Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Bush Administration opposes UN Resolution on "Defamation of Religions"

Resolution will boost Islam at the expenses of Christianity in free societies while strengthening dhimittude in Muslim lands.

Folks, this was reported by Catholic Exchange:

The Bush administration Friday (Sept 19, 2008) strongly denounced Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC) efforts at the United Nations to pass “defamation of religions” resolutions that undermine free speech and inter-religious dialogue, and lead to the criminalization of blasphemy laws.

“[W]e are concerned by efforts to promote a so-called defamation of religions concept, which has been the focus of numerous resolutions passed at the United Nations. Instead of protecting religious practice and promoting tolerance, this concept seeks to limit freedom of speech and that could undermine the standards of international religious freedom,” said U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice Friday on the release of the US State Department’s release of the 2008 Report on International Religious (click here).

The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, which has been in the forefront of groups actively opposing “defamation of religions” resolutions, said the U.S. government opposition to “defamation of religions” resolutions is welcome.

“The Bush administration has been working on this issue behind the scenes for sometime. This very strong public stand opposing the resolutions, while the General Assembly is in session, indicates the seriousness of the issue,” said Bennett Graham, International Programs Officer of the Becket Fund. “The Becket Fund heartily applauds Secretary Rice, Ambassador John Hanford and the Office of International Religious Freedom at the State Department for their opposition to the defamation resolution and for pushing this issue off the back burner and into the forefront of international diplomatic concerns.”

Mr. Graham said that he hoped President Bush would repeat the administration’s opposition to “defamation of religions” resolutions, when he addresses the General Assembly this week.

Ambassador Hanford laid out the dangers of the defamation of religions resolution in his remarks:

“We take issue with efforts by the Organisation of the Islamic Conference and its members like Pakistan and Egypt, in promoting the problematic concept of defamation of religions at the United Nations,” he said. “This flawed concept seeks to weaken the freedoms of religion and expression by restricting the rights of individuals to share their views or criticize religions; in particular, Islam. The OIC’s approach to defamation of religions is inconsistent with international human rights law, and is an attempt to export the blasphemy laws found in several OIC countries to the international level.”

The Becket Fund, which has consultative status at the United Nations, has submitted legal analysis to the United Nations High Commissioner on Human Rights on defamation of religion resolutions (click here).

The Becket Fund's issues brief explains the following reasons for their opposition to this resolution:

Major criticisms of the “defamation of religions” resolutions include: the protection of a religion (essentially an ideology) instead of an individual; the complete conflation of race and religion; the erosion of freedom of expression as a fundamental freedom in favor of protecting the sensibilities of listeners; the narrow focus on Islam; and overbroad and unclear language, including in the use of the term “defamation.” While religious intolerance and hatred against any religious group are issues that need to be addressed, the passage of “defamation of religions” resolutions at the UN actually restricts more freedoms than it protects.

Commentary. This is what I see: this resolution will empower Muslims in non-Muslim states to claim a grievance every time say, a Christian-Muslim apologetic exchange occurs in which the Christian party impeaches the prophetic credentials of Muhammad or the inspiration of the Koran, while continuing the ongoing dhimmitude of Christian in Muslim-majority societies, on the ground that "to tell the truth about Christ and Christianity is no defamation" or variations of this themes. In the end, the resolution is geared to guarantee the supremacy of Islam in Islamic society, and the criminalization of any kind of controversial speech against Islam in non-Muslim societies at the expense of individual freedoms and conscience.

It's good for the Bush Administration to trash this U.N. Resolution and I hope that the rest of the Free World also votes against it. This is an attempt by Islamic politicians to sneak a Meccan Horse in our backyards. Let me give you an example:

Let me state clearly and unambiguously that Muhammad, the founder of Islam, was not a prophet nor is the Koran the inspired Word of God. For that matter, Joseph Smith was not a Prophet either, nor is the Book of Mormon,, or Doctrines and Covenants or the Pearl of Great Price, etc are the inspired Word of God either. Neither is Sun Myung Moon and his Divine Principles, nor Mary Baker Eddy and her Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, and on and on. The list of people claiming to be "the Prophet" is quite long and undistinguished.

Holy Tradition, handed down in writing (the Bible) and orally (in the Liturgy and Sacraments) are the totality of Divine Revelation, sealed once and for all at the death of the last Apostle. That's it! No one else is needed to amplify, clarify, or add to the Word of God.

Were this U.N. Resolution to pass, and the U.S. become signatories, and the enabled into local law, I could be sued for libel and even thrown in jail. Not here, not now, not ever.