Legitimizing Repression

Paul Marshall and Nina Shea

in Silenced

Published in print December 2011 | ISBN: 9780199812264
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199919383 | DOI:
Legitimizing Repression

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Chapter Eleven describes formal efforts to legislate anti-blasphemy laws through international fora. For two decades, the Organization of the Islamic conference has sought to use the UN to win official endorsement for a global ban on blasphemy against Islam. The campaign includes the promotion of the 1990 “Cairo Declaration on Human Right. OIC members also targeted Special Rapporteur on Sudan Gaspar Biro and Special Rapporteur on Racism Maurice Glele-Ahanhanzo. For over a decade, the OIC has introduced resolutions first calling for banning “defamation of Islam,” then re-titled “defamation of religions” at the insistence of other delegations,. This effort is ongoing but has been losing support. It is being replaced with an initiative, which has some Western support, to establish an international religious hate speech standard, relying on undefined terms such as “incitement to hostility,” and “negative stereotyping.” Today, OIC countries are demanding that the West curb the intertwined individual freedoms of religion and expression, and the West has often been dilatory and confused in its response to the these demands, not least because its lacks clarity about what dangers they entail and what lies behind them.

Keywords: United Nations; Organization of the Islamic Conference; defamation of Islam; defamation of religion; human rights; freedom of religion; freedom of speech; Human Rights Commission; Human Rights Council

Chapter.  10439 words. 

Subjects: Islam

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