Sydney Atheists, together with 185 other non-governmental
organizations from more than 50 countries around the world, called on
U.N. member states to reject a "pervasive and mounting campaign" by
Islamic states to ban criticism of religion under international law.
"It’s an attempt to gut the concept of human rights of its original
meeting, which is to protect individuals from harm or state control, not
to shield a set of beliefs from critical inquiry," said Hillel Neuer,
executive director of the Geneva-based UN Watch, an independent human
rights monitoring organization.
"Our freedoms of speech and religion are facing a combined assault by
multiple regressive resolutions this week at the U.N. Human Rights
Council, and proposed provisions for next month’s Durban 2 conference
that endorse the Islamic proposal to change a core UN treaty on racism."
Following is the joint NGO statement and list of 187 signatories:
Joint NGO Statement on Danger of U.N. “Defamation of Religions” Campaign
We, the undersigned non-governmental organizations,
Deeply concerned by the pervasive and mounting campaign
by the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) to produce U.N.
resolutions, declarations, and world conferences that propagate the
concept of “defamation of religions,” a concept having no basis in
domestic or international law, and which would alter the very meaning of
human rights, which protect individuals from harm, but not beliefs from
Deeply concerned by the attempt to misuse the U.N. to
legitimize blasphemy laws, thereby restricting freedom of religion,
freedom of expression, and freedom of the press;
Deeply concerned that “defamation of religions”
resolutions may be used in certain countries to silence and intimidate
human rights activists, religious dissenters, and other independent
voices; Alarmed by the resolution on “defamation of religions” recently
tabled at the current 10th session of the UN Human Rights Council;
Alarmed by the draft resolution on freedom of expression
circulated by Egypt, whose amendments seek to restrict, not promote,
protections for free speech;
Alarmed by the recently-announced initiative of the U.N.
“Ad Hoc Committee on Complementary Standards” to amend the
International Convention for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination
(ICERD) by adding a protocol on “defamation of religions”;
Alarmed by provisions in the latest draft outcome
document of the Durban Review Conference that, through coded language
and veiled references, endorse and encourage these anti-democratic
1. Call upon all governments to oppose the “defamation
of religions” resolution currently tabled at the UN Human Rights
Council, and the objectionable provisions of the freedom of expression
2. Call upon all governments to resist the efforts of the “Ad Hoc Committee on Complementary Standards” to alter the ICERD;
3. Call upon all governments not to accept or legitimize
a Durban Review Conference outcome that directly or indirectly supports
the “defamation of religions” campaign at the expense of basic freedoms
and individual human rights.
(I've highlighted some of our australian friends below -ND)
1. UN Watch 2. International Humanist and Ethical Union
3. Freedom House 4. The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty 5. Centre for
Political Studies (CEPOS) 6. Muslim Council of Canada 7. International
Association of Prosecutors 8. World Evangelical Alliance Religious
Liberty Commission 9. Nonviolent Radical Party, Transnational and
Transparty (Italy) 10. The International Quranic Center (IQC) 11.
International Press Institute (IPI) 12. Human Rights Without Frontiers
International 13. Ligue Internationale Contre le Racisme et
l’Antisémitisme (LICRA) 14. Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) 15.
American Islamic Congress 16. World Union of Progressive Judaism 17.
United Nations Association of Mauritius 18. World Jewish Congress 19.
Cartoonists Rights Network International (CRNI) 20. Association for
World Education 21. Association of World Citizens 22. International
Publishers Association 23. The Institute for African Alternatives 24.
International Jurist Organization 25. Frontiers Association (Lebanon)
26. International Association for the Defense of Religious Liberty 27.
Rationalist Association 28. Greek Helsinki Monitor 29. British Humanist
Association 30. Sidmennt Ethical Humanist Association 31. National
Secular Society 32. B’nai B’rith International 33. International
Foundation for Population and Development 34. North London Humanist
Group 35. Endeavour Forum Inc. 36. Association Suisse des Libres
Penseurs 37. Humanist Academy of Scotland 38. Media Institute of
Southern Africa (Regional Secretariat and its chapters in 11 SADC
countries) 39. American Humanist Association 40. Darfur Peace And
Development Centre 41. American Atheists 42. Media Institute (Kenya) 43.
Union of Freethinkers 44. Maharat Foundation (Lebanon) 45. Open Doors
USA 46. Brazilian Association of Investigative Journalism (Abraji) 47.
One Law for All Campaign 48. Organisation against Women’s Discrimination
(Iran) 49. The DiaHumanism Institute 50. Women’s international Zionist
Organization (WIZO) 51. Canadian Humanist Publications 52. Institute for
Reporters’ Freedom and Safety (IRFS-Azerbaijan) 53. Indian Humanist
Union 54. The Tandem Project 55. Ahmadiyya Muslim Community 56.
International Committee to Protect Freethinkers 57. Center for Security
Policy 58. World Citizens Foundation 59. South Sudan Movement in
Disapora 60. International PEN Writers in Prison Committee 61. Atheist Foundation of Australia
62. Minority Rights Group (Greece) 63. Nigerian Humanist Movement 64.
National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) 65. Social Development
Foundation (India) 66. Swedish Humanist Association 67. Rationalist
Forum of Hyderabad (India) 68. Manava Vikasa Vedika (India) 69. European
Union of Jewish Students 70. Centre for Study of Society and Secularism
( India) 71. The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the
Southern Baptist Convention 72. North East Humanists 73. Associação
Brasileira de Jornalismo Investigativo (ABRAJI) 74. Center for Human
Rights and Democratic Studies (CEHURDES-Nepal) 75. New Zealand
Association of Rationalists and Humanists 76. Centro para la Apertura y
el Desarrollo de América Latina (CADAL) 77. International Council of
Jewish Women 78. Humanist Canada 79. NGO Forum (Mauritius) 80. European
Humanist Federation 81. Association of Independent Electronic Media
(ANEM-Serbia) 82. Federation of Indian Rationalist Associations 83.
Burgerbewegung Pax Europa 84. Media Watch (Bangladesh) 85. Finnish
Humanist Union 86. Humanist and Ethical Union of Kenya 87. Arabic
Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI-Egypt) 88. American Jewish
Congress 89. Atheist Centre Andhra Pradesh (India) 90. Spurthi Dalit
Humanist organisation (India) 91. German Forum for Human Rights 92.
Jihad Watch 93. Rationalist Association of NSW 94. Adhra Pradesh
Rationalist Association (India) 95. Satya Shodhak Sabha, Gujerat (India)
96. Arab Archives Institute (AAI-Jordan) 97. Open Doors International 98. Council of Australian Humanist Societies
99. Jubilee Campaign USA 100. Simon Wiesenthal Centre 101. Humanist
Society of Queensland 102. Algerian Centre for the Defence and Promotion
of Press Freedom (CALP) 103. Atheist Alliance International 104. CWA,
Switzerland 105. Rationalist Society of Australia 106.
Media Rights Agenda (MRA-Nigeria) 107. Humanist Society of New Zealand
108. Consultative Council of Jewish Organisations 109. Center for
Inquiry, Low Countries 110. Military Association of Atheists and
Freethinkers 111. World Union of Jewish Students 112. Humanist
Association of Northern Ireland 113. Instituto Prensa y Sociedad
(IPYS-Venezuela) 114. Center for Religious Freedom of the Hudson
Institute 115. Humanist Association of Ottawa 116. Center for Media
Studies and Peace Building (CEMESP-Liberia) 117. Liberté de Conscience
118. Syria Reform Party 119. The Free Press Society (Denmark) 120.
International Free Press Society 121. Muslims Against Sharia 122. Centre
for the Study of Social Change (India) 123. Danish Atheist Society 124.
Mouvement Pour la Paix et Contre le Terrorisme 125. Minnesota Atheists
126. Free Media Movement (FMM-Sri Lanka) 127. Cultural Bridges 128.
American Ethical Union 129. Hotline Human Rights (Bangladesh) 130.
Trinidad and Tobago Humanist Association 131. Women’s Missionary Society
AME Church 132. Unie Vrijzinniger Vereningingen (Belgium) 133.
Humanistisch Verbond 134. Humanistischer Verband Deutschlands 135.
Montagnard Foundation, Inc. 136. Humanist Association of Ireland 137.
United American Committee 138. Humanistiche Vrijzinnige Vereniging
(Belgium) 139. Quadlibet Strategic Ventures NFP 140. Netradana
Protsahaka Sangam (India) 141. Human Rights Service (Norway) 142. Pink
Triangle Trust 143. Gujerat Mumbai Rationalist Association 144. Southern
California Ecumenical Council 145. Viveka Vidyalayam (India) 146.
International Christian Concern 147. The International Religious Liberty
Association (IRLA) 148. International Multiracial Shared Cultural
Organization 149. Disha Dalit Humanist organization (India) 150.
European Union of Public Relations 151. Socio-political Analysis and
Research Organization (India) 152. Canadian Journalists for Free
Expression (CJFE) 153. Jana Vignana Vedika (India) 154. Society of
Catholic Social Scientists 155. Society for Humanism and Social Change
(India) 156. Evangelical Alliance UK 157. Indian Radical Humanist
Association 158. Fondation Genereuse Developpement (FGD-Cameroon) 159.
Gay and Lesbian Humanist Association 160. Center for Inquiry
International 161. Swedish Youth Humanist Association 162. Religious
Freedom Coalition 163. Act for America 164. Belfast Humanist Group 165.
Council of ex-Muslims of Britain 166. Unione degli Atei e degli
Agnostici Razionalisti (Italy) 167. Secular Student Alliance 168. Summit
Ministries 169. Doha Centre for Media Freedom (Qatar) 170. Fire Rescue
Development Program 171. Sydney Atheists 172. Adil Soz,
International Foundation for Protection of Freedom of Speech
(Kazakhstan) 173. European Network Church on the Move 174. Traditional
Values Coalition 175. Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR) 176.
Humanist Society of Queensland 177. Jewish Human Rights Coalition (UK)
178. Redeem the Vote 179. Pray in Jesus Name Project 180. Humanist
Society of Victoria 181. Index on Censorship 182. Unity Coalition for
Israel 183. Sociedad Humanista-etica, Deodoro Roca (Argentina) 184. Secular Party of Australia 185. India Committee of the Netherlands 186. Humanistische Alliatie (Netherlands) 187. Norwegian PEN
Originally posted by Nathan Dunn