WND reports that the Third Committee held a preliminary vote Nov. 12 on the Defamation of Religions resolution: 81:55:43. Support declined by 5 votes, opposition increased by 2 and abstentions increased by 1. The present level of support indicates that the General Assembly will pass the resolution.
The good news is that, while the resolution will pass, it will not become enforcible law. The bad news is that it will give the UN stamp of approval to blasphemy laws used by Pakistan and other nations to suppress and persecute Christians and other minorities. The resolution calls on member states to enact and enforce legislation to criminalize criticism of Islam.
The Department of State expresses opposition to inclusion of references to defamation of religions, but it supports inclusion of negative stereotypes, as included in the recent Freedom of Belief and Expression resolution. Examine the relevant text from that document. [Emphasis added.]
Also expresses its concern that incidents of racial and religious intolerance, discrimination and related violence, as well as of negative racial and religious stereotyping continue to rise around the world, and condemns, in this context, any advocacy of national, racial or religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence, and urges States to take effective measures, consistent with their obligations under international human rights law, to address and combat such incidents;
This sample is from last year's draft resolution.
Expresses deep concern at the negative stereotyping of religions and manifestations of intolerance and discrimination in matters of religion or belief still evident in the world;
The following sample is from Pakistan's submission to the Ad Hoc Committee for Elaboration of Complementary Standards.
legal prohibition of publication of material that negatively stereotypes, insults, or uses offensive language in matters regarded by followers of any religion or belief as sacred or inherent to their dignity as human beings, with the aim or protecting their fundamental human rights,What are they really complaining about? We can get a hint from their latest Islamophobia report, which contains a list of "Islamophobic incidents".
Political and Social Campaigns against Islam and MuslimsIf those examples do not make it clear to you, examine this quote from a letter sent by the OIC to the Chairman of the Ad Hoc Cmte. in October.
Campaign Warns Americans about Looming Shariah Code – Detroit billboard said religious law imposed by Islam threatened rights. Members of the United American Committee (UAC) stated that Shariah might be spreading around the world, but it was not going to be established in the United States without opposition. Officials had reportedly erected a 48-foot-long billboard just outside of Detroit, home to one of the largest groups of Muslims in the U.S.
Danish Muhammad Cartoonist Returns with New Work – Kurt Westergaard, the Danish caricaturist forced into hiding after the publication of his depiction of the Prophet Muhammad in the newspaper Jyllands-Posten in 2005, was set to return with a new set of potentially controversial drawings. According to a Report in the Copenhagen Post, Westergaard was expected to have 26 illustrations in a new book that compiled the
sardonic columns by Danish writer Lars Hedegaard for the Berlingske Tidende newspaper.
Wilders plans second anti-Islam film – Rightwing MP Geert Wilders has told De Telegraaf newspaper that he was planning to make a follow-up to his controversial anti-Islam film, Fitna. The new piece, expected to be released in 2010, will deal with the negative effects of what Wilders called the advance of Islam in Western countries.
For instance, the British National Putty leader Nick Grffin has referred to Islam as a "a vicious and wicked religion"; some in Switzerland are strongly opposed to the construction of minarets on mosques as symbols of Islam; while in Denmark and the Netherlands the personality of Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) has been deliberately ridiculed with the intention to violate the sentiments of Muslims. These are only some of the clear examples not just of discrimination against Muslims as individuals but of Islam as a religion as well as well as its revered personalities and sacred symbols. Accordingly, the contention that human rights standards should apply only to individuals is not credible. Therefore, the OIC ls advocating the need to address these concepts in a holistic and legal manner: to avoid their negative impact on the fundamental rights and freedoms to be enjoyed by the individuals, groups of individuals and communities. [Emphasis added. ]It becomes clear that Islam will not tolerate any criticism whatsoever. Islam seeks to criminalize all criticism, regardless of the truth thereof. The obvious references to Fitna and the Danish cartoons leave no doubt. Fitna displayed the hate speech & violence which fill the Qur'an along with their effects in the Arab street. The Cartoons depict Moe as a terrorist, which he was even though he never possessed a bomb. He said that he was "made victorious with terror."
What can we do about this situation? Nothing directly, but we can sign and promote two on line petitions opposing the resolution and one that counter attacks.
- Open Doors has a Free To Believe campaign.
- ACLJ has a petition campaign of their own and is lobbying the European delegations.
- The International Qur'an Petition is a good counter attack. Sign it send it to everyone you can influence. Exhort the recipients to sign and forward the petition.
- A sense of the House resolution opposing the OIC censorship campaign languishes in the Foreign Affairs Cmte. It has gained two more co-sponsors, but it needs to be voted on before the final vote in the General Assembly.