When will the UN turn its back on bigoted governments?

Yesterday Nick Cohen said, based upon a report by Freedom House, that:

Islamic states and religious vigilantes use blasphemy laws to persecute Christians, Ahmadis and Muslims who believe that Muhammad was not the final prophet and, of course, ex-Muslims such as Rushdie who decide to change or renounce their faith, as free men and women should be entitled to do.

This is an abuse of power by any yardstick, and yet there seems to be no foreseeable end to it.

Cohen continues:

In Iran and Egypt, blasphemy is used to prosecute political opponents of the regime […] Blasphemy is not a protector of religious freedom, as the UN maintains, but its mortal enemy. If free speech is absent, citizens are not free to argue for and practise their beliefs without the fear of state or clerical intimidation.

Blasphemy was used as an excuse to kill – and sure it is incumbent upon good people in the Middle East and elsewhere to condemn the persecution of minorities everywhere, but too many times regressive governments resort to ridiculous defenses to back up their bigoted ways.

Maybe it’s about time the UN seriously considers withdrawing nation states’ representation when they abuse human rights – in this day and age it is beyond belief that human rights abuses are ignored, or worse condoned, by national governments in the name of majority rights or blatant prejudice.

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