The Human Rights Council Subverts Human Rights Once More
by Aaron Eitan Meyer • Mar 27, 2009 at 12:09 am
On March 19th, it was reported that the United Nations draft resolution for the second Durban conference on 'racism' had been substantially altered, notably dropping the provisions calling for measures to be taken against "defamation of religion," which were, in practical terms, meant to shield Islam, and particularly its radical variants, from criticism. This was rightfully seen as a blow against ongoing efforts by the Organization of the Islamic Conference to globally criminalize speech pertaining to Islam.
However, a mere week later, on March 26th, the Human Rights Council passed a Pakistan-sponsored resolution on behalf of the OIC condemning "defamation of religion," despite loud outcries from numerous governments and a statement from nearly 200 non-governmental organizations, from 50 countries around the world, strongly urging the Human Rights Council not to pass the resolution.
In familiar OIC hyperbolic terminology, the resolution stresses "that defamation of religions is a serious affront to human dignity leading to a restriction on the freedom of religion of their adherents and incitement to religious hatred and violence."
By contrast, the resolution goes on to show concern that defamation of religion "could lead to social disharmony and violations of human rights" and that the UN's high Commissioner on Human Rights to report to the Council "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." [Emphasis added]
The difference in rhetoric is telling. The OIC does not function under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which it cites only to serve its purposes, but by The Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam. While the OIC cannot legitimately demonstrate a substantial basis for its slippery-slope arguments about religious 'defamation' and actual violence, it remains secure in its fundamental, and self-serving, belief that offending Islam is the most heinous of human rights violations, a concept that persists despite reality.
The Cairo Declaration, enacted by the OIC in 1990, contains some brief mention of the right to express an opinion, but only so long as it is expressed "in such manner as would not be contrary to the principles of the Shari'ah." Similarly, information, though a "vital necessity," "may not be exploited or misused in such a way as may violate sanctities and the dignity of Prophets..." To the OIC, all human rights are explicitly secondary to those delineated by Shari'a law, and as such, diametrically opposed to any substantive conception of human rights.
Any discussion of the OIC's latest subversion of international human rights must conclude with reference to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. That formative document, adopted by a broader consensus than any ever manufactured by the OIC, recognized that the "highest aspiration of the common people" was to see "a world in which human beings shall enjoy freedom of speech and belief and freedom from fear and want."
The OIC will continue to loudly proclaim elaborate justifications for perverting international human rights, but so long as the Shari'a-driven, politicized rhetoric is met with free and unfettered analysis and criticism, the dream embodied in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights may still be attainable. However, each 'hate speech' law, UN resolution condemning 'defamation of religion,' and victorious Islamist lawsuit places that dream further from reach.
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