Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Wednesday ended the "Istanbul Process," a three-day, closed-door international conference hosted by the State Department on measures to combat religious "intolerance, negative stereotyping and stigmatization."
The conference was intended to "implement" last March's UN Human Rights Council Resolution 16/18, on the same subject. Notwithstanding Clinton's final speech defending freedoms of religion and speech, the gathering was folly.
Resolution 16/18 was adopted in the place of one that endorsed the dangerous idea that "defamation of religion" should be punished criminally worldwide. That call for a universal blasphemy law had been pushed relentlessly for 12 years by the Saudi-based Organization of Islamic Cooperation, an essentially religious body chartered to "combat defamation of Islam." It issues fatwas and other directives to punish public expression of apostasy from Islam and "Islamophobia."