3 Cheers for Hillary Clinton’s Stand on Religious Defamation

by on October 27, 2009 · 6 comments

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?!

  • brettglass

    The important thing to remember, in situations such as this one, is that ALL religions defame other religions. It's just a matter of degree. Some are polite enough just to say that the others are “in error,” while others go as far as to say that practitioners of the others are “infidels,” “damned,” etc. or insist that the convert or be killed. Therefore, the entire notion of “religious defamation” is absurd. So long as it does not cross the line into threats of harassment or “ethnic cleansing,” criticism of religion must be not only permitted but defended.

  • lilianhutan

    Religion has nothing to do with politics, when will people understand that? Religion in the common sense of the word has been a constant means of controlling people, when in it's essence it should be exactly the opposite. We will never find our Salvation as a race if we don't understand this. Look around us and what we've done to this world!

  • lilianhutan

    Religion has nothing to do with politics, when will people understand that? Religion in the common sense of the word has been a constant means of controlling people, when in it's essence it should be exactly the opposite. We will never find our Salvation as a race if we don't understand this. Look around us and what we've done to this world!

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