Now we have the politically correct U.N. flexing its muscles again:
A Heritage Foundation expert warns that the U.S. will need to maintain active opposition to plans for "religious anti-defamation" laws both within its borders and on an international scale, or face consequences.
In a report published on the foundation's website, Steven Groves said the U.S. "must remain wary of continuing efforts by U.N. member states to gain wider acceptance of the 'defamation of religions' concept."
Proponents "will continue to push the 'defamation of religions' agenda at the U.N. Human Rights Council, the U.N. General Assembly, and at other international forums such as the April 2009 Durban Review Conference," he warned.
Groves is the Heritage Foundation's Bernard and Barbara Lomas Fellow in the Margaret Thatcher Center for Freedom, a division of the Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis Institute for International Studies.
He also said within its own borders, the U.S. should refuse to recognize "a new legal cause of action that bans insults or criticism of religion," because it would provide no benefit whatsoever.
States already have laws to condemn religious discrimination and prosecute acts of incitement to violence, he argued. The federal government "should tread extremely lightly where disputes over religious doctrine are concerned. The U.S. does not need a national speech code that would restrict the First Amendment rights of Americans, no matter how offensive that speech may be to any particular religious denomination."
He cited the 2005 attempt by Rep. John Conyers Jr., D-Mich., who wanted to require that the Islamic holy book, the Quran, be treated with "dignity and respect."
"Any attempt to establish a criminal or civil 'defamation of religions' law in the United States … must be strongly opposed," Groves said. "Attempts to introduce such legislation may be incremental – notably, in May 2005, when a group of U.S. congressmen sponsored a resolution," he said. "Such piecemeal legislation must be closely guarded against."
The proposal has been presented repeatedly since 1999 from the 57 member nations of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, which adopted the Cairo Declaration of Human Rights in Islam. The declaration states "all rights are subject to Shariah law, and makes Shariah law the only source of reference for human rights.
The American Center for Law & Justice, announcing a petition drive to oppose the plan, said, "Around the world, Christians are being increasingly targeted, and even persecuted, for their religious beliefs. Now, one of the largest organizations in the United Nations is pushing to make a bad situation even worse by promoting anti-Christian bigotry."
The discrimination is "wrapped in the guise of a U.N. resolution called 'Combating Defamation of Religions,'" the ACLJ said. "We must put an immediate end to this most recent, dangerous attack on faith that attempts to criminalize Christianity."