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Free Speech Concerns Ahead of Meeting With Muslim Nations on Religious Tolerance
by Judson Berger
A looming meeting with Islamic leaders hosted by the State Department has religious scholars and advocacy groups warning that the United States may "play into" the push by some Islamic nations to create new laws to stifle religious criticism and debate.
The meeting on religious tolerance, which is scheduled for mid-December, would involve representatives of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation -- a coalition of 56 nations which more or less represents the Muslim world.
Critics describe the get-together -- the first in a series -- as a Trojan horse for the long-running OIC push for restrictions on speech. They note the track record of nations that want the dialogue, including Egypt, where recent military action against Coptic Christians raised grave concerns about intolerance against religious minorities.
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