Away with your pesky rights

The UN’s human rights resolution has passed.

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 document, which was put forward by the Organization of the Islamic Conference, “expresses deep concern at attempts to identify Islam with terrorism, violence and human rights violations.” Although the text refers frequently to protecting all religions, the only religion specified as being attacked is Islam, to which eight paragraphs refer…”It is regrettable that there are false translations and interpretations of the freedom of expression,” the Saudi delegation told the council, adding that no culture should incite to religious hatred by attacking sacred teachings…The resolution expresses “grave concern at the serious recent instances of deliberate stereotyping of religions, their adherents and sacred persons in the media.”

No culture should incite to religious hatred by attacking sacred teachings – so therefore all cultures and everyone in them should simply accept ‘sacred teachings’ and that’s that. ‘Sacred teachings’ should be treated as special and inviolable and immune from criticism and disagreement – in spite of the fact that they are based on nothing but long tradition and determined belief. (Or rather, because of that fact.) Well, I just have ‘attacked sacred teachings,’ because I think they are wrong, harmful, and malicious, so I naturally don’t think the UN Human Rights Commission’s new resolution is a good idea. I also don’t think the Organization of the Islamic Conference really gets it about rights. The Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam illustrates why.

All human beings form one family whose members are united by their subordination to Allah and descent from Adam…Life is a God-given gift…and it is prohibited to take away life except for a shari’ah prescribed reason…Men and women have the right to marriage, and no restrictions stemming from race, colour or nationality shall prevent them from exercising this right…Woman is equal to man in human dignity, and has her own rights to enjoy as well as duties to perform…It is prohibited to exercise any form of pressure on man or to exploit his poverty or ignorance in order to force him to change his religion to another religion or to atheism…Every man shall have the right, within the framework of the Shari’ah, to free movement…Everyone shall have the right to express his opinion freely in such manner as would not be contrary to the principles of the Shari’ah…Information is a vital necessity to society. It may not be exploited or misused in such a way as may violate sanctities and the dignity of Prophets, undermine moral and ethical Values or disintegrate, corrupt or harm society or weaken its faith.

And so on, and so on. All the rights are qualified by ‘as long as the Shariah doesn’t mind.’ It is prohibited to force people to change religion, but it is not prohibited to force people not to change religion. Restrictions on marriage stemming from religion are quite all right. Woman has her own rights to enjoy, but she doesn’t have just plain rights – and anyway they’re always qualified by having to get the Shariah’s permission. And so on, and so on. Not what people who are not united by their subordination to Allah recognize as rights at all – more like non-rights. So it’s unfortunate that the OIC has so much clout at the UN Human Rights Council.

Ban Ki-moon is chiming in on the anti-rights talk.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Friday joined Muslim nations in expressing outrage over the film. Ban called Wilders’ film offensive while Iran and Bangladesh warned it could have grave consequences and Pakistan protested to the Dutch ambassador. “I condemn in the strongest terms the airing of Geert Wilders’ offensively anti-Islamic film,” Ban said in a statement. “There is no justification for hate speech or incitement to violence. The right of free speech is not at stake here.”

Oh really.

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