Good News and Bad News at the UN


The United Nations Human Rights Council last week adopted a resolution calling for freedom of religion and an end to religious violence and oppression. That’s the good news. The bad news is that a deal was apparently struck to keep out language that specifically spoke about the rights of atheists.

Atheist groups, who say millions of non-religious people face persecution in many parts of the world, accused the European Union on Friday of failing to stand up for their rights in the United Nations.

They spoke as the 47-member U.N. Human Rights Council approved a resolution drafted by the EU calling for an end to religious intolerance and violence and for all governments to observe freedom of religion and belief.

But the campaigners, who had earlier given the council a report on abuse of atheists, mainly in Muslim countries, had sought a text making clear its injunctions included them.

“The wording of this resolution shows how the world, even the secular West, ignores the plight of atheists and other non-believers in many countries,” said Sonja Eggericks, president of the International Humanist and Ethical Union.

“Many people who recognize no supernatural being are suffering and even dying for trying to exercise their right to hold and profess their views,” she said in a statement sent to Reuters from Brussels…

Diplomats said the EU had omitted a specific reference to the need for protection for atheists, whose numbers are reported in recent surveys as growing strongly around the globe, in a deal with Islamic countries.

Under that alleged deal, member states of the 57-nation Organisation of Islamic Cooperation on the council would accept the EU resolution in return for EU approval of their own resolution condemning religious intolerance.

I’d like to know the wording of that OIC resolution. In the past, they have consistently advocated for laws that prohibit the “defamation” — read: criticism — of religion. And I’d like to know what Michael De Dora, CFI’s UN representative, thinks about all of this.

Comments

  1. says

    Which is similar to canada’s new office of religious freedom. The minister in charge having said that “We don’t see agnosticism or atheism as being in need of defense in the same way persecuted religious minorities are.”

  2. raven says

    There are around 1 billion Nones in the world and this number is growing rapidly.

    The Nones would be the third largest religion if they were a religion.

    Yeah, this is pretty dysfunctional.

    Atheism is a death penalty offense in 8 Moslem countries. A few atheists are in prison and one was killed in Bangladesh.

  3. Anthony K says

    The minister in charge having said that “We don’t see agnosticism or atheism as being in need of defense in the same way persecuted religious minorities are.”

    Well, you know: you can’t expect Dave Baird to have heard of Morinville. You know how conservatives and Alberta mix like oil and water.

  4. marcus says

    raven @3 There are around 1 billion Nones in the world…The Nones would be the third largest religion if they were a religion.
    I’m sure I’ve heard that number before but that really puts the whole issue in a clearer context. Thanks.

  5. anubisprime says

    The United Nations Human Rights Council last week adopted a resolution calling for freedom of religion and an end to religious violence and oppression.

    Good luck with that…watch out the religio dimbats don’t sue you for oppressing them and their rights to smite each other!

    As for the atheist thing, what a total shock…not!

    They will kick & scream as only stuck pigs can, but they cannot prevent it, at the moment the politically correct cowards are afraid of the theist bullies, they are like kiddies playing peek-boo with atheists, hoping they will go away…they are out of luck!

  6. iknklast says

    We don’t see agnosticism or atheism as being in need of defense in the same way persecuted religious minorities are

    I suspect what that means is he feels that atheism and agnosticism are indefensible. Of course, we can fall back on our “militant” atheists to defend us, right?

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