Some news out of the UN this week. For the first time since 1998, the General Assembly’s annual resolution against religious intolerance has dropped the call for banning “defamation of religions.” Muslim nations typically have supported the ban, but Western countries like the US have opposed it as a violation of freedom of speech. This year, Western and Muslim countries were able to agree to remove the reference to defamation in favor of a new approach that calls for ending discrimination against people on the basis of religion, an approach that Reuters describes as “protecting believers” rather than “beliefs.” The deletion of the reference to defamation must be accounted a diplomatic victory for the US and other Western countries, but the new resolution also calls on nations to end “incitement to religious hatred.” I suppose some countries might interpret “incitement” to cover defamation as well, since defaming a religion could incite violence against its followers. So the defamation concept might still be lurking out there. The resolution is non-binding, in any case.
- Keister & Sherkat (eds.), “Religion and Inequality in America: Research and Theory on Religion’s Role in Stratification”
- Stein, “Saharan Jews and the Fate of French Algeria”
- Call for Papers: Law, Religion and Bioethics
- Miller, “Good Catholics: The Battle over Abortion in the Catholic Church”
- Sirry, “Scriptural Polemics: The Qur’an and Other Religions”
- The Return of the Dhimma?
- Happy 450th Birthday to William Shakespeare
- Why Protect Religion?
- Sandberg, “Religion, Law and Society”
- Janes & Houen (eds.), “Martyrdom and Terrorism: Pre-Modern to Contemporary Perspectives”