Saudi King Demands International Blasphemy Law From United Nations

Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz this weekend added his voice to the call of Muslim leaders for an international blasphemy standard that criminalizes anti-religious speech.   The monarch demanded the law in light of recent insults to Mohammad: “It is our duty and that of every Muslim to protect Islam and defend the prophets.”  Of course, Saudi Arabia does not even allow the building of churches in its country and routinely metes out draconian sentences for those who attempt to convert followers to other religions or commit apostasy.

The King on Saturday proclaimed “I demand a UN resolution that condemns any country or group that insults religions and prophets.” Saudi Arabia has threatened YouTube with being blocked in its country if it did not deny access to the video footage of the recent anti-Mohammad film. YouTube caved and extended restrictions on the video to Saudi Arabia.

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. For recent columns, click here and here and here.

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. We have not served to moderate the views of these countries but rather enabled or facilitated demands for greater criminalization of speech. These countries were thrilled when Secretary of State Hillary Clinton invited them about a year ago to Washington to implement new standard limiting anti-religious speech and “to build those muscles” needed “to avoid a return to the old patterns of division.” That approach abandoned the prior clear opposition to such limitations in the past and placed our nation on the slippery slope of speech regulation.

Source: France24

47 thoughts on “Saudi King Demands International Blasphemy Law From United Nations

  1. Hope all survived the storm safe and sound.


    Humbled as usual by others knowledge, I must admit that my little knowledge seems poorer than yours. You spouted at least 3 terms on which I know nothing.

    It was simply your saying that we had protections from vague laws that caused my query. I did hope you had a “killer” to come with—a faint hope on my part.
    But perusal of the debated paragraphs and the cases since then, did not make it seem possible.

    So feel free to make such positive statements in the future. They do encourage flagging moral.

    And Feemeister is to have thanks for his striking up the band.

  2. I would like to draw attention to a recent event in Germany concerning a medical historian named Dr. Armin Geus. He wrote a book which was at the top of the best-seller list of books in Germany for a month in 2011. It presents his research into the mental health of prophet Mohammed which concluded that he would be classified as a schizophrenic today, with clear sadistic aspects.

    A secondary school in Germany financed by the Saudi Kingdom then tried to have Geus prosecuted as a criminal (not sure what law they thought should be used against him). This petition has just been turned down by German jurists on grounds that Geus’ work is scientific and cannot be attacked as a ‘crime’ of any description.

    To learn more about how the lawyers for Geus were able to get this claim of crime against their client dismissed read the story here:

    The article at this link also discusses the role of very large armaments commerce between Germany and Saudi Arabia, possibly leading to further pressure upon Germany to give way to demands of curbing free speech and this being part of the creeping Sharia-ization now proceeding throughout Europe as a whole. So even if the German jurists were able to take a stand for protecting free speech with respect to a very unflattering scientific assessment of the prophet Mohammed, the situation of erosion of Western civilization by Islamic demands remains an urgent problem to be addressed.

  3. I would also like to post another link here which shows that indeed the Koran and the Hadith are replete with statements by this 6th century schizophrenic (and those who put it all together in writing long after he had died) which show intense sadism. A cleric in Egypt has recently published a book which has 600 pages devoted to defining what may be done to human beings under rules of Jihad. Read what this sadist has to say, in brief, here: The savagery being proposed by this cleric (intended for use by other clerics) completely endorses the assessment of the psychological pathology of prophet Mohammed by Dr. Geus in Germany.

    When the Muslim Brotherhood end up agreeing with this cleric’s outrageous statements we may know for sure that the world is in danger of fascism on a gigantic scale. Keep watching what goes on in Egypt…

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