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U.N. passes "defamation of religion" resolution calling it "human rights violation"
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Paco
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Old Mar 28, 2009, 10:47 AM Local time: Mar 28, 2009, 08:47 AM #1 of 20
U.N. passes "defamation of religion" resolution calling it "human rights violation"

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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.

Western governments and a broad alliance of activist groups have voiced dismay about the religious defamation text, which adds to recent efforts to broaden the concept of human rights to protect communities of believers rather than individuals.

Pakistan, speaking for the 56-nation Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), said a "delicate balance" had to be struck between freedom of expression and respect for religions.
The resolution said Muslim minorities had faced intolerance, discrimination and acts of violence since the September 11, 2001, attacks on the United States, including laws and administrative procedures that stigmatize religious followers.

"Defamation of religious is a serious affront to human dignity leading to a restriction on the freedom of their adherents and incitement to religious violence," the adopted text read, adding that "Islam is frequently and wrongly associated with human rights violations and terrorism."

It called on states to ensure that religious places, sites, shrines and symbols are protected, to reinforce laws "to deny impunity" for those exhibiting intolerance of ethnic and religious minorities, and "to take all possible measures to promote tolerance and respect for all religions and beliefs."

ISLAMOPHOBIA, CHRISTIANOPHOBIA, ANTI-SEMITISM

The 47-member Human Rights Council has drawn criticism for reflecting mainly the interests of Islamic and African countries, which when voting together can control its agenda.

Addressing the body, Germany said on behalf of the European Union that while instances of Islamophobia, Christianophobia, anti-Semitism and other forms of religious discrimination should be taken seriously, it was "problematic to reconcile the notion of defamation (of religion) with the concept of discrimination."

"The European Union does not see the concept of defamation of religion as a valid one in a human rights discourse," it said. "The European Union believes that a broader, more balanced and thoroughly rights-based text would be best suited to address the issues underlying this draft resolution."
India and Canada also took to the floor of the Geneva-based Council to raise objections to the OIC text. Both said the text looked too narrowly at the discrimination issue.

"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."
A separate, EU-sponsored resolution about religious discrimination is due to be discussed by the Council on Friday.

Earlier this week, 180 secular, religious and media groups from around the world urged diplomats to reject the resolution which they said "may be used in certain countries to silence and intimidate human rights activists, religious dissenters and other independent voices" and ultimately restrict freedoms.

Condemnation of defamation of religion had been included in a draft declaration being prepared for an April U.N. conference on racism, known as "Durban II," but was removed earlier this month after Western countries said it was unacceptable.
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Old Mar 28, 2009, 01:36 PM Local time: Mar 28, 2009, 11:36 AM 1 #2 of 20
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"to take all possible measures to promote tolerance and respect for all religions and beliefs."
I think its the responsibility of those Religions and their followers to do that first, before any Governing body steps into the picture.

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Old Mar 30, 2009, 10:45 PM Local time: Mar 30, 2009, 08:45 PM 2 #3 of 20
Well hopefully this will mean the end of Atheistic discrimination here in the United States. The Godless have been persecuted far too long and we should see all references to religion removed from the public stage. The Southern states of persecuted the Atheists far too long so it's about time someone stepped in!

In all seriousness, this is a very asinine resolution and no good can come out of this. So far Islam has had a free ticket against free speech as the incident in Denmark a few years back illustrated, no pun intended. Despite how hateful the speech is or how much you dislike it it should not be censored.

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Old Mar 30, 2009, 11:18 PM Local time: Mar 30, 2009, 11:18 PM #4 of 20
I'm not quite sure what this exactly means for the most part, or if it would honestly have any impact on my life, but this almost sounds like people will be able to get away with anything and claim its their 'religious right' and no one would be able to do shit about it.

From what I can tell, all this tells me is that the U.N. has pretty much said that it's "A O.K" for extremists like the Westboro Baptist Church to continue to do what they are doing and such, if I'm reading it right.

George Carlin is rolling over in his grave right now I'll bet. :/

*Additional Post or whatnot*

This is going to sound like a smartass comment, but with the 'promoting of tolerance and respect to all religions' flinging that is going about and since Scientology is considered a recognized religion, why can't homosexuals have their own religion and marriage codes? That'd spin heads.

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Old Mar 30, 2009, 11:40 PM 3 #5 of 20
The Godless have been persecuted far too long
no you havent

in fact you've been persecuted far too little

call me when they're throwing you into coliseums with lions okay?

I was speaking idiomatically.
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Old Mar 30, 2009, 11:43 PM Local time: Mar 30, 2009, 09:43 PM #6 of 20
no you havent

in fact you've been persecuted far too little

call me when they're throwing you into coliseums with lions okay?
What guarantee do I have that you will bail me out of execution by über-feline, lover?

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Old Mar 31, 2009, 12:31 AM Local time: Mar 30, 2009, 11:31 PM #7 of 20
Originally Posted by A Canadian
"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."
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Old Mar 31, 2009, 08:53 AM Local time: Mar 31, 2009, 07:53 AM #8 of 20
Not to burst that pride deliberately, but not too long ago, there was a minor flap involving author and geopolitical commentator Mark Steyn concerning an article he had written to Maclean's that apparently offended a few law-saavy Muslims to the point where they tried to bring out a tribunal with the Canadian Human Rights Commission, who smartly dismissed the case, as well as the British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal after they gave it a hearing. The one exception was the Ontario Human Rights Comission, who even though did not have jurisdiction over the issue decided to make a statement to denounce Maclean's for promoting divisive speech.

It is good that Canada at least has the mind to uphold its liberties, but the fact that its laws could still create overtures into litigious actions like what happened then still leaves something to be desired.

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Old Mar 31, 2009, 10:05 AM Local time: Mar 31, 2009, 08:05 AM #9 of 20
It is good that Canada at least has the mind to uphold its liberties, but the fact that its laws could still create overtures into litigious actions like what happened then still leaves something to be desired.
Well, every country has things like this. There's the letter of the law and then there's the intent of the law. The latter is what causes the divisiveness because people will interpret it any way they damn please.

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Old Mar 31, 2009, 10:24 AM Local time: Mar 31, 2009, 10:24 AM #10 of 20
UN resolutions don't mean shit, this is just an attempt to make muslim countries feel like a part of the international community.

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Old Mar 31, 2009, 06:08 PM Local time: Mar 31, 2009, 04:08 PM #11 of 20
Yeah, what Brady said.

Sounds like a bunch of Middle East countries patting themselves on the back for trying to accomplish something other than producing oil and farming cactii.

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Old Apr 4, 2009, 06:23 AM Local time: Apr 4, 2009, 07:23 PM #12 of 20
this is a dark day for us all!...(atheists)

definitely, while they're trying to solve the problem of discrimination, another problem is created in the process.

Also, what would constitute defamation of religion? For example, would it be taken to mean even perhaps pointing out some inconsistencies in facts of a religion(from a typical atheist point of view), can be considered as defamation?

Yes, i think freedom of speech would be stifled greatly with this

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Old Apr 9, 2009, 08:14 AM 1 #13 of 20
Also, what would constitute defamation of religion? For example, would it be taken to mean even perhaps pointing out some inconsistencies in facts of a religion(from a typical atheist point of view), can be considered as defamation?
I hope you realize that evangelizing against religion is as antagonizing as evangelizing for it. Two way street, and all that. Also there are strong parallels between proclaiming your atheism and proclaiming your faith. They are both distasteful.

Of course, UN resolutions are about as effective as New Year's resolutions, so honestly, what does it matter? It's not like all the governments involved in drafting this thing actually promote free speech to begin with.

I was speaking idiomatically.
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Old Apr 10, 2009, 07:34 AM Local time: Apr 10, 2009, 08:34 PM #14 of 20
I hope you realize that evangelizing against religion is as antagonizing as evangelizing for it. Two way street, and all that.
Yes, I agree with this.

But the following statement below does not convince me.

Also there are strong parallels between proclaiming your atheism and proclaiming your faith. They are both distasteful.
Much as I am an atheist, at least, I do not think proclaiming your faith is a distasteful act. And vice versa.
I believe that all individuals should have a freedom of what he/she wants to believe in.

The issue here is that only when people try to impose their views on others, ah, perhaps then thats when it gets distasteful.

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Old Apr 10, 2009, 10:22 AM Local time: Apr 10, 2009, 08:22 AM #15 of 20
Well, darn it. I guess those of us in the free world who were planning on going to an oppressive or harshly fundamental nation this summer to slander its primary religion (maybe perhaps spitting on a copy of its central doctrine) will just have to stay home.

Yes, it a stupid shame, but some people just can't or aren't ready to take criticism of something they care about. I want to be the first person to punch the faux pas motherfucker who decides it'd be pretty cool to burn yet another American flag at a protest, so I'm sure we're all intolerant of something. I'm thinking we should all be quite happy we live where we live and call it a day.

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Old Apr 11, 2009, 02:38 PM Local time: Apr 11, 2009, 02:38 PM #16 of 20
Much as I am an atheist, at least, I do not think proclaiming your faith is a distasteful act. And vice versa. I believe that all individuals should have a freedom of what he/she wants to believe in.
The issue isn't with having the freedom to believe in things. Believe in whatever you want. His point was against proclamations, which are different than personal views. Proclamations enter the personal space of other people who often don't care about, or want to hear about, your personal views. Many people find this intrusion to be a form of imposition, particularly in areas where you're subjected to it regularly, and then find the proclamation distasteful.

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Old Apr 11, 2009, 08:53 PM Local time: Apr 12, 2009, 09:53 AM #17 of 20
The issue isn't with having the freedom to believe in things. Believe in whatever you want. His point was against proclamations, which are different than personal views. Proclamations enter the personal space of other people who often don't care about, or want to hear about, your personal views. Many people find this intrusion to be a form of imposition, particularly in areas where you're subjected to it regularly, and then find the proclamation distasteful.
To proclaim is to declare.
http://www.thefreedictionary.com/proclaim
http://www.webster-dictionary.net/definition/Proclaim

To declare is to show openly one's beliefs.
http://www.webster-dictionary.net/definition/declare
http://www.thefreedictionary.com/declare

So i think for example :
While you could declare, and proclaim all you like that you are an atheist, it would not necessarily mean that you will force your beliefs on others.

I do know of very religious people, but we still get on fine despite my 20% atheism.
Same thing for the opposite. I do not force my beliefs on atheism on people with religious beliefs.

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Old Apr 11, 2009, 09:24 PM 1 #18 of 20
Quote:
would it be taken to mean even perhaps pointing out some inconsistencies in facts of a religion(from a typical atheist point of view), can be considered as defamation?
Sorry if I interpreted this to be something other than proclaiming your atheism, because, you know, self-described atheists treating religious beliefs with dismissive contempt based on a pseudo-intellectual, uneducated but analytic perspective does not in the least describe a normative behavior.

So yeah, Araes got it right. Believe whatever you want, but once you start (ever so respectfully I'm sure) "pointing out some inconsistencies in facts (from a typical atheist point of view," you become a recruiter for the anti-god, and it gets really old.

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Old Apr 12, 2009, 10:19 AM Local time: Apr 12, 2009, 05:19 PM #19 of 20
I do know of very religious people, but we still get on fine despite my 20% atheism.
Radez, don't go calling him stupid. Only his left arm is atheist.

I'd rather like if all religious people could be as calm and reasonable as the ones I happen to know, even though there are a few exceptions. The church parish I was born at is in turmoil, because of a local bishop condemning the fact that a formerly-male priest is coming back to work as a female priest a week from now. It will be interesting to see what happens (two of the younger priests in our area are ready to quit on the day s/he returns to position) to the local congregation, both spiritually and financially. I don't live there anymore, but still I care enough to show interest.

I myself am in no form a spiritual person.

That was off-topic, but I'll continue. if the muslims led by the Pakistani are ready to form an alliance with African countries when it comes to religion, shit really has to have hit the fan big time. Common sense has disappeared from everywhere in the world. This is a good way to start a serious conflict between people who want a chance to be right at least SOMETIMES, and people who are omnicorrect due to the freedom of speech.

I'd give them the right and watch the world fall apart when they start abusing it the next day. It is quite transparent what the inter-religious pact is trying to do - to shut up the mean kids who draw nasty pictures and laugh at others' deformed moralities. Standing up is admirable, but the different way of thinking about one's own interests is what will ruin this instantly.

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Old Apr 13, 2009, 07:42 AM Local time: Apr 13, 2009, 08:42 PM #20 of 20
Heh. Sorry if it was misleading.

The "(from a typical atheist's point of view)" was meant to be an example, and not really my view.
Something like:
"Cigarettes are bad for health!(from a typical doctors point of view)"

Anyway, I think you bring up a good point, Kishin. Things would get ugly if everyone only bothered about their own interests.

Leads me to think that the inter-cultural/religious harmony is somewhat balanced on a knife-edge. Yes, its balanced, but really, one slight (wrong) movement, could destroy everything.

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