Iran Urges UN to Stop "Defamation" of Islam

June 22, 2006

Source: Reuters

On June 22, 2006 Reuters reported, "Iran backed efforts by Islamic states on Thursday to get the United Nations new Human Rights Council to counter what they call 'defamation of religion' around the world. But Canada accused the Iranians of discrediting the Council by including in their delegation the state Prosecutor-General who Ottawa says was linked to the arrest and death in Tehran of a Canadian woman journalist. Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki told the 45-member Council, holding its first-ever session, that freedom of expression 'should not constitute a pretext and a platform to insult religions and their sanctities. 'Defamation of religions, particularly the divine message of Islam, should be rejected,' he declared. Action on this should be part of the rights standards set by the Council and pursued through 'implementation at the international level.' His remarks echoed a call from the Organization of Islamic States (OIC) and assertions by Saudi Arabia that Islam faced 'an escalation of hatred and animosity ... disdain for its values and everything it holds sacred.'"