‘After the burning of the Koran, the UN rights group adopts a contentious resolution on religious hate’

Following the burning of a Koran in Sweden, the UN Human Rights Council endorsed a contentious resolution on religious intolerance on Wednesday, raising concerns among Western nations who claim it contradicts long-standing rights protection procedures.

Advertisements

The 57-nation Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) is represented by Pakistan in the resolution, which calls for states to review their legal frameworks and close any legal loopholes that could “impede the prevention and prosecution of acts and advocacy of religious hatred.”

The European Union and the United States both fiercely opposed it, claiming that it goes against their stance on free speech and human rights. They denounced the burning of the Koran but asserted that the OIC proposal was meant to protect religious symbols rather than human rights.

The burning of the Koran outside a Stockholm mosque by an Iraqi immigrant last month sparked fury around the Muslim world and calls for retaliation from Muslim states.

The outcome of the vote represents a significant setback for Western nations at a time when the OIC has unparalleled influence in the council, the only organization made up of governments to defend human rights globally.

Voting results were 28 countries in favor, 12 countries opposed, and 7 countries abstained. After the resolution was approved, some of the country representatives applauded.

The decision, according to Marc Limon, director of the Universal Rights Group in Geneva, demonstrated “the West is in full retreat at the Human Rights Council.”

He claimed that “they’re losing the argument and support” steadily.

The United States’ objections about the effort, according to Michele Taylor, the country’s permanent representative to the U.N. Human Rights Council, “were not taken seriously.”

She asserted, “I think we could have also found a way forward on this resolution together with a little more time and more open discussion.”

Khalil Hasmi, Pakistan’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Geneva, charged that the West was only paying “lip service” to its promise to halting religious intolerance after the vote.

He explained that some people’s opposition stemmed from their refusal to denounce the open profanation of the Holy Koran or any other sacred text.

It was the least the Council could have expected from them, but they lack the political, legal, and moral guts to denounce this crime.