This year, Secretary of State Hilary Rodham Clinton invited nations to come to implement the resolution and "to build those muscles" needed "to avoid a return to the old patterns of division." Those "old patterns" include instances in which writers and cartoonists became the targets of protests by religious groups. The most famous such incident occurred in 2005 when a Danish newspaper published cartoons mocking the prophet Muhammad. The result were worldwide protests in which Muslims reportedly killed more than 100 people — a curious way to demonstrate religious tolerance. While Western governments reaffirmed the right of people to free speech after the riots, they quietly moved toward greater prosecution of anti-religious speech under laws prohibiting hate speech and discrimination.
What is more alarming, however, is the advancement of this agenda in Western countries. This year, Dutch legislator Geert Wilders secured a hard-fought acquittal from criminal charges after years of investigation and litigation for saying disrespectful things about Muslims. In Britain, a 15-year-old girl was arrested in November 2010 for burning a Koran. Other religions are now following suit and calling for the arrest of those who utter criticisms of their faiths. French fashion designer John Galliano was convicted in September of uttering anti-Semitic remarks in an outburst in a restaurant. In Russia, two prominent art curators in Moscow who faced up to three years in prison for showing art that insulted the Russian Orthodox Church were fined in 2010. In Britain, a 15-year-old boy was given a criminal summons for holding up a sign declaring "Scientology is not a religion, it is a dangerous cult."
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton delivers a policy statement at the European headquarters of the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland on Dec. 7, 2011. This week in Washington, the United States is hosting an international conference to establish international standards for, among other things, criminalizing "intolerance, negative stereotyping and stigmatization of Â religion and belief." (Martial Trezzini / EPA)
Intolerance of organizations masquerading as religions:
Clinton's Travolta Fever.
Tom Cruise and Germany:
The Cleared Planet: