Monday, March 30, 2009

UN Human Rights Council Resolution--The World Is In The Best Of Hands

Ilya Somin writes at The Volokh Conspiracy about the UN Human Rights Council Resolution on "Defamation of Religion"--and the kinds of countries that consistently seem to be in favor of such measures:

The UN Human Rights Council resolution also exemplifies a crucial procedural weakness of international human rights law: the extensive role of repressive authoritarian states in determining its content. Most of the nations that voted for the Human Rights Council resolution are oppressive dictatorships, whereas most liberal democracies opposed it. As I explained in this post, the same thing happened when a similar resolution passed the UN General Assembly in 2007. Obviously, authoritarian regimes like the resolution because they can use it to suppress criticism of religions they seek to promote. For example, the present resolution was sponsored and promoted by the Organization of Islamic Countries; most OIC members are dictatorships that have Islam as their official religion and they have an obvious interest in suppressing critics of Islam or even advocates of more liberal interpretations of Islam that view it as compatible with individual freedom and democracy.

Yeah, funny how that works out.

I also thought this point Somin made was interesting:

As John McGinnis and I discuss in this forthcoming article, it afflicts many other aspects of international human rights law as well. Even the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, usually considered the most important international human rights treaty, includes repression-justifying provisions inserted at the behest of Joseph Stalin and his communist allies. Indeed, Article 7 of the UDHR (inserted because of Soviet influence) can easily be used to justify banning "defamation of religion," since it forbids speech that incites "discrimination" and any speech critical of a religious doctrine might inspire "discrimination" against that religion's adherents.

Read the whole thing.

Forbidding the harrassment of Religion is not a magical cure--no more than creating a second Palestinian state. But try telling them that.

[Hat tip: Instapundit]

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