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-World leaders and Europeans Calling for Limits to Free Speech

by Dr. D ~ September 29th, 2012

47th Munich Security Conference 2011: Ban Ki-m...

                                      (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

United Nations, Secretary General Ban Ki-moon indicated this week that free speech that attacked other’s beliefs should not be protected:

(K-moon) decried at a news conference the making of Innocence of Muslims as a “disgraceful and shameful act” that represented an abuse of “freedom of expression…a fundamental right and privilege.”  Using “freedom of expression to provoke or humiliate some others’ values and beliefs” was not worthy of protection. Rather, Ki-moon indicated that such freedom only deserved protection when “used for common justice, common purpose.”

Look for the United Nations to support some kind of ‘blasphemy’ legislation in the near future. In fact, UN Human Rights Council resolution 16/18 is being put forward by the Arab League and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), a grouping of 56 Muslim-majority states which this week demanded:

for the halting of “growing intolerance towards Muslims” and for “an international code of conduct for media and social media to disallow the dissemination of incitement material.”

 Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan was even more insistent that international laws needed to be put in place to protect Islam from blasphemy and so-called ‘Islamophobia’:

(Erdogan) called for recognizing “Islamophobia as a crime against humanity” and “international legal regulations against attacks on what people deem sacred.”

Also, a number of Europeans in the last week have taken up the drumbeat against free speech in deference to Islam.

Most prominent is  Martin Schulz the President of the European Parliament:

“I condemn strongly not only the content but also the distribution of such a movie, which is humiliating the feelings of a lot of people all over the world.”

The implications of Schulz’s statement did not go unnoticed by his political opponents. His condemnation of the distribution of the ‘film’ implied that anti-Islamic content needed to be regulated. A real threat to EU freedom of speech when you consider his position and the fact that he should be standing up for Western freedoms instead of caving to Middle Eastern demands. 

It should be noted that Martin Schulz is from Germany which was hard hit by Muslim demonstrations and violence. So much so that the USA had to shut down one of its consulates in Berlin. Chancellor Angela Merkel is now under a great deal of pressure to ban the ‘film’ and pass laws restricting free speech in response to the situation.

Then there was a joint statement issued by Christian and Muslim leaders in Portsmouth and Fareham in the UK calling for an end to the violent protests against the anti-Islamic ‘film’ but also for the regulation and prosecution of hate speech:

“Freedom of expression is not absolute. As people of faith, we re-iterate that freedom of expression doesn’t justify spreading hatred based on faith, race, ethnicity or gender. Offending religious symbols or sacred spaces does real damage to society.

"We call upon all to show profound respect for the beliefs, texts, religious personalities and symbols of the various religions."

Those responsible for religious hate crimes should be prosecuted, they said.

Response: So there you have it. This should be scary but most of us do not fully understand all of the implications. There is a world-wide firestorm brewing that is calling for limits to free speech and conversation when it comes to Islam. It is truly amazing how many across the world right now are calling for international blasphemy laws that would make major changes in the Western understanding of freedom and bring limits not only to speech but also to the freedom of religion and religious conversation in particular.

Even more disturbing are similar calls in America for our own Constitutional rights to be limited when it comes to speech about Islam. We have posted about some of those comments in the last several days:

-Dearborn, Mi: Muslim Imam and Christian Pastor Call for Limits to Free Speech 

-Implications: Another American Imam Wants to Limit Free Speech 

-Now Some Muslims in Kansas City Petition Congress to limit Free Speech

Americans and particularly Christians need to resist any and all efforts to limit our freedom of speech and religion whether domestic or international. It is particularly distressing that the Obama administration is rather squishy on this issue and seems to sympathize with the Muslim calls for International blasphemy legislation.

All stops need to be pulled out and our government representatives need to be clear about where we stand on these issues or changes will be allowed to be made that will affect our freedoms and curtail our rights in ways that may not be obvious. It is time to stand up and be counted and heard.            *Top

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