The U.N.’s top human-rights body approved a proposal backed by Muslims nations Thursday urging the passage of laws around the world protecting religion from criticism.
The proposal by Pakistan had drawn strong criticism from free-speech campaigners and liberal democracies.
A simple majority of 24 members of the 47-nation Human Rights Council voted in favor of the resolution. Eleven mostly Western nations opposed it and 13 countries abstained.
The resolution urges states to provide “protection against acts of hatred, discrimination, intimidation and coercion resulting from defamation of religions and incitement to religious hatred in general.”
“It is individuals who have rights and not religions,” said Canadian diplomat Terry Cormier. Canada’s criticism was echoed by European Union countries, all of which voted against the proposal.
The United States did not vote on the resolution because it is not a member of the council.
WP: The vote to protect religions from criticism is a manifest absurdity.