Last week 23 of the 47-member United Nations Human Rights Council approved a resolution urging member states to provide “protection against acts of hatred, discrimination, intimidation and coercion resulting from defamation of religions and incitement to religious hatred in general.”
The act, primarily promoted by Muslim nations, is designed to shield religion, primarily Islam, from criticism in the media and public discourse. “Islam is frequently and wrongly associated with human rights violations and terrorism,” the resolution stated.
Canada, all European member states, the Ukraine, and Chile opposed the resolution, however Muslim nations in the Middle East and Africa supported the resolution.
The United States is not a member of the Human Rights Council but does act as an observer. The United States has not participated in the Council in recent years due to its anti-Israel sentiment and failure to act in the Sudan.
COMMENT: This is a serious issue that deserves ongoing monitoring. While we cringe at disrespect aimed toward various religions, the doors to the free marketplace of ideas should not be closed.