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Jakarta Post

Anti-blasphemy tool a diplomatic blunder

  • Mohamad Mova Al’Afghani

Jakarta   /   Wed, October 10 2012   /  09:08 am

At the 67th session of the United Nations General Assembly, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (SBY) called on world leaders to “enact an international instrument to effectively prevent incitement to hostility or violence based on religions or beliefs”. These words are a verbatim citation of SBY’s speech.

Thus, SBY – in his official United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) speech — did not state that he demanded the international community enforce an international blasphemy law. The term “blasphemy” is found nowhere in his speech. What he officially pushed for is the enactment of an international instrument that could prevent incitement to hostility or violence.

This is where the move constitutes a blunder. First, there is a big difference between a blasphemy law and a law that punishes incitement of hostility. Second, laws which restrict incitement and hate sp...