GENEVA: Muslim countries’ Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), signalled on Wednesday that it will revive long-standing attempts to make insults against religions an international criminal offence.
Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, secretary-general of the OIC, said the international community should "come out of hiding from behind the excuse of freedom of expression", a reference to Western arguments against a universal blasphemy law that the OIC has sought for over a decade.
He said the "deliberate, motivated and systematic abuse of this freedom" were a danger to global security and stability.
Separately, the Human Rights Commission of the OIC, which has 57 members and is based in Saudi Arabia, said "growing intolerance towards Muslims" had to be checked and called for "an international code of conduct for media and social media to disallow the dissemination of incitement material".
Western countries have long argued that such measures would run counter to the U.N.'s core human rights declaration on freedom of expression and could even open the door to curbs on academic research. -- AGENCIES