UNHRC condemns criticism of Islam and Western counterterrorism laws

The UN Human Rights Council adopted today a resolution purporting “to combat the defamation of religions”. The resolution was submitted by Pakistan on behalf of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC).

A significant number of the OIC’s member states tolerate and/or institutionalize the violent persecution of religious minorities and severely punish (sometimes by death) critics of Islam.

A look at the resolution’s text clearly shows that its main purpose is to portray Western counterterrorism measures as discriminatory towards Muslims and to specifically silence the legitimate criticism of Islam, rather than to call on OIC member states to offer their religious minorities the same kind of legal protections and equal rights they are afforded in the West.

Thus does the resolution express “deep concern at attempts to identify Islam with terrorism, violence and human rights violations”, coveniently tossing aside the fact that Islam is the driving force of international terrorism today.

This is not to say Islam should be equated with terrorism, an unhelpful mental shortcut, to be sure. But rather than attempting to silence free and open discussion about the obvious links between Islam and terrorism, shouldn’t the OIC’s most pressing and legitimate concern be to propose concrete solutions to this linkage? OIC member states could start by curbing the crude antisemitic, anti-Christian and anti-Western propaganda featured daily in their official media.

The resolution also notes “with deep concern the intensification of the campaign of defamation of religions, and the ethnic and religious profiling of Muslim minorities, in the aftermath of the tragic events of 11 September 2001”.

Tellingly, the resolution offers no proof, nor does it refer to any study or UN report suggesting Western counterterrorism discriminates ethnically or religiously against Muslims. If such a case could be made, then a resolution against the “defamation” of Islam would hardly correct the discrimination of individuals on the basis of their faith or ethnicity. The criticism of a set of beliefs simply does not equate to the discrimination of individual human beings on the basis of religion, sex, or ethnicity for that matter. This is why most Western states have anti-hate legislation.

The resolution also notes “with deep concern the increasing trend in recent years of statements attacking religions, Islam and Muslims in particular, in human rights forums”. To be sure, those human rights fora do not include the UN-sponsored antisemitic hatefest in Durban or the UN Human Rights Council with its entrenched antizionist consensus.

Rightfully, Canada, Europe and Japan voted against this transparently propagandistic resolution. The criticism of Islam, or of any other religion, is protected under freedom of speech and thought. Ironically, without the protection of this basic right which Westerners struggled so hard to obtain, our societies would be less enlightened, and minorities such as Western Muslims all the more exposed to violations of their rights.

What’s tragic about this resolution is that it will serve as a pseudo-legal caution for the already ruthless repression of free thinkers in a number of Islamic nations which completely disregard the ideals and principles of human rights and the freedom of thought and expression enjoyed in the West.

Beyond that, this resolution testifies to the stranglehold the OIC and its automatic majority (the “non-aligned” countries which either abstained or voted with the OIC on this resolution) have on UN agencies and the ensuing dysfunction of the UN epitomized by the constant ideological onslaught against Israel.