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.
47 thoughts on “Saudi King Demands International Blasphemy Law From United Nations”
The NDAA is all about denying due process to American citizens. It is the ability of the one in charge (shades of George The Decider) to revoke the rights of American citizens. I find that totally unacceptable. Bear in mind, these people have already put an 18-month old child on the NO FLY list! We KNOW these people are incompetent. But the pres will decide if this or that particular American citizen is able to have due process or not. Gives The Decider a whole new meaning! And who knows what idiots will be giving him his ”no process/kill” list. Probably the same ones who make the NO FLY list!
This was NOT what we taught in MY civics class in 9th grade. This is NOT what this country is about. This country has been frickin’ hijacked!
The USSC does not give a sheeot! They proved that by how they sideswiped the rights of Americans in the Obamacare decision. We will just play with words. It depends on what your definition of is is, now doesn’t it!
Sorry, ya’ll got my dander up on that one!
I just find it extremely bizarre that these people think they have the right to ”demand” that anybody in the world do or don’t do what they think they should. I mean, who died and left them boss? Yes, they may be boss in their own countries, but they are NOT the bosses of the world. And I hope our army will fight for us, and that they (and the UN) will never be the bosses of US!
And ITA that blaspheming is done by people of a particular religion. Not by people of other religions. Wonderful point Blouise. I knew something was weird about what they were saying, and you put your finger right on it!
But most importantly, as has previously been brought up, God (for crying out LOUD) does not need US to defend him, or he is hardly God, is he! (I really don’t think God needs our money either. Everybody wants the last dadgum penny I make. But I hardly think God really needs it. People have really strange ideas about God. When they want him to be omnipotent, he is! But when they want money from us, God is wholly dependent on our paychecks (just like everybody else)! It seems that God’s power is wholly commensurate with receiving that portion of my check!)
And apparently Allah and Mohammad are dependent on everyone in the world sucking up to them; they can’t deal with being criticized in any way. Hoooey is right! I totally believe that Allah can speak for himself and for Mohammad, and will do whatever needs to be done in the end. I don’t think he needs mere mortals to beat people up for him!
On the other hand, I see where Malisha is coming from. This will probably wind up being forced down our throats in the end! Our Constitutional rights have been so eroded in the last few years, that it is hardly recognizable that we have any. ”They” want that last bit of our Constitution and Bill of Rights as badly as God wants my last penny (well, a tenth of my last penny)!
The idea that speech that is critical of religion should be criminilized in anyways, makes a mockery of free speech. Why is religion often so afraid of criticism? Christianity 500 years ago was just as intolerant as the most intolerant Islamic mullahs today. If this comes to pass, I assume I will occupy a jail cell with Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris and countless other freethinkers. IN fact, I would be proud.
“Wish I had more time to read this act. The devil will certainly be in the details.”
Although you – like all Americans – probably should read it, you might be glad you haven’t. You seem like level headed guy about justice and equity. It would probably just make you mad.
Admittedly I have only looked at the high level parts of the NDAA so I am not coming at this fully informed (given the time I have to answer your questions)
You wrote “Could we agree that the paragraphs under debate constitute such things which you feel are prohibited? Hope so.”
I would argue the broad sweep of this act pertaining to indefinate detention is overbredth in that it applies pretty much anywhere, not combat areas but in the US as well. Where this could be an issue with regard to American Citizens who seem to be caught up in the scope of this. I would agree this would be wise in the sense of foreign invaders being on US soil and I don’t have a problem with that since it is convention in war to detain these people. But when the law also seems to break from Posse Commitatus that it seems to allow the military to arrest civilians. The war against terrorism could be essentially indefinate, where possee commitatus proscribes detention during an actual war under certain circumstances. This seems to bypass the P.C. law in the scope of it.
I don’t think the indefinate detention will survive the courts, but the scotus is another matter.
Another area that I might see, in my lay view, a problem is the denoting of the Iranian Central Bank as a target of enforcement. The constitution prohibits Bills of Attainder (A law construed to prosecute only a particular individual) I wonder how this plays in considering corporations are now considered persons. 😉
Wish I had more time to read this act. The devil will certainly be in the details.
And now the ACLU is up there with Fisa. This could go on for a while folks. How good are you at enduring torture?
TIP: If your kid’s on Broadway, don’t ring and ask if they “bombed” on opening night.
Please note, that I am differing from you, not kicking you. Hope that does not get your ire up.
“This is why we fortunately have prohibitions against vague and nebulous laws here in the US. Because such laws can be crafted on the fly to attack any person for anything.”
Now you have certainly noticed the debate about certain parts of the NDAA. And the subsequent cases which have been up to the Scct.
Could we agree that the paragraphs under debate constitute such things which you feel are prohibited? Hope so.
Now shall we try to improve things? Agreed for my part.
Saudi? Why not Saudi instead of Iran? We took Iran’s oil from them with the Brits help, and plan to take it back again at the same price.
Where Saudi is, is a mystery.
MikeS said that it was cash that kept HW on their side.
And HW seems to be top dog now. So he is cool with Saudi.
Let the tentheads rule the tentheads, as long as I get my oil and cocaine income.
Repeat, this was not sniper-fire at you, recall the NG troops. 😉
Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz can kiss my a**. How dare that slimmy looking fool demand that we protect his phony prophets/gods or whatever. With friends like this who needs enemies?
The concept of the Single Gawd
Leaves little more to mock.
Yet Charlatans consider it
Their tawdry trade and stock.
No worse idea ever crawled
From underneath a rock.
— Michael Murry, “The Misfortune Teller”
Raff, I could have suggested he go Cheney himself.
Yeah, what Indio said. And where is Prince Bandar? He seemed like a kinda interesting guy and I was looking forward to more appearances from him. Maybe there were more disappearances instead. 🙁
Saudi Arabia’s rulers are by far the worst people in the world. The still execute people for witchcraft and sorcery.
What a bunch of hooey. The only ones who run the risk of blasphemy are those who subscribe to the faith.
For Christians it is “blasphemy of the Holy Spirit ” (Matt. 12:22-32).
For Muslims, the Quran and the hadith do not speak about blasphemy so jurists created the offence, and made it part of Sharia.
I could give other examples from other faiths but those two should suffice to make my point that blasphemy is a sin of the believers within their own specific faith. Someone outside of the faith can not commit blasphemy against the faith for they are not subscribers.
Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz said:
”It is our duty and that of every Muslim to protect Islam and defend the prophets.”
Maybe someone wiser that I, can explain why any religion deemed by the Creator, would need to be protected by human beings.
That’s a non-binding resolution. It is, legally speaking, meaningless. Stupid, ill-advised and totally contrary to the 1st Amendment, but meaningless nonetheless.
Most of the religions sell this snake oil of Prophets and their prophecies which are worse than weather people’s forecasts. There are some exceptions like Buddhism, Sikhism and others who are not into this snake oil business.
If a religion needs outside protection for itself and for its prophet/s, then it shows how weak and insecure it is to start with. Would we see blue bereted UN troops outside every mosque now?
Both Moe and Joe were pedophiles. Praise the lords of these prophets.
FYI, the California House of Reps passed a resolution outlawing criticism of Israel on U.S. campuses, equating criticism of Israel’s policies with anti-semitism. It’s not just the Saudis. http://mondoweiss.net/2012/08/california-state-assembly-passes-resolution-equating-criticism-of-israel-with-hate-speech.html
Saudi Arabia is the root of the problem the West faces from fascist groups. But that is another topic. (but deservedly commented by bloggers here) But as far as the blasphemy standard goes of course they want to put a ban on such speech and actions because blasphemy as far as these people are concerned can involve anything they construe as being such. That way whenever they find something objectionable, they can pull it out and claim it was blasphemous and use the UN’s law to punish it.
This is why we fortunately have prohibitions against vague and nebulous laws here in the US. Because such laws can be crafted on the fly to attack any person for anything.
It’s not about justice, it’s about submission to powerful men who want to retain this power indefinitely.
It is a good thing that the tenthead brought this up. Otherwise this blog would not be on this topic. It is fair and quite balanced to look at the life of the Prophet. The question is: Did he marry and rape a 9 year old girl? Ok, maybe consent by the dad of the nine year old counts for consent back then. But did the old schmuck really force sex on a nine year old whom he had just married. That is a good question for Muslims to ponder. If it is true then we can celebrate him as the Pedophile Prophet.
Oh, about Sandy? Sic transit gloria…
Mr King Dude, go F yourself. Religion is evil.
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