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World Leaders Rally for Blasphemy Laws
by Andrew E. Harrod
In response to the Innocence of Muslims global controversy, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan called for recognizing "Islamophobia as a crime against humanity" and "international legal regulations against attacks on what people deem sacred." In the statement's wake, the number of political leaders around the world openly musing about restrictions on anti-Islamic speech has only increased.
Erdoğan's Turkish compatriot, Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, secretary general of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), a grouping of 56 Muslim-majority states (including Turkey) and the Palestinian Authority (PA), said on September 19, 2012 that the international community should "come out of hiding from behind the excuse of freedom of expression" used by Western countries against a decade-long campaign by the OIC to effect universal blasphemy laws. Ihsanoglu described the "deliberate, motivated and systematic abuse of this freedom" as a threat to global security. The Human Rights Commission of the Saudi Arabian-headquartered OIC, meanwhile, called for the halting of "growing intolerance towards Muslims" and for "an international code of conduct for media and social media to disallow the dissemination of incitement material."
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