In the News: Saudi Official Calls for Global Anti-Blasphemy Law

At a recent symposium on media coverage of religious symbols based on international law, held in Lille, France, Abdulmajeed Al-Omari, director for external relations at the Ministry of Islamic Affairs, called for international efforts to criminalize vilification of religious symbols or beliefs. Such a ban on free expression would be tantamount to global anti-blasphemy legislation.

Criminalize vilification of religious symbols, says Saudi official, Saudi Gazette, 2015-08-08

Saudi Arabia has reiterated its call on the international community to criminalize any act vilifying religious beliefs and symbols of faith as well as all kinds of discrimination based on religion.

“We have made it clear that freedom of expression without limits or restrictions would lead to violation and abuse of religious and ideological rights,” said Abdulmajeed Al-Omari, … “This requires everyone to intensify efforts to criminalize insulting heavenly religions, prophets, holy books, religious symbols and places of worship,” he added. Al-Omari pointed out that such abuses bred intolerance, extremism and human rights violations and contributed to the growing phenomenon of defamation of religions.

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