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UN Attacks Free Speech

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the anti-blasphemy-enshrined dept.

Censorship 842

newsblaze writes "The UN Human Rights Council assaulted free expression today, in a 23-11 vote that urges member states to adopt laws outlawing criticism of religions. The proposal came to the UN from Pakistan on behalf of the Organization for the Islamic Conference. There were 13 abstentions. South Korea, Japan, India, Mexico and Brazil, all strong democracies, allowed this to pass by abrogating their responsibility. While the resolution doesn't mention the online world, where does this subject get mentioned most, if not online?" The coverage is from NewsBlaze, which says its mission is to carry important news that other media are not paying attention to. There does not seem to be any other coverage of this vote.
Update: 03/29 00:48 GMT by KD : Reader kshade wrote in: "Actually this is covered by conventional media, even FOX news (Google News links). The absentees weren't there because they boycotted the proposal."

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Jews did 9/11. (1, Troll)

Luke727 (547923) | more than 5 years ago | (#27374393)

Oops...

Little early... (5, Insightful)

Oonushi (863093) | more than 5 years ago | (#27374403)

...for April Fools Day. This is a joke, right?

Re:Little early... (5, Insightful)

ConceptJunkie (24823) | more than 5 years ago | (#27374487)

With the U.N., every day seems like April Fool's Day, because the U.N. is nothing but a group of fools.

Re:Little early... (5, Insightful)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 5 years ago | (#27374557)

With almost 200 members, practically every country in the world, what else could it be but fools? That's all the world has to offer itself.

Re:Little early... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27374751)

The entire world is a group of fools.

We call them "nations".

Sorry, but I have to consider the source (3, Insightful)

superbus1929 (1069292) | more than 5 years ago | (#27374409)

Forgive my scepticism, but I have to wait until I see a second, less biased source before I take this at face value. The rule of reporting is to get two verifications, and I think I'm going to do just that.

Re:Sorry, but I have to consider the source (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27374419)

then why comment you pretentious fat fuck?

Re:Sorry, but I have to consider the source (5, Informative)

wahaa (1329567) | more than 5 years ago | (#27374437)

Re:Sorry, but I have to consider the source (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27374473)

"It is individuals who have rights, not religions," Ottawa's representative told the body. "Canada believes that to extend (the notion of) defamation beyond its proper scope would jeopardize the fundamental right to freedom of expression, which includes freedom of expression on religious subjects."

Go Canada !

Re:Sorry, but I have to consider the source (4, Funny)

superbus1929 (1069292) | more than 5 years ago | (#27374529)

There we go. NOW I can take it seriously in joining the chorus of asking what the FUCK these people were thinking.

Re:Sorry, but I have to consider the source (2, Insightful)

ConceptJunkie (24823) | more than 5 years ago | (#27374593)

Everything that the U.N. does makes me feel that way. That organization is a waste of oxygen... and prime New York real estate.

Re:Sorry, but I have to consider the source (1)

Threni (635302) | more than 5 years ago | (#27374661)

It's the UN. Look at their position on drugs. They're just another part of the problem.

Re:Sorry, but I have to consider the source (2, Funny)

Dan541 (1032000) | more than 5 years ago | (#27374791)

You have to be on something for the UN to make any sense.

Re:Sorry, but I have to consider the source (1)

Just Some Guy (3352) | more than 5 years ago | (#27374601)

Quoth the resolution:

"Defamation of religious is a serious affront to human dignity leading to a restriction on the freedom of their adherents and incitement to religious violence," the adopted text read, adding that "Islam is frequently and wrongly associated with human rights violations and terrorism."

In related news, Tom Cruise and the Topeka School Board hosted a Sharia-themed gala.

Re:Sorry, but I have to consider the source (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27374647)

In related news, Tom Cruise and the Topeka School Board hosted a Sharia-themed gala.

Bzzzzt. Pick some other idiot celebrity. One who isn't a Scientologist.

Pick one or more from Susan Sarandon, Tim Robbins, Sean Penn, Danny Glover, or Harry Belafonte. They all love sucking up to commie dictators so bending over and grabbing their ankles for a murderous, misogynistic religion should be right up their alley.

Re:Sorry, but I have to consider the source (1)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | more than 5 years ago | (#27374669)

What's wrong with that? It's a 100% true statement.

It doesn't give religion any more rights than it already has, it just stops hate speech, which is illegal in most countries already.

Re:Sorry, but I have to consider the source (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27374777)

no its not, there is criticism against religions and there is criticism against people and peoples. People deserve civil rights: not religions, not corporations, not groups, that people can freely associate with. As soon as you start grouping people up and making assumptions, picking out Islam and in a statement, then you only increase the grouping of prejudice.

Most crimes against humanity are postured in such ways as this. Giving the rights of man to a effeminate idea is the first step in denying rights to other men.

Re:Sorry, but I have to consider the source (2, Insightful)

Bartab (233395) | more than 5 years ago | (#27374851)

It doesn't give religion any more rights than it already has, it just stops hate speech, which is illegal in most countries already.

If you're not able to engage in speech that the majority of other people do not like, then you do not have free speech.

Re:Sorry, but I have to consider the source (3, Interesting)

Tumbleweed (3706) | more than 5 years ago | (#27374767)

Quoth the resolution:

        "Defamation of religious is a serious affront to human dignity leading to a restriction on the freedom of their adherents and incitement to religious violence," the adopted text read, adding that "Islam is frequently and wrongly associated with human rights violations and terrorism."

Restriction of freedom of speech and religion is a serious affront to human dignity leading to violence.

In other news, as I've been saying for years now, religion breeds terrorism. Being a peaceful, tolerant religious person doesn't negate that, or change it. And ignoring that fact simply lets it run rampant. Making laws to let religious intolerance run rampant is equivalent to committing violence in the name of religion.

Re:Sorry, but I have to consider the source (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27374801)

Well going by UN's history you would be forgiven for not requiring another source. But on the bright side, the UN General Assembly can require people to drink water while lifting their left leg and it won't mean squat because the UN General Assembly is non-binding. It only shows that muslim nations cannot co-exist with democracies

Re:Sorry, but I have to consider the source (1)

Tenebrousedge (1226584) | more than 5 years ago | (#27374449)

What, you mean the fine publication responsible for journalism like this? [newsblaze.com]

I think they're just upset at not having a wikipedia page of their own.

But hey! They're hiring! [newsblaze.com] And their help wanted page mentions Slashdot--how can you go wrong?

Re:Sorry, but I have to consider the source (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27374463)

How about reuters?

http://www.reuters.com/article/worldNews/idUSTRE52P60220090326

Re:Sorry, but I have to consider the source (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27374535)

Here are some other sources: (5, Informative)

mdwh2 (535323) | more than 5 years ago | (#27374591)

http://www.reuters.com/article/worldNews/idUSL1277265220080312 [reuters.com] - Islamic states seek world freedom curbs: humanists

http://www.reuters.com/article/worldNews/idUSTRE52O5QY20090325 [reuters.com] - U.N. urged to reject bar on defamation of religion

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5iRHXSIoJJdXQpG3kPrRO2LWMnWTAD975TOK00 [google.com] - UN body OKs call to curb religious criticism

http://www.secularism.org.uk/108265.html [secularism.org.uk] - Defamation of religion passes at UN Human Rights Council again

http://www.indexoncensorship.org/2009/03/26/the-slow-death-of-freedom-of-expression/ [indexoncensorship.org] - The Slow Death Of Freedom Of Expression

http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/2009/03/freedom-for-the.html [theatlantic.com] - Freedom For The Thought That We Hate

Lots more at http://news.google.com/news?um=1&ned=us&cf=all&ncl=1320377548 [google.com]

I'm glad to see that Slashdotters are sceptical of what they read, but sometimes all it takes is a 10 second Google.

Re:Here are some other sources: (-1, Redundant)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | more than 5 years ago | (#27374621)

So they're note outlawing criticism, or attacking free speech, they're outlawing defamation.. which all civilised countries have outlawed anyway.

There's no story here.

The truth counts as defamation. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27374735)

Telling the truth about some religions would count as defamation. Quoting their own "holy books" would count as defamation.

Fuck the UN and fuck any religion if the truth bothers them. Cut off a few less heads, toss acid on a few less faces and blow up a few less market places if hearing the truth bothers you.

Re:Here are some other sources: (5, Interesting)

mdwh2 (535323) | more than 5 years ago | (#27374783)

Countries have defamation laws against individuals - i.e., false claims that cause harm to a person.

What is meant by defamation of a religion? And what is so special about religion that it needs a resolution of its own - why not just say that countries should have defamation laws, if that's what they really meant?

Reading about the resolution more closely, it seems they're more concerned with stereotyping and profiling of religious people such as Muslims (e.g., as a result of 9/11), which I agree is a bad thing - but this isn't about defamation laws in the usual sense, and critics are worried that it will cover criticism of religion. Saying "it covers defamation, not criticism" doesn't make sense, since defamation is only defined when it comes to saying false things about a person.

which all civilised countries have outlawed anyway

I know of no countries which have laws against "defaming" entities or beliefs such as "religions".

Re:Here are some other sources: (2, Insightful)

Dan541 (1032000) | more than 5 years ago | (#27374805)

Defamation is free-speech.

So is religion, if your going to outlaw one you must surely outlaw the other.

Re:Here are some other sources: (3, Insightful)

Dan541 (1032000) | more than 5 years ago | (#27374819)

I forgot to add, religion is defamation of logic and reason. Which is why it would also have to be outlawed.

Re:Here are some other sources: (5, Insightful)

nattt (568106) | more than 5 years ago | (#27374825)

That's so wrong. Most sensible countries either got rid of blasphemy laws or never had them. A religion is not a person, it cannot be offended or defamed.

This is just a way for Islamic nut jobs to protect their barbaric acts from justified criticism.

Re:Here are some other sources: (1)

couchslug (175151) | more than 5 years ago | (#27374913)

"Most sensible countries either got rid of blasphemy laws or never had them."

Sensible countries are not Islamic, and before modding this down DO bother to actually compare how freely one may criticize religion in free countries versus Muslim countries.

Modern man must be free to attack superstition and the barbarians who believe in it.

Re:Here are some other sources: (1)

init100 (915886) | more than 5 years ago | (#27374877)

they're outlawing defamation.. which all civilised countries have outlawed anyway.

The critical difference is that they are extending the concept of defamation from individuals to religious groups. That's a pretty significant difference.

Re:Here are some other sources: (3, Informative)

bnenning (58349) | more than 5 years ago | (#27374915)

So they're note outlawing criticism, or attacking free speech, they're outlawing defamation.. which all civilised countries have outlawed anyway.

What is "defamation"? If I say "fundamentalist Islam is a barbaric and misogynistic cult founded by a mass murderer", is your position that I should go to prison? I'm glad my country isn't "civilized".

Re:Sorry, but I have to consider the source (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27374605)

Quick! Let's all form a religion whereby we do nothing but criticize other religions! Then we will be able to speak freely on the subject!

I'm almost done tapping up the Gospel According to Chuck. Who else is with me?

IDF is on Slashdot... (1)

Dzonatas (984964) | more than 5 years ago | (#27374885)

Wonderful for them to show up and take a tech related website and try to turn it into a political attack site. *sigh*

Important? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27374415)

As the UN is not important, why would any media concern itself with this vote?

Re:Important? (1)

npwa (1017242) | more than 5 years ago | (#27374447)

As the UN is not important, why would any media concern itself with this vote?

Because this gives UN member states that are on the fence on this issue an excuse to stifle free speech and adopt laws outlawing criticism of "their" religions.

There is coverage from other news sources... (5, Informative)

kshade (914666) | more than 5 years ago | (#27374441)

Re:There is coverage from other news sources... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27374909)

...and it didn't happen today. Looks like Newsblaze wants a couple more pageviews or something.

Yes! This is Slashdot! Only the most timely news is published here.

Oh wait...

This is Slashdot where you'll find news you saw somewhere else several days ago even though it may have been submitted multiple times until someone gets it though their thick skull that maybe their readers might be interested.

Can we please just get the US out of the UN? (4, Insightful)

djh101010 (656795) | more than 5 years ago | (#27374445)

Seriously, this isn't a troll, even if you disagree with me. But when is the last time the UN did a thing for the US? We get resolutions of "Give money to undeveloped countries" and "Sure, go to war, but we're not gonna do shiat"...when is the last time they actually did something positive for the US?

An organization that has devolved into "the rich countries should give aid to the poor countries", has stopped being useful to anyone but the leeches. Seriously, can anyone tell me what the UN has done for the US lately, and is there a real reputation hit we'd take from leaving it (as opposed to what we do now, which is to largely ignore it)?

Re:Can we please just get the US out of the UN? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27374527)

Are you kidding? The UN, specifically the Security Council, is one of the ways the US maintains its grip on the world. Anything, absolutely everything of importance that gets done by the UN goes through there, and - surprise! - the US can veto it all.

It may not help with dealing with China or Russia, but it sure helps to keep Bumfuckistan in check.

You may want to check just how and why the UN was founded, too. Guess what: the US was instrumental in it. Gee, I wonder why.

Re:Can we please just get the US out of the UN? (1)

superbus1929 (1069292) | more than 5 years ago | (#27374551)

Are you kidding? This is the main reason I actually thought John Bolton's nomination as the ambassador to the UN was a good idea, despite the fact that he's a despicable person.

That's a bit of a trick question. (1)

jcr (53032) | more than 5 years ago | (#27374671)

But when is the last time the UN did a thing for the US?

Do you mean when did they do something for the USA, or for the federal government of the USA? These are not the same thing.

-jcr

Re:Can we please just get the US out of the UN? (1)

yariv (1107831) | more than 5 years ago | (#27374711)

You must distinguish binding from non-binding decision by the UN. Almost all desicision, including those of the general assembley are non-binding, and as such have little, if any, meaning. Binding desicions are made by the security council, and the US have veto there.
The US might not like what people say in the UN, but it is one of the main tools it uses to get cooperation with its foreign poilcies.

Re:Can we please just get the US out of the UN? (4, Insightful)

TheVelvetFlamebait (986083) | more than 5 years ago | (#27374813)

The UN isn't so great for countries with a lot of power, because many of their functions are about limiting and sharing power. On the other hand, there is something to be said, even if you are a superpower, for keeping communications open between countries. The alternative ends up with a lot of dangerous pent up resentment between countries.

Seriously, this isn't a troll, even if you disagree with me.

Wait, isn't that the definition? ;)

Re:Can we please just get the US out of the UN? (0, Troll)

MadnessASAP (1052274) | more than 5 years ago | (#27374841)

When was the last time USA did anything for the UN? Other then tearing down the whole thing and turning it all into a meaningless charade that is? For a good comparison look at Microsofts involvement with ISO.

Re:Can we please just get the US out of the UN? (1)

Plutonite (999141) | more than 5 years ago | (#27374865)

The UN is there to give the illusion of universal order and support the notion of peaceful co-existence between all nations on the planet. Just because it's badly organized and involves stupid people doesn't mean it has a noble goal. I wouldn't want us to leave it.. as long as we are not expending too many resources on its projects.

Re:Can we please just get the US out of the UN? (5, Insightful)

Temporal (96070) | more than 5 years ago | (#27374869)

The UN helps keep the world stable. A stable world is good for business. What's good for business is good for the US. Most of what the UN does is not headline-grabbing stuff, but it's incredibly important.

Besides, how ridiculous would it be for the UN to be hosted by the only broadly-recognized nation in the world that wasn't a member (which is what the US would be if it pulled out)?

That said, no one takes the UN "Human Rights Council" seriously, because it's currently stacked with nations that have pitiful human rights records. This particular vote has been anticipated for some time now.

If you want to understand better how the world works, I highly recommend reading The Economist.

Depends on the wording (3, Insightful)

mdmkolbe (944892) | more than 5 years ago | (#27374453)

I want to see the actual resolution. Whether this is a good or bad thing depends on what exactly the resolution said.

If it is trying to outlaw legitimate criticism, that would obviously be bad. On the other hand maybe the news source is blowing this out of proportion and the resolution merely points out that certain generalizations about groups are harmful to free and open discussion.

It all depends on the exact wording.

Re:Depends on the wording (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27374577)

Religious defamation is certainly a bad thing, but it is a problem of society which is better addressed through education, not legislation.

Re:Depends on the wording (5, Informative)

Timothy Brownawell (627747) | more than 5 years ago | (#27374585)

I want to see the actual resolution. Whether this is a good or bad thing depends on what exactly the resolution said.

I think they're referring to this, from http://www.unhchr.ch/huricane/huricane.nsf/view01/4C99B0F4E7BC7EE8C1257585007B5D90?opendocument [unhchr.ch] :

On combating defamation of religions, the Council strongly deplored all acts of psychological and physical violence and assaults, and incitement thereto, against persons on the basis of their religion or belief, and such acts directed against their businesses, properties, cultural centres and places of worship, as well as targeting of holy sites, religious symbols and venerated personalities of all religions. The Council noted with deep concern the intensification of the overall campaign of defamation of religions and incitement to religious hatred in general, including the ethnic and religious profiling of Muslim minorities in the aftermath of the tragic events of 11 September 2001. The resolution was passed by a vote of 23 in favour, 13 against and 11 abstentions.

, except that the against and abstentions numbers seem to be reversed. The long version (further down that same page) is:

Action on Draft Resolution on Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Forms of Intolerance

In a resolution (A/HRC/10/L.2/Rev.1) on combating defamation of religions
, adopted by a vote of 23 in favour, 11 against, and 13 abstentions, the Council strongly deplores all acts of psychological and physical violence and assaults, and incitement thereto, against persons on the basis of their religion or belief, and such acts directed against their businesses, properties, cultural centres and places of worship, as well as targeting of holy sites, religious symbols and venerated personalities of all religions; notes with deep concern the intensification of the overall campaign of defamation of religions and incitement to religious hatred in general, including the ethnic and religious profiling of Muslim minorities in the aftermath of the tragic events of 11 September 2001; expresses deep concern in this respect that Islam is frequently and wrongly associated with human rights violations and terrorism and regrets the laws or administrative measures specifically designed to control and monitor Muslim minorities; deplores the use of the print, audio-visual and electronic media, including the Internet, and any other means to incite acts of violence, xenophobia or related intolerance and discrimination against any religion, as well as the targeting of religious symbols and venerated persons; emphasizes that, as stipulated in international human rights law, the exercise of freedom of expression carries with it special duties and responsibilities and may therefore be subject to limitations only as provided for by law and are necessary for respect of the rights or reputations of others, protection of national security or of public order, public health or morals and general welfare; urges all States to apply and, where required, reinforce existing laws when xenophobic or intolerant acts, manifestations or expressions occur, in order to deny impunity for those who commit such acts; urges all States to provide, within their respective legal and constitutional systems, adequate protection against acts of hatred, discrimination, intimidation and coercion resulting from defamation of religions and incitement to religious hatred in general, and to take all possible measures to promote tolerance and respect for all religions and beliefs; calls for strengthened international efforts to foster a global dialogue for the promotion of a culture of tolerance and peace at all levels; requests the Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism to report on all manifestations of defamation of religions, and in particular on the serious implications of Islamophobia, on the enjoyment of all rights by their followers, to the Council at its twelfth session; and requests the High Commissioner to report to the Council at its twelfth session on the implementation of the present resolution, including on the possible correlation between defamation of religions and the upsurge in incitement, intolerance and hatred in many parts of the world.


The result of the vote were as follows:

In favour (23): Angola, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Bolivia, Cameroon, China, Cuba, Djibouti, Egypt, Gabon, Indonesia, Jordan, Malaysia, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, Qatar, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, and South Africa.

Against (11): Canada, Chile, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Slovakia, Slovenia, Switzerland, Ukraine, and United Kingdom.

Abstentions (13):Argentina, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Ghana, India, Japan, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mexico, Republic of Korea, Uruguay, and Zambia.


ZAMIR AKRAM ( Pakistan ), speaking on behalf of the Organization for the Islamic Conference introducing the draft resolution on combating defamation of religion, said the draft highlighted the continuing phenomenon of religious hatred and incitement of hatred of religious followers. The draft highlighted the importance of dialogue to prevent the incitement of religious hatred. Defamation of religion led to causes which led to incitement of hatred, which in turn affected the fundamental freedoms and rights of individuals, and it was important to deal with the causes, as well as the effects. This was a serious affront to human dignity and subjected people to hatred, discrimination and violence. The recent negative references to Islam and Muslims reflected the hatred of many in the world. The targeting of Islam and Muslins did not exclude other religions and individuals from a similar experience. The draft expressed concern at the negative stereotyping of religions and defamation of religions, and the use of electronic media to condemn and incite hate to religions and their followers. The draft resolution called on all States within their respective legal systems to provide protections counter to religious hatred or incitement of religious hatred. In addition, Member States were reminded of their obligations in this regard under the United Nations Global Anti Terrorist Strategy.

KONRAD SCHARINGER ( Germany ), speaking on behalf of the European Union , said that the European Union firmly believed in the freedom of expression and freedom of belief. The European Union also thought that dialogue could help to overcome difference. However, it regretted that such dialogue did not take place in the Council. The European Union thought it was problematic to reconcile defamation with discrimination. Discrimination clearly fell within the scope of human rights. It had to be stressed that the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights firmly forbade any form of incitement of religious hatred. A broader and firmly rights based text would be better in that context. Defamation of religion should not be addressed within a human rights approach. Specific religions should not protected. The European Union condemned instances of Islamophobia, Chrisitianophobia and other religious hatred and invited others to show their commitment to combat religious intolerance. The European Union stressed that religious hatred was worldwide and not limited to certain religions and beliefs. The European Union would vote against the text.

ARCANJO MARIA DO NASCIMENTO ( Angola ), speaking in an explanation of the vote before the vote, said that Angola believed in the sanctity of freedom of expression, and that it should be fully protected by the State. However, it should not be used for acts of incitement to religious hatred which could lead to stigmatisation of communities with possible negative effects on the enjoyment of human rights by those communities. It was necessary to respect the right of anyone to enjoy their religion or belief without marginalization. Last year Angola had some problems with this resolution, and welcomed the approach taken this year to make a more balanced resolution, taking into account the need to protect all religions without exception. Consequently, Angola would vote in favour of the resolution.

TERRY CORMIER ( Canada ), speaking in an explanation of the vote before the vote, expressed appreciation to Pakistan for the open consultation held, and in which Canada had engaged in and voiced concerns in a constructive manner, and in order to help bridge understanding in the Council. It was a matter of great concern all over the world. The harmful stereotyping of persons based on religion or belief should be denounced. Canada condemned all forms of religious hatred and called on all States to adhere to tolerance of all religions, cultures and ethnicities around the world. Canada said it was an individual who had rights and hence defamation of religion as an issue discussed under the Human Rights Council was beyond its scope and would jeopardize freedom of expression. In addition, the current resolution continued to focus on one religion above all others. For those reasons, among others, Canada would vote against the draft resolution.

CARLOS PORTALES ( Chile ), speaking in an explanation of the vote before the vote, said that the only subjects to international law were human beings. The norms were geared to human beings, including the freedom of religion and the freedom to believe in a religion or not. The different religions were not subject to international law. There was a fundamental difference between criticism and attacks on individuals due to their adherence to a particular religion or beliefs. The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights set forth that people would enjoy equal protection and prohibited incitement to religious hatred. Chile as a country with a variety of religious beliefs, would vote against the draft resolution.

GOPINATHAN ACHAMKULANGARE ( India ), speaking in an explanation of the vote before the vote, said India remained firmly opposed to attempts of negative stereotyping and defamation of any religion, but had reservations on the draft resolution, as it inappropriately sought to focus mainly on one religion. Not only did all religions face some of the problems mentioned in the resolution to varying degrees, but this issue was best viewed under the issues of freedom of religion or others. India would abstain on the resolution owing to the manner in which the issue was dealt with.

Re:Depends on the wording (0)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | more than 5 years ago | (#27374639)

OK, it's a mouthful, but it's nothing that a reasonable person wouldn't vote for.

Re:Depends on the wording (1)

SquirrelsUnite (1179759) | more than 5 years ago | (#27374807)

You mean you agree with everything in it? As in you strongly deplore psychological assults (or incitements thereto) of religious symbols or venerated personalities of any religion? No more Xenu jokes for you, I guess.

Re:Depends on the wording (4, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 5 years ago | (#27374837)

Bullshit. "as well as the targeting of religious symbols and venerated persons", for instance, would seem to suggest that it would be forbidden(if this ever became binding anywhere) to say anything that people didn't like about a religious symbol or figure(even one long dead or mythological, in fact, saying that such a figure is mythological would probably be illegal). That is a Real Serious Problem.

For one thing, all but the blandest religions make enough historical and metaphysical claims that they are mutually contradictory with those of other religions. To simply espouse the doctrines of one would be to, at least implicitly, target the symbols or figures of another. Not to mention the cool crackdowns against atheists and whatnot.

Much of the resolution is bland, inoffensive sounding boilerplate; but parts aren't. It's like butter mixed with broken glass.

Meh (1)

BSDevil (301159) | more than 5 years ago | (#27374595)

The OIC has been gunning for this for a while - the idea is to globalize the laws that many Arab states have against blasphemy.

As for the Resolution itself, I don't really care what the text says. It's advisory only (like all non-UNSC Resolutions), and I don't think that this will really cause any countries that don't have these laws on their books already to star them up.

Committees of the General Assembly (like the Human Rights Council) pass a lot of Resolutions, many of which are heavily managed by regional blocs. They've passed like ten of them telling Israel to give back Gaza, and the system keeps working despite that being ignored...

Re:Depends on the wording (1)

collinstocks (1295204) | more than 5 years ago | (#27374687)

No, it doesn't.

First, even if what it is preventing is genuinely harmful, it creates a precedent to allow laws that block other sorts of free speech.

Second, individuals have rights with regards to defamation protection; religions do not have such rights.

Third, any harmful results of the defamation (such as not hiring somebody because of their religion) should be what is outlawed; defamation of the religion should not be outlawed.

at least the UN doesn't have real power (4, Insightful)

xzvf (924443) | more than 5 years ago | (#27374465)

When are the democracies of the world going to realize that political and economic freedom plus human rights are not protected by a body that gives equal voice to dictatorships and theocracies?

Re:at least the UN doesn't have real power (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27374769)

Apparently a lot sooner than slashdotters are going to realize that the UN is not a moral police.

Doesn't really matter (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 5 years ago | (#27374481)

No one actually listens to the UN anymore, anyway.

Of course (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27374493)

This makes perfect sense; after all the UN view is that rights come from the state instead of the governed.

No Coverage? (1)

Non-Newtonian Fluid (16797) | more than 5 years ago | (#27374495)

Did you bother to even look, or do you only read the top stories on Google News?

http://www.reuters.com/article/newsOne/idUSTRE52P60220090326

hmmm (1)

nonicknameavailable (1495435) | more than 5 years ago | (#27374497)

can a country terminate its membership in the UN?

Re:hmmm (1)

jcr (53032) | more than 5 years ago | (#27374721)

can a country terminate its membership in the UN?

Sure. Ban-Ki Moon is no Abraham Lincoln.

-jcr

Re:hmmm (1)

colinrichardday (768814) | more than 5 years ago | (#27374873)

Yeah, could you imagine Grant and Sherman as generals in a UN army/peacekeeping force? Or the UN trying to deal with 50 million armed people (damn, that Second Amendment is handy)?

Did you really look kdawson? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27374501)

How about Reuters [reuters.com] when you Google UN Human Rights Council?

New Dark Ages (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27374503)

And the 1000 year New Dark Ages brought upon by the cancer called Islam has begun. Just wait until they ban scientific research by calling it "hate speech against the almighty Allah"

In technical terms (1, Interesting)

rwa2 (4391) | more than 5 years ago | (#27374505)

The religion a person practices is sorta like the OS a computer runs. It doesn't really matter if it's "right," or the most effective way of doing things, it only matters that you can do good things with your programming. What you end up doing is more important than why you did it.

I like variety and diversity... I try to surround myself with at least one of every OS to appreciate the differences between them, and I think most people could agree to support that. So it's just a matter of working together to reach common goals among the systems that network well together, and trying to firewall off the ones that don't play nice, or at least isolate them in their own little sandbox in which to have their fun.

Anyway, hope this totally inappropriate analogy sparks off some interesting... discussion :P But as geek, it is the way I see the world.

Re:In technical terms (1)

dangitman (862676) | more than 5 years ago | (#27374633)

I try to surround myself with at least one of every OS

Have you considered building an ark? It could come in handy, what with rising sea levels and all...

Re:In technical terms (1)

GreenTech11 (1471589) | more than 5 years ago | (#27374723)

Nice metaphor, but operating systemms tend not to start fighting following a cartoon in a newspaper

Re:In technical terms (2, Insightful)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 5 years ago | (#27374761)

The religion a person practices is sorta like the OS a computer runs

      Or from another point of view, it's more like a virus that spreads from infected people to healthy people. This transmission usually happens in early childhood when parents pass it to their children, but infection can happen at any age.

      Like most viruses, they tend to slow you down and impair your judgment, creativity and free thinking, although the infected claim that somehow they are made "more efficient" by the infection. Signs of infection usually manifest themselves as: circular reasoning, repeated non sequiturs, intolerance of the non infected, passive aggressive behavior and sometimes violence towards others due to extreme repression of sexual behavior.

      Unfortunately this virus is endemic in the human population (although animals are fortunately free of it despite often forming the center of religious fantasies and rituals) and is probably caused by a faulty human OS. Fortunately a very few humans are running an OS that is impervious to this virus, but they are in the extreme minority.

        Remember, of all the things you can do in this world, Jehova/Yaweh, God or Allah will be EXTREMELY displeased with you if you masturbate. Out of all the things happening in the universe, "He" is always watching out in case your hand strays onto your genitals. (Raping 9 year old boys doesn't seem to bother "Him" as much, though).

Re:In technical terms (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27374799)

The religion a person practices is sorta like the OS a computer runs. It doesn't really matter if it's "right," or the most effective way of doing things, it only matters that you can do good things with your programming.

Well sticking with the OS analogy there is one religion that was seen as revolutionary when it came out but is now hopelessly out of date. It is used by millions of people who are barely literate and unable to read the source code. It does not play well with others and seeks to "embrace and extend" and exert control over literally everything. When its shortcomings and flaws are pointed out to its users they tend to become extremely defensive and may even begin throwing chairs.

There's no coverage because... (1, Insightful)

Tridus (79566) | more than 5 years ago | (#27374533)

The UN Human Rights Committe is a joke. It's not taken seriously anywhere because it's just used by flagrant human rights abusers as a "bash Israel" platform.

This is a meaningless vote from a discredited body. It's not worth media attention.

Every now and then... (3, Interesting)

The Master Control P (655590) | more than 5 years ago | (#27374545)

The international community does something incredibly stupid and for once you're happy with the USA's general willingness to thumb its nose at the UN (As opposed to normally facepalming over it). Any law like this in the US would spectacularly crash+burn in the Supreme Court.

The UN is a great idea, but until someone steps up to send their troops into harm's way to stop injustices, it's a toothless debating society. No one particularly cares to send their men to die for someone else, so it never happens. A UN military might help, but do you really want people like Mugabe or Ahmadinejad having a say in what it does?

Re:Every now and then... (-1, Troll)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | more than 5 years ago | (#27374651)

What? A law outlawing hatred and discrimination would crash and burn in the US?

Your country is more fucked up than I realized.

Re:Every now and then... (3, Insightful)

427_ci_505 (1009677) | more than 5 years ago | (#27374713)

A law outlawing free speech would crash and burn in the US.

Good troll though. =D

Re:Every now and then... (1)

tcolberg (998885) | more than 5 years ago | (#27374697)

Gosh, the UN has been around for over 60 years. You would think that all these people would have learned by now that the UN is a tool to disseminate western culture to the rest of the world, not the other way around!

/sarcasm

Truly nothing to see here (5, Informative)

actionbastard (1206160) | more than 5 years ago | (#27374571)

"GENEVA (Reuters) - A United Nations forum on Thursday passed a resolution condemning "defamation of religion" as a human rights violation, despite wide concerns that it could be used to justify curbs on free speech in Muslim countries.
The U.N. Human Rights Council adopted the non-binding text, proposed by Pakistan on behalf of Islamic states, with a vote of 23 states in favor and 11 against, with 13 abstentions."


This was 'passed' by a forum, not the UN General Assembly. It is a non-binding resolution, which is another way to say, "We think this is an idea." That's all, now move along.

Re:Truly nothing to see here (1)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | more than 5 years ago | (#27374693)

It's fairly clear from the text that it's not a law, merely a declaration of common values... discrimination on religious grounds is already pretty well covered by the human rights legislation anyway (and widely ignored, but then the UN doesn't really have much in the way of enforcement powers).

Truly (4, Insightful)

Shivetya (243324) | more than 5 years ago | (#27374695)

Because it is from the UN Human Rights Council, led by countries who are anything but concerned about rights.

Seems to me that the UN is following the same naming system as the American Congress with Bills. (As in every Bill of "some new right" seems to lose me more of the rights I already had)

I am amazed they didn't exclude Judaism from it.

Re:Truly nothing to see here (1)

TinBromide (921574) | more than 5 years ago | (#27374709)

So essentially the UN has done what it always does? Merely say what some countries are thinking in legalese?

Try to criticize judaism or Israel in the US (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27374905)

If this resolution prohibited criticism of judaism, zionism or Israel, we'd be all for it here.

I am a religon. N/T (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27374581)

Who's to say what a religion is.

Free speech or hate speech? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27374615)

This resolution gets introduced each year or so. It usually is against hate speech and denigrating language against any religion, race, nationality or gender. Don't know the text of this year's resolution. One must carefully consider if there is a difference between free speech and abusive attacks. Opinions often chasnge if it is your group or another group that is under attack by the media.

The UN has outlived its usefulness. (1)

jcr (53032) | more than 5 years ago | (#27374645)

Time to send them home.

-jcr

Stop calling it the United Nations (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27374667)

Call it the League of Nations instead and then defund it.

Song lyrics to be changed by order of UN (1)

kombipom (1274672) | more than 5 years ago | (#27374731)

"Your God is dead, and no-one cares..." NIN

"I don't want to start any blasphemous rumours but I think that God has got a sick sense of humour..." Depeche Mode

I'm sure that there are thousands more

Idea for a resolution. (3, Funny)

coretx (529515) | more than 5 years ago | (#27374757)

Quick ! We must create a counter resolution that outlaws theocracies! - It is the only solution i can think off.

The UN smells bad... (1)

TheVelvetFlamebait (986083) | more than 5 years ago | (#27374763)

... immediately and retroactively.

Atheism outlawed (1)

kombipom (1274672) | more than 5 years ago | (#27374787)

I know that it's not a real law but it does give strength to any country who wants to make it in to a law in their country. Wouldn't this make talking about why you are an atheist illegal?
I guess this would be seen as a bonus to the countries which proposed it anyway.
What I really don't understand are the abstainers, who couldn't have an opinion on this?

Re:Atheism outlawed (1)

Faluzeer (583626) | more than 5 years ago | (#27374895)

snip...
What I really don't understand are the abstainers, who couldn't have an opinion on this?

Hmmm

It is not that they do not have opinions, it is far more likely that they do not want to have their opinions on the record...Doing so might curtail investments or business opportunities...

Oh dear (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27374795)

I know they're thinking about Islam here.

"Let's not talk about it, maybe it will become peaceful and the radicals won't be a problem"

Didn't they do the same thing with Hitler?

Outlawing the criticism of religion in any form will just make extremists claim that any action they take is for religious purposes, and all kinds of stupid bullshit will ensue.

Islamic groups are pushing censorship worldwide (5, Informative)

duncan bayne (544299) | more than 5 years ago | (#27374803)

A Finnish MP is being prosecuted [jihadwatch.org] because he had the temerity to point out that Mohammed had sex with a nine-year old girl called Aisha, whom he married when she was aged six - details here [wikipedia.org] .

The fact is, he's right. From the JihadWatch article:

The collection of traditions of Muhammad that Muslims consider most reliable, Sahih Bukhari, affirms in no less than five places that Aisha was six when Muhammad took her and nine when he consummated the marriage (vol. 5, bk. 58, no. 234; vol. 5 bk. 58 no. 236; vol. 7 bk. 62 no. 64; vol. 7 bk. 62 no. 65; and vol. 7 bk. 62 no. 88). It is also in Sunan Abu Dawud (bk. 41 no. 4915), another of the Sahih Sittah, the six hadith collections Muslims accept as most reliable.

So, the man that is considered by Islam to be the ideal role model [helium.com] , capable only of 'human errors in judgment in minor things with good intentions' [turntoislam.com] , was also a child rapist.

The reason that Islamic groups worldwide are pushing for blasphemy laws - and using them when they're available - is to silence people who point out facts like that.

uh oh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27374821)

i run a blog on which i focus a lot of attention on the problems inherent in religion. is simply promoting atheism considered anti-religion?

let me be the first one to say (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27374835)

fuck all religions!

Sounds Like Bad News (1)

Chlorine Trifluoride (1517149) | more than 5 years ago | (#27374871)

for xenu.net

What did you expect... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27374875)

...from the followers of a delusional mass-murdering child-fucker?

All religions are mental diseases; but Islam is the most dangerous of them all.

Yeah, we gotta do this (5, Insightful)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 5 years ago | (#27374891)

Yeah, you've got to outlaw any and all critical comments about religion. Aside from the very touchy Muslims who view almost everything said by anybody else as an Insult to Islam that you must Now Die For, all these other religions who all claim to have God (Muslin == Allah) on their side and that the truth is with them are far too fragile to withstand any actual questioning. Except for Scientology, who fights back against the least bad word in the nastiest ways possible, and the Muslims who riot in the streets and end up killing each other because someone drew a cartoon of The Prophet halfway around the world, all these strong religions with both God and The Truth on their side as just way too fragile to stand up against the least little wind of discourse.

WE MUST DO THIS NOW! POLITICAL CORRECTNESS DEMANDS IT OF US!

In fact, in order to comply with this you've got to remove this post posthaste!

This happens every session (4, Insightful)

erroneus (253617) | more than 5 years ago | (#27374897)

Pakistan and other Islamic nation members have been consistently proposing this for years and years.

I really wished they would give it up. Religion is a choice that people make. And as such it should be open to criticism. It is really as simple as that. If yours is a true and good religion, it can withstand criticism... right?

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