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Blasphemy And Defamation of Religions In a Polarized World

How Religious Fundamentalism Is Challenging Fundamental Human Rights

Darara Timotewos Gubo

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The twenty-first century has been significantly shaped by the growing importance of religion in international politics resulting in rising polarization among nation states. This new dynamic has presented new challenges to international human rights principles. This book deals with some of these new challenges, particularly the growing demand by Muslim states for protection of Islamic religion from blasphemy and defamation. Member states of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), through resolutions at the United Nations, made efforts to introduce laws that globally protect Islamic religion from blasphemy and defamation. The bid by OIC member states faced opposition from Western countries. The conflicting claims of the two sides are discussed in this book. The book clearly shows the impact of blasphemy and defamation of religion laws on certain aspects of fundamental human rights principles.
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Lexington Books
Pages: 196Size: 6 x 9
978-0-7391-8972-6 • Hardback • December 2014 • $85.00 • (£54.95)
978-1-4985-0827-8 • Paperback • March 2017 • $42.99 • (£29.95)
978-0-7391-8973-3 • eBook • December 2014 • $39.99 • (£24.95)
Darara Gubo recently received his JSD in intercultural human rights law at St. Thomas University.
Chapter I: Religious Freedom: Its History and Recognition
Chapter II: Blasphemy and Organization of Islamic Cooperation
Chapter III: Europe and Blasphemy Laws
Chapter IV: Conclusion and Recommendation
Darara Gubo’s effort is a must-read for anyone interested in learning about the phenomenon of defamation of religion and the challenge it poses to universal human rights norms.
Robert Blitt, University of Tennessee, Knoxville


The international human right of religious freedom is being steadily undermined by legislative and judicial actions abroad in response to demands to protect particular sects and religions. Understanding this development is critically important. The basis of all freedom is individual religious freedom, as American founders understood.But will America be able to withstand the global pressure as blasphemy and defamation codes gain broad international acceptance and legitimacy. In this book, Darara Gubo makes a welcome contribution to understanding this underestimated threat.
Nina Shea, Hudson Institute's Center for Religious Freedom


This meticulous research in laws of blasphemy and defamation to uncover the roots of violations of human rights in many parts of the world is a timely contribution to understanding the clause about freedom of conscience and religion in different cultures and traditions. This study has admiringly treated the topic evenhandedly, providing a history and contours of religious and theological culture of intolerance and violence. More pertinently, by avoiding the pitfalls of polemics against any particular group, the author has advanced our understanding of the need to promote fundamental freedoms guaranteed in the international document on human rights by seeking a critical, but constructive, conversation with the upholders of the historical Islamic juridical heritage that is widely used in the Muslim world to deny the rights of religious minorities to practice their religion.
Abdulaziz Sachedina, George Mason University


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