Rights experts attack Islam defamation drive at UN

December 17, 2008

The debate over possible United Nations resolutions condemning defamation of religions is heating up as Islamic countries campaign to have an upcoming U.N. document on racism include such a call.

(Photo: United Nations General Assembly, 26 Sept 2008/Eric Thayer)

The document, a follow-up to the final declaration of the 2001 Durban conference on racism, is due out in April. The freedom of expression rapporteurs of the United Nations, the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), the Organisation of American States (OAS) and the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR) have called on the United Nations not to issue any such resolution.

As Reuters correspondent Robert Evans wrote in his news story from Geneva on Wednesday:

“The concept of ‘defamation of religions’ does not accord with international standards regarding defamation, which refer to the protection of reputation of individuals,” they said.

“Religions, like all beliefs, cannot be said to have a reputation of their own,” they added. Limits on freedom of expression should only be used to bar advocacy of national, racial or religious hatred amounting to inciting violence.

Countries which had such limits to protect religion, they said, had often used them “to prevent legitimate criticism of powerful religious leaders and to suppress the views of religious minorities, dissenting believers and non-believers.”

Here are an OSCE press release and the full text of the statement by the four experts.

This is an issue we will be following closely in coming months. Do you believe the United Nations should pass resolutions protecting religions? Is this a sincere effort to promote respect for all faiths, or just an effort by Muslim states to reduce criticism of Islam?

One comment

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Islam as a religionis facing terrific challenges these days. It very difficult to be a Muslim in present world.
I do agree fundamentalist and so called Jehadis whose mis interpretation of Islam and Quran have done bad to world.
I must say here that i doo see lots of experts speaking of Quran preaching terrorism.
These experts blow Quran out of context, In Quran every thing said has a relation with the time and conditions of Prophet Mohhamad.
Quran does say that we need to fight against the forces but not always their have to be conditions and stuations for declaring a jehad.
If their is a verse in Quran saying about Jehad, these Terrorism experts need to understand the context of that verse.
Quran does preach Peace(‘Allahu ma sabreen’ (God is with patient people)), These experts never emphasise on such verses.
Like the Jehadis and Fundamentalist these Terror Experts need to read the Quran in right context. just picking up a verse and trying to get meaning out of is wrong,
By doing so you are conveying wrong message to people and are equally culprit like Jehadis and Fundamentalists.

My request all is if they try to intrepret Quran, Please read the whole Scenario(‘Sura’) and then try to find meaning not just reading individual verses(‘aayat’),
And also read Tafseer(Discription and meaning) of Quran.

Dont please blame Quran or Islam or terrorism.

Posted by Aasim Nisar | Report as abusive