An initiative by Islamic states to create a United Nations watchdog to monitor religious sensitivity in the news media is setting off alarms among critics, who warn of censorship in the guise of religious tolerance.

The Geneva-based U.N. Watch, a non-governmental organization, says the resolution due for a vote Friday would instruct the U.N. Human Rights Council's special investigator on religious freedom to "work closely with mass media organizations to ensure that they create and promote an atmosphere of respect and tolerance for religious and cultural diversity."

The resolution, which alludes to the Danish cartoons that provoked Muslim riots worldwide, was tabled by the 56-nation Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC).

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