Muslim Leaders Call for Ban on Offending Prophet

By: AP Email
By: AP Email

UNITED NATIONS (AP) - Calls for limiting freedom of expression to prevent denigrating attacks on Islam are being made at the United Nations.

Foreign ministers from Algeria and Malaysia say such limits are needed following the violent demonstrations provoked by a video produced in the U.S. that mocks Muslims and the Prophet Muhammad.

The head of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation says such offenses should be equated with hate speech. Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, secretary general of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, says demonstrations throughout Muslim countries this month provoked by the video "Innocence of Muslims" underscores why legislation is needed.

Some two dozen people were killed in the violence.

Ihsanoglu said Saturday that while he strongly condemns the violence, a balance had to be struck between free speech and incitement.

Ihsanoglu says that considering the veneration 1.5 billion Muslims have for their religion's founder, any offense to the Prophet Muhammad's character should be considered with the gravity given hate speech.


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