Monday, March 31, 2008

The Death of The Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Via Mick Hartley:

The top U.N. rights body on Thursday passed a resolution proposed by Islamic countries saying it is deeply concerned about the defamation of religions and urging governments to prohibit it.

The European Union said the text was one-sided because it primarily focused on Islam.

The U.N. Human Rights Council, which is dominated by Arab and other Muslim countries, adopted the resolution on a 21-10 vote over the opposition of Europe and Canada. (source)

Roy W Brown, of the International and Humanist Ethical Association, responds:

I used to wonder what States who felt it necessary to kill people because they change their religion thought they were doing in the Human Rights Council. Now I know.

The wafer-thin sham of an international consensus on the promotion and protection of human rights has finally been exposed for what it was – a sham. The fragmentation of human rights now appears inevitable. The proposed Islamic Charter on Human Rights (read “Duties towards Allah”) will certainly go ahead, as will the creation of a parallel Islamic Council on Human Rights. But the OIC will nevertheless continue to attend and dominate the UN Human Rights Council, thereby ensuring its continuing emasculation and descent into total irrelevance.

Just five months before he and more than 20 of his colleagues were killed by a terrorist bomb in Baghdad, the then High Commissioner for Human Rights, Sergio Vieira de Mello, wrote:

“Membership of the Commission on Human Rights must carry responsibilities. I therefore wonder whether the time has not come for the Commission itself to develop a code of guidelines for access to membership of the Commission and a code of conduct for members while they serve on the Commission. After all the Commission on Human Rights has a duty to humanity and the members of the Commission must themselves set the example of adherence to the international human rights norms – in practice as well as in law…”

Ibn Warraq: How Freedom Of Expression Is Undermined By Islam

The central issue, of which we should not lose sight, of the Fitna Affair is not whether the film by Wilders is good, bad, blasphemous, or offensive to Muslims, but rather freedom of expression. Human Rights begin with freedom of thought, and expression; democracy depends on it. Sixty years after the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948, a noble document whose articles 18 and 19 guarantee freedom of thought, conscience and religion, and freedom of opinion and expression, Islamic countries on 28 March, 2008 managed to kill it.

The 57 Islamic States with support from China, Russia and Cuba succeeded in forcing through an amendment to a resolution on Freedom of Expression. The UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression will now be required to report on the “abuse” of this freedom. Theo van Gogh, the Danish cartoonists and Geert Wilders, and anyone criticising Islam, or the Sharia will now be deemed to have "abused" the freedom of expression. In other words, instead of protecting freedom of expression, the amendment will now be limiting freedom of expression.
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Normblog, here.

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Related to the above, here is a collection of my past posts

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