UK signs agreement on "religious freedom” with OIC
Concerns have been raised by the National Secular Society that the UK's stance on free speech could be compromised by an agreement signed at the United Nations between this country and the Organisation of Islamic Co-operation (OIC).
The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed by Baroness Sayeeda Warsi – the new "Minister for Faith" - and pledges that the UK and the OIC will "work together on issues of peace, stability and religious freedom."
At present, the OIC is agitating at the United Nations for a global blasphemy law that would make criticising or satirising religion a punishable offence.
Terry Sanderson, president of the National Secular Society, said: "We are all for co-operation between nations to try to foster peace and understanding, but the concept of 'religious freedom' is one that the OIC has distorted to mean restrictions on free expression.
"We hope that by signing this document the UK will not in any way compromise its commitment to human rights – particularly the human right to free speech. The British Government has been steadfast in its opposition to the OIC's blasphemy proposals up until now. We hope that this document will not change that in any way." (continue reading...)