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IRLA Calls On Countries to Reject Proposed Resolution on "Vilification" of Religions

On November 12, 2010 , Morocco, on behalf of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), presented a draft resolution entitled “Combating Religious Hatred and Vilification of Religions.” The resolution is expected to be brought before the General Assembly of the United Nations in New York next week for a vote. The resolution is virtually identical to the “Defamation of Religions” resolution that the OIC has presented every year since 1999, it simply substitutes the word “Vilification” for “Defamation."

“The concern expressed about the 'Defamation of Religions' resolution in September 2009 by the IRLA Experts is only heightened today in light of the suppression of religious speech in many countries,” said Barry Bussey, the IRLA representative at the United Nations. "Passing this resolution will provide a veneer of respectability to the severe persecution of people in retaliation for expressing religious perspectives their governments don't want heard."

“While mutual respect is necessary in a pluralistic society that respect can only occur when people have the ability to speak their minds freely without fear of prosecution,” Dr. John Graz, the Secretary-General of the IRLA said.

“Changing the word 'Defamation' to 'Vilification,' does not change the substance of the resolution,” said Bussey, “we will press nations to vote against the resolution and turn their focus to the most egregious violations of religious freedom.”

For more information on the IRLA Experts 2009 statement see:

For a copy of the Draft Resolution on Combating Religious Hatred and Vilification of Religions click here.