Silenced: Are Global Trends to Ban Religious Defamation, Religious Insult, and Islamophobia a New Challenge to First Amendment Freedoms?

International & National Security Law Practice Group
Start : Friday, November 04, 2011 09:30 AM
End : Friday, November 04, 2011 02:00 PM

Add To Your Calendar

Cannon Caucus Room
Cannon House Office Building
Independence Avenue and First Street, SE
Washington, DC

Silenced: Are Global Trends to Ban Religious Defamation, Religious Insult, and Islamaphobia a New Challenge to First Amendment Freedoms?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.

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.

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

[Return to the Multimedia menu]