Thursday, March 26, 2009

UN Human Rights farce continues unabated

Hey, now I can be certain, my views on organized religion are unequivocal human rights violations at least according to the UN Human Rights Council. The UN Human Rights Council, an outfit today dominated by Muslim nations, has issued a resolution today that resolves that criticizing organized religion constitutes a human rights violation. In Resolution A/HRC/10/L.2 the UN states under the - as usual - misleading title 'RACISM, RACIAL DISCRIMINATION, XENOPHOBIA AND RELATED FORMS OF INTOLERANCE, FOLLOW-UP AND IMPLEMENTATION OF THE DURBAN DECLARATION AND PROGRAMME OF ACTION' the following niceties: It recognizes 'the valuable contribution of all religions to modern civilization' (among those contributions were the crusades, the slaughtering of children by the Maya, the killing of innocents in the name of Allah, and the list goes on and on and on).

Anyhow, that's neither here nor there, I suppose. In other bits of the resolution the UN stresses that 'defamation of religions is a serious affront to human dignity'. Agh, there we go again, 'human dignity' (a short for, 'I don't like what you're saying or doing, but have no good reasons for that'). They also want 'all States to provide, within their respective legal and constitutional systems, adequate protection against acts of hatred, discrimination, intimidation and coercion resulting from defamation of religions, and incitement to religious hatred in general, and to take all possible measures to promote tolerance and respect for all religions and beliefs.' What's religious hatred? Anything that 'defames' religion (like saying that God doesn't exist, Allah is a fiction, stuff like that). How can we figure out whether something is seriously defamatory? Because religious folks dance in the streets and randomly kill folks they happen to disagree with (a not uncommon pastime in some Islamic countries these days). So, it seems that I have just incited you to 'religious hatred'. Truth be told, in centuries gone by, this would have been called blasphemy. Whoever thought we had left those dark ages behind where criticism of religion could lead to serious forms of state sponsored punishments was obviously mistaken.

Here's another gem, aimed at internet and other media censorship: 'Deplores the use of the print, audio-visual and electronic media, including the Internet, and any other means to incite acts of violence, xenophobia or related intolerance and discrimination towards any religion, as well as targeting of religious symbols and venerated persons'. So, from today you better don't take the mickey out of religious symbols or folks like "don't use condoms in the midst of an AIDS pandemic" Pope Benedict, no matter how idiotic they might be, because otherwise, you guessed it, you'd violate 'dignity' (and so some kind of alleged human right of religious folks not to offended).

The UN Human Rights Commissioner is ordered in the resolution to develop initiatives aimed at 'the prevention and elimination of all such forms of incitement and the consequences of negative stereotyping of religions'. There we have it, the 'negative stereotyping of religion' (as in, saying in public that monotheistic religions usually aim at prohibiting women from exercising their reproductive rights, being good buddies with some of the worst totalitarian regimes in power today, the stoning to death of gay men that's a fav pastime in some Islamic countries, stuff like that) will soon be met by a vigorous human rights/dignity based response from the UN.

'Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance to report on all manifestations of defamation of religions, and in particular on the serious implications of Islamophobia, on the enjoyment of all rights by their followers, to the Council during its 12th Session.' Cool, with a bit of luck our 50 Voices of Disbelief book project might soon find itself in an official UN Human Rights 'report' as defaming religious people, symbols or non-reality based ideologies in general. Kinda cool, we'd find ourselves in suitably good company, just think of Voltaire's Candide, undoubtedly another prime candidate for inclusion in the report. Because the Council is controlled these days by Islamic countries, despite its misleading title, the prime objective of this document seems to be to isolate Islamic theocrats and adherents from any kind of criticism of this particular ideology.

Scary stuff, but thank goodness, like most UN human rights stuff, it's non-binding. The real problem is, of course, that the totalitarian regimes that sponsored the resolution will probably use it to come down hard on opponents inside their countries.

It goes perhaps without saying that the same document stresses the compatibility of this witch-hunt with freedom of expression. Bollocks.

5 comments:

  1. I suppose our latest Idiocracy Watch strip might qualify as a human rights violation. Our own (CDN) government is resorting to these kinds of intolerable arguments.

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  2. Well, you know what they say -- the only two organized institutions in society are organized crime and organized religion.

    Seriously, though, I've always been intrigued by why some religionists are so worried about having their dignity insulted. As a practicing atheist, I welcome any and all criticism from theists, as long as their tenets are not forced upon me in legislation, etc.

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  3. nice cartoon jason ... you'd get em syndicated somehow!

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  4. Also important to note, I think, is how little attention this is getting in the US press. Essentially none.

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