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UN Blasphemy Resolution Fails

March 25, 2009

A piece of good news from the UN.

The UN Resolution to ban “defamation of religion”, brought forward by a group of 56 Islamic countries led by Pakistan (about which I blogged here, here and here) has been removed from the UN agenda due to lack of sufficient votes. [Examiner reports]

The so-called “blasphemy” resolution introduced by Pakistan and supported by some Middle East regimes called upon governments to combat critical, insulting or defamatory statements about religion, specifically the Islamic faith.  The measure lacked sufficient votes in the UN General Assembly to become a binding resolution; and the proposal will not be on the agenda at the Durban II conference slated for Geneva next month.

 

 

Dr. Ed Buckner, President of American Atheists had this to say

“The ‘blasphemy’ resolutions were aimed at regulating personal opinions and expression, and had nothing to do with acts of violence against ethnic or religious groups ……religious creeds and movements should not enjoy special rights or protections, especially where freedom of speech is concerned.”

Isn’t it ludicrous for the OIC to claim that criticizing or lampooning their religious beliefs is a human rights violation and leads to discrimination and violence against them, when majority of the 56 Muslim countries of the OIC have the most dismal human rights record ?

However, the problem with such a ban, if passed, is that it would have given autocratic regimes greater power to use it at the slightest provocation (which I think they still do but at a relatively lesser scale) as such a law would have been too vague to follow and would have been open to interpretation. Not only would such a ban be against freedom of speech but it would have also been against international law as defamation charges can only be brought against individuals, not beliefs or ideologies.

I am sure the OIC (Organization of the Islamic Conference) is going to come back with this resolution next year, but it is a small victory for all freedom lovers nevertheless. For now at least.

 

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20 Comments leave one →
  1. Chirag Chamoli permalink
    March 25, 2009 7:29 pm

    Ludicrous it is I mean, human rights is one thing and religion is totally different ball game.

    Religion should be given any rights, as the religion say’s its faith let it be just faith.

    You can’t run system based on a faith. or we will need only magicians and not leaders.

  2. March 25, 2009 7:57 pm

    Dont know, watched Firaq yesterday now I am disturbed..:(
    One of my friends was telling me that once upon a time(u know what time I am talking about) when and from wherever you enter Gujrat, Gujrat was floded with placards/banners/posters stating,”Welcome to a Hindu State”. :(

  3. March 25, 2009 9:20 pm

    What a relief! Good news.

    • nitwitnastik permalink*
      March 25, 2009 10:26 pm

      @Chirag

      Magicians are truthful in the sense that they don’t claim miraculous power. Religion does.

      @tarun

      yes that’s disturbing. I haven’t watched firaq yet but plan to do so..heard it’s pretty disturbing

      @uzza

      yep good news indeed..although i have a feeling it is not over

  4. March 26, 2009 5:47 am

    .. but but, it means we cannot ban the eating of Pasta and meatballs- the FSM is so going to be offended!!!

  5. March 26, 2009 8:54 am

    You’re right, NN. It’s not over. However, this goes both ways. The secular crowd hasn’t had it’s last word either!*Phew*

    • nitwitnastik permalink*
      March 26, 2009 9:04 am

      @ Allytude

      LOL !!

      @Siddharth

      Yes, that’s right. If only the secular crowd can get together and voice their opinions in a more co-ordinated way we can be much more effective.

  6. March 26, 2009 2:00 pm

    This is good news indeed.

    One thing I don’t get is:
    How can I be prosecuted for insulting Islam when Islam has made a career out of insulting me? There is not a chapter in the freaking Koran that is not obsessed about denigrating non-Muslims (particularly jews).

    But I guess its all too fine if God is on your side.

    Just a couple of days ago I got through blogging about the Ram Sena bastards and how their view is derived from Religious texts that we are conditioned to believe as “noble and sublime” when they are just “ignoble and slime”. Just before writing that, I saw Pat Condell’s rant on YouTube about this very issue (Blasphemy law) and wondered if I would be “guilty” under such a law. Most certainly YES!

  7. March 26, 2009 5:27 pm

    Religion is all politics, has always been, but at a much larger scale.

    Read this just before reading your post, ‘http://www.siawi.org/article686.html’, – and saw religion is equally good for female humans all over he world.

  8. nitwitnastik permalink*
    March 26, 2009 6:10 pm

    @holydude

    You are right. Talk about hypocrisy. Here is a cartoon that points it out precisely

    http://www.hyscience.com/archives/art_3360_1.jpeg

    @IHM

    Thanks for the link. This story was all over the news recently. Yet the Catholic church has the highest number of adherents and the amongst christians and the pope is the most venerated person in the world inspite of him discouraging use of condoms to prevent AIDS in Africa. Talk about being dumb and blind at the same time.

  9. March 26, 2009 11:33 pm

    Pleasae click on Thank You on the sticky tape, I use this sticky tape [Thanks to Chirag :)]to thank or link some favorite posts on and off :)

  10. March 26, 2009 11:44 pm

    Phew! How mad can people get over religion. Now don’t even talk about it. Glad it fell through! :)

  11. March 27, 2009 7:27 am

    Many muslims are indeed pissed off that Islam is associated with terror, which in turn happens to be a bad publicity for the religion. They basically want the media to refrain from using the word “Islamic Terrorism” and to refer it to as only terrorism.

    It is sad that some good Muslims too suffers because of the acts of their mates. But then that is what happens. “Genhoo ke saath ghun bhi pis jaata hai”

  12. nitwitnastik permalink*
    March 27, 2009 8:32 am

    @Poonam

    Thanks for the comment. Yes we are all relieved that it didn’t go through

    @Agnistic

    Welcome. I think the problem is with Islam and not with Muslims. The good muslims whom you are talking about probably doesn’t know much about Islam other than those small bits they have been fed by their parents or mullahs. One has to read the Koran and the Hadiths to understand how dangerous the political movement of Islam is.

  13. Elis permalink
    March 28, 2009 8:09 pm

    I have to say I’m confused. I hope it’s defeated, but I have been reading conflicted reports from news outlets. Is there another resolution with a similar name?

    • nitwitnastik permalink*
      March 28, 2009 10:35 pm

      @Elis

      I realize your confusion. I was confused too. But then I looked closely at those articles and realized that the UN blasphemy law which passed this year is what has been passing for the last 10 years. It is the NON-BINDING version of the resolution. The one OIC was trying to pass this year would have made it BINDING for all UN member resolution. So even though the binding resolution failed, the non-binding passed like the last 10 years. Is there any news which says it is binding on all UN member nations? If you come across any such article can you please send me a link so that I can update this post?

  14. March 29, 2009 11:42 am

    Nice to hear about this NN.

  15. Elis permalink
    March 29, 2009 6:28 pm

    Thanks nitwitnastik.

    You are right. I did notice the non-binding phrase in the news reports, and it only added to my confusion :)

    It’s a positive development for sure the binding version got defeated.

  16. Kaffir permalink
    April 13, 2009 3:13 pm

    I thought the non-binding resolution was passed in the UN Human Rights Council, whereas your post talks about its failure in the UN General Assembly. Different things, no?

  17. Larry permalink
    August 18, 2009 7:37 pm

    When I sent a query to the United Nations there was nothing on Blasphemy of Religion in their agenda. Now I know that is not true as the UN has, over the last twenty years, voted for Blasphemy of Religion in non-binding resolution. I have followed the UN Racism Conference, 2009 & 2001. Blasphemy of Religion is unnecessary when the UN Racism documents have supported Hate Crimes and Hate Speech, which has been enacted into law in most western nations through Human Rights Councils or other government funded delivery vehicle. In Canada our Human Rights Tribunals are nothing short of “Kangaroo Courts.” Running afoul of these “Kangaroo Courts” you can be fined, forced to compensating the complainant and stopped from any further actions. For 32 years these “Kangaroo Courts” operated without public scrutiny and trials were hidden from the media, until a Imam from Calgary, Alberta made a complaint against a media publication and personality- then all Hell broke loose. The AHRC, Alberta Human Rights Council bit off more than they could chew on behalf of the Imam who was trying to get them to enact a form of Shari’ah Law to suppress freedom of speech and expression. The AHRC was inundated with media and government scrutiny that could see the HRC’s closed down in the near future. The same Imam later made a complaint with the HRC’s against another media publication and personality and you would have thought the HRC’s would have backed off, but once again ran afoul of media and government scrutiny. As EZra Levant said about the investigators: Your nothing but a bunch of fascist Thugs. Mark Steyn would have equal thoughts and speech concerning those who are running the HRC’s. It is interesting to note to you that the Calgary police was first approached by Imam Sayid Soharwardy when he demanded that the police arrest Levant for “Blasphemy of Religion.” The Calgary police declined politely by saying this is not Saudi Arabia, but the Imam proved “where there is a will there is way.” Human Rights Councils were only too happy to accommodate Imam Soharwardy’s Blasphemy of Religion complaints, under Hate Crimes. Though the UN has backed off from Blasphemy of Religion it does not mean that there are other means to obtain the results they desire and western governments are only too happy to comply.

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