UN Assembly lobbies for law on defamation of religion

The United Nations General Assembly has this week passed a resolution urging member states to secure “adequate protection against acts of hatred, discrimination, intimidation and coercion resulting from defamation of religions and their value systems”.

The move follows calls (in the wake of the Danish cartoon row last year) by Islamic leaders, notably Pakistan’s President Pervez Musharraf, to introduce legislative safeguards against the defamation of Islam.

The resolution was passed by a majority of 108 to 51 with many western nations opposing or abstaining the vote. While the resolution was couched in terms of defaming religion, the only one specified was Islam.

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