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April 18, 2008

Arab And Muslim Countries, With Help From The UN, Are Out To Destroy Our Right Of Free Speech

Topics: Understanding Islam

Arab and Muslim countries, with the help of the UN, are out to destroy the right of free speech in the Western world, and have pushed through a resolution to have the body's expert on free speech report on individuals and news media for negative comments on Islam. Subsequently the United Nations Human Rights Council has been accused by some Western nations on the body and also by non-governmental groups of being used as an instrument by some Islamic nations to seek to restrict freedom of speech. We ignore this at our own peril and that of our children, our nation, and the freedoms of western civilization.

As Paul Schneidereit warns in his piece at the ChronicleHerald, the war on free speech in the West goes on, from both outside and within, unabated, which isn't to say that we're losing - but it's not clear we're winning, either:

[...] There are, at the heart of this matter, two very different ideas of what free speech is all about. One, the traditional Western concept, holds that, short of libel, slander or the direct incitement to violence, people should be free to pretty much say what they think. The other, now being pushed by a group of Islamic nations in the UN - and aided by naïve, appeasing bureaucrats in our own nation - believes that certain topics, like sharp criticism of religion, should be taboo.

In the last month, the UN's Human Rights Council has passed several resolutions that in essence seek to criminalize criticism of Islam around the world. Now, the council spends very little if any time on real human rights abuses in the many countries where they occur, as its days are almost exclusively spent on the task of painting Israel as a monster. That, of course, is related to the fact that a majority on the world's so-called human rights council are either Islamic nations hostile to Israel or regimes run by brutal autocrats who want to ensure there is no criticism of their own flagrant human rights abuses. But I digress.

In late March, the Orwellian-named council passed a motion condemning the "defamation" of religions, especially Islam, and calling on all member states to move to make such criticism of religion illegal in their countries. The motion passed, 24 to 10.

Can you defame a religion? If so, wouldn't criticism of the Vatican's nonsensical rules on birth control be out of line, too? Watch your footing; we're on the slipperiest of slopes here.

Early this month, the UN human rights body passed another resolution - this time by a 32 to 0 vote - directing the UN's own special rapporteur on free speech to report on individuals or media outlets that publicly make negative comments about Islam.

As other observers have noted, this seeks to turn a supposed promoter of free speech into a censor.

The good news is that these motions have no legal force. The bad news is they reflect ongoing attempts to try to force critics to be silent about their own understandable concerns that Islamic fundamentalists are interpreting their religious texts to rationalize extreme, violent beliefs and actions.

Continue reading: Human rights' attacks on free speech continue.

Posted by Richard at April 18, 2008 8:00 AM

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