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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

3 Cheers for Hillary Clinton's Stand on Religious Defamation
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Well, I don't often get a chance to sing the praises of Hillary Clinton, so let me take the opportunity to loudly applaud her stand on religious defamation policies, which are becoming a growing international concern. According to The Washington Post, while unveiling the State Department's 2009 Report on International Religious Freedom:

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton criticized on Monday an attempt by Islamic countries to prohibit defamation of religions, saying such policies would restrict free speech. ... While unnamed in Clinton's speech, the Organization of the Islamic Conference, a group of 56 Islamic nations, has been pushing hard for the U.N. Human Rights Council to adopt resolutions that broadly bar the defamation of religion. The effort has raised concerns that such resolutions could be used to justify crackdowns on free speech in Muslim countries.

Here's specifically what Secretary Clinton had to say:
some claim that the best way to protect the freedom of religion is to implement so-called anti-defamation policies that would restrict freedom of expression and the freedom of religion. I strongly disagree. The United States will always seek to counter negative stereotypes of individuals based on their religion and will stand against discrimination and persecution. But an individual's ability to practice his or her religion has no bearing on others' freedom of speech. The protection of speech about religion is particularly important since persons of different faiths will inevitably hold divergent views on religious questions. These differences should be met with tolerance, not with the suppression of discourse.

Quite right. Thank you, Secretary Clinton, for this bold stand. Freedom of religious worship and expression -- including the criticism of religion -- is essential. Now, can we talk about your old positions on video game regulation?!

posted by Adam Thierer @ 8:08 PM | Free Speech

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