Why a "global ban on religious defamation" will NOT work

Calls have been made (by the Maronite Patriarch of Lebanon- which like the Greek /Byzantine rite or “Uniates” is in communion with the Holy See but retains its own liturgy) and the Organisation Of The Islamic Conference (OIC) for a global ban on “the defamation of religion”(ie Islam) under international law by the UN in the wake of the “Innocence of Muslims” schlocky film.

I shall explain why I believe this to be a profoundly BAD idea. Firstly WHO defines what amounts to a “defamation” of a given religion( Jews do not accept Christ as the Son of God and and Muslims do not accept that He was crucified and rose from the dead to name but two faiths)? Secondly, who will ENFORCE such prohibitions, far less punish them( some schools of Shariah mandate death as a punishment for “blasphemy”- should this be an option in a Western society which has largely discarded such a punishment?)?

Thirdly, the whole business is riddled with hypocrisy. Several members of the OIC(most notoriously Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Sudan and Iran) have dubious to abysmal records on human rights(Saudi Arabia refuses avowed Jews entry and criminalizes worship of any creed other than Wahhabite Islam) and the Arab/Muslim world tolerates if not actively encourages scurrilous anti-Semitic propaganda( it’s no coincidence that both “Mein Kampf” and “The Protocols Of The Elders Of Zion” are runaway bestsellers in this part of the world) including the ludicrous “blood libel”, making protestations about religious intolerance as absurd as North Korea decrying political oppression!

Fourthly, such a ban would be manifestly UNWORKABLE- as we saw with the declaration
by Swedish and Danish newsmagazines that they will republish the nude photos of Kate Middleton( Duchess of Cambridge) banned by a French court- in the era of the Internet, , once something goes VIRAL, the genie CANNOT be put back in the bottle.

To quote US President Dwight Eisenhower in an almost forgotten commencement address at Dartmouth College in 1954- “Don’t join the book burners!”

Anybody think as I do?


I think exactly as you do.

My biggest problem with it is how it reduces freedom of speech to include only that which is pre-approved by the majority. “Freedom of speech” that only covers speech that is popular and liked is not freedom at all. The 1st Amendment exists to protect speech that nobody likes, because that is what needs protection.

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