Ultraconservative Islamists in Egypt Call for U.N. Legislation to Make Defaming Islam Illegal

Egyptian protesters burn the U.S. flag during a demonstration outside the U.S. Embassy in Cairo on Sept. 12, 2012. (Getty Images)

The head of the largest ultraconservative Islamist party in Egypt is calling for United Nations legislation to make defaming Islam and the Prophet Muhammad illegal.

Salafist Nour Party leader Emad Abdel Ghaffour told Reuters on Saturday that Egyptian President Mohammad Morsi and other Muslim leaders should demand U.N. action during a meeting of the General Assembly in New York this week.

“We call for legislation or a resolution to criminalize contempt of Islam as a religion and its prophet,” Ghaffour told Reuters in an interview. “The voice of reason in the West will prevail if there is mutual respect, dialogue and efficient lobbying for this critical resolution.”

The Salafist Nour Party is the second-largest party in Egyptian parliament and played an important role in supporting the Muslim Brotherhood during presidential elections this summer, according to Reuters.

Ghaffour’s call comes amid widespread deadly protests throughout the Arab world blamed at least in part on an anti-Islam film that denigrated Muhammad as a womanizer, killer and child molester. In France last week, a magazine published satirical cartoons of a naked Mohammad, prompting French embassies and schools across the Middle East to close.

“A proposal to look into the root causes of the obvious racism against Muslims and Arabs as the recent fierce campaign against their Islamic beliefs shows is much needed,” Ghaffour said.

He told Reuters there are “interest groups” trying to subvert ties between Western countries and newly-elected Islamist governments by defaming Islam.

“A new reality in the Middle East has emerged after the toppling of autocratic regime of [former Egyptian President] Hosni Mubarak and others through democratic elections that brought newly-elected Islamist governments,” Ghaffour said. “There are interest groups who seek to escalate hatred to show newly-elected governments and their Muslim electorate as undemocratic.”

Ghaffour said his party intends to make a documentary film about the life of Mohammad to counter “Innocence of Muslims.”

Hardline Salafist Muslims take a purist interpretation of Islam similar to followers in Saudi Arabia. It was revived in Egypt in the 1970s based on a 19th century Saudi teaching, but was repressed under Mubarak’s rule. Experts believe three are 3 million followers of Egypt’s Salafi movement, according to Reuters.

TheBlaze TV this week will air a two-part series titled “The Project” that will explore the Muslim Brotherhood’s infiltration of American government.

Part one of “The Project” will air Wednesday at 8 p.m. Eastern.