MPAC Supports Effort to Combat Hatred Through Free Speech, Releases Critique of Global Blasphemy Law

MPAC Supports Effort to Combat Hatred Through Free Speech, Releases Critique of Global Blasphemy Law


(Washington, D.C.—12/23/2011) The Muslim Public Affairs Council today expresses its support for the passage of a historic UN resolution to combat ideologies of religious hatred through free expression instead of silencing expression through a global blasphemy law.

UN Condemns Religious Intolerance, Drops ‘Defamation’ Line for First Time in Years (Reuters)
U.N. Tackles Religious Intolerance without Limiting Free Speech (Human Rights First)

For the past 12 years, the Organization of the Islamic Conference had pushed for a resolution in the United Nations Human Rights Council called “Defamation of Religions” to be adopted into international human rights law. The stated purpose of the resolution was to fight religious discrimination and incitement to violence through a global blasphemy law. However the United Nations General Assembly recently voted to fight religious hatred with reference to “Defamation of Religions” or similar ideas.

“We are pleased to see the positive direction global leaders are taking in fighting religious hatred, the right way,” said MPAC Government and Policy Analyst, Alejandro Beutel. “Successfully combating discrimination can be done while respecting freedom of expression.”

MPAC is also releasing its new position paper, “No Compulsion in Religion: A Faith-Based Critique of the ‘Defamation of Religions’ Concept.” In our position paper, we oppose the misguided Defamation of Religions concept for two reasons:

It runs contrary to Islamic values promoting religious tolerance and a free, civil exchange of ideas
Second, evidence indicates anti-blasphemy laws actually encourages more violence rather than preventing it

Founded in 1988, MPAC is an American institution which informs and shapes public opinion and policy by serving as a trusted resource to decision makers in government, media and policy institutions. MPAC is also committed to developing leaders with the purpose of enhancing the political and civic participation of American Muslims.