UN against free speech

According to Reuters, “The U.N. General Assembly condemned defamation of religion for the fourth year running on Thursday, ignoring critics who said the resolution threatens freedom of speech.” Here’s one item that caught my eye:

Islamic states say such resolutions do not aim to limit free speech but to stop publications like the Danish cartoons showing the Prophet Mohammed that sparked bloody protests by Muslims around the world in 2005.

At first glance, that seems to be a blatant contradiction, “we don’t aim to limit free speech but to limit free speech.” I think what they really mean is not to limit responsible free speech. And almost all Muslims consider blasphemy—insults to the sacred—as a very clear example of irresponsible abuse of the freedom of speech.

I don’t see anything particularly strange or illegitimate about wanting to limit free speech this way. I don’t like it, but that’s just my interests coming into conflict with the interests of Muslims. Figuring out what happens next is up to politics.

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About Taner Edis

Professor of physics at Truman State University


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