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. Iran as a State certainly is no beacon of sanity, although it is not quite the threat that it is made out to be. It’s Islamic counterpart religiously, Saudi Arabia, is and has been the greatest threat to the United States in that region. Yet Saudi Arabia is treated as a close ally, despite its medieval feudalism. I do believe that Fundamentalist Islam is a threat to the safety of this world, but then I think that is true of any religious Fundamentalism anywhere. We certainly must be on guard for the encroachments of this extremist Islam, but also take cognizance of what is occurring on our shores
    in the name of Jesus. The current agenda against women that is being driven by the Tea Baggers, is nothing short of emulating the the deprivation of women’s freedom in Saudi Arabia. They both are tremendous threats to freedom. The push to limit criticism of religions and its institutionalization as law, is merely the effort of these tyrannical elements to do their inherently evil work without criticism. Also what Gene said.

  2. Do you think that Hillary is listening to you? I don’t.
    Do you think that we are just trying to pacify these nuts?
    Or is this a first step to putting, over time, infringments on our freedom of speech? I believe the latter. It has already started. As all know too well.

    The plan is so largely writ that it can not be easily read.

    And if you ask, they will laugh, or they will say “You don’t have the clearance to know.”

  3. The “prophet” mahound was a pedophile, marrying a girl at age six, and f***ing her when she was nine. It says so in the koran (sahih muslim 8:3310).

    That idiot should go f*** a pig. He and his cult members want to use legal force to stop criticism? Then that means we need to use legal force against his cult and ban it. Or he can take his head out of his ass, keep his religious filth to himself, and be free to practice it. Either everyone gets to persecute others, or nobody does.

    These religious morons claim that “god” created the universe and used to punish “blasphemers” itself. So why doesn’t “god” do that now? If it’s so powerful, it should be able to kill me itself, not need some child-raping imam to do it. The fact that “god” does nothing to me proves one of two things:

    (1) The mythical “god” isn’t bothered by my words, which means nobody else should be either. Or:

    (2) There are no “gods”. His cult beliefs are bu**sh**, and he has no right to try and kill his critics.

    Either way, that moron needs to silence himself or be silenced in a prison.

  4. “Pass a blasphemy law or else.” Unfortunately I am concerned that fear of more terrorism from nations like Saudi Arabia and the nations and violent groups they support with billions may move normally rational people to support this type of law. When you add in the wrong headed support by those who think this is good for their religious organizations or those who think these laws encourage tolerance and it is clear that free speech and many other freedoms we enjoy in this country are at serious risk.

    People should remember for people like this there is never enough respect.

  5. Sandy is losing its status as a tropical storm/hurricane and is becoming a autumn low pressure area before land impact.

    The National Hurricane Center is declaring that it will issue no more notices ending with those effecting North Carolina. The future watching and news is now being transferred to the:

    “local NWS Weather Forecast Offices (WFOs), to communicate the wind threat posed by Sandy in the Mid-Atlantic States and New England.”

  6. By even talking about working out some sort of compromise deal, the Overton Window moves just another fraction in a direction we do not want it to go. My reaction to the demands of the King and anyone else like minded is to suggest they go commit a physical impossibility at high noon on Main Street.

  7. It does sound funny but people need to start taking this kind of thing seriously. First you get the guys saying stuff like this that “sounds funny” and then you get them making headway and then you get them normalizing all kinds of extremely abnormal things and all along, they are killing folks they think are getting in their way. This would be the single greatest war resolution of all time. It is not something that can be discarded out of hand. This has to be seen as a giant threat and it has to be dealt with. And remember, our own government has not gone on record yet saying, “THIS IS AN ABSOLUTE THREAT TO WORLD PEACE AND IT IS AN ACT OF INTERNATIONAL TERRORISM PER SE AND WE WILL NEVER AGREE TO ANYTHING LIKE THIS IN ANY FORUM ON EARTH.”


  8. Well gee, why just Islam? How about Judism, Santeria, Satan worship, even Lutherans.

    Tell this guy to take a hike. If they cut off the oil we probably would all be better off.

  9. I agree with Gene that as soon as we jail the Saudi wealthy that funded the 9/11 attackers, then we might listen to you! On second thought, go scratch!

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  11. We do it (and how!) in my country, so why not yours?
    Free speech and separation of church and state? H.W. Bush never told me about that.
    Do you want to keep receiving our oil: hint hint?
    What, make us a protectorate for the safekeeping of the
    democratic world? The Security Council would never approve it.
    I appeal to your history, you at one time must have been camel herders (there were once in America) wandering from osais to oasis until the light of Mhmmd reached you too.
    Returne to the trru faith, where Allahs compassion is quickly visited upon the sinner.

    Signed: Your buddy Abdulasiz, Eternally covered in oit.

  12. Oh, look. It’s the Enemy making demands that his religion, not just Islam in his case but the most intolerant, bigoted and retrograde form of Islam practiced on a nationalistic scale, deserves to be respected and that respect be enforced by the rule of law. It is my understanding that the United States’ stated position is that We don’t negotiate with terrorist organizations.

    Speaking of legal demands though . . .

    We demand you and your family be arrested, charged and tried for any and all of your respective roles in financing and perpetrating 9/11 as well as any and all terrorist activities against the United States and her actual allies. Should you and/or they be convicted for your roles in attacking American citizens on American soil, you should all be executed and your remaining assets become the target of civil suits of both the survivors of your terrorist activities and the United States government in reparations and restitution. Should you or any of your family implicate any former or sitting members of our government, they should join you in the dock and meet the same fate.

    If the voice of justice is to be heard anywhere, such rightful trials would be a fantastic place to start restoring the very rule of law you are appealing to now.

  13. Given that we cherish Free Speech among our GREATEST rights as Americans …. Why o Why is anyone inthis country even considering this at all …??

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