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. 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…

  2. 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.

  3. 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”

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