In what looks like a major climb down on the part of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC) this grouping of the 57 Islamic states in the UN has tabled a draft resolution at the Human Rights Council: “Combating intolerance …and violence based on religion or belief”.
It replaces the resolutions adopted for the past 12 years by the old Commission for Human Rights, the Human Rights Council and the UN General Assembly “Combating defamation of Religion”. It represents a major victory for IHEU and the hundreds of NGOs who have supported our appeals to oppose these earlier resolutions, and echoes the appeal to the OIC last week by IHEU main representative Jack Jeffery at the Human Rights Council to broaden the scope of the resolution to include incitement to hatred or violence for any reason.
The devil is, as ever, in the detail, and the informal meetings over the next four days on the final version of the text are likely to be heated, but the OIC seems finally to have realized that they were facing defeat if they persisted in their earlier resolution.
For some earlier IHEU reports and statements in our campaign against the concept of defamation of religion running back more than seven years, see for example: