Of course, for all too many Muslims “defamation of religions” equals “honest discussion of the ideology that motivates Islamic jihadists.” That is just one of many things wrong with this. War On Free Speech Update: “Defamation of religions should be banned: UN,” from Dawn, November 12 (thanks to Weasel Zippers):
UNITED NATIONS, Nov 12: United Nations General Assembly President Miguel d”Escoto Brockmann said on Tuesday that the world body should ban defamation of all religions and disagreed that such a move would impinge upon freedom of speech.
“Yes, I believe that defamation of religion should be banned,” he said in response to a question at a press conference to highlight the interfaith conference at the UN headquarters. No one should try to defame Islam or any other religion, he said, adding: “We should respect all religions.”…
Don’t see the problem with this? Take Pakistan’s blasphemy law. Under it, a Christian who is confronted by a Muslim and asked whether or not he thinks Muhammad was a prophet can be charged with blasphemy, i.e. disrespect of Islam, simply for answering No. That is, simply for affirming that he is not indeed a Muslim.
Laws that restrict free speech are tools in the hands of the powerful — tools by which they silence dissent.