UN panel passes the religious-defamation resolution
posted at 2:17 pm on March 27, 2009 by Ed Morrissey
The UN Human Rights Council has passed the resolution calling for an end to critcism of religion around the world. Actually, to be fair, that’s not entirely accurate. They want an end to criticism of one particular religion — and we all know which religion that will be:
The U.N.’s top human-rights body approved a proposal by Muslims nations Thursday urging passage of laws around the world to protect religion from criticism.
The proposal put forward by Pakistan on behalf of Islamic countries — with the backing of Belarus and Venezuela — had drawn strong criticism from free-speech campaigners and liberal democracies.
A simple majority of 23 members of the 47-nation Human Rights Council voted in favor of the resolution. Eleven nations, mostly Western, opposed the resolution, and 13 countries abstained. …
Opponents of the resolution included Canada, all European Union countries, Switzerland, Ukraine and Chile.
“It is individuals who have rights and not religions,” Canadian diplomat Terry Cormier said.
India, which normally votes along with the council’s majority of developing nations, abstained in protest at the fact that Islam was the only religion specifically named as deserving protection.
I wrote about this earlier in the month, so this resolution comes as no shock to Hot Air readers. Nor should its passage surprise anyone who has kept abreast of the UN’s efforts on “human rights”. The HRC and its predecessor have obsessed themselves with anti-Israel and pro-Islam initiatives, and have made a mockery of efforts to oppose racism at its Durban conferences.
Cormier provided one of the few voices of sanity at the HRC. As I noted on March 3rd:
Where does this stop? Will the UN next declare monarchy as a protected class of beliefs, about which criticism should be treated as a hate crime? Fascism? White supremacy? How about American exceptionalism? What about Hinduism, a polytheistic belief system that Islam frequently and bitterly criticizes? …
The notion that ideas and belief systems have “rights” goes against every step towards liberty that mankind has taken. Individuals have rights; ideas and belief systems have values and policies that should remain open for debate, criticism, satire, and ridicule. Without that essential freedom, people will fall under the thrall of whatever belief system or ideology can exert the most force over them — a strategy practically designed by and for the radical Islamist extremists to whom the UN panders in this declaration.
This also gives us another reason to oppose initiatives like Kyoto and Copenhagen. Along with endemic corruption and a chronic lack of accountability, the UN’s values are flat-out antithetical to America’s. We value individual rights and free speech, and the rights of people to speak trump the nonexistent right to be free from offense — as they must, if we value free speech at all. Pakistan and the other Islamic nations want to silence the opposition to Islam. They’re not interested in “human rights” in the sense that Westerners see them (as individually based).
The resolution carries little effect, but it reveals the wide chasm between the West and those who hate freedom and liberty. The latter won at the HRC, but they can only beat us here if we let them.
Breaking on Hot Air