Thursday, April 01, 2010

The limits of freedom and faith

A report in the Economist comments on the latest round in the attempt by the Organization of the Islamic  Conference to  protect religions from 'defamation"

"On March 25th the Human Rights Council (HRC),  voted by 20 votes to 17, with eight abstentions, for a text that lists the “defamation of religion” as an infringement of liberty. ... the margin was the smallest ever, and opponents think there could be a good chance of defeating a “defamation” motion next time one comes around.

 critics...who include atheists, Christians and indeed some Muslims, say the “defamation” idea is worse than hot air: far from protecting human rights, it emboldens countries that use blasphemy laws to criminalise dissent. What encourages these critics is that more countries seem to be coming around to their view. Mexico, Uruguay, Argentina, Zambia and South Korea voted against the latest resolution. Brazil criticised the text but abstained."