Nov 16 2009
Islamic states pushing for 'global blasphemy law' [Excerpts]
Opponents say real goal is crackdown on Christians, members of other faiths
A resolution pending in the United Nations in one form or another since 1999 is being pushed again by the Islamic nations that originally proposed the plan they called "Defamation of Islam," which would ban criticism of the beliefs of Muhammad worldwide.
The proposal, sought by the 57 members of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, now has be renamed "Defamation of Religions," but officials with Open Doors, an international Christian ministry operating in many of those Islamic states, is warning about its potential impact.
Lobbying for the resolution has resumed among decision-makers at the U.N., according to Lindsay Vessey, the advocacy director for [Mission group] Open Doors who traveled this week to New York in opposition to the plan.
Vessey told WND the real agenda was revealed by the original title of the resolution, "Defamation of Islam," which would "criminalize people who criticize a religion."
U.N. human rights provisions always have focused on individuals, but the concept of protecting a religion would give authoritarian governments virtually unrestrained power to attack individuals whose message they don't like, she said.
Open Doors President Carl Moeller recently published a commentary describing what could happen under the proposal.
"The United Nations is once again on the verge of introducing a resolution that goes against everything the world body supposedly stands for. A successful resolution would actually undermine the religious liberty and personal safety of Christians and members of other faiths," he wrote.
In fact, he said the resolution would "silence words or actions that are deemed to be against a particular religion, and that religion is Islam. While the stated goal seems relatively innocuous – blocking defamation of people's deeply held religious beliefs – in practice the statement is used to silence those whose only crime is to believe in another faith, or no faith at all."
He said the OIC as the driving force behind the plan and noted, "The OIC's goal is anything but peaceful."