U.N. rights body condemns “defamation” of religion

Holy shit. These guys are seriously talking about making it illegal to defame religion? What. The. Fuck.

Basically, this would mean you cannot say anything negative about any religion. Since nothing in any religion can be proven, anything negative claim can be declared “false” by the religious nutjobs out there. This is one of the worst precedents in the violation of free speech I’ve ever seen. What the hell is this U.N. council thinking? I can’t believe more countries voted in favor than opposed. Fucking madness.

Fuck religion. It’s a bunch of delusional bullshit by people who are too scared to face their own mortality. Deal with it.

U.N. rights body condemns “defamation” of religion

GENEVA (Reuters) – The United Nations top human rights body condemned “defamation” of religion on Friday and, in an apparent reference to the storm over the Prophet cartoons, said press freedom had its limits.

With the support of China, Russia and Cuba, Moslem and Arab states comfortably won a vote on the 47-state Human Rights Council to express concern at “negative stereotyping” of religions and “attempts to identify Islam with terrorism”.

“The resolution is tabled in the expectation that it will compel the international community to acknowledge and address the disturbing phenomena of the defamation of religions, especially Islam,” said Pakistan, speaking on behalf of the Organization of the Islamic Conference.

The resolution was opposed by Western states which said it focused too much on Islam. The job of the Council was to deal with the rights of individuals not religions, they said.

“The European Union does not see the concept of defamation of religion as a valid one in a human rights discourse,” a spokeswoman for the delegation of Germany, which holds the EU presidency, told the Council.

The resolution urged countries to ensure their laws gave adequate protection against acts of “hatred, discrimination, intimidation and coercion resulting from defamation of religions”.

While everybody had the right to freedom of expression, this should be exercised according to limitations of the law and respect for others, including respect for religions and beliefs, it said.

In 2006, violent protests rocked cities from Morocco to Malaysia over Danish cartoons of Islam’s Prophet Mohammad published in September 2005, which Muslims regarded as sacrilegious and an attack on their beliefs.

The vote was 24 countries in favor of the resolution, 14 against and with 9 abstentions.

Tribal traditions and three girls’ gruesome demise

Tribal traditions and three girls’ gruesome demise

ISLAMABAD — Their only offence was to try to marry the men they loved. Their tribe, however, saw it as an affront to its honour. The three teenage girls were kidnapped, taken to a remote area, and shot. Then, still alive, they were dragged bleeding to a ditch, where they were covered in earth and stones, suffocating the remaining life out of them.

Although so-called honour killings are not unusual, burying the victims alive is extreme even by Pakistani tribal standards. The brutal treatment meted out to the girls, aged between 16 and 18, was meant not only to revive the respect of the Umrani tribe, but serve as a warning.

“A proper burial is considered very important. Depriving them [the girls] of an honourable burial is to make sure others learn the lesson,” said Samar Minallah, a human-rights activist who investigated the killings. “But never in Pakistan’s history have we seen the perpetrators of such crimes punished.”

Under tribal tradition, marriages are carefully arranged by elders. Marrying without permission is considered an insult to the honour of the tribe.

Although news of the gruesome killings has only just filtered out from Baluchistan, a remote and lawless province, 1½ months has passed since the girls’ deaths and no one has been arrested. The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, an independent organization, said that for a month the local police refused its attempts to register a criminal complaint over the case.

A cover-up is suspected. According to several accounts, the brother of a provincial minister, a member of the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party, oversaw the killings, and the girls were abducted by a group of men driving Baluchistan government vehicles. Local grandees officiate over tribal “justice,” the same notables who are typically members of parliament in rural Pakistan.

In Pakistan’s national parliament, the killings were defended by several male legislators from Baluchistan. A senator from Baluchistan, Israrullah Zehri, said on Friday that “this action was carried out according to tribal traditions,” a view backed up by others, who attacked a woman senator who had raised the case.

“These are centuries-old traditions and I will continue to defend them,” Mr. Zehri added over the weekend. “Only those who indulge in immoral acts should be afraid.”

The girls were killed in the Naseerabad district of Baluchistan. Human Rights Watch, the international campaigning group, has conducted its own probe.

“This is a heinous criminal offence,” said Ali Dayan Hasan, of Human Rights Watch. “We have corroborated it and cross-corroborated it, but the second the police admit it happened, it would trigger an investigation.”