Accessibility links

Breaking News

UN Rights Council Adopts Defamation Resolution

A demonstration against the Prophet Muhammad cartoons in Kabul in February 2006 (AFP) March 30, 2007 -- The UN Human Rights Council has adopted a nonbinding resolution urging a global prohibition on the public defamation of religion.

The document was opposed by European and several other non-Muslim countries, who cited the resolution's excessive focus on Islam and incompatibility with fundamental rights such as freedom of speech and thought.

The resolution makes no mention of any other religion besides Islam.

There are 17 Muslim countries on the 47-nation council, which replaced the discredited UN Human Rights Commission. The council has no power beyond drawing attention to rights issues.

Discussion of the resolution started last year after protests across the Islamic world drew attention to caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad first printed in a Danish newspaper.


Islam In A Pluralistic World

Islam In A Pluralistic World

A Muslim woman (left) watches a Christian procession in Madrid in March (AFP)


CONFERENCE ON ISLAM: A major international conference on Islam concluded in Vienna in November 2005 with strong appeals from prominent Muslim leaders to recognize international terrorism as simply "terrorism." Political figures from Islamic countries, including the presidents of Iraq and Afghanistan, argued that it should never be labeled "Islamic" or "Muslim" terrorism because Islam is based on peace, dialogue, and tolerance. "Salaam" -- meaning "peace" -- was the key word of the three-day conference, titled "ISLAM IN A PLURALISTIC WORLD."
Iraqi President Jalal Talibani and Afghan President Hamid Karzai used the word in their remarks to emphasize the peaceful nature of Islam. Other speakers quoted passages from the Koran to the effect that all men and women, regardless of faith, are creatures of God and should live in peace with each other without discrimination...(more)


Listen to Afghan President HAMID KARZAI's complete address to the Vienna conference (in English):
Real Audio Windows Media


Listen to UN special envoy LAKHDAR BRAHIMI's complete address to the Vienna conference (in English):
Real Audio Windows Media

THE COMPLETE PICTURE: Click on the image to view a thematic webpage devoted to issues of religious tolerance in RFE/RL's broadcast region and around the globe.