10 December 2010

The dangerous idea of defamation of religon

As the world ever so slowly becomes more secular, those countries who define themselves by religion are trying to fight back.

They (Organisation of Islamic Conference) are trying to get the UN to pass  "defamation of religion" basically The International Humanist and Ethical Union describe the problem :-

Unlike traditional defamation laws, which punish false statements of fact that harm individual persons, measures prohibiting the `defamation of religions’ punish the peaceful criticism of ideas. Additionally, the concept of `defamation of religions’ is fundamentally inconsistent with the universal principles outlined in the United Nations’ founding documents, including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which affirms the protection of the rights of individuals, rather than ideas.
Such resolutions provide international support for domestic laws against blasphemy and “injury to religious feelings”, which are often abused by governments to punish the peaceful expression of disfavored political or religious beliefs and ideas. Moreover, existing international legal instruments already address discrimination, personal defamation, and incitement in ways that are more carefully focused to confront those specific problems without unduly threatening the rights of freedom of expression and the freedom of thought, conscience and religion.
In 2009 Pakistan said
 “Defamation of religion is a serious affront to human dignity leading to a restriction on the freedom of their adherents and incitement to religious violence. Islam is frequently and wrongly associated with human rights violations and terrorism.”

But to put it in a single sentence " Criticize religion and you are guilty of blasphemy and you will die". You can see the danger in this when you realize that in some countries religion is the state, so criticizing those in power is also a crime against their God.

If you ever hear the Iranian Government on the news they you will probably have heard that opposing the Government is a crime against God, so think about it.

Minorities who differ from the majority religion, for example Christians or non-believers in Muslim-majority countries, are at risk. So too are minority co-religionists, such as Ahmadis who do not view Mohamed as the last Prophet and are persecuted as apostates in many Muslim-majority countries.

Just a few weeks ago the  U.N. Human Rights Council adopted the non-binding text, and wanted it passed to the general assembly. 
Today is  International Human Rights Day (December 10), remember people have right, religions don't.

International Humanist and Ethical Union Blasphemy Report

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"If civilization is to survive, we must cultivate the science of human relationships - the ability of all peoples, of all kinds, to live together, in the same world at peace."
-Franklin D. Roosevelt

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