Archive for Freedom of Religion

UN to consider anti-blasphemy laws proposed by the Organization of Islamic Conference, would make criticism of Islam illegal in America

Posted in Christian, Church, Civil Rights, Constitution, free speech, Islam, Religion, United Nations with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 13, 2010 by saynsumthn

Press Release Christian Freedom International Condemns Proposed Defamation of Religions Resolution
Contact: Craig McDonald, Christian Freedom International, 800-323-2273

SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich., Oct. 13 /Christian Newswire/ — Christian Freedom International (CFI), a Michigan-based organization that assists persecuted Christians around the world, is condemning the Defamation of Religions Resolution that will be proposed at the UN General Assembly in New York City late this fall.

The resolution, which will criminalize any words or actions determined to be adverse to a particular religion, is being proposed by the Organization of Islamic Conference, an inter-governmental body comprised of 57 states with significantly Muslim populations. The resolution has taken various forms that have been proposed since 1999, but if passed this year, it will provide international legality for any national law punishing blasphemy or any other criticism of a religion.

Although “defamation of religion” is a concept that would ideally protect religious freedom on the broadest level, the resolution has appeared to focus mainly on the protection of Islam. CFI believes that if the resolution is passed, it would give repressive governments and extremist groups the liberty to punish anything deemed offensive to their particular religion, and will only advance the persecution of religious minorities, especially Christians.

Under existing “blasphemy” laws in Muslim-majority nations, many people are routinely arrested and imprisoned for the crimes of insulting or denigrating Islam. This past January, a Christian shopkeeper in Pakistan was sentenced to life in prison and fined $1,000 for allegedly desecrating the Quran, and a college professor in India had his hand severed as a result of insulting the prophet Mohammed on an exam questionnaire last May.

CFI, a ministry that works actively on behalf of persecuted Christians in repressive countries like Burma, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, and Indonesia, urges all citizens to contact members of Congress and encourage them to vote against the Defamation of Religions Resolution at the UN General Assembly this year.

To learn more information about CFI’s work and persecution around the world, visit

CBN is reporting that, The Organization of Islamic Conference claims the threatened Koran burning and the protests over a proposed mosque near Ground Zero make it imperative to protect against growing Islamaphobia.

The resolution is supposed to protect all religions. But Jay Sekulow, with the American Center for Law and Justice told CBN News that it’s real purpose is to protect Islam, that it could be used to persecute people of other faiths.

“The fact of the matter is that this definition of religion has nothing to do with protecting religious freedom, in fact to the contrary,” Sekulow said.

“What it does is isolate and protect Islam from criticism, which means those that are engaged in the (propagation) of gospel to members of Muslim faith would be guilty of violating a UN resolution,” he explained.

“I mean who’s in favor of defaming religion? Nobody is the answer,” he added. “But that’s not what the resolution deals with. The resolution says if you speak out against Islam you’re guilty of violating a UN resolution.”

Newspaper editorials in Muslim nations around the world are also calling for the resolution’s passage.

Last Year Lou Dobbs reported this:

I found this on YouTube….from the PEN American Center

1:23 a representative of the United States speaks:

From the PEN American Center, United Nations Side-session Panel Discussion with Dr. Agnes Callamard, director, ARTICLE 19 (UK), Professor Tariq Ramadan (Switzerland), Mr. Budhy M. Rahman, program officer, The Asia Foundation (Indonesia); Moderated by Mr. John Ralston Saul, writer, president of International PEN (Canada).

International PEN and its national centers are extremely concerned about ongoing processes in the United Nations aimed at combating defamation of religions. We are also concerned about an initiative by the UN Ad Hoc Committee on Complementary Standards, established in 2007 by the Islamic Conference (OIC) and a group of African countries, to draft a treaty that would ban religious defamation. Human Rights protect individual human beings, not institutions or religions. Criticism of religions and religious practices must be allowed, in particular when religions are viewed from a political point of view. As organizations representing writers, artists, and journalists of all faiths and none, we warn against any regulations prohibiting criticism of any religion or any set of ideas.

Against this background we have asked a group of high profile scholars, writers, and human rights defenders to join us for a side event in Geneva on the afternoon of September 16 in Room XXI of the UN Building.