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EMET would like to thank the Adelson Family Foundation for making possible this event, a part of the Dr. Miriam and Sheldon G. Adelson Policy Seminar Series. This panel discussion was moderated by Hon. Fred Grandy, former Congressman from Iowa, who currently works for the Center for Security Policy. The panel itself featured Zuhdi Jasser, of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy, Ann Snyder of the Legal Project at the MEF, Supna Zaidi of the Lawfare Project, and Andrea Laffery, the President of the Traditional Values Coalition.
The panel discussed continuing efforts by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to push international legislation through the United Nations to condemn and eventually criminalize free speech that is critical of Islam and Islamist terrorism. The OIC has, for over a decade, introduced speech-restrictive resolutions at the UN. In the past, these resolutions contained explicit language about “defamation of religions.” Last year, the OIC introduced Resolution 16/18 without the term “defamation of religions” included in the resolution. Although dropping that term was little more than a cosmetic change leaving speech-targeting language behind and the OIC’s speech-restrictive agenda intact, the Obama Administration has proven to be supportive of Resolution 16/18 and the Istanbul Process by which it is to be implemented. In March of 2011, Secretary Clinton praised the OIC efforts, and encouraged the U.S. government to use “shaming” to suppress speech perceived as critical of Islam. Most of the members of this EMET panel eventually concluded that the US was participating in a process intended to undermine the First Amendment.
The event was well attended.