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.