Islamic states move against freedom of expression....
They are using the UN to bolster their campaign against freedom of speech...
Islamic states are bidding to use the United Nations to limit freedom of expression and belief around the world, the global humanist body IHEU told the U.N.'s Human Rights Council on Wednesday.
In a statement submitted to the 48-nation Council, the IHEU said the 57 members of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC) were also aiming to undermine the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
"The Islamic states see human rights exclusively in Islamic terms, and by sheer weight of numbers this view is becoming dominant within the U.N. system. The implications for the universality of human rights are ominous," it said.
The statement from the IHEU, the International Humanist and Ethical Union, was issued as the U.N.'s special investigator on freedom of opinion and expression argued in a report that religions had no special protection under human rights law.
Ambeyi Ligabo, a Kenyan jurist, said in a report to the Council limitations on freedom of expression in international rights pacts "are not designed to protect belief systems from external or internal criticism."
But this argument is rejected by Islamic states, who say outright criticism -- and especially lampooning -- of religion violates the rights of believers to enjoy respect.