Mr. Speaker, the U.N. Human Rights Council was formed to have open, lively debate on the basic human rights of all peoples. However, some Muslim nations have put a strong arm on the council and prevented free discussions of practices that are advocated in the name of religion by a few Muslims. Those practices include female genital mutilation and so-called ``honor killings,'' or murder, of women.

   One would think that the mutilation and killing of women would be a front-burner topic with the Human Rights Council. But some Muslims have said this subject is taboo and the discussion of this religious practice and the religious practices of other faiths is off-limits.

   So much for the basic human right of free speech.

   Those that advocate the mutilation and honor killings of women in the name of religion should be proud of this doctrine of faith and be able to justify it before the U.N. Human Rights Council. But I guess not.

   By the way, Mr. Speaker, it seems to me that in the history of humanity, more murders, tortures, and wars have been justified and done in the name of the world's numerous religions than any other reason or cause.

   Reason enough in 2008 to discuss this practice of abusing women.

   And that's just the way it is.