?

Log in

No account? Create an account
entries friends calendar profile Elf Sternberg's Pendorwright Projects Previous Previous Next Next
UN calls for the return of blasphemy laws - Elf M. Sternberg
elfs
elfs
UN calls for the return of blasphemy laws
The Organization of Islamic Conference has successfully cajoled the UN Commission for Human Rights to issue a non-binding statement calling on nations to pass laws banning the defamation of religion. The action is an explicit part of the OIC's ten-year plan to ensure that a majority of nations' laws are "harmonized" in such a way to ensure an Islamic Rennaisance by 2050.

The OIC is also explicit in its desire to cut down on "criticism by the West," which it sees as an attack on Islam and a brake on Islam's rightful expansion of the Ummah (Islamic Community) to all corners of the globe.

Say what you will about any religion, but they all deserve criticism. If they can't stand up to either examination or ridicule, then they're not ideas that deserve to persist.

Tags:
Current Mood: annoyed annoyed

16 comments or Leave a comment
Comments
jordan179 From: jordan179 Date: December 1st, 2008 04:25 am (UTC) (Link)
Aren't you glad now that you live in a country that sets its Constitution above "international law?"
mikstera From: mikstera Date: December 1st, 2008 05:15 am (UTC) (Link)
I am glad that I live in a Constitutional Republic, and that that Constitution makes it harder for people to enact something as odious as "blasphemy laws."

That said, here in California a thin majority of my fellow citizens voted to strip rights from a segment of our citizenry, and did so by altering the State Constitution itself. The legal legitimacy of that has yet to be determined (the State Supreme Court will be hearing arguments in March), but the mere fact that this was put on the ballot, much less that it passed, even by a thin margin, greatly disappointed me.

The mere existence of a Constitution is no guarantor of freedom or equality. I've no doubt whatsoever that a large portion of our citizenry would happily enact "blasphemy laws" in this country given half a chance. They've certainly not been shy about making other attempts to put the force of the State behind their particular religious beliefs.

I am greatly disappointed that the UN would even consider "blasphemy laws." I agree with Elf... if your ideas can't stand up to criticism or questioning, then they don't deserve to persist. Perhaps, if the current Administration took "international law" more seriously (and approached it with some level of credibility), the OIC wouldn't have succeeded.

Thankfully, we have a new Administration on the way, one that can at least begin to reverse the disaster the last eight years have subjected us to. No doubt a re-examination of our position towards international law will be part of that massive job of damage repair.
jordan179 From: jordan179 Date: December 1st, 2008 05:22 am (UTC) (Link)
Perhaps, if the current Administration took "international law" more seriously (and approached it with some level of credibility), the OIC wouldn't have succeeded.

What if we took "international law" more seriously, and the blasphemy law passed ANYWAY? Would we not be in the position of either having to defy "international law," or violate our own Constitution?

Thankfully, we have a new Administration on the way, one that can at least begin to reverse the disaster the last eight years have subjected us to. No doubt a re-examination of our position towards international law will be part of that massive job of damage repair.

Unless Obama means to continue ignoring "international law," wouldn't this "reversal" imply that America would have to obey the anti-blasphemy law?

I don't think he will try to enforce the anti-blasphemy law in America, but that's what a more rigorous adherence to international law would force him to do, wouldn't it?

nbarnes From: nbarnes Date: December 1st, 2008 04:36 pm (UTC) (Link)
What if we took "international law" more seriously, and the blasphemy law passed ANYWAY? Would we not be in the position of either having to defy "international law," or violate our own Constitution?

What if the sky were purple and it was assumed that we'd be able to tell the Messiah when she came back by her purple skin?

The fact is that the US has spent 8 years pissing all over the UN. The Bush Administration's total disdain for international diplomacy more or less ensured that someone we didn't get along with would step into the power vacuum.

The US is a very powerful country. The UN isn't in a position to force us to do anything (fairly obviously, or they'd be doing it on Iraq, global warming, the ICC, our recently appalling violations of the Geneva Conventions and related articles, and other issues). Despite the best efforts of some in our country, we are still well-regarded enough amongst the better developed and more powerful countries of the world that we can, in fact, tell the UN to take a hike on this issue with basically no repercussions.
jordan179 From: jordan179 Date: December 1st, 2008 05:09 pm (UTC) (Link)
Ok ... now examine your own argument.

You are implicitly arguing that it is a bad thing that America, under Bush, has (in your view) violated treaties and "international law" (*). This is obvious by the fact that you refer to our actions as "pissing all over the UN."

Given that, then you probably wish that we obeyed international law more stringently. Am I right?

If America followed your prescription, then -- if the UN outlawed blasphemy, we would have no choice but to go along with it.

You are suffering some cognitive dissonance, I imagine, when the "international community" demands something that you don't want!

===
(*)
What "international law" are we violating on global warming, given that we never ratified the Kyoto Treaty?
nbarnes From: nbarnes Date: December 2nd, 2008 04:20 am (UTC) (Link)
Consider carefully the distinction between 'engagement' and 'capitulation'. It is a distinction that is critical to effective practice of international diplomacy, and it seems that you're having some trouble with it.

For example, you ask me, 'What "international law" are we violating on global warming, given that we never ratified the Kyoto Treaty?' I never said that we were violating international law. The opinion of the other large, industrialized, powerful countries of the world is not law, but it is something that we should consider in our decision making none the less. On the other hand, even if this proposal out of the Commission for Human Rights had the force of international law (which it does not), we are better off simply ignoring it than making a big deal out of it; protestations are for the weak. We are strong. If they want to stamp their feet and complain that we aren't doing as they say, that's all the better for our reputation and the worse for theirs; unenforceable demands never make you look good (this is why Bush's frequent blustery rhetoric and saber rattling is so counterproductive).

I am suffering no cognitive dissonance at all. I support the idea that the US should engage heavily with the other nations of the world, via the UN and in other ways, and seek to leverage our vast practical power in ways that make other countries regard us as a valuable ally and friend, rather than a country that is often opposed to their goals and as a potential adversary. This is a very practical and realistic goal, even when one combines it with also feeling that we shouldn't toss out the underpinnings of our free and open society because a much smaller and weaker group of countries say we hurt their feelings.
jordan179 From: jordan179 Date: December 1st, 2008 05:23 am (UTC) (Link)
The mere existence of a Constitution is no guarantor of freedom or equality. I've no doubt whatsoever that a large portion of our citizenry would happily enact "blasphemy laws" in this country given half a chance.

They don't have to, now. They could simply demand that the US Government adhere to the international anti-blasphemy law, and extend its enforcement to cover Christianity.
jordan179 From: jordan179 Date: December 1st, 2008 05:25 am (UTC) (Link)
That said, here in California a thin majority of my fellow citizens voted to strip rights from a segment of our citizenry, and did so by altering the State Constitution itself. The legal legitimacy of that has yet to be determined (the State Supreme Court will be hearing arguments in March), but the mere fact that this was put on the ballot, much less that it passed, even by a thin margin, greatly disappointed me.

Me too -- I live in California, and I voted against Prop 8. Having said that, guess what the opinion of the Islamists is about homosexuality? They would consider that of the American religous Right far too mild, as the Muslims are in favor of making it punishable by death.
srmalloy From: srmalloy Date: December 2nd, 2008 03:54 am (UTC) (Link)

That said, here in California a thin majority of my fellow citizens voted to strip rights from a segment of our citizenry, and did so by altering the State Constitution itself. The legal legitimacy of that has yet to be determined (the State Supreme Court will be hearing arguments in March), but the mere fact that this was put on the ballot, much less that it passed, even by a thin margin, greatly disappointed me.

If the people who are arguing to overturn it are smart, it's going to be a short case. Same-sex marriage is already legal in other states. The change to the California Constitution states "Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California." Article 4, section 1 of the US Constitution states "Full Faith and Credit shall be given in each State to the public Acts, Records, and judicial Proceedings of every other State." California can decline to allow same-sex couples to enact a marriage within the state, but it cannot refuse to recognize a legally-performed marriage, regardless of the gender(s) of the couple. And since the amendment was not written in a manner to allow separating performing new marriages between same-sex couples and recognizing such marriages once performed, it should die as a whole.

From: qtplatypus Date: December 1st, 2008 06:05 am (UTC) (Link)
At the moment it's no where near international law. Given that even binding resolutions of the security counsel are ignored, a non-binding statement is at the level of "Wouldn't it be nice if ..." motherhood statement.

International law isn't like the way federal law interacts with state law, but more like a contract that the signatories to that particular bit of law have consented to because they saw a benefit in compliance.

The disgust many have with the current outgoing administration was that the US was acting as a parasite (in the games theory meaning of the term) taking advantage of the contracts it had signed but not holding up its side of the bargain.
jordan179 From: jordan179 Date: December 1st, 2008 06:11 am (UTC) (Link)
Really? Which treaties that we were signatories to, and which we ratified, have we violated?

Before you answer, the Geneva Conventions which we signed do not bind us to treat non-uniformed combatants as POW's, we exited the 1972 ABM Treaty using the clause which permitted us to do so upon notification, and we never ratified the Kyoto Accord.
From: qtplatypus Date: December 1st, 2008 06:27 am (UTC) (Link)
"United Nations Convention Against Torture" was signed and ratified by the USA.
Both water boarding and extraordinary rendition are restricted by this treaty.

I am not a expert on the Geneva Convention but i recall reading that there are procedures to avoid the capturing of noncombatants and the establishing of if a particular person is a combatant or not that the administration was not in compliance with.
(Deleted comment)
purly From: purly Date: December 1st, 2008 12:30 pm (UTC) (Link)
That's totally ridiculous.
fallenpegasus From: fallenpegasus Date: December 1st, 2008 06:22 pm (UTC) (Link)
I recall that years ago I told you my opinion of the UN, and your response was something along the lines of you preferred to have some hope of optimism in that sphere. (It may have even been an LJ back and forth.)

What's your opinion of the UN now?
elfs From: elfs Date: December 2nd, 2008 05:05 pm (UTC) (Link)
I think it's a good idea with poor implementation. It's still only a debating body; it has no actual authority, for which I'm still grateful.
16 comments or Leave a comment