Egyptian President Demands Criminalization of Anti-Islamic Speech At United Nations

For many years, I have been writing about the threat of an international blasphemy standard and the continuing rollback on free speech in the West. Much of this writing has focused on the effort of the Obama Administration to reach an accommodation with allies like Egypt to develop a standard for criminalizing anti-religious speech.  We have been following the rise of anti-blasphemy laws around the world, including the increase in prosecutions in the West and the support of the Obama Administration for the prosecution of some anti-religious speech under the controversial Brandenburg standard.  Now that effort has come to a head with the new President of Egypt President Mohamed Mursi calling for enactment of an anti-blasphemy law at the United Nations. Mursi is also demanding legal action against the filmmaker by the United States despite the fact that the film is clearly protected by the first amendment.

One of Mursi’s chief aides, Emad Abdel Ghaffour, announced this weekend, “we call for legislation or a resolution to criminalize contempt of Islam as a religion and its Prophet. The voice of reason in the West will prevail if there is mutual respect, dialogue and efficient lobbying for this critical resolution.” The “voice of reason” appears to be saying that we need to sacrifice free speech on the altar of religion. Moreover, “mutual respect” now means that critics must remain silent in their views of Muhammad and Islam.

If anything, the recent anti-free speech demands after the airing of this trailer should cause the Obama Administration to reconsider its efforts to create the new international blasphemy standard. As I have previously argued, the Administration is legitimating the prosecution of religious critics and dissidents with this initiative. It should immediately end its support for the standard and reaffirm the protection of religious critics in the United States.

Source: Chicago Tribune

56 thoughts on “Egyptian President Demands Criminalization of Anti-Islamic Speech At United Nations

  1. The voice of reason….. Of course….. I’m sorry…..you can insult our gods….. But the first person that insults a child molester you take offense….. I presume your mommas from Arkansas and yo daddy’s from Utah…… And it’s all ok…

  2. The idea of free speech and a free press is a foreign concept (no pun intended) to many world government leaders. Perhaps a copy of the First Amendment should be printed off and distributed to all members of the UN so they will know where we are coming from.

    The chances of the First Amendment being repealed to please some foreign national is between nil, none and zero. They are going to have to come to grips with that, and if they cannot, our ambassador to the UN needs to explain it to them in the strongest terms possible, consistent with diplomatic dignity.

  3. Treaties become our law once the congress ratifies them, however, they do not trump our Constitution.

    Thus they should not negatively impact free speech.

    We leave that to the Supreme Court, Congress, and the various Administrations all headed in the W direction.

  4. Dredd, a reasonable person is the average of the reasonableness of the nine persons comprising the SCOTUS.

    God help us, every one.

  5. I’m not sure I get the concern with the administration helping to craft a new international blasphemy standard. AFAIK, nothing being talked about would change the law in the US and nothing could change law in US because free speech is constitutionally protected. Only an amendment or new supreme court ruling could change the standard. So, I presume the Obama administration is working on some international standard that would modify existing blasphemy law in other nations. Pushing for the Brandenburg standard internationally is a HUGE improvement in free speech rights in many of these nations that do prosecute blasphemy. So, what is wrong with the US trying to expand free speech rights in other countries???

  6. Also, I try not to get any more worked up about foreign politicians making speeches that pander to their constituents than I do when US politicians do the same. So, Mosri makes a speech (that will be reported back in Egypt) calling for the US to repeal the First Amendment and prosecute those who insult Mohommed. Yawn.

  7. Now I see why the Egyptian filmaker with ten fake names decided to make the anti Prophet film. We wont send him back to his home country because they will execute him for making the film. He was probably on a short shit list to be extradicted back home when he had his epipheny to blast Mohammed and thus stir up the muslim masses to commit mass assaults on human lives in the name of Mohammed. The perp needs protection from the Islamic mass in the Egyptian territory which purports to be a nation state. Pirates all.

  8. Yeah, lets jump right on that for you. Of course I’d demand a slightly expanded bit of action. It would include the right of every person to practice their religion free from any outside interference, including the right to not practice any religion at all. It would include the same sort of ban on denigrating any belief or non-belief and require governments to provide protection for all holy sites no matter what religion and to all believers and non-believers. They can cite some damn fine examples of the various religious crackpot governments around the world promoting, condoning and/or turning a blind eye.

    There mere thought that these religiously insane nutjobs would have to provide every religion and even atheists would send them into fits of insanity that they would never approve it.

  9. “Justice Robert Jackson’s groundbreaking opinion made this point as eloquently as it has ever been made:

    The case is made difficult not because the principles of its decision are obscure but because the flag involved is our own. Nevertheless, we apply the limitations of the Constitution with no fear that freedom to be intellectually and spiritually diverse or even contrary will disintegrate the social organization. To believe that patriotism will not flourish if patriotic ceremonies are voluntary and spontaneous instead of a compulsory routine is to make an unflattering estimate of the appeal of our institutions to free minds. We can have intellectual individualism and the rich cultural diversities that we owe to exceptional minds only at the price of occasional eccentricity and abnormal attitudes. When they are so harmless to others or to the State as those we deal with here, the price is not too great. But freedom to differ is not limited to things that do not matter much. That would be a mere shadow of freedom. The test of its substance is the right to differ as to things that touch the heart of the existing order. If there is any fixed star in our constitutional constellation, it is that no official, high or petty, can prescribe what shall be orthodox in politics, nationalism, religion, or other matters of opinion or force citizens to confess by word or act their faith therein.”

    Your religion must be strong enough in your heart and mind to withstand both reasoned and unreasoned attacks. If it is not, what is it?

  10. Unspoken in all of this is that Obama AGREES with his collegue, Mursi. And Obama strongly believes that anyone who disagrees with this policy should be required to take 600 hours of Muslim sensitivity training over a 3-year period.

  11. Ralph,

    Your point leads to another thing that would be funny if it weren’t so tragic. How exactly do drones and cluster bombs, regime changes and Christian soldiers with crusader patches on a mission to christianize the muslim lands constitute respect for Islam?

    One person pointed out that our population is swimming in a sea of PR turds. This is one more example of taking the propaganda swim. If Obama sides with the president, then Obama’s followers will take it as a sign of his diplomatic genius, his extreme kindness towards Muslims.

    Words may be cheap, but they seem effective. Besides, what’s one more destruction of the rule of law by Obama? It’s just that pesky free speechy thingy anyway.

  12. If the UN criminalizes free speech in any manner the US should pull out and kick them out. Enough is enough. An while we are talking about the great democrat MURSI no more money to Egypt. We have bought just too much hate as he says, we should let Egypt see how it fares with out our money.

  13. 2 things – Ralphie, what color is the sky in your world? Here on this Earth its blue & our version of President Obama is totally unlike the version in your world.

    This is a proposal, lets not lose are minds about what some dingbat proposes. Particularly on the political stage where he might well be playing to the folks back home. You see that here when Willard calls for a trade war with China or some crackpot state senator proposes some bill outlawing breathing or mandatory gay marriage. They know this won’t happen, they certainly won’t actually let it happen but it makes the crackpots back home happy to see that their leaders are as enraged as they are about some pet cause.

    Get back to me when this thing has a chance of passing then I’ll get excited.

  14. Frankly 1, September 24, 2012 at 11:20 am

    … This is a proposal, lets not lose are minds about what some dingbat proposes.
    =============================================
    Too late.

    In the U.S. military suicide has taken first place over war as the leading cause of death (Surge of Snap Sergeants).

    In the non-military suicide has overtaken car accidents as the cause of death (Medical Express).

    We have some big fish to fry, so we should stop worrying about the small fry.

  15. Jill, …..”Your religion must be strong enough in your heart and mind to withstand both reasoned and unreasoned attacks. If it is not, what is it?”

    Blasphemy against truth is water off a ducks back. Ridiculous and false statements / should make the speaker ridiculous and false.

    The promoters of blasphemy must sell it as truth. Just as the promoters of religion must sell their religion as truth. The similarities and goals are frighteningly close.

    Jill, I bookmarked this entire quote from your post two days ago, I added this sentence of yours to it just now. It holds tremendous reason, whether people knock it down or “blaspheme” it, makes it no less valid.
    Thank you for this statement.

  16. It is very easy to STOP Mr. Morsi dead in his tracks with all this babble about criminalizing free speech ( though I did view the Innocence of Muslims video and thought it was TRASH)

    Anyway, just STOP all foreign aid to Egypt and any other country aligning themselves with this point of view

    Mr. Morsi will quickly back down from his stance I guarantee you.

    Because if he doesn’t the Generalissimos in the Egyptian Defense Forces will most likely end his reign in short order….

    Regardless, as long as we give them 2 BILL a year in aid he will continue this diatribe.

    Cut his drinking off at the “Trough of Foreign Aid” and his rants will quickly cease. He may not like that but they will cease.

  17. jongrif, why should we give a shit what Mosri demands at the UN? How does this hurt us? If we’re right that free speech is the way to go and that truth prevails in the marketplace of ideas (articles of faith among free speech believers), shouldn’t we be able to make our case for free speech without the need to threaten cutting off foreign aid and risk losing our leverage over Egypt for things that DO matter?

  18. My understanding during the hue and cry of the gun treaty that the UN wants, is that a signed treaty does indeed trump our Constitution and its Amendments. They were also saying that a vote of the Senate could overturn a treaty. But if there was no VOTE in the Senate, it would stand, if the treaty had been signed.

    I DO take it that if the UN put up a religious blaspemy treaty, it would also include all other religions? And not JUST Islam? Then religion would have to be defined, as some people’s religions are not the same at ALL as other people’s religions. That could get really tricky. And THEN they would have to define blasphemy, which could also be really fun.

  19. feemeister 1, September 24, 2012 at 1:36 pm

    My understanding during the hue and cry of the gun treaty that the UN wants, is that a signed treaty does indeed trump our Constitution and its Amendments.
    =================================
    That is not correct.

  20. rafflaw,

    That’s a Ralph impersonator. Note that the last post did NOT contain the identifying four occurrences of “leftists.”
    And the real Ralph don’t need no stinkin’ documentation.

  21. The gist of the film was that Prophet Mohammed was a pedophile? Let there be a full discussion of this. We have to out our pedophile priests and they should out their pedophile prophets. Is there some writing from the prophet about molesting children? Someone suggested in a comment here on this blog that there is some scripture to that effect. While we are at the process of outlawing blasphemy then we need to outlaw the desecretion of woman by putting tents on their heads and covering their faces. An eye for an eye and a tent for a turbinhead, I always say. Next they will want to outlaw porksteaks in NY because the UN is located there.

  22. Dear Waldo,

    A. What “leverage” do we have here…?? NONE– we are dealing with the Muslim Brotherhood whose alumni includes but is not limited to Ayman Al-Zawahiri, Al Qaeda Number One now …lest you have forgotten or did not know …

    B. We ( the USA) have been “saving” the world now since 1946. Starting with the Marshall Plan and coming up to the present 2 Bill we are talking about here with Egypt — we the American public / taxpayer have given not Billions, not Trillions but GAZILLIONS away to the world to try to make the world a better place — and that does not even include how many troops of all the services we have lost on foreign soil (I am a 24 year Army Veteran).

    What do we get in return ?? We get a newly-elected President from a country that stifles human rights (ESP. those of women) telling us we need to change our modus operandi and make it illegal to criticize Islam.

    C. It is HIGH Time we stopped funding the portions of the world who no longer are interested in human rights / democracy etc. that has made us the envy of the world. How many people do you see wanting to immigrate to the USA and how many do you see wanting to immigrate to Egypt, Nigeria, Mali etc. just to name a few ….

    Time to bring the money home and start working on the things we as Americans need — infrastructure repair etc etc. , paying down the deficit…

    Imagine where our 15 trillion dollar deficit would be if we weren’t funding half the world??

    I daresay it would most likely be non-existent!! and programs like Social Security, Medicare etc would not be in any danger of being under-funded.

    Mr. Morsi, sorry but we have decided to issue you a “Stop Payment” …. Effective immediately!!

  23. Personally, I don’t understand the idea of hate crimes either. One of the ways they usually prove it was a hate crime is if the accused uses hate speech. This country has no hate speech laws. How can you call it a hate crime if you are using as your proof something that does not exist. I would really appreciate an explanation.

  24. What’s good for Israel is good for Egypt, right? Anti-Zionism =Anti (Jewish)
    Semitism, and in Germany, if you dare question the Holocaust of Jews, you can be arrested, but it’s okay to question the Armenian Holocaust. What about the Holocaust of Native Americans and native Arawak Indians. Bit confusing.

  25. Captain Ratty, Mohammed was not a pedophile. He was not a man who was sexually attracted to children. He did marry Aisha. He did consummate the marriage when she was 9. However that was not unusual for the time. Furthermore the marriage was also one of a political nature. It was not one of lust.

    It isn’t unheard of for 13years to get married in recent times, let alone something over 1000 years ago.

  26. jongrif, you’ve got me thoroughly confused on what you think. First you wrote all we have to do threaten to stop foreign aid and “Mr. Morsi will quickly back down from his stance I guarantee you.” But, next you wrote “What “leverage” do we have here…?? NONE– we are dealing with the Muslim Brotherhood whose alumni includes but is not limited to Ayman Al-Zawahiri, Al Qaeda Number One now …lest you have forgotten or did not know …” Your statements seem rather inconsistent to me.

  27. “Personally, I don’t understand the idea of hate crimes either. One of the ways they usually prove it was a hate crime is if the accused uses hate speech. This country has no hate speech laws. How can you call it a hate crime if you are using as your proof something that does not exist. I would really appreciate an explanation.”

    Just because something is not illegal (hate speech) does not mean that it does not exist.

  28. @mcwilliams. There’s nothing confusing about it. No knowledgeable person questions the wholesale killing of Armenians nor Indians. However, the “questioning” of the Holocaust is simply code for anti-Semitism. And if you fail to understand why anti-Semitism is prohibited in Germany, then you are either ignorant or an anti-Semite yourself. But none of these things have anything to do with any negative public expression about Islam, which is not being threatened by anyone and needs no protection. Just the opposite. If anything, Islamic adherents are threatening the existence of civilized people.

  29. So this Prophet guy married a child of 9 and porked her at that age? You used the word consummated the marriage. That means man on top, woman on bottom, sex, right? And she was nine years old.
    Jeso, dont take your kids to Egypt or Libya folks!
    The story is getting better. There needs to be more issues like this talked about on the blog. If those terrorists had not killed all those people over some punk movie out of LA we would not be having this discussion about the Prophet being a child pervert. Nine years old? What else did this guy do? Come on folks, chimne in here. We have to have this discussion before the government shuts down the blog for having the discussion.
    Every thing in moderation after all. Including moderation.

  30. OS wrote >”The chances of the First Amendment being repealed to please some foreign national is between nil, none and zero.”<

    OS, you are absolutely correct. The First Amendment will be repealed by our OWN government for it's own protection.

  31. Mohammed was not a pedophile… He did consummate the marriage when she was 9

    Chancellor Gorkon: “You have not experienced Shakespeare until you have read him in the original Klingon”

  32. Although “hate speech” is legal in this country, it DOES EXIST. If someone uses “hate speech” it can be presumed that the person is expressing hatred. Hatred is one of the motivations for murder. So if a person says, before a murder, in front of hundreds of people, “I really hate my husband and I believe he should be dead,” and then her husband is found dead, it is natural to suspect her of the murder and it is presumed that her motive was hatred. That still doesn’t make the crime a “hate crime” because the object of her hatred was a single person and probably the source of the hatred was a personal grudge rather than a racially or religiously motivated animus. If, however, a woman makes a public speech about hating doctors, and then she goes on a spree in a hospital and shoots up a bunch of people including some doctors, it is generally assumed that she has committed a hate crime. I can see nothing illogical about a legal behavior providing clues to the motive for a murder.

    It was legal for George Zimmerman to become obsessed about his psycho-silly idea that hordes of “young Black males” were infesting his neighborhood; it was not legal for him to kill one of said “young Black males” because of his hatred. But even that circumstance has not moved the FBI to define the killing of Trayvon Martin as a hate crime.

  33. pakistani president had said the same thing in his UN speech. It seems like we are going to go down to their leve rather than helping others to realize that without free speech we will be just like them…

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