Danish Integration and Social Affairs Minister Takes a Stand Against Anti-Blasphemy Laws

By • on September 6, 2012

According to The Copenhagen Post Karen Hækkerup, Denmark’s minister for integration and social affairs has ‘pulled out of a conference on religious radicalism’ due to the participation of a man who helped shape Pakistan’s anti-blasphemy laws at the same conference.  ICLA applauds this stand against blasphemy laws though it would be good to see politicians denouncing blasphemy laws from the podium at such conferences.

It must be remembered that the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), of which Pakistan is a member state, seeks to encourage the implementation of similar laws on a global scale via United Nations resolution 16/18 and the Istanbul Process.  The 2012 Brussels Process that was initiated by ICLA at a conference in the European Parliament in July 2012 seeks to create a framework to oppose these efforts by the OIC.

The decision of Karen Hækkerup not to attend the conference is an example of someone whose actions are consistent with the principles of the 2012 Brussels Process because she has made a stand against something that undermines freedom of expression.  Blasphemy laws have no place in open democratic societies that value freedom of expression.  It appears that the OIC is determined to use the highly valid and much desired campaign against religious intolerance as a smokescreen for the formalisation of religious intolerance.  It must be remembered that many OIC member states have an extremely poor record when it comes to combating religious intolerance as THIS article points out.

Support freedom of expression and oppose blasphemy laws – participate in the 2012 Brussels Process.