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OpenDoors launches letter writing campaign to stop Apostosy resolution

I am writing to ask you to take action to help prevent passage of the UN Defamation of Religions resolution. This resolution, sponsored by the Organization of Islamic Conference states, seeks to criminalize words or actions perceived as attacks against a religion, with the focus being on protecting Islam. The resolution seeks to protect ideas instead of individuals undermining the true purpose of international human rights law. It also legitimizes national blasphemy laws used by countries such as Pakistan to silence Christians and other religious minorities, as well as Muslims who do not conform to the government’s ideas.

The resolution infringes on both freedom of speech and freedom of religion. As Secretary Clinton stated in her remarks releasing the annual International Religious Freedom report of 2009, “Based on our own experience, we are convinced that the best antidote to intolerance is not the defamation of religion’s approach of banning and punishing offensive speech, but rather, a combination of robust legal protections against discrimination and hate crimes, proactive government outreach to minority religious groups, and the vigorous defense of both freedom of religion and expression.” If the defamation of religions resolution passes, it effectively results in the UN condoning state-sponsored persecution of Christians and members of other minority faith groups.

While Defamation of Religions Resolutions have been introduced and passed previously, it will likely be up again this year for a vote. The resolution lost support in the UN General Assembly vote during the last couple of years and we think this year may be the tipping point.

We need to encourage key countries to change their vote on this resolution, supporting the efforts of our State Department. They are very receptive to pressure from federal legislators, particularly countries that receive U.S. foreign aid. That is why I’m asking you to reach out to this list of targeted countries by phone or through a letter, asking them to change their vote on the Defamation of Religions Resolution. The 3rd Committee vote will likely take place in November, followed by the UN GA vote in December.

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