Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah is calling for a UN resolution condemning religious insults, this story from Al Arabiya reports. This is a very bad idea. It also contradicts other things King Abdullah says, such as, “Dialogue strengthens moderation and ends reasons of conflict and extremism”. Dialogue necessarily involves differences of opinion. It’s not a dialogue when everyone is agreed, it’s a monologue.
People will disagree — sometimes vehemently, sometimes impolitely. That is where dialogue comes in, talking about the differences, seeing where they might be minimized, acknowledging where they’re fundamental. Quashing speech and opinion because some might find it, well, disagreeable, does not solve problems; it makes them more intractable.
Saudi King urges U.N. action against religious insults
AFP — Mina/Saudi Arabia
Saudi King Abdullah on Saturday demanded a U.N. resolution condemning insults on monotheistic religions after a low-budget film produced in the U.S. sparked deadly protests last month.
“I demand a U.N. resolution that condemns any country or group that insults religions and prophets,” he said during a meeting at his palace with religious figures and heads of hajj delegations in the Mina valley where pilgrims were performing final rituals of hajj.
“It is our duty and that of every Muslim to protect Islam and defend the prophets.”
Arab News‘s report gives a fuller text and context of the King’s message: