Arab League Secretary General Nabil al-Arabi addresses a UN Security Council meeting on peace and security in the Middle East, September 26, 2012.
The Arab League has called for the development of an international legal framework to criminalize blasphemy, following recent anti-Islam moves that insult Prophet Mohammad (PBUH).
“The League of Arab States calls for the development of an international legal framework which is binding… in order to confront insulting religions and ensuring that religious faith and its symbols are respected,” said Arab League Secretary General Nabil al-Arabi during a special session of the UN Security Council on peace and security in the Middle East on Wednesday.
Over the past days, the Muslim world has been outraged by an anti-Islam movie produced in the United States and the French weekly Charlie Hebdo
’s publication of cartoons insulting Prophet Mohammad (PBUH).
Demonstrations against the anti-Islam moves have been held across the Muslim world and several non-Muslim countries, with protesters in some countries marching on the US embassies and torching US flags.
Arabi also censured US President Barack Obama’s recent defense of freedom of expression.
On September 25, Obama told the UN General Assembly that the removal of such sacrilegious videos or offensive publications from the Internet would be a violation of the US constitution, which “protects the right to practice free speech.”
The Arab League chief said the bloc valued freedom of expression, but there was no “relation between freedom of expression which aims at enriching culture and building civilization… and activities that merely offend and insult the beliefs, culture and civilization of others.”
If the international community “has criminalized bodily harm, it must just as well criminalize psychological and spiritual harm,” Arabi stated.