Frontpage Interview's guest today is Nina Shea, Director of the Center for Religious Freedom at the Hudson Institute. She is the co-author (with Paul Marshall) of the new book, Silenced: How Apostasy and Blasphemy Codes are Choking Freedom Worldwide.
FP: Nina Shea, welcome to Frontpage Interview.
Tell us what inspired you to write this book with Paul Marshall.
Shea: We have been tracking and opposing the punishment of religious minorities and Muslim reformers in many Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) countries under apostasy and blasphemy codes for decades. As religious freedom advocates, we saw a horrific and spreading pattern of human rights violations that is being ignored in US foreign policy and in the media – though particularly egregious individual cases have been sporadically reported without much attention to their overall effect. This pattern of human rights violations should especially concern us because the practices and policies it evidences undermine the individual freedoms essential to liberal democracy. Even our national security is compromised since apostasy and blasphemy codes are used by Islamic radicals to crush their opponents and thus pose obstacles to moderation within Islam. So, it undermines a number of critical American interests.