IHEU’s campaign for freedom of expression at the UN Human Rights Council has been highlighted by Macleans, the Canadian news magazine. In a wide-ranging article concluding that Islamic states are trying to stifle freedom of speech in the guise of anti-defamation rules, the magazine quoted the recent ruling at the Council that NGOs could not refer to Sharia law.
“The religious defamation laws urged by the resolutions rely on subjective emotional reactions and are therefore easy to abuse”, the article concludes, quoting Ezra Levant calling the anti-defamation campaign a “soft jihad” — an attempt to advance Islamic law around the world, not through violence but through Western legal channels.
IHEU member organization National Secular Society, in its excellent weekly newsletter Newsline, also praises this aspect of IHEU’s work at the UN. Newsline quotes Keith Porteous Wood, executive director of NSS, warning of the dangers to the West: “one of the greatest dangers to such a society is the OIC, pressing ever harder for defamation of religions legislation to be instituted worldwide…. Such legislation would be much more far-reaching than blasphemy law and could be expected to render religious bodies, doctrines and spokespeople, activities and misdeeds all-but immune from adverse comment.” (To subscribe to Newsline, click here.)