Un Resolution To Affect Religious Minorities

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3rd November 2010, 09:26am - Views: 1209








Media Release

For immediate release






Wednesday, 3rd November 2010


A UN RESOLUTION “DEFAMATION OF RELIGIONS RESOLUTION”

YES VOTE IN LATE NOVEMBER 2010 WILL HAVE SERIOUS

WORLDWIDE RELIGIOUS RAMICATIONS

AUSTRALIA STILL TO DECLARE HOW IT WILL VOTE


“Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Foreign Affairs Minister Kevin Rudd are yet to inform Australians

how a vote will be cast in a vital United Nations (UN) resolution, even though most western countries

have clearly announced their intentions to vote ‘no’,” said Mr Nigel Rooke, CEO – Open Doors

Australia.

 

“We have written to our leaders informing them of our views with no response,” he said.


The ‘Defamation of Religions Resolution’, originally ‘Defamation of Islam’ and first introduced to the

Human Rights Commission in 1999, seeks to criminalise words or actions that are deemed to be against a

particular religion, namely Islam.  Although proponents justify the ‘Defamation of Religions’ concept as

protecting religious practice and promoting tolerance it really in effect promotes intolerance and violates the

freedom of religion, freedom of speech and expression for religious minorities – especially Christians – in

many Islamic countries.


The Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC), an inter-governmental organisation of 57 countries with

majority or significant Muslim populations, has been the driving force behind the resolution to the UN in its

various forms since 1999.


The OIC has brought the resolution forward again this year and in its current form has been passed in March

by the United Nations Human Rights subcommittee.  The OIC is expected to bring the ‘Defamation of

Religions Resolution’ to the UN General Assembly once again this November.  Many Christians living in

these mostly Islamic countries are already severely impacted by restrictive laws – especially those living

Misc Miscellaneous Open Doors 2 image

under strict Sharia law, from the right to worship freely, to the ability to express their faith without fear of

reprisal.


Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights says - everyone has the right to freedom of thought,

conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either

alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching,

practice, worship and observance.


“There are existing Apostasy and Blasphemy laws currently in place contrary to Article 18 around the world. 

With the potential to validate the existing blasphemy laws in countries like Pakistan, the ‘Defamation of

Religions Resolution’ threatens to justify local laws that already marginalise Christians.  The ‘Defamation of

Religions Resolution’ has the potential to give a cloak of international respectability to persecution,” stated

Rooke. 


“The major concern with this resolution is that it puts the rights of an ideal or religion above the rights of an

individual. Once resolutions are set in place that protect groups of peoples or religions the rights of

individuals - especially those belonging to minority groups, are at risk of increased persecution,” Mr Rooke

said.


*In previous votes at the UN, Australia has voted ‘no.’

Contact Information:

Media Liaison: Darryn Keneally 0410 344 761,  

Email: darrynk@chariot.net.au







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