Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Curbing the Abuse of Freedom of Speech

OIC flagThe Organization of The Islamic Conference comprises, in effect, the Federated States of the Ummah in its opposition to the infidel world. By coordinating policy and adopting common positions against non-Muslim nations, the members of the OIC are continuing the process that Muslims have perfected since the 7th century: playing on the divisions of the enemy in order to further the advance of Islam.

One of the successes of the OIC has been to dominate the UN General Assembly, and most recently the Human Rights Council. The Council replaced the notorious Human Rights Commission, and was supposed to be a reformed body that corrected the problem of a human rights commission dominated by illiberal and despotic regimes.

Surprise, surprise: it didn’t work. Meet the new boss — same as the old boss.

Nowadays the UN General Assembly and the OIC seem to coordinate their policy, and sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference between the two organizations. For example, here’s the latest from the OIC:

The OIC supports the function of the Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression and Opinion

The OIC welcomes the adoption of the resolution by the Human Rights Council on the Special Rapporteur on freedom of expression and opinion which has mandated the Special Rapporteur to report on the abuse of the freedom of expression.

The OIC attaches great importance to freedom of expression and opinion. It believes that the right to freedom of expression forms the bedrock for the exercise of all fundamental rights. However, it firmly believes that rights carry with them certain responsibilities. These should not be abused to achieve negative objectives. Insults and defamation of religions and holy books can not be justified on the pretext of freedom of expression. They undermine the principles and purposes of the UN Charter to promote friendly relations amongst nations. The OIC regrets that in recent years certain individuals and organizations have abused this right to malign and insult specific races and religions. Such acts constitute violations of Article 3 & 4 of the International Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination and Article 19 & 20 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights that prohibit any advocacy of racial or religious hatred. In this connection, the OIC, once again, condemns printing of insulting caricatures and making of hate documentaries against Islam and Muslims.
- - - - - - - - -
The OIC also stresses the responsibility of States to curb this trend. Incitement to hatred on religious and racial ground and defamation of religions by individuals, groups or State must not be tolerated. It regrets that certain quarters have shown insensitivity to the concerns of millions of Muslims and other religious and racial groups by criticizing the mandate of the Special Rapporteur to report on instances in which the abuse of freedom of expression constitutes an act of racial and religious discrimination.

However, the OIC hopes that the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of expression will be able to focus closely on the abuse of freedom of expression by individuals and organizations. It looks forward to working with the Special Rapporteur in this regard. The OIC further hopes that the international community will make serious efforts to fill the juridical gaps in the existing legal regime to cover this issue. [emphasis added]

I went over to UNHCHR to look up the documents mentioned in the above press release. Articles 3 and 4 of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination contain about what you’d expect from an anti-racism covenant.

But what does race have to do with the OIC? What race are its members? What racial quality do Turks, Filipinos, Azerbaijanis, Yemenis, Pakistanis, and Somalis have in common?

Muslims find it convenient to claim special status as victims of “racism”, but this is cynical nonsense. Race is not an issue.

However, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights is a different matter. This is where the OIC has struck real gold.

Here’s the text of Articles 19 and 20:

Article 19
1. Everyone shall have the right to hold opinions without interference.
2. Everyone shall have the right to freedom of expression; this right shall include freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers, either orally, in writing or in print, in the form of art, or through any other media of his choice.
3. The exercise of the rights provided for in paragraph 2 of this article carries with it special duties and responsibilities. It may therefore be subject to certain restrictions, but these shall only be such as are provided by law and are necessary:
  (a) For respect of the rights or reputations of others;
  (b) For the protection of national security or of public order (ordre public), or of public health or morals.
Article 20
1. Any propaganda for war shall be prohibited by law.
2. Any advocacy of national, racial or religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence shall be prohibited by law.

“Everyone shall have the right to hold opinions without interference,”


“Any advocacy of national, racial or religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence shall be prohibited by law.”

You can’t square that circle. It’s not like the First Amendment, with the lambent clarity of “Congress shall make no law.” The USA honors its own Constitution in the breach, but at least it has an unequivocal and clearly worded standard.

In contrast, the UN version is, like most UN documents, weasel-worded.

Either —

You have right to your own opinion, which may include the hatred of another religion.

Or —

You can be prohibited by law from expressing any opinion which incites hostility.

It has to be one or the other; you can’t have both. One of the two has to give.

And, knowing the UN and the OIC, I can guess which one it will be.

Hat tip: TB.


John Sobieski said...

Busy Muslim spiders spinning their web entrapping the infidels in their cage by the river. It is hopeless for the infidel nations to remain in the UN. It is poison.

Diamed said...

So you can speak about anything you want, so long as it's pointless.

Unless you can criticize something, you can't change it, even if it's harmful. A harmful policy/people/act that goes unchallenged and uncriticized will just go on harming until the damage is irreparable.

'Hate' speech is like pain. It is a warning that something you're doing to your body is wrong and must change, or otherwise lasting damage will occur to it. It hurts your feelings, sure, but that's a necessary cost to protect you from much greater dangers. People without pain are notoriously bad at avoiding hurting themselves. Uncriticized countries/rulers are notoriously tyrannical, and unchecked pride always comes before a fall. Criticism, protests, warnings, rebukes, are an essential aspect to every part of our lives. I can think of no more vital aspect of free speech than negative, mean-spirited, hate-mongering --- if you can't even diagnose the problem, how will you ever find the solution?

Findalis said...

Heads up. HATE SPEECH:

What race are Muslims?
Is Muslims a race?

NO! Muslims follow a religion, Islam. A person can change their religion. You can go from Muslim to Christian very easily.

One cannot change one's race.
God knows that if I could, I would become Klingon in a heartbeat!


Félicie said...

"“Everyone shall have the right to hold opinions without interference,”


“Any advocacy of national, racial or religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence shall be prohibited by law.”

You can’t square that circle."

Yes, its' the "all animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others" logic. Hello, Stalin.

Vasarahammer said...

The US has ratified the Covenant for Civil and Political rights, if I read the document correctly.

Henrik R Clausen said...

Meet the new boss - same as the old boss


randian said...

That "public morals" clause is a monster loophole. Under it, both criticising Islam and advocating non-Islamic religion can be deemed illegal while staying within the letter of the law.

IgnorantInfidel said...

What would happen if we non-Muslims filed complaints every time we are called monkeys or pigs?

To me the term Islamophobe is insulting. It stigmatizes me as a person with no knowledge of Islam or Muslims. Does that mean that all the information I have collected from Islamic and Muslim web sites is not knowledge? Does that also mean that any books written by acceptable [to Muslim] authors is bogus?

Aren't the calls for our elimination if we don't convert to Islam a racial and/or religious attack on us?

Burning the flags of sovereign nations, attacking their property, and kidnapping their citizens is a demonstration of hate and an expression of racial hatred; isn't it?

Whew!! that was close. I was holding my breath waiting for the OIC to take action against the hate inspired Muslim rioters. Fortunately my significant other saw me turning blue and rescued me.