Monday, October 6, 2008

A United Nations Resolution To Deny Free Speech

For the third straight year, it is about to be put to a vote of the United Nations General Assembly. This non-binding Resolution on “Combating the Defamation of Religion” is an annual reminder of how distant the U.N. has become from the goals and principals outlined in its original charter.

This religious blasphemy resolution is intended to curtail speech that offends religion, especially Islam. The non-binding Resolution 62/145, which was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in both 2007 and 2008, says it “notes with deep concern the intensification of the campaign of defamation of religions and the ethnic and religious profiling of Muslim minorities in the aftermath of 11 September 2001.”

The Resolution (sponsored by the Organization Of The Islamic Conference - OIC)“stresses the need to effectively combat defamation of all religions and incitement to religious hatred, against Islam and Muslims in particular.”

Of course, “Defamation of religions” United Nation Resolutions act as a diplomatic cover to empower governments to decide which statements about religion are permissible in public. Its a compromise of basic free speech in the name of religion. The end result is more global religious tension and intolerance, certainly not less.

In fact, religious intolerance has become commonplace during the last several years in the United Nations. Consider that the U.N. has passed over 400 resolutions targeting tiny democratic Israel, without equal condemnation of its autocratic neighbors or commensurate concern for China's annexation of Tibet or Russia's absorption of the disputed Sakhalin Islands. Also, the United Nations is open for business on Jewish religious holidays but it is closed in observance of Ramadan.

In July, The U.S. government mission in Geneva, told the U.N. Human Rights Council that “defamation-related laws have been abused by governments and used to restrict human rights around the world, and sometimes Westerners have been caught in the web."

Several recent news events provide disturbing examples of how the U.N. "blasphemy resolution" has emboldened Islamic authorities and threatened Westerners. A few of these examples are summarized as follows:

-In December 2007 “a court reportedly sentenced two foreigners to six months in prison for allegedly marketing a book deemed offensive to Aisha, one of the Prophet Muhammad's wives,” the U.S. government said.
- A British teacher was sentenced to 15 days in jail in Sudan for offending Islam by allowing students to name the class teddy bear Muhammad in November 2007.
- In February 2007 in Egypt an Internet blogger was sentenced to four years in prison for writing a post that critiqued Islam.
- In 2004, Dutch filmmaker Theo Van Gogh was murdered after the release of his documentary highlighting the abuse of Muslim women.

Currently, there are three bills before Congress that would prohibit U.S. courts from enforcing international defamation decisions that do not comply with the First Amendment of the United States Constitution.

So, does it really make much sense for America to pay the U.N. about five billion dollars in annual dues only to have to pass laws to protect itself from the ramifications of intolerant religious U.N. Resolutions?

There is a real need for a radical reform of the United Nations. It seems like an obvious initial reform would be to insist upon a democratic constitution as a prerequisite for a nation to qualify for its U.N. membership. If a country does not have one, it need not apply.

Indeed, to be a relevant international organization, the United Nations needs to return to the goals of its original charter. Sadly, the current United Nations Resolution to deny free speech in the name of religion, is about as far removed from that charter as you can get.

For more on the United Nations see: Zimbabwe And The Need For United Nations Reform on


Anonymous said...

Yet another reason to boot the U.N. out of the U.S., give them a GIANT WEDGIE, and send them off to Bum F**k wherever!!
Doggone, League of Anti-Christers!!!!

jaxx said...

I just read Resolution 62/145 and it has nothing to do with religion at all. Have you read it?

Even the title is pretty obvious:

Use of mercenaries as a means of violating human rights
and impeding the exercise of the right of peoples to

weez said...

yep, that can't be the right resolution number. However, the resolution was announced in a UN press release: