Americas

Clinton Criticizes Religious Defamation Laws as UN Prepares to Vote

The Obama administration opposes anti-defamation laws because they would restrict free speech.

International religious freedom observers mostly praised Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's opposition to anti-defamation policies because such restrictions would limit free speech.

The United Nations General Assembly is expected to vote soon on a pending anti-defamation resolution sponsored by the Organization of the Islamic Conference.

"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," Clinton said at a press conference on Monday. "I strongly disagree."

"The protection of speech about religion is particularly important since persons of different faiths will inevitably hold divergent views on religious questions," Clinton said. "These differences should be met with tolerance, not with the suppression of discourse."

Experts consider the UN anti-defamation effort mostly a reaction to the 2005 publication of cartoons ...

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