Delegate: Lindsey Bliefernicht Committee Topic: Defamation of

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Delegate: Lindsey Bliefernicht
Committee Topic: Defamation of Religion
Country: Afghanistan
In the past decade, tensions between religious groups—specifically between Islam and the other
Abrahamic religions has been anything less than apparent. After the September 11 terrorist attacks on
the World Trade Center in New York City, Islam is viewed as being synonymous with Mujahideen and
terrorist groups i.e. al-Qaeda, the Taliban, and al-Shabaab. Because of this many Arab minorities have
been persecuted over issues such as the banning of the Hijab, Niqab, and Burqa; the elimination of
minarets, and the elimination of the azan in certain communities. The issues of Islamaphobia must be
addressed—residing in an area where Islam is the minority should not dissuade Muslims from practicing
their faith.
The polarization of religions is a problem that has plagued civilization for centuries. We like to
believe we are a part of a modern society, but how can we call ourselves so when we continue to allow
the slander of religious practices? Tolerance isn’t inherently within us—it is something that must be taught
and enforced. Making punishments harsh enough to deter this hatred may cut back on acts of
defamation. An eye for an eye—hurting our culture can only be justified if one is willing to receive an
equal punishment in return. In the case of Islamic defamation, a separate regulation committee should be
established—preferably through the Organization of the Islamic Conference in order to justify the degree
of the crime. The council should be comprised of practiced Muslims as well as members from other
religions in order to demonstrate that we are all able to cooperate and coexist in peace. As a matter of
Human Rights, I believe this group should still fall under the same category, but perhaps considered a
subgroup under the topic of religion in order to give the committee a specific focus.
Any acts of violence against religion will be dealt with through the use of police force—either
through monetary reparations to the party affected or by imprisonment by the rioter(s). The Afghan
government doesn’t take cases of religious defamation lightly and in such extreme cases, our country has
suggested the death penalty for two journalists, Mer-hossin Mahdaw and Ali Raza Payam, for crafting an
offensive cartoon of a monkey evolving into a human being lying over a computer with the words
“Government plus religion equals cruelty.” The Court said in the ruling, “The Islamic Transitional
Government of Afghanistan is obliged to give the death penalty to the people who have abused or made
fun of Islam…”
Together, with the other nations of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, Afghanistan will
stand in favor of laws against the defamation of religion in order to protect our historic cultural values and
that of other nations, whether Arabic or Western. The importance of the cultural values our countries hold
dear is far more important than the right to express hatred and violence.
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