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Clinton speaks against anti-defamation laws
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.
"Some claim that the best way to protect the freedom of religion is to implement so-called anti-defamation policies. . . . I strongly disagree," Clinton said. "The protection of speech about religion is particularly important since persons of different faiths will inevitably hold divergent views on religious questions."
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.
Clinton made her comments while unveiling the State Department's annual report on international religious freedom.
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