The UN and the dangers of a global blasphemy law: How the faithful are ought to be protected

HSFK-Report 12/2014 reconstructs the problematic campaign of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) for establishing an anti-defamation resolution, illustrates the chances of UN-resolution 16/18 and provides recommendations for politics

Since the mid 1990s, the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) is engaged in protecting the Islam and the Muslims against defamation, blasphemy and discrimination in the western world by establishing and passing an anti-defamation resolution within the UN-system into law. This resolution criticizes the negative, stereotypical representation of religion and the Islam while calling states to prohibit the defamation of religion. Critics of this proposal criticize the conflict with the right on freedom of opinion and perceive it as an attempt to expand the national, partly rigorous blasphemy laws. This compares with the UN-resolution 16/18 “Combating Intolerance, Negative Stereotyping and Stigmatisation of, and Discrimination, Incitement to Violence, and Violence against Persons Based on Religion or Belief“ of 2011, which did not limit the freedom of opinion. Nevertheless, new violations seem to endanger the success that has been reached so far while seeking to establish a global blasphemy law once again.


In HSFK-Report No. 12/2014 „Schutz der Religionen oder Schutz der Gläubigen? Die Organisation für islamische Zusammenarbeit und die Kampagne gegen die „Diffamierung von Religionen“, Claudia Baumgart-Ochse examines the OIC campaign within the UN between 1999 and 2011 by highlighting its political-historical and humanitarian context. She analyzes the background and the norm conflicts that prevented its establishment into a human rights law, and provides recommendations for politics.


This HSFK-Report is available as a free PDF download and as print copy at PRIF for 6 € (in German).