Pakistan’s ambassador today called for the world’s governments to “introduce adequate protection” against hate speech targeting Islam.
Citing the “Innocence of Muslims” video, Ambassador Zamir Akram called for protections while addressing the United Nations Human Rights Council on behalf of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, a group of 56 countries.
Incidents like this clearly demonstrate the urgent need on the part of states to introduce adequate protection against acts of hate crimes, hate speech, discrimination, intimidation and coercion resulting from defamation and negative stereotyping of religions, and incitement to religious hatred, as well as denigration of venerated personalities.
The OIC is backing a resolution urging governments to outlaw “the targeting of religious symbols and venerated persons.” Akram said such acts are a “flagrant incitement to violence” that is not protected by freedom of expression. The ambassador likened the resolution to laws which protect against anti-Semitism.
Pakistan blocked Twitter earlier this year in response to a Mohammed cartoon contest, and recently declared a national holiday to protest the anti-Muslim film. In his own address to the U.N. today, President Obama declared that “the future must not be determined by those who insult the prophet of Islam.”