The AP reports:
Four years after cartoons of the prophet Muhammad set off violent
protests across the Muslim world, Islamic nations are mounting a
campaign for an international treaty to protect religious symbols and
beliefs from mockery -- essentially a ban on blasphemy that would put
them on a collision course with free speech laws in the West. Documents
obtained by The Associated Press show that Algeria and Pakistan have
taken the lead in lobbying to eventually bring the proposal to a vote
in the U.N. General Assembly. If ratified in countries that
enshrine freedom of expression as a fundamental right, such a treaty
would require them to limit free speech if it risks seriously offending
religious believers. The process, though, will take years and no
showdown is imminent.
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is the editor in chief of The Atlantic
and a recipient of the National Magazine Award for Reporting. He is the author of Prisoners: A Story of Friendship and Terror