IHEU challenges the view that “defamation of religion” is a form of racism

  • Date / 18 June 2009

On 16 June, during the general debate on racism at the Human Rights Council, the Pakistani delegate Muhammad Saeed Sarwar, speaking on behalf of the Islamic States, claimed that the defamation of Islam under the guise of freedom of expression is a new and contemporary form of discrimination, intolerance and xenophobia. When the adjourned debate continued on the morning of 17 June, Roy Brown responded on behalf of IHEU:

“We were dismayed to hear again in this very debate an attempt to link defamation of religion to racism. Mr President, if I believe that a particular religion has no merit; that it is founded on a pre-scientific worldview, and that the application of many of its tenets is contrary to internationally accepted standards of human rights, then that is my opinion and I have the absolute right to express it. And, Mr President, it has nothing whatsoever to do with racism.”

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