Christians wake up to the dangers of UN anti-blasphemy resolution
FOR months now secularists and proponents of free speech have been warning of the dire implications of an Islamic-inspired United Nations anti-blasphemy resolution. Now Christian leaders too have cottoned onto the dangers posed by the resolution.
According to the Christian Post, the resolution:
Could hinder Christian evangelism and spread sharia law.
Said Carol Moeller, president and CEO of an organisation called Open Doors:
This anti-blasphemy resolution is mostly seen to be putting a â€˜chilling effect’ on Christian work and outreach around the world, and that is a very troubling development for us.
The non-binding UN resolution was first introduced by Pakistan and the Organization of the Islamic Conference at the UN Human Rights Council in 1999. It was amended to include religions other than Islam, and has since passed every year.
In 2005, Yemen proposed a similar resolution before the General Assembly and now the 192-nation Assembly is set to vote on it again.
Resolution 62/145, which was adopted in 2007, says it:
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 September 11, 2001. It stresses the need to effectively combat defamation of all religions and incitement to religious hatred, against Islam and Muslims in particular.
Despite good intentions, Moeller said:
The reality is that wherever Christianity and Islam come into relationship with each other in the culture, the net effect has been for Christian evangelism to be silence or to be intimidated through this act.
Although the resolution is non-binding, it has been passed several times giving it a kind of authority and, in effect protecting militant Islamists who retaliate against perceived offenses, Moeller said.
The slope is so slippery because everything that purports to criticise Islam is considered ‘blasphemy.’ Anything that promotes another religious viewpoint, like Christianity, is considered ‘blasphemy. ‘It really becomes the ultimate weapon against free religious speech around the world.
Earlier this year, the US government mission in Geneva said in a statement to the UN Human Rights Council that :
Defamation-related laws have been abused by governments and used to restrict human rights.
Former UN Ambassador John Bolton commented:
It’s obviously intended to have an intimidating effect on people expressing criticism of radical Islam, and the idea that you can have a defamation of a religion [ruling] like this, I think, is a concept fundamentally foreign to our system of free expression in the United States.
It is bizarre, to say the very least, that the Human Rights Council should be used as a platform for this ridiculous resolution, as the very worst violators of human rights are the the Islamic regimes themselves.
Human rights abuses happen in many countries, but never to the proportion and the magnitude of what is happening in Iran and other Islamic countries. In the last few years, and with no little thanks to the Islamic Revolution of Iran, I noticed that the major human right abuses are perpetrated in the name of religion.
I became concerned for the plight of my people in Iran and her neighboring countries and decided to investigate the cause. I asked myself whether all this is because the gentle and peaceful message of Islam is misunderstood and whether there is a way to revive the pure Islam and save my country.
It was in this quest that I realized, to my chagrin, that the human right abuses are not deviations from the true Islam but they ARE teachings of Islam.