’ is dangerous.I need not tell regular readers just how dangerous. The fact that islamic countries regularly violate the basic rights of life and liberty to women is, apparently, no longer a topic of discussion, because such barbaric practices, including genital mutilation and outright murder of rape victims, is done in a religious context.

Worse, the UN has now, in writing, acknowledged the existence of ‘sacred persons’, which again creates another class of untouchable individuals who are free to do as they choose without fear of criticism.

If I may, I’d like to point out something to the UN:

Article 18.

  • Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.

Article 19.

  • Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.

See those? Those are Articles from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. In effect, the UN has seen fit to violate the most important precepts of humanity in fear of offending religious fanatics. The creeping doom of Western civilization continues – the international body charged with ensuring the protection of human rights has sacrificed the rights of millions who have every right to disagree with their family members’ disappearances, coerced marriages, honor killings, the molestation of children and the forced pregnancies and passage of preventable disease to satisfy some outmoded, prudish notion of morality. Not to mention taking away the right to dissent, to cry out for justice in the name of all the people who suffer injustices done in the name of some invisible man in the sky.

To throw up an unassailable wall around the collection of superstitions that constitutes religion is to create an elite class of holy men who will suffer no complaint, and who will brook no opposition. We are, all of us, even those of religious faith, endangered by myths run amok, subject to the whims of a religious minority who are untouchable and, thanks to the UN, unstoppable.

We used to be encouraged to join hands in brotherhood – now we are not allowed to let go as the first fanatic leaps off the cliff the UN has made. Needless to say, I am less than proud of an organization that is prepared to boldly lead us into the 12th century.

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14 thoughts on “U.N.: Unbelievably Naive

  1. FWIW, I have heard the same thing that Mark has said, but I just can’t seem to find a confirmation of it anywhere.

    So you may need to rescind that update…I first reported this over at Red Tory this morning, based on an email from the American Atheists. When I sought official confirmation, even from the UN website, I could not find it…

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  2. Has anyone tackled the problem of defining what exactly constitutes “defamation of a religion”?

    I’d like to know, so I can be sure to do it.

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  3. I correct myself. This matter has been up before and I was working from memory. It’s been passed by the Assembly before (and defeated before), but is a non-binding resolution. This one is up again for a vote soon.

    The definition was ditched from the recent Durban II conference, so be hopeful.

    The concept of dictatorships and undemocratic theocracies voting at the UN has always been bizarre; however, I can find no better way at the moment.

    Sadly, the US has often reacted to these problems by just not participating, and Canada is following its lead. The human rights abuses by the US of late, and the clear demonizing of Muslims in America is not helping.

    And stuff like this isn’t helping:

    From http://www.earthtimes.org/articles/show/261849,un-rights-council-session-ends-in-controversy.html

    “When it came to the Palestinian question, some lines were drawn. While all council members, with the notable exception of Canada, voted for a resolution against Israeli settlements in the West Bank, the Jewish State’s armed responses were a more divisive matter.

    Western states, besides Switzerland, voted against or obtained on a resolution about human rights violations resulting from Israeli military acts in the Palestinian territories.

    Uhomoibhi said the council was in the final stages of putting together a fact finding team to carry out a mission delegated during a January special session on the situation in Gaza, which would be announced in the upcoming days.

    He said the team would consist of “credible” experts who would be “sensitive to the issues.” Uhomoibhi added that his goal was to have a mission which would be “fair, equal and balanced” to all sides.

    Richard Falk, the UN’s rights expert on the Palestinian territories, was not allowed into Israel when he attempted to enter last year, and Uhomoibhi said he could not guarantee the new team would be treated differently.”

    Keep in mind that the “War on Terror” and other stupid acts by the US and its allies has been polarizing matters. A more enlightened approach is needed.

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