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The Muslim WorldThe 1989 fatwa against Salman Rushdie and the deadly 2006 Danish cartoon riots brought worldwide attention to the issue of Muslim blasphemy bans. Though these events made global headlines, they are only one aspect of the debate about blasphemy bans in recent times. Charges such as "blasphemy," "apostasy," or "insulting Islam" are no longer limited to censoring irreverent caricatures of Islam's prophet, Mohammed. Some maintain that: they are increasingly used as tools by authoritarian governments and others to influence behavior and acquire power.

The West is also now experiencing a move toward new blasphemy standards through bans on "hate speech," "the stereotyping of Islam," and charges of "Islamophobia." The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) within the United Nations and in the European Union has been a visible proponent of hate speech restrictions and other measures. Meanwhile, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has announced that the U.S. government will sponsor a conference with the OIC on how to implement a U.N. resolution combating "negative stereotyping" of Islam, the focus of a recent U.N. resolution. The OIC conference is expected to take place in December in Washington, DC.

Our conference speakers will address the prevalence of trends concerning hate speech and blasphemy laws, and whether they pose a serious threat to the freedoms of citizens of the West, including Muslims, as well as people in OIC member states. This panel on "The Muslim World" featured Prof. David F. Forte of Cleveland State University, Cleveland-Marshall School of Law; Mr. Amjad Mahmood Khan of Ahmadiyya Muslim Community USA; Mr. Jacob Mchangama of the Center for Political Studies (Copenhagen, Denmark); Mr. Samuel Tadros of the Hudson Institute’s Center for Religious Freedom; and Mr. James P. Kelly III, Director of International Affairs at the The Federalist Society, as the moderator.

**During the recording of this event, we experienced issues with the sound system. We apologize for the sound quality of this video.**

Panel I: The Muslim World
10:00 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.

  • Prof. David F. Forte, Cleveland State University, Cleveland-Marshall School of Law
  • Mr. Amjad Mahmood Khan, Attorney and National Director of Public Affairs, Ahmadiyya Muslim Community USA
  • Mr. Jacob Mchangama, Director of Legal Affairs, Center for Political Studies (Copenhagen, Denmark)
  • Mr. Samuel Tadros, Research Fellow, Hudson Institute’s Center for Religious Freedom
  • Moderator: Mr. James P. Kelly III, Director of International Affairs, The Federalist Society

Cannon House Office Building
Washington, DC

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