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Supporters of the resolution cited negative depictions of Islam and Muslims. For instance, Egypt, which jails moderate Muslims and tolerates violence against Coptic Christians, cited “offensive publication of portraits of the Prophet Mohamed” which “highlighted the damage that freedom of speech if left unchecked may lead to, not only hurting the religious feelings of more than a billion people, but also their freedom of religion and their right for respect of their religion.”
Thus, the resolution 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 Islam or any other religion, as well as targeting of religious symbols.”
The measure stresses “the need to effectively combat defamation of all religions, Islam and Muslims in particular.”
THE RESOLUTION allows that “everyone has the right to freedom of expression,” but warns that that freedom “should be exercised with responsibility and may therefore” — you knew this was coming — “be subject to limitations as provided by law and necessary for respect of the rights or reputations of others, protection of national security or of public order, public health or morals and respect for religions and beliefs.”
Of course, Muslim nations, which generally range from authoritarian to totalitarian, have a lot of experience in limiting freedom of expression on any number of pretexts.
The resolution goes on to urge states to “prohibit the dissemination of racist and xenophobic ideas and material aimed at any religion or its followers that constitute incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence.”
Who could be in favor of such materials? Alas, as President Bill Clinton taught us, everything depends on what is is. To fundamentalist Muslims, factual criticism of their faith and the prophet is incitement to violence — just ask those Christians beaten and murdered by Muslim mobs after publication of the Danish anti-Mohamed cartoons.
The UN also instructed governments to provide adequate legal and constitutional “protection against acts of hatred, discrimination, intimidation and coercion resulting from defamation of religions, to take all possible measure to promote tolerance and respect for all religions and their value systems.”
This from governments which persecute and tolerate persecution of Christians, Jews, Hindus, Baha’is, and others within their own nations. Indeed, what Islamic state does not, by definition, defame other faiths — claiming that Jesus is not the son of God, for instance, could be construed as grievous insult against all Christians.
That the UN is controlled by irresponsible, despotic Third World states comes as no surprise. Newly worrisome is the growing influence of Muslim nations, which have come to dominate the Asian and African regional groups.
To listen to the OIC, one would think the West is rife with religious discrimination and persecution, as raging Christian mobs bomb mosques, loot Muslim businesses, and assault faithful Muslims. Thus, only the UN can protect Muslims at risk in Western lands.
In reality, of course, Muslims are largely protected in Christian and secular lands. Discrimination, though unfortunate, is limited; Islamic pressure groups lobby and litigate in response to the barest threat.
In contrast, in most Muslim countries religious minorities are not just defamed, but brutalized, as persecution ranges from modest to severe.
But reality does not matter to the United Nations, which has affirmed the OIC’s alternative universe. The Islamic nations sacrifice individual liberties to enforce the supremacy of Islam. They expect Western nations to follow suit.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?