A chilling assault on the rights of the individual and freedom of conscience”

In an Editorial published today (3/29/09) in the Washington Times, “The U.N. tackles religion” the editors argue that the Organization of the Islamic Conferences is making an effort to insinuate Shariah Law into the United Nations Human Rights Council’s approach to religion world-wide. This is a chilling “assault on the rights of the individual and freedom of conscience” under the guise of combating defamation of religion. That is to say combating the defamation of Islam. There is no effort to combat the defamation of Judaism or Hinduism or Buddhism or Christianity by Islamic voices, or for that matter by the Koran which apparently is filled with excoriations of every other religion. But then it must be ok for Islamists to revile non-believers.

What is wrong with this picture? If our Islamic friends would like to prevent what they feel is defamation within their own nations, that certainly is their right. But the effort to isolate the word “defamation” as if it were to apply only to Islam is an aggressive violation of what the freedom of religion should mean. Will our Islamic friends refrain from defaming Israel and Judaism? Will they refrain from defaming India and Hinduism? Will they refrain from defaming unbeliever’s generally? Is that even a possibility? Or would they see such a refusal to defame the unbeliever as a basic assault on Islam?

What we have here seems to be an unbelievable intrusion into the rights of member States to manage their own freedoms. Is this what we are to expect from Islamic states? Do they not understand that the United Nations is not a World Government and that membership in it is optional? Perhaps what we have here is a direct assault on the very existence of the United Nations as an effective community for diplomacy and free discussion. Perhaps this is a lesson to us all about the true nature of Islam as a religion that seeks only world domination and the elimination of all other faiths.

Where are the moderate voices in Islam? Where are those among the Islamic believers who recognize the rights of others to believe as they wish? Perhaps what we have here is yet another lesson about how there is no tolerance to be found in Islam, only a sham pretence of tolerance while it continues to be the fastest growing religion in America. Let us hope that calmer more moderate voices are able to bring reason to the deliberations of the United Nations Human Rights Council in this matter.