Cannon Caucus Room
Cannon House Office Building
Independence Avenue and First Street, SE
The 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.
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.
Our conference coincides with the release of Paul Marshall and Nina Shea's book, Silenced (Oxford University Press - Foreword by late Indonesian President Abdurrahman Wahid).
Silenced: How Apostasy and Blasphemy Codes are Choking Freedom Worldwide - Audio/Video
An Overview by the Authors
9:30 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.
- Mr. Paul Marshall, Senior Fellow, Hudson Institute’s Center for Religious Freedom
- Ms. Nina Shea, Director and Senior Fellow, Hudson Institute’s Center for Religious Freedom
- Introduction: Mr. Jonathan Bunch, Vice President & Director of State Courts, The Federalist Society
Panel I: The Muslim World - Audio/Video
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
Panel II: Growing Repression in the West - Audio/Video
11:25 a.m. – 12:40 p.m.
- Mr. Bruce Bawer, Best-Selling Author of While Europe Slept
- Mr. Paul Diamond, United Kingdom defense attorney in hate speech cases
- Rev. Dr. Mark Durie, Vicar, St Mary’s Anglican Church (Melbourne, Australia)
Keynote Address and Commentary: Where Are the Muslim Moderates? - Audio/Video
12:45 p.m. – 2:15 p.m.
- Ms. Manda Zand Ervin, Founder & President, Alliance of Iranian Women and Member, American Islamic Leadership Coalition
- Hon. Naser Khader, former Member, Danish Parliament
- Chaired by David B. Rivkin, Jr., Partner, Baker & Hostetler LLP