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VICTORY Is Not Defeat

Irish Law Copied by OIC Defamation Proposal


Having read several articles asserting that  Pakistan’s delegate had, on behalf of the OIC, submitted to the Ad Hoc Committee on Elaboration of Complementary Standards,[See also: Ad Hoc Cmte Draft Document] a proposal containing the text of Ireland’s new blasphemy legislation, my curiosity was aroused.  I posted a blog comment expressing doubt, and disappointment that the post did not provide a link to the source of the claim.  I prepared to compose a blog post about the issue, but after diligent search, I was unable to find  specific information.

Serendipitous discovery of a document hosted by Article 19 has brought the truth to light, proving  my assumption to be in error. I had assumed that the referenced proposal had been made previous to the recent meeting of the committee. In fact, it was submitted on October 23 and it does, in its first section, include  significant text from the Irish blasphemy statute. If Irish Catholics enacted it into law, it must surely be acceptable, right? Not by my standards!

The quote below comes from  page 11 of the following document: A/HRC/13/55, the report of the Ad Hoc Committee on the Elaboration of Complementary Standards. [The link in the UN document system is broken.] Since the pdf is a scanned image, I used Softifree OCR to convert it to text. I have attempted to edit errors introduced by the conversion process but have left original spelling and syntax intact.I have added bold font emphasis to identify the purloined prose.

Friday, 23-10-2009 PM

‘l`he Chair opened the sixth meeting on Friday, 23 October 2009 in the afternoon, explaining that further consultations were necessary before the Programme of Work could be adopted, The agreement to continue discussion of issues put forward in alphabetical order as recorded in the draft programme of work not yet adopted was therefore extended. Accordingly, the meeting considered the issue of “discrimination based on religion or belief.”

c) Discrimination based on religion or belief.

Pakistan, on behalf of the OIC, made the following proposal of text:

  1. States Parties shall prohibit by law the uttering of matters that are grossly abusive or insulting in relation to matters held sacred by any religion, thereby causing outrage among a substantial number of the adherents to that religion.
  2. States Parties must enact legal prohibitions on publication of material that negatively stereotypes, insults, or uses offensive language on matters regarded by followers of any religion or belief as sacred or inherent to their dignity as human beings, with the aim of protecting their fundamental human rights.
  3. States Parties shall prohibit public insults and defamation of religions, public incitement to violence, threats against a person or a grouping of persons on the grounds of their race, colour, language, religion, nationality, or national or ethnic origin.
  4. States Parties shall provide, within their respective legal and constitutional systems, adequate protection against acts of hatred, discrimination, intimidation, and coercion resulting from defamation of religions, and incitement to religious hatred in general, and take all possible measures to promote tolerance and respect for all religions and beliefs.
  5. States Parties shall penalize public expressions with racist aims, or of an ideology which claims the superiority of or, or which deprecates or denigrates, a grouping of persons on the grounds of their race, colour, language, religion, nationality, or national or ethnic origin, and enact legal prohibitions on offences in which religious motives are aggravating factors.
  6. States Parties shall apply and reinforce existing laws in order to combat and deny impunity for all manifestations and acts of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance against national or ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities and migrants and the stereotypes applied to them, including on the basis of religion of or belief .

The following quote is from page 26 of the Irish statute.

(2) For the purposes of this section, a person publishes or utters blasphemous matter if—
(a) he or she publishes or utters matter that is grossly abusive or insulting in relation to matters held sacred by any
religion, thereby causing outrage among a substantial number of the adherents of that religion
, and
(b) he or she intends, by the publication or utterance of the matter concerned, to cause such outrage.

Of course, there is a little detail which the authors do not tell us about, and which the OIC did not  plagiarize: defenses to the charge.

(3) It shall be a defence to proceedings for an offence under this section for the defendant to prove that a reasonable person would
find genuine literary, artistic, political, scientific, or academic value in the matter to which the offence relates.
(4) In this section “religion” does not include an organisation or cult—
(a) the principal object of which is the making of profit, or
(b) that employs oppressive psychological manipulation—
(i) of its followers, or
(ii) for the purpose of gaining new followers.

The egregious element of subjectivity stands out in both documents. How do you define and measure “grossly abusive or insulting”?   How do you define, measure and establish the existence of “genuine literary, artistic, political, scientific, or academic value”? How do you establish intent?  Is any nation likely to include, in similar legislation, clearly defined and provable offenses & defenses?

Re-read  the second item in Pakistan’s list. Where did they get the notion of “negative stereotypes”?  Last October, our State Department and Egypt cosponsored the Freedom of Opinion and Expression resolution. [A/HRC/12/L.14/Rev.1]

Recognizes the positive contribution that the exercise of the right to freedom of expression, particularly by the media, including through information and communication technologies such as the Internet, and full respect for the freedom to seek, receive and impart information can make to the fight against racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance and to preventing human rights abuses, but expresses regret at the promotion by certain media of false images and negative stereotypes of vulnerable individuals or groups of individuals, and at the use of information and communication technologies such as the Internet for purposes contrary to respect for human rights, in particular the perpetration of violence against and exploitation and abuse of women and children, and disseminating racist and xenophobic discourse or content; [Pg. 7, ¶’9]

Boilerplate in  previous resolutions expressed concern about “defamation”. President Obama prefers “negative stereotyping” to “defamation”. The OIC can reluctantly drop its demand for the “defamation” clause, Obama can claim victory, and we loose our freedom of expression.

Lets make a close examination of the proposal to censor critics of Islam.

  • grossly abusive or insulting
  • causing outrage
  • a substantial number
  • matters regarded by followers of
    • any religion or belief
    • sacred or inherent to their dignity
  • aim of protecting their fundamental human rights
  • insults and defamation
  • incitement to violence
  • promote tolerance and respect for all religions and beliefs
  • public expressions with racist aims

Is highly refined  abuse or insult  permissible under the proposed legislation?  How does one determine the difference between gross and refined insult?
By what standard is outrage to be established?   What constitutes a substantial number?

Sanctity is in the mind of the believers?  Why is it not defined by the contents of sacred texts?  How are we to know what everyone considers sacred to their dignity?  In what charter is the  right to be shielded from all potential offense established and enshrined as a fundamental human right?

What constitutes incitement to violence?  According to Ban Ki-moon,  Fitna is incitement to violence.. The only incitement in the video comes from the Qur’an and Imams.  By the UN standard, exposing incitement constitutes incitement.

They are demanding that governments promote tolerance and respect for Islam,  which informed and reasonable people consider intolerable because of its intolerance and violence.

How are “racist aims” to be defined and measured?  Islam is not a race, it afflicts members of several races.  Islam began as a manifestation of Arab supremacism.

One glaring defect stands out in the proposal: subjectivity.  Muslims are set up as judge & jury; states as executioners. The offense exists because they invented it. We are guilty of it because they say we are.  This is a status offense: not being Muslim.

The thirty third ayeh of Surah Al-Ma’idah lists hudud for waging war against Allah. Ibn Kathir’s Tafsir defines that term thusly.

(The recompense of those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger and do mischief in the land is only that they shall be killed or crucified or their hands and their feet be cut off on the opposite sides, or be exiled from the land.) `Wage war‘ mentioned here means, oppose and contradict, and it includes disbelief, blocking roads and spreading fear in the fairways. [Emphasis added.]

If you recite a Christian creed, you are guilty of  disbelief, opposing and contradicting Islam and may be sentenced to death.  The OIC is demanding that the UN and its member states enforce that Islamic law against us.  According to Shari’ah, as codified in Reliance of the Traveller, a dhimmi may be killed for several listed offenses including reviling Islam.

O11.10 …-5- or mentions something impermissible about Allah, the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace), or Islam

What is impermissible?   The list of acts entailing apostasy includes these items.

O8.7: Acts that Entail Leaving Islam
-4- to revile Allah or His messenger (Allah bless him and give him peace);

-5- to deny the existence of Allah, His beginingless eternality, His endless eternality, or to deny any of His attributes which the consensus of Muslims ascribes to Him (dis: v1);

-6- to be sarcastic about Allah’s name, His command, His interdiction, His promise, or His threat;

-7- to deny any verse of the Koran or anything which by scholarly consensus (def: b7) belongs to it, or to add a verse that does belong to it;

-16- to revile the religion of Islam;

Among other things, dhimmis are forbidden to recite scripture aloud and display crosses.

O11.5 … -6- are forbidden to openly display wine or pork, (A: to ring church bells or display crosses,) recite the Torah or Evangel aloud, or make public display of their funerals and feastdays;

The Ad Hoc Committee is expected to meet in March.  We need to send a clear message  of rejection to the United States Department of State.  This is not an issue amenable to compromise.  Our right of free expression must not be abridged!   When the protocol is published, we must rise up as one with a loud voice and disrespectfully demand that the President not sign it and the Senate not ratify it.

In the meantime, lovers of liberty  have another way to make a clear statement of disrespect and contempt for Islam and demanding effective protection from its evil intentions. The International Qur’an Petition puts the most important evidence before the World Court and prays for injunctive relief. Please sign it and exhort everyone you can hope to influence to sign it and share it with their friends. We must not allow the lamp of liberty to be extinguished forever.

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January 18, 2010 - Posted by | Political Correctness | , , , , , , , ,

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