Saturday, March 28, 2009

UN adopts anti free speech resolution

The U.N.'s top human rights body has approved a proposal by Muslim nations urging the passage of laws protecting religion from criticism. Members of the Human Rights Council voted 23 in favor of a resolution Thursday to combat "defamation of religion." Eleven nations, mostly from the West, opposed the resolution and 13 countries abstained. The resolution was proposed by Pakistan. Muslim countries have cited the inflammatory effect of cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad as an example of unacceptable free speech. Critics say the resolution, while not binding, will have a chilling effect on free speech and may worsen relations between faiths. ------------------------------------------------------------------- This is bad news for anyone who values free speech. The UN has given cover to extreme fundamentalists (mainly Islamic); cover to torture, imprison and harass those who would dare to dissent.  The irony is that the resolution has very little to do with human rights. Rather than protecting people, the resolution offers protection to religions; a protection which can all to easily translate into protection for a state, a state guilty of violating human rights, the very human rights the UN ostensibly seeks to protect. Ironic, isn't it?

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