Skip to comments.US free speech faces Islamic blasphemy law pressure (in US), analyst says
Posted on 02/04/2012 1:48:02 PM PST by NYer
Paul Marshall, a religious liberty expert, says that attempts to export Islamic anti-blasphemy laws to the West could pose a threat to freedom of speech in the U.S.
Marshall, senior fellow at the Hudson Institutes Center for Religious Freedom, said that many governments deliberately manipulate alleged instances of blasphemy by provoking popular outrage, enabling them to advance particular policy goals.
Marshall made his remarks Feb. 3 at Hillsdale Colleges Allan P. Kirby, Jr. Center for Constitutional Studies and Citizenship in Washington, D.C.
He argued that blasphemy codes in the Muslim world are used to stifle religious minorities, as well as Muslim reformers who support religious liberty, freedom of speech and democracy.
In the U.S., Marshall observed, courts generally uphold the First Amendments free speech protections. But he said that America is still threatened by blasphemy laws, and cited efforts by the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation to promote international laws that ban insults to Islam, through the United Nations.
Marshall also cautioned against a growing tendency towards extra-legal intimidation, which involves private individuals pre-emptively censoring themselves -- often under the guise of religious sensitivity -- because they realize that it is too dangerous to insult Islam.
To illustrate the effectiveness of this intimidation, he gave multiple examples of books, newspapers and television shows that refused to publish content that could be deemed offensive to Islam, although they chose to carry similar material that mocked Christianity and other religions.
He also recounted the 2010 story of Molly Norris, a Seattle cartoonist, who called for an Everybody Draw Mohammed Day in response to such self-censorship. She received death threats for the suggestion and, under the advice of the FBI, changed her name and went into hiding.
Marshall also warned of the potential for government policies that seek to restrict speech. He observed that the Obama administration has vocalized a commitment to fighting negative stereotypes of Islam, although it has not done the same for other religions.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, he noted, invited the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation to a meeting in Washington, D.C. to discuss how the U.S. could carry out this commitment.
According to Marshall, the December 2011 meeting featured presentations on how
America should fix its treatment of Muslims. It was also suggested that the U.S. should learn from countries in the organization, which use the death penalty to fight blasphemy within their borders, he said.
Although Clinton claimed to be simply pursuing tolerance, Marshall said it was concerning that she was partnering with an organization that has been aggressively lobbying to restrict free speech through legal controls.
He urged the Obama administration to end this partnership and instead promote the idea that in open, boisterous, free societies all religions will likely be subject to criticism.
The American founders considered freedom of speech to be critical, Marshall concluded, adding that their example is always needed, but never more so than in a time such as this.
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The only ones feeling pressured are leftists and statists
If the government would just stay out of the so called blasphemous business, half of this would disappear. And once again...a reminder...Islam is a political system, not a religiion.
“hate speech”: just about anything you say, whitey.
Not even when Christians can travel without fear throughout the middle east, should our sovereign rights be in jeopardy.
“Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, he noted, invited the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation to a meeting in Washington, D.C. to discuss how the U.S. could carry out this commitment.”
Ask Mark Steyn about freedom of speech in the Great White North.
Mohammed was a pedophile, slave trading, raping, pillaging, and murdering asshole.
And his mother was a pig.
And his followers have lived up to his example, although I would not insult pigs that way....hehe
Although Clinton claimed to be simply pursuing tolerance, Marshall said it was concerning that she was partnering with an organization that has been aggressively lobbying to restrict free speech through legal controls
And this would be no problem to any well-meaning Leftist-Totalitarian-Fascist.
I’ll second that.
BO doesnt seem concerned with negative images of Christianity.
The NEA will put Mapplethorpe right on that one. He’ll be photographing a Koran dipped in urine and left suspended upside down before you can stick a bull whip up your ass.
You have a way with words.
Do you mean we can’t say things like “Muhammad was a mass-murdering, brain-damaged pedophile ?”
>> could pose a threat to freedom of speech in the U.S.
That threat already exists from within.
The 1st Amendment needs to be taken more seriously by non-secularists.
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