As the U.N. General Assembly convenes this week in New York, several leaders of mostly Muslim nations are suggesting that the world body consider sanctions on blasphemy, amid widespread protests against an amateur movie that denigrates Islam’s Prophet Muhammad.
“I am the prime minister of a nation, of which most are Muslims, that has declared anti-Semitism a crime against humanity. But the West hasn’t recognized Islamophobia as a crime against humanity. It has encouraged it,” Mr. Erdogan told reporters last week.
Nonbinding versions of the resolution have been adopted, but the effort was crushed last year by religious groups and human rights activists who argued that it represented a dangerous step toward an international law against free speech.
The debate has been reignited by “Innocence of Muslims,” a crudely produced film made in the United States that has sparked fury in the Muslim world. Protesters have breached the walls at U.S. embassies and desecrated American flags in sometimes violent demonstrations. A protest in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi ended with the deaths of the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans.
In New York on Monday, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad alluded to the film and accused the United States and others of misusing freedom of speech and of failing to speak out against the defamation of people’s beliefs and “divine prophets.”
Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, whose country boasts the world’s largest Muslim population, has condemned the film and called on “the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and the U.N. to mull over international protocol to prevent such things like this from happening again.”
The Washington Times has the full article