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Censorship Government

UN Attacks Free Speech 842

Posted by kdawson
from the anti-blasphemy-enshrined dept.
newsblaze writes "The UN Human Rights Council assaulted free expression today, in a 23-11 vote that urges member states to adopt laws outlawing criticism of religions. The proposal came to the UN from Pakistan on behalf of the Organization for the Islamic Conference. There were 13 abstentions. South Korea, Japan, India, Mexico and Brazil, all strong democracies, allowed this to pass by abrogating their responsibility. While the resolution doesn't mention the online world, where does this subject get mentioned most, if not online?" The coverage is from NewsBlaze, which says its mission is to carry important news that other media are not paying attention to. There does not seem to be any other coverage of this vote.
Update: 03/29 00:48 GMT by KD : Reader kshade wrote in: "Actually this is covered by conventional media, even FOX news (Google News links). The absentees weren't there because they boycotted the proposal."
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UN Attacks Free Speech

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  • Little early... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Oonushi (863093) on Saturday March 28, 2009 @08:12PM (#27374403)

    ...for April Fools Day. This is a joke, right?

    • Re:Little early... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by ConceptJunkie (24823) on Saturday March 28, 2009 @08:22PM (#27374487) Homepage Journal

      With the U.N., every day seems like April Fool's Day, because the U.N. is nothing but a group of fools.

      • Re:Little early... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Doc Ruby (173196) on Saturday March 28, 2009 @08:29PM (#27374557) Homepage Journal

        With almost 200 members, practically every country in the world, what else could it be but fools? That's all the world has to offer itself.

        • Re:Little early... (Score:5, Interesting)

          by Jurily (900488) <[jurily] [at] [gmail.com]> on Saturday March 28, 2009 @10:46PM (#27375657)

          With almost 200 members, practically every country in the world, what else could it be but fools? That's all the world has to offer itself.

          My country is represented by people most of us don't want to. I don't even think I need to name it to make it true.

        • is that they treat all nations with relatively equal standing (except the members of the security council).

          Only when they only admit freedom-based societies as voting members will it be a body that can work for actual good. Fear-based societies, who mistreat their own people, have no business telling other countries how to treat their people.

          What's the difference between the two? If a citizen of a country can stand in what amounts to the town square and criticize his/her government without fear of reprisa

          • by TapeCutter (624760) * on Sunday March 29, 2009 @01:04AM (#27376495) Journal
            "If a citizen of a country can stand in what amounts to the town square and criticize his/her government without fear of reprisal, it's a freedom-based society."

            Yes, and that is exactly what happens with "citizens" of Earth at the UN, of course the only power the UN has got is held by the 5 permanent members who religiously veto their own pawns. If you believe your own freedom rhetoric and follow it to it logical conclusion, you will discard the prosters call to censor the OIC and at the same time applaud the UN for (ironically) allowing the OIC to stand up and speak for themselves.
            • by ArcherB (796902) on Sunday March 29, 2009 @08:59AM (#27378431) Journal

              "If a citizen of a country can stand in what amounts to the town square and criticize his/her government without fear of reprisal, it's a freedom-based society."

              Yes, and that is exactly what happens with "citizens" of Earth at the UN, of course the only power the UN has got is held by the 5 permanent members who religiously veto their own pawns. If you believe your own freedom rhetoric and follow it to it logical conclusion, you will discard the prosters call to censor the OIC and at the same time applaud the UN for (ironically) allowing the OIC to stand up and speak for themselves.

              I'm sorry. Is the UN good or bad? I ask because in just another thread, you were praising the virtues of the IPCC, another UN body, and here you are claiming that the UN is political body looking out of the well being of the 5 permanent members. So, which is it? Also, you really need to be consistent across threads or else someone might pick up on it and point out your total lack of credibility.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by marcello_dl (667940)

        Fools don`t get good ranking in a backstabbing game like politics. We are just witnessing the end of usefulness of what we consider ideals like freedom of expression. For the ruling class they were simply propaganda to push for a globalized and media controlled world. Once served their purpose they are discontinued.

        BTW any Christian that takes advantage of such law seems a traitor of the word and example of Jesus IMO.

      • Re:Little early... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by b4upoo (166390) on Saturday March 28, 2009 @09:32PM (#27375063)

        The UN should be whipped, beaten and strangled for failure to stand up for free speech.

    • Re:Little early... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by CodeBuster (516420) on Sunday March 29, 2009 @12:57AM (#27376451)
      The UN itself is a joke. If a fourth-rate power like Sudan can tell the UN to pound sand and get away with it then what is the point? It is ironic that the muslim countries like Pakistan, being themselves consistently among the worst human rights abusers on the planet, would chose the UN Human Rights council of all places to criticize the democracies of this world. They should take the board out of their own eye before they reach for the splinter in ours. There is a reason why Pakistan, Sudan, Iran and the rest are underdeveloped, backwards, and inferior to the western democracies in just about every respect and it has a lot to do with freedom of speach, freedom of religion (something obviously lacking in places like Pakistan), and freedom of women to participate in public life.
      • Re:Little early... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by garett_spencley (193892) on Sunday March 29, 2009 @02:18AM (#27376889) Journal

        I don't like the idea of any country not being able to tell the UN to go pound sand. A country's sovereignty is extremely important for freedom, and war is directly at odds with freedom and prosperity. If Sudan is a member country they could be denied membership unless they comply with the UN's charter. I don't like the use of force, especially by a foreign power, to spread an ideology. If the ideology is peace and freedom then force is in conflict with the ideology anyway. Instead set an example; send in peaceful, lawful aid and volunteer educators; publicly deplore the government's actions and try to change public opinion in Sudan. Apply diplomatic pressure to the government and do whatever is possible to peacefully persuade them to change.

        Ultimately it is up to the people to change their government, and employ force if they feel it necessary. Not an external force.

  • by superbus1929 (1069292) on Saturday March 28, 2009 @08:14PM (#27374409) Homepage
    Forgive my scepticism, but I have to wait until I see a second, less biased source before I take this at face value. The rule of reporting is to get two verifications, and I think I'm going to do just that.
      • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 28, 2009 @08:21PM (#27374473)

        "It is individuals who have rights, not religions," Ottawa's representative told the body. "Canada believes that to extend (the notion of) defamation beyond its proper scope would jeopardize the fundamental right to freedom of expression, which includes freedom of expression on religious subjects."

        Go Canada !

        • by Sigismundo (192183) on Saturday March 28, 2009 @09:18PM (#27374967)
          That's pretty interesting, considering that it's already against the law in Canada to incite hatred on the basis of religion (as well as race, sexual orientation, etc). Here's a link [justice.gc.ca], and some info from a page [wikipedia.org] on Wikipedia. What part of the UN proposal does Ottawa object to?
          • by coniferous (1058330) on Saturday March 28, 2009 @09:41PM (#27375117) Homepage
            There is a fundamental difference between inciting hatred and and being critical of a religion.
            • by Smauler (915644) on Saturday March 28, 2009 @09:52PM (#27375205)

              Is there? I personally hate organised religion in all it's forms, and encourage others to do the same. I hate christianty, judaism, islam, and all the others equally. If I encourage others to hate any organised religion in my country (the UK), I'm committing an offence (incitement to relgious hatred).

              There is _not_ a whole world of difference. I am _now_ asking people to hate religions, including but not limited to christianity, judaism, and islam. By doing that I am breaking the law. That law is wrong on so many levels.

              • by coniferous (1058330) on Saturday March 28, 2009 @09:58PM (#27375245) Homepage
                Its very hard for me to quantify the difference between criticism and hate speech because a great deal of it circumstantial and how you take it, but let me just give you an example...

                criticism: People don't have souls. Christians are wrong.

                Hate: People don't have souls, fucking Christians should not be allowed to practice such stupidity.

                • by a whoabot (706122) on Saturday March 28, 2009 @10:13PM (#27375359)

                  Inciting hatred in Canada just means rendering it at all more likely that someone would be discriminated against or hurt.

                  So in fact your "criticism" could very well be "hate speech" in Canada, just if it was ruled to increase the chances that a Christian would be discriminated against or hurt.

                  In fact, there have been fundamentalist types who have been prosecuted for hate speech for simply posting anti-homosexual selections from the Bible. They'll just make a post like this: "Homosexuals should read Book of Whatever verse whatever which says [homosexuality is an abomination whatever, homosexuals will go to hell]."

                  Mark Steyn was prosecuted for quoting and agreeing with a Norwegian mullah who said that Muslims would eventually take over Europe. He was cleared though, but probably only because of the huge media pressure.

                  • by NotQuiteReal (608241) on Saturday March 28, 2009 @10:31PM (#27375505) Journal
                    What if you said "Leviticus 20:13 is Hate Speech"? Is that hate speech?
                  • by gobbo (567674) <wrewrite@@@gmail...com> on Sunday March 29, 2009 @01:28AM (#27376653) Journal

                    In fact, there have been fundamentalist types who have been prosecuted for hate speech for simply posting anti-homosexual selections from the Bible. They'll just make a post like this: "Homosexuals should read Book of Whatever verse whatever which says [homosexuality is an abomination whatever, homosexuals will go to hell]."

                    That brings up the case that religious fanatics who label me 'infidel' or 'damned and dangerous' because I am a skeptical pantheist (or transgressive agnostic or whatever) are inciting hate against me, and against others with a contrary creed.

                    Not all evangelists are like that, mind you. But some fundies (islamist and christian varieties in particular) are definitely promoting hate of those who don't believe like they do. I wonder how that'll come out in the wash.

                • by Smauler (915644) on Saturday March 28, 2009 @11:25PM (#27375937)

                  People should be allowed to practice whatever religion they ascribe to. I should be allowed to hate those religions and what they stand for, and talk about it, if I want to.

                  It's that simple. Those who claim christians should not be allowed to practice are wrong IMO, and are themselves violating a whole host of free speech issues. Those who claim I should not be allowed to hate an ethos a particular religion stands for, and speak about it, are also wrong IMO.

                  • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

                    by JackieBrown (987087)

                    But why hate?

                    I am not saying that feelings should be against the law, but if you don't believe, why do you care enough to hate?

                    I dislike the godless world that we are becoming, but I am not about to hate you for it.

                    It goes back to the old hate the sin and not the sinner. It may not seem like it, but there is a difference.

                    • by walshy007 (906710) on Sunday March 29, 2009 @05:04AM (#27377575)

                      It goes back to the old hate the sin and not the sinner.

                      in the context the grandparent used, it could be argued he was, 'hating the religion, not the followers

                      regardless, I think you will find that most people don't hate religion, but rather the effects of religion and faith on logical thought. Science is deeply corrosive to religion, so it can be seen why the church would fear it and in so many places merely say 'your wrong' and when queried on why simply say 'you just are'.

                      Generally the more education a person receives, the less 'devout' a christian (or other random faith) they become,to this day you still have fundamentalists out there who think that the world is only a few thousand years old, when most educated people would agree it is fairly damn likely it has been around somewhat longer.

                      People long ago stopped believing in the tooth fairy and santa claws, yet for some reason it is still a serious social taboo to say the chances of 'god' existing are in the same realm. No-one can prove there is no god, just as no-one can prove there is no tooth fairy.

                      People are free to believe as they wish, as they should be, but people should give thought as to what they believe in, and question their faith in something every now and then. If something is never questioned, then it has little real meaning, since it cannot stand up to scrutiny.

                  • by shutdown -p now (807394) on Sunday March 29, 2009 @04:53AM (#27377539) Journal

                    Saying "Islam is evil" is fine. It doesn't fall under the hate speech laws, because you do not direct hate against individuals.

                    Saying "Islam is evil, and so are all Muslims - go kill 'em all" is hate speech.

                    I hope the difference here is obvious.

                • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

                  by rtb61 (674572)

                  In this particular case it is fairly easy. This bill specifically cites Islam as a religion to be protected. However due to the nature of Islam, it as a religion which is in flagrant contravention of many existing UN and international laws, regarding freedom of religion and equal rights. As such the UN can not protect an organisation whose principles specifically infringe upon the rights of women and even muslins who wish to change religion.

                  The UN is not a representative or democratic body as governments

              • by Massacrifice (249974) on Saturday March 28, 2009 @10:07PM (#27375313)

                I'm not so sure you are breaking the law. Your hate is directed against religions, not individuals. I think you cross the line when you get personal, that is, you advocate hate and / or violence and against persons having religious beliefs. That's why it's called "human rights", right? You can blast any organization as a whole, as long as you dont point to people who are part of it.

                That said, I dont hate religions. I just wish they would get bored waiting for god to show up and trying to control the world meanwhile, and leave us all to play nicer games.

              • by guyminuslife (1349809) on Saturday March 28, 2009 @10:23PM (#27375449)

                Yes, there's a difference.

                The Canadian law is not about "hatred" per se, in that it's not really about feelings. It's about deliberately inciting others to take directly discriminatory actions toward a particular class of people. That would include a broad range of statements such as, "Don't hire Catholics!" or "Kill all Muslims!"

                Criticism is rather different, in that one can, for instance, easily say, "Sharia law is sexist" without deliberately inciting any kind of anti-Muslim action. Et cetera.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Anonymous Coward

            There's a big difference between criticizing a religion and inciting hatred against religious groups. While its "hate speech" laws may be a little vague, the Canadian government recognizes this distinction.

          • by Scrameustache (459504) on Saturday March 28, 2009 @10:28PM (#27375489) Homepage Journal

            What part of the UN proposal does Ottawa object to?

            Ottawa's representative told the body. "Canada believes that to extend (the notion of) defamation beyond its proper scope would jeopardize the fundamental right to freedom of expression, which includes freedom of expression on religious subjects."

            In Canada, advocating genocide or inciting hatred against any 'identifiable group' is an indictable offense under the Criminal Code of Canada with maximum terms of two to fourteen years. An 'identifiable group' is defined as 'any section of the public distinguished by colour, race, religion, ethnic origin or sexual orientation.' It makes exceptions for cases of statements of truth, and subjects of public debate and religious doctrine.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by CarpetShark (865376)

          It is individuals who have rights, not religions,

          When disrespecting an individual's religion is also disrespecting the individual's right to believe what he chooses, this distinction, while true, is largely irrelevant.

      • by superbus1929 (1069292) on Saturday March 28, 2009 @08:26PM (#27374529) Homepage
        There we go. NOW I can take it seriously in joining the chorus of asking what the FUCK these people were thinking.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by ConceptJunkie (24823)

          Everything that the U.N. does makes me feel that way. That organization is a waste of oxygen... and prime New York real estate.

    • by mdwh2 (535323) on Saturday March 28, 2009 @08:32PM (#27374591) Journal

      http://www.reuters.com/article/worldNews/idUSL1277265220080312 [reuters.com] - Islamic states seek world freedom curbs: humanists

      http://www.reuters.com/article/worldNews/idUSTRE52O5QY20090325 [reuters.com] - U.N. urged to reject bar on defamation of religion

      http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5iRHXSIoJJdXQpG3kPrRO2LWMnWTAD975TOK00 [google.com] - UN body OKs call to curb religious criticism

      http://www.secularism.org.uk/108265.html [secularism.org.uk] - Defamation of religion passes at UN Human Rights Council again

      http://www.indexoncensorship.org/2009/03/26/the-slow-death-of-freedom-of-expression/ [indexoncensorship.org] - The Slow Death Of Freedom Of Expression

      http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/2009/03/freedom-for-the.html [theatlantic.com] - Freedom For The Thought That We Hate

      Lots more at http://news.google.com/news?um=1&ned=us&cf=all&ncl=1320377548 [google.com]

      I'm glad to see that Slashdotters are sceptical of what they read, but sometimes all it takes is a 10 second Google.

  • by djh101010 (656795) on Saturday March 28, 2009 @08:18PM (#27374445) Homepage Journal
    Seriously, this isn't a troll, even if you disagree with me. But when is the last time the UN did a thing for the US? We get resolutions of "Give money to undeveloped countries" and "Sure, go to war, but we're not gonna do shiat"...when is the last time they actually did something positive for the US?

    An organization that has devolved into "the rich countries should give aid to the poor countries", has stopped being useful to anyone but the leeches. Seriously, can anyone tell me what the UN has done for the US lately, and is there a real reputation hit we'd take from leaving it (as opposed to what we do now, which is to largely ignore it)?
    • by TheVelvetFlamebait (986083) on Saturday March 28, 2009 @08:59PM (#27374813) Journal

      The UN isn't so great for countries with a lot of power, because many of their functions are about limiting and sharing power. On the other hand, there is something to be said, even if you are a superpower, for keeping communications open between countries. The alternative ends up with a lot of dangerous pent up resentment between countries.

      Seriously, this isn't a troll, even if you disagree with me.

      Wait, isn't that the definition? ;)

    • by Temporal (96070) on Saturday March 28, 2009 @09:05PM (#27374869) Journal

      The UN helps keep the world stable. A stable world is good for business. What's good for business is good for the US. Most of what the UN does is not headline-grabbing stuff, but it's incredibly important.

      Besides, how ridiculous would it be for the UN to be hosted by the only broadly-recognized nation in the world that wasn't a member (which is what the US would be if it pulled out)?

      That said, no one takes the UN "Human Rights Council" seriously, because it's currently stacked with nations that have pitiful human rights records. This particular vote has been anticipated for some time now.

      If you want to understand better how the world works, I highly recommend reading The Economist.

      • mod parent up (Score:5, Insightful)

        by chebucto (992517) on Saturday March 28, 2009 @09:17PM (#27374963) Homepage

        The UN helps keep the world stable.

        This is exactly why the UN was founded. The UN exists to protect the post-world war 2 order. It comes out of the direct experience people had before and during world war 2. It is one of the pillars of defense against future wars between states.

        The UN is the only place where all the world's countries have diplomats in the same place. It fosters dialoge and discourages conflict. It is the first and best place to diffuse tensions between countries quickly, and is the best place - truly neutral ground - for opposing countries to talk and avoid fights. Can you think of a more effective way to avoid inter-state wars than to encourage dialogue? Because our leaders who lived thorugh and fought ww2 could not. Given that we haven't had a major war since then, they continue to have more experience than us in these matters.

        There are some things to criticize about the UN, but calling for an end to the UN because it does nothing for us is analogous to calling for an end to fire departments because all they've ever done is put out other people's fires.

  • by mdmkolbe (944892) on Saturday March 28, 2009 @08:19PM (#27374453)

    I want to see the actual resolution. Whether this is a good or bad thing depends on what exactly the resolution said.

    If it is trying to outlaw legitimate criticism, that would obviously be bad. On the other hand maybe the news source is blowing this out of proportion and the resolution merely points out that certain generalizations about groups are harmful to free and open discussion.

    It all depends on the exact wording.

    • by Timothy Brownawell (627747) <tbrownaw@prjek.net> on Saturday March 28, 2009 @08:32PM (#27374585) Homepage Journal

      I want to see the actual resolution. Whether this is a good or bad thing depends on what exactly the resolution said.

      I think they're referring to this, from http://www.unhchr.ch/huricane/huricane.nsf/view01/4C99B0F4E7BC7EE8C1257585007B5D90?opendocument [unhchr.ch]:

      On combating defamation of religions, the Council strongly deplored all acts of psychological and physical violence and assaults, and incitement thereto, against persons on the basis of their religion or belief, and such acts directed against their businesses, properties, cultural centres and places of worship, as well as targeting of holy sites, religious symbols and venerated personalities of all religions. The Council noted with deep concern the intensification of the overall campaign of defamation of religions and incitement to religious hatred in general, including the ethnic and religious profiling of Muslim minorities in the aftermath of the tragic events of 11 September 2001. The resolution was passed by a vote of 23 in favour, 13 against and 11 abstentions.

      , except that the against and abstentions numbers seem to be reversed. The long version (further down that same page) is:

      Action on Draft Resolution on Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Forms of Intolerance

      In a resolution (A/HRC/10/L.2/Rev.1) on combating defamation of religions
      , adopted by a vote of 23 in favour, 11 against, and 13 abstentions, the Council strongly deplores all acts of psychological and physical violence and assaults, and incitement thereto, against persons on the basis of their religion or belief, and such acts directed against their businesses, properties, cultural centres and places of worship, as well as targeting of holy sites, religious symbols and venerated personalities of all religions; notes with deep concern the intensification of the overall campaign of defamation of religions and incitement to religious hatred in general, including the ethnic and religious profiling of Muslim minorities in the aftermath of the tragic events of 11 September 2001; expresses deep concern in this respect that Islam is frequently and wrongly associated with human rights violations and terrorism and regrets the laws or administrative measures specifically designed to control and monitor Muslim minorities; 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 against any religion, as well as the targeting of religious symbols and venerated persons; emphasizes that, as stipulated in international human rights law, the exercise of freedom of expression carries with it special duties and responsibilities and may therefore be subject to limitations only as provided for by law and are necessary for respect of the rights or reputations of others, protection of national security or of public order, public health or morals and general welfare; urges all States to apply and, where required, reinforce existing laws when xenophobic or intolerant acts, manifestations or expressions occur, in order to deny impunity for those who commit such acts; urges 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; calls for strengthened international efforts to foster a global dialogue for the promotion of a culture of tolerance and peace at all levels; requests the Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism to report on all manifestations of defamation of religions, and in particular on the serious implications of Islamophobia, on the

  • by xzvf (924443) on Saturday March 28, 2009 @08:20PM (#27374465)
    When are the democracies of the world going to realize that political and economic freedom plus human rights are not protected by a body that gives equal voice to dictatorships and theocracies?
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Hurricane78 (562437)

      It's actually pretty simple.

      Q: How much power has the UN?
      A: As much as the nations in it will hurt you with embargos and "prevertive attacks".

      In the end, it always comes down to the rule of force. And I don't think this will ever change.

      I could only imagine a very strong self-sustaining fortress that everybody needs somehow, to survive this. But expect to fend off traitors and spies left and right.

  • by The Master Control P (655590) <ejkeever&nerdshack,com> on Saturday March 28, 2009 @08:27PM (#27374545)
    The international community does something incredibly stupid and for once you're happy with the USA's general willingness to thumb its nose at the UN (As opposed to normally facepalming over it). Any law like this in the US would spectacularly crash+burn in the Supreme Court.

    The UN is a great idea, but until someone steps up to send their troops into harm's way to stop injustices, it's a toothless debating society. No one particularly cares to send their men to die for someone else, so it never happens. A UN military might help, but do you really want people like Mugabe or Ahmadinejad having a say in what it does?
  • by actionbastard (1206160) on Saturday March 28, 2009 @08:30PM (#27374571)
    "GENEVA (Reuters) - A United Nations forum on Thursday passed a resolution condemning "defamation of religion" as a human rights violation, despite wide concerns that it could be used to justify curbs on free speech in Muslim countries.
    The U.N. Human Rights Council adopted the non-binding text, proposed by Pakistan on behalf of Islamic states, with a vote of 23 states in favor and 11 against, with 13 abstentions."


    This was 'passed' by a forum, not the UN General Assembly. It is a non-binding resolution, which is another way to say, "We think this is an idea." That's all, now move along.
    • Truly (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Shivetya (243324) on Saturday March 28, 2009 @08:46PM (#27374695) Homepage Journal

      Because it is from the UN Human Rights Council, led by countries who are anything but concerned about rights.

      Seems to me that the UN is following the same naming system as the American Congress with Bills. (As in every Bill of "some new right" seems to lose me more of the rights I already had)

      I am amazed they didn't exclude Judaism from it.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Hurricane78 (562437)

        I suggest a name change from the UN Human Rights Council to "MiniRight". Fits nicely into the NewSpeak pattern with MiniLuv.

  • by coretx (529515) on Saturday March 28, 2009 @08:53PM (#27374757)
    Quick ! We must create a counter resolution that outlaws theocracies! - It is the only solution i can think off.
  • by duncan bayne (544299) <dhgbayne@gmail.com> on Saturday March 28, 2009 @08:58PM (#27374803) Homepage

    A Finnish MP is being prosecuted [jihadwatch.org] because he had the temerity to point out that Mohammed had sex with a nine-year old girl called Aisha, whom he married when she was aged six - details here [wikipedia.org].

    The fact is, he's right. From the JihadWatch article:

    The collection of traditions of Muhammad that Muslims consider most reliable, Sahih Bukhari, affirms in no less than five places that Aisha was six when Muhammad took her and nine when he consummated the marriage (vol. 5, bk. 58, no. 234; vol. 5 bk. 58 no. 236; vol. 7 bk. 62 no. 64; vol. 7 bk. 62 no. 65; and vol. 7 bk. 62 no. 88). It is also in Sunan Abu Dawud (bk. 41 no. 4915), another of the Sahih Sittah, the six hadith collections Muslims accept as most reliable.

    So, the man that is considered by Islam to be the ideal role model [helium.com], capable only of 'human errors in judgment in minor things with good intentions' [turntoislam.com], was also a child rapist.

    The reason that Islamic groups worldwide are pushing for blasphemy laws - and using them when they're available - is to silence people who point out facts like that.

    • So, the man that is considered by Islam to be the ideal role model, capable only of 'human errors in judgment in minor things with good intentions', was also a child rapist.

      Yes. And Pharohs married their sisters, ancient Spartan's were all pederasts and George Washington kept slaves.

      The past is a foreign country. They do things differently there. And don't think the future will be much different.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by duncan bayne (544299)

        Yes. And Pharohs married their sisters, ancient Spartan's were all pederasts and George Washington kept slaves.

        Yep. And the thing is that you and I reject all of those practices. We recognise them as immoral nowadays.

        However - and this is the crux of the matter as far as blasphemy laws go - Islamic teaching is that Mohammed is the ideal role model. Because he was a Prophet, he was ipso facto incapable of committing any but the most minor category of sin (see the thread on Turn to Islam that I linked to f

  • by Nom du Keyboard (633989) on Saturday March 28, 2009 @09:09PM (#27374891)
    Yeah, you've got to outlaw any and all critical comments about religion. Aside from the very touchy Muslims who view almost everything said by anybody else as an Insult to Islam that you must Now Die For, all these other religions who all claim to have God (Muslin == Allah) on their side and that the truth is with them are far too fragile to withstand any actual questioning. Except for Scientology, who fights back against the least bad word in the nastiest ways possible, and the Muslims who riot in the streets and end up killing each other because someone drew a cartoon of The Prophet halfway around the world, all these strong religions with both God and The Truth on their side as just way too fragile to stand up against the least little wind of discourse.

    WE MUST DO THIS NOW! POLITICAL CORRECTNESS DEMANDS IT OF US!

    In fact, in order to comply with this you've got to remove this post posthaste!
  • by erroneus (253617) on Saturday March 28, 2009 @09:10PM (#27374897) Homepage

    Pakistan and other Islamic nation members have been consistently proposing this for years and years.

    I really wished they would give it up. Religion is a choice that people make. And as such it should be open to criticism. It is really as simple as that. If yours is a true and good religion, it can withstand criticism... right?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 28, 2009 @09:16PM (#27374957)

    Seriously guys, these are some of the member countries of the "UN Human Rights Council:"

    Angola
    Azerbaijan
    China
    Cuba
    Egypt
    Malaysia
    Nicaragua
    Nigeria
    Pakistan
    Russian Federation
    Saudi Arabia

    Real credible bunch, right?

    And hey - if you can't laugh at religion (which is basically what these jokers are saying), then what can you laugh at?

    I mean, we're talking about organizations that perpetrate the worldviews of animal sacrificing bronze age primitives as the final, absolute truth. Come on...

  • I for one... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Alcoholist (160427) on Saturday March 28, 2009 @09:18PM (#27374971) Homepage

    Now do you suppose I'll be modded down to troll if I say:

    I, for one, welcome our new Muslim overlords.

    Am I a racist, bigot, asshole? A promulgator of hatred... or am I just a dude trying to be funny while exercising his right to free speech?

    There seems to be a large disconnect with speech and free in a goodly chunk of the world, particularly in nations where Islam is the dominant religion. But I guess the UN thinks I shouldn't be making remarks like that because that would be criticism.

  • by QuoteMstr (55051) <dan.colascione@gmail.com> on Saturday March 28, 2009 @09:22PM (#27374991)

    I believe that this resolution is aimed at least in part at secular attacks on religion. As Gandhi said, "first they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win."

    We atheists have been given the short shrift for a very long time now. First we were burned at the stake, then persecuted, and now we're gradually gaining mainstream acceptance now. We've gone from Bush the Elder claiming that atheists should be considered neither citizens nor patriots [infidels.org] to Obama including non-believers in his inauguration speech. Perhaps in my lifetime, it'll be politically feasible for an atheist to hold an elected office.

    It's no wonder that the religious old guard is running scared.

  • by mustafap (452510) on Saturday March 28, 2009 @09:30PM (#27375051)
    Does this mean I can't criticize the scientologists any more? Oh I forgot. I already can't. But even so, I think the point is valid. In the UK, we have a member of Parliament who claims his religion is "Jedi". Will it be illegal to criticize him?
  • by mcbutterbuns (1005301) on Saturday March 28, 2009 @09:31PM (#27375059)

    in a 23-11 vote that urges member states to adopt laws outlawing criticism of religions

    As a Christian, this is unnerving. Contrary to popular belief, Christianity has a long history of criticizing the religious status quo. It was a major aspect of Jesus' message.

    Another dangerous aspect of it is when church and state are combined, criticizing state will be seen as the same as criticizing religion (and vice versa) thus allowing the state to commit more human rights violations.

  • by Pig Hogger (10379) <pig.hogger@noSpaM.gmail.com> on Saturday March 28, 2009 @10:14PM (#27375361) Homepage Journal
    Well, let's go at it, then.

    Mohammed was a pedophile. And it doesn't take much brain to believe some claptrap that was mostly copied from the bible by an illiterate businessman.

    * * *

    When rabbis found out that they could not pick up young girls with their flabby bodies as easily as young men, they decided to outlaw public nudity and force people to wrap themselves with textiles.

    * * *

    Scatholics people believe that some cosmic jewish zombie can make them live forever if they eat a cookie that represents the zombie's body. "Makes perfect sense"...

  • by Fractal Dice (696349) on Saturday March 28, 2009 @11:50PM (#27376047) Journal

    So if atheism a religion, then any claim of a god's existence would be criticism and thus disallowed.

    VICTORY!!!!

    (but seriously, this is why you have to pay attention to diplomacy - as soon as the UN is built, some civilization off the edge of the map can suddenly win the game with a single vote if enough cultures are annoyed with your behavior)

  • by SlappyBastard (961143) on Sunday March 29, 2009 @12:02AM (#27376117) Homepage
    Just curious.
  • by drew (2081) on Sunday March 29, 2009 @01:08AM (#27376513) Homepage

    I know it's become something of a sport here to criticize the editors, but talk about being asleep at the wheel here...

    If you do about 90 seconds of research here (which is about what I did), you would see that:
    1) this is a non-binding resolution. i.e. it doesn't mean jack.
    2) a similar resolution has been proposed (by Pakistan) and passed (by the so-called human rights council) every year since 1999
    3) the number of countries supporting the resolution has actually decreased significantly every year for the past few years.

    In other words, in terms of the actual effect this will have on anyone at all, this is about as non-news as it gets. If there is any news here at all, it is that this type of proposal has been rapidly losing support on the world stage lately. In particular, almost every major religious group except for Islam (and even many subgroups of Islam) have spoken out against such a measure.

  • by curmudgeous (710771) on Sunday March 29, 2009 @10:26AM (#27378877)

    ...and breath deeply into a paper bag.

    I've read a lot of comments here along the lines of this is a heinous violation of my rights and the UN should be disbanded/whipped/shot, etc. What most people seem to have missed is this is not LAW, it's a RESOLUTION and is in no way binding to anyone. All it does is to encourage member countries to pass a law as described. Any country that would be swayed by this most likely already has such a law in place. The rest of us will just ignore it.

When in doubt, mumble; when in trouble, delegate; when in charge, ponder. -- James H. Boren

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