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New Effort in UN to Criminalize “Defamation of Islam”

Many of you have already signed our petition to Congress opposing the “Fairness Doctrine,” and if you have, we thank you. Discussions of the Fairness Doctrine don’t usually include how it could suppress critique of Islam in the media, but rest assured – if the government authorizes new regulations requiring “balance” in the media militant Islamists will attempt to use those regulations to shut down what they term “defamation” of Islam.

The article below describes how Islamists are busy working to win support for a UN resolution that is clearly designed to prod countries to criminalize criticism and critique of Islam. Imagine a day in the not-too-distant future when countries across the world adopt such laws and the United States has a “Fairness Doctrine” in place. With respect to combating the evil of radical Islam we would be witnessing the end of free speech as we know it.

If this sounds far-fetched, consider that a member of Austria’s parliament has already been convicted of engaging in “hate speech” because of her criticisms of radical Islam; Dutch MP Geert Wilders was denied entry to Great Britain to show his film “Fitna”; and author and columnist Mark Steyn was hauled before the Canadian Human Rights Commission. These are just three examples of what will be our reality if we don’t resist this assault on our First Amendment.

UN Watch Briefing
Proposal at U.N. to criminalize 'defamation of Islam'

"Geneva, March 11, 2009 -- A new U.N. resolution circulated today by Islamic states would define any questioning of Islamic dogma as a human rights violation, intimidate dissenting voices, and encourage the forced imposition of Sharia law. Human_Rights_Council_Resolution.pdf

"UN Watch obtained a copy of the Pakistani-authored proposal after it was distributed today among Geneva diplomats attending the current session of the UN Human Rights Council. Entitled "Combating defamation of religions," it mentions only Islam."

"While non-binding, the resolution constitutes a dangerous threat to free speech everywhere. It would ban any perceived offense to Islamic sensitivities as a "serious affront to human dignity" and a violation of religious freedom, and would pressure U.N. member states -- at the "local, national, regional and international levels" -- to erode free speech guarantees in their "legal and constitutional systems.""

"It's an Orwellian text that distorts the meaning of human rights, free speech, and religious freedom, and marks a giant step backwards for liberty and democracy worldwide."

"The first to suffer will be moderate Muslims in the countries that are behind this resolution, like Iran, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Pakistan, who seek international legitimacy for state-sanctioned blasphemy laws that stifle religious freedom and outlaw conversions from Islam to other faiths."

"Next to suffer from this U.N.-sanctioned McCarthyism will be writers and journalists in the democratic West, with the resolution targeting the media for the "deliberate stereotyping of religions, their adherents and sacred persons.""

"Ultimately, it is the very notion of individual human rights at stake, because the sponsors of this resolution seek not to protect individuals from harm, but rather to shield a specific set of beliefs from any question, debate, or critical inquiry."

"The resolution's core premise -- that "defamation of religion" exists as legal concept -- is a distortion. The law on defamation protects the reputations of individuals, not beliefs. It also requires an examination of the truth or falsity of the challenged remarks -- a determination that no one, especially not the UN, is capable of undertaking concerning any religion."

"Tragically, given that Islamic states completely dominate the Human Rights Council, with the support of non-democratic members like Russia, China, and Cuba, adoption of the regressive resolution is a forgone conclusion. E.U. diplomats hope at best to win over a handful of wavering Latin American states to the dissenting side."