Saudi satellite TV channel Al-Arabiya reports that the Organization of Islamic Cooperation will again be attempting to use the United Nations to make blasphemy an international crime.

This is clearly a sharp line separating people around the world. The article notes that Western democracies are sharply opposed as is the World Council of Churches. Both point to abusive blasphemy laws, such as those in Pakistan, that are themselves violations of human rights.

Islamic states to reopen quest for global blasphemy law
Robert Evans

GENEVA (Reuters): A leading Islamic organization signaled on Wednesday that it will revive long-standing attempts to make insults against religions an international criminal offence.

The bid follows uproar across the Muslim world over a crude Internet video clip filmed in the United States and cartoons in a French satirical magazine that lampoon the Prophet Mohammed.

But it appears unlikely to win acceptance from Western countries determined to resist restrictions on freedom of speech and already concerned about the repressive effect of blasphemy laws in Muslim countries such as Pakistan.

Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, secretary-general of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), said the international community should “come out of hiding from behind the excuse of freedom of expression”, a reference to Western arguments against a universal blasphemy law that the OIC has sought for over a decade.


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