TORONTO - The Muslim Canadian Congress has expressed shock and disappointment at the move by Islamic countries to bulldoze the United Nations Human Rights Commission (UNHRC) into approving a resolution curtailing freedom of speech under the guise of protecting religion.

The resolution approved at the UNHRC and initiated by the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) is disingenuously titled "Combating Defamation of Religion." However, the fact is that the OIC resolution is nothing more than a cover to silence opponents of Islamist oppression inside Muslim countries, as well as in the West.

The MCC in a statement said "the UNHRC resolution instead of protecting the right to freedom of conscience and religious expression, will become a tool in the hands of Iran, Saudi Arabia and the world jihadi movement to strike fear among the opponents of Islamic extremism." The move is a retrogressive step greatly undermining the rights of individuals who believe in questioning, evaluating and challenging religious dogma. Many Islamic countries have no qualms in executing their Muslim citizens on trumped up charges of apostasy and using it to instill fear in the hearts and minds of Muslims who reject the tyranny of man-made Sharia law of the 12th century, and it being applied in the 21st.

The MCC statement said the UNHRC's decision has little to do with protecting the rights of such individuals who are already vulnerable to threats by radicals and extremists. Very often these take the shape of death threats over perceived heresies and blasphemies against orthodox belief. It will merely strengthen the hands of fanatics who do not believe in tolerating dissent within religious discourse.

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