Defamation of religions

The Commission on Human Rights,

Recalling that all States have pledged themselves, under the Charter of the United Nations, to promote and encourage universal respect for and observance of human rights and fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language or religion,

Reaffirming that discrimination against human beings on the grounds of religion or belief constitutes an affront to human dignity and a disavowal of the principles of the Charter of the United Nations,

Reaffirming also the call of the World Conference on Human Rights for all Governments to take all appropriate measures, in compliance with their international obligations and with due regard to their respective legal systems, to counter intolerance and related violence based on religion or belief,

including practices of discrimination against women and including desecration of religious sites, recognizing that every individual has the right to freedom of thought, conscience, expression and religion,

Alarmed at the serious instances of intolerance, discrimination and acts of violence based on religion or belief, including acts of violence, intimidation and coercion motivated by religious extremism, occurring in many parts of the world and threatening the enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms,

Underlining the importance of creating conditions to foster greater harmony and tolerance within and among societies and conscious of the importance of education in ensuring tolerance of and respect for religion and belief,

Welcoming the designation by the General Assembly of the year 2001 as the United Nations Year of Dialogue among Civilizations,

Expressing its appreciation in this context of the joint efforts of the member States of the Organization of the Islamic Conference and the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in organizing the seminar entitled "Enriching the Universality of Human Rights:Islamic Perspectives on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights" on 9 and 10 November 1998,

Emphasizing that non-governmental organizations, religious bodies and communities have an important role to play in the promotion of tolerance and the protection of freedom of religion or belief,

1. Expresses deep concern at negative stereotyping of religions;

2. Also expresses deep concern that Islam is frequently and wrongly associated with human rights violations and with terrorism;

3. Expresses its concern at any role in which the print, audio-visual or electronic media or any other means is used to incite acts of violence, xenophobia or related intolerance and discrimination towards Islam and any other religion;

4. Urges all States, within their national legal framework, in conformity with international human rights instruments to take all appropriate measures to combat hatred, discrimination, intolerance and acts of violence, intimidation and coercion motivated by religious intolerance, including attacks on religious places, and to encourage understanding, tolerance and respect in matters relating to freedom of religion or belief;

5. Invites the High Commissioner, in the context of the preparations for the United Nations Year of Dialogue among Civilizations, to consider the holding of seminars to promote a dialogue among cultures, thus contributing to the understanding of the universality of human rights;

6. Calls upon the Special Rapporteurs on religious intolerance and on racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance to take into account the provisions of the present resolution when reporting to the Commission on Human Rights at its fifty-sixth session;

7. Decides to remain seized of the matter at its fifty-sixth session.


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