Critics: Defamation Rule Designed to Guard Islam

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A group of Muslim nations called the Organization of the Islamic Conference are claiming they designed a United Nation's defamation resolution to guard all religions against defamation.

Human rights advocates have long opposed the measure because it targeted speech rather than behavior and because it protected the rights one religion, Islam, rather than individuals.

While the most recent push was recently dropped by U.N. Human Rights Council, rights groups warn the OIC will likely bring back the defamation resolution in the future.

Jay Sekulow, chief counsel for the American Center for Law and Justice, talked more about the issue on "The 700 Club," April 13.

"This effort led by the Pakistanis was designed to give U.N. cover to their blasphemy law and similar laws in other Islamic nations," CBN News International Correspondent Gary Lane said.
In Pakistan, a blasphemy law has been used to persecute Christians and other religious minorities.

"Simple Christian activities like praying, worshipping, and sharing one's belief in Jesus Christ with a neighbor can be interpreted as offensive and therefore restricted," Carl Moeller, president of Open Doors USA, said.

In recent months, Islamic hard-liners murdered Pakistan's Minister of Minority Affairs Shahbaz Bhatti and Punjab Gov. Salman Taseer for speaking out against the nation's blasphemy law.

Pakistan's Muslim leaders praised the killings, sparking an international outcry.
Lane suggests that global pressure might have played a role in influencing Pakistani leaders to drop their support for the defamation resolution.

"In light of the recent assassinations of Taseer and Bhatti, few countries would have supported an anti-defamation resolution because those murders really demonstrated the harsh and dark nature of those laws and the regimes that support them," he explained.

This year's resolution is based on terms advocated by Western religious rights groups.
While it emphasizes protecting individuals from discrimination or violence because of their faith, religious rights advocates say it too could be used to stifle religious freedom.

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CBN News
Dale Hurd

Dale Hurd

CBN News Sr. Reporter

A CBN News veteran, Dale Hurd has reported extensively from Western Europe, as well as China, Russia, and Central and South America.  Since 9/11, Dale has reported in depth on various aspects of the global war on terror in the United States and Europe.  Follow Dale on Twitter @HurdontheWeb and "like" him at