Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi made it clear in the wake of the anti-Islam film furor that he believes the West must learn to respect Arab culture and history — even when it conflicts with American values. On Wednesday, Morsi made his views even clearer when he appeared before the United Nations General Assembly, where he spoke out against insults to the Prophet Muhammad.
During his address, Morsi implored the U.N. to stand against insults to Islam and Muhammad and asked the international body to intervene to do something about it. The Egyptian leader, who has ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, said that the world must “reject” these sentiments and that his nation will “not allow anyone to do this (insult the faith) by word or deed.”
CNS News has more about Morsi’s comments on the matter, highlighting his clear call for mass restrictions on free speech:
Mentioning “an organized campaign against Islamic sanctities,” Morsi said the U.N. has a “main responsibility” in addressing Islamophobia, which “is starting to have implications that clearly affect international peace and security.”
“We all have to work together,” Morsi said. “We must join hands in confronting these regressive ideas that hinder cooperation among us. We must move together to confront extremism and discrimination and incitement to hatred on the basis of religion or race.”
Morsi claimed that his nation believes in free speech and expression, but that these freedoms have their limits. While he stopped short of calling for an international ban on blasphemy, his words inched toward that sentiment. It is important to note, though, that the Egyptian leader also condemned Islamic-led violence.
“Egypt respects freedom of expression — freedom of expression that is not used to incite hatred against anyone, not a freedom of expression that targets a specific religion or a specific culture,” he continued. “A freedom of expression that tackles extremism and violence, not the freedom of expression that deepens ignorance and disregards others.”
Watch Morsi’s speech, below:
These comments came just one day after Pakistani president Asif Ali Zardari and Indonesian president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono called for international action to “criminalize” blasphemy.
(H/T: CNS News)
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