UNITED NATIONS --
The divide in world opinion over what constitutes free speech will
be on display again next week at the United Nations, where heated
arguments over a proposed blasphemy law were an annual feature for the
past decade. This time it’s the global reaction to a YouTube video that
disparages Islam’s Prophet Muhammad that’s sure to roil the meeting of
the U.N. General Assembly.
Muslim leaders have vowed to discuss
the offensive video from their U.N. platforms, sowing concern among
free-speech activists of a fresh push toward an international law
criminalizing blasphemy. Human rights groups and Western democracies
resisted such an initiative for years and thought they’d finally quashed
the matter after convincing enough nations that repressive regimes use
blasphemy laws to imprison or execute dissidents.
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