United Nations told atheists face discrimination around globe
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In November last year, the head of the 21-country Arab League told the U.N. Security Council in New York his organisation wanted a binding international framework to ensure "that religious faith and its symbols are respected".
The IHEU, and other non-governmental rights groupings, argue that many Muslim governments use this terminology and the concept of "religious blasphemy" within their own countries to cow both atheists and followers of other religions.
A number of these governments "prosecute people who express their religious doubt or dissent, regardless of whether those dissenters identify as atheist", the IHEU document submitted to the rights council said.
Islamic countries - including Bangladesh, Bahrain, Egypt, Indonesia, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia and Turkey - had also stepped up prosecution of "blasphemous" expression of criticism of religion in social media like Facebook and Twitter.
OIC countries have 15 seats on the council, all from Asia, Africa and the Middle East, and make up just less than one third of the rights body.
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