|U.N. General Assembly Hall.|
Ending religious intolerance sounds okay, I guess - although the UN should be standing up for human rights and not the rights of religions. My tolerance levels for religion have been on the wane as of late. I certainly hope this isn't code for ending words and actions that offend people's religious sensitivities. You know, a big return to more blasphemy laws.
As for violence, I'm all for ending that.
As for promoting freedom of religion and belief. Sure, people should be allowed to believe whatever they wish as long as it doesn't translate into doing harmful and illegal things in the name of their religion. Note that I'm not talking about religion's freedom or belief's freedom because that would be just silly. Religions do not have rights or freedoms, people do. This is a human rights question, not a religious rights question.
So yes, I don't want people to get persecuted for their beliefs in or not in any religious creed.
So, with the rather dismal stories of persecution of atheists around the world, like Alexander Aan, how are non-believers protected?
But the campaigners, who had earlier given the council a report on abuse of atheists, mainly in Muslim countries, had sought a text making clear its injunctions included them.
"The wording of this resolution shows how the world, even the secular West, ignores the plight of atheists and other non-believers in many countries," said Sonja Eggericks, president of the International Humanist and Ethical Union.
"Many people who recognize no supernatural being are suffering and even dying for trying to exercise their right to hold and profess their views," she said in a statement sent to Reuters from Brussels.
Elizabeth O'Casey of the U.S.-based Centre for Inquiry said the EU refusal to include a direct reference to non-believers as needing protection alongside religious minorities "fails many millions of people across the globe".Well, we've seen this before with the Canadian Office of Religious Freedom and their refusal to have anything to do with atheists whatsoever. You know, atheist who are likely to be even more mistrusted and despised by religious groups in many of these countries than other religious groups. If there's anything that seems to bind together disparate religious views it seems to be a common fear, misunderstanding and mistrust of atheists.
But no wait, the EU representatives claim that, although the word atheist or non-believer is apparently not specifically mentioned anywhere in their resolution, it apparently still condemns "all forms of violence against, intolerance towards and discrimination of people on the basis of their religious or non-religious identity."
So why didn't the EU put the a-word into the agreement? Well, they decided to let it drop so they could make a deal with the bloc of countries that have been rather actively pushing blasphemy laws lately.
Diplomats said the EU had omitted a specific reference to the need for protection for atheists, whose numbers are reported in recent surveys as growing strongly around the globe, in a deal with Islamic countries.
Under that alleged deal, member states of the 57-nation Organisation of Islamic Cooperation on the council would accept the EU resolution in return for EU approval of their own resolution condemning religious intolerance.
Well isn't that comforting? It's nice to know the EU truly has our interests at heart. And what was that part about Muslim countries again?
But the campaigners, who had earlier given the council a report on abuse of atheists, mainly in Muslim countries, had sought a text making clear its injunctions included them.Yes, that was it. So explicit wording that would contribute to our safety was used as a bargaining chip. Seems like we've been sold out for thirty pieces of silver.