Over the weekend, the influential king of Saudi Arabia became the most recent public figure to call for a worldwide ban on insulting Islam and its prophet Muhammad.
“I demand a UN resolution that condemns any country or group that insults religions and prophets,” King Abdullah bin Aziz remarked, according to the Agence France-Presse. “It is our duty and that of every Muslim to protect Islam and defend the prophets.”
The widespread calls for a blasphemy ban follow last month’s deadly protests across the Muslim world, many of which were blamed on an offensive YouTube trailer. At the time, the AFP adds, Saudi Arabia threatened to block YouTube throughout the kingdom if the corporation didn’t take action to censor its content. YouTube somewhat complied, restricting the availability of the movie in Saudi Arabia.
The Saudi king reportedly concluded with an plea for unity within the “Islamic nation,” and “rejecting division to face the nation’s enemies.”
Saudi Arabia has long been considered a valuable ally to the United States in the region.