chapter  8
21 Pages

Combating Religious Defamation: An Exploration of Blasphemy in Islamic Thought and International Practice

ByAli M. Abid

This chapter outlines the history of the defamation resolutions and their content, after which illustrates how the resolutions are in contravention of the right to freedom of expression guaranteed internationally. It analyzes the blasphemy laws of Pakistan, their origins, and the back and forth discussion that has existed between the Pakistani government and those in the international arena that criticize its law. The rise of these anti-blasphemy laws and these anti-defamation resolutions represents a fascinating use of two different transnational legal processes: international human rights mechanisms and Islamic law, or Sharia. The chapter examines the place of religious plurality and respect toward non-Muslims in Islamic theology and how Islamic theology has developed historically with respect to these ideas. Finally, it proposes that opponents of the defamation resolutions argue by using the Islamic tradition and address certain objections regarding comparative ethics and the ability to affect change within a tradition from the outside.