No Compulsion in Religion: A Faith-Based Critique of the ‘Defamation of Religions’ Concept

December 23, 2011

For the past 12 years, the Organization of the Islamic Conference had pushed for a resolution in the United Nations Human Rights Council called “Defamation of Religions” to be adopted into international human rights law. The stated purpose of the resolution was to fight religious discrimination and incitement to violence through a global blasphemy law.

In MPAC’s position paper, No Compulsion in Religion” we oppose the misguided Defamation of Religions concept because for two main reasons. First, it runs contrary to Islamic teachings promoting religious tolerance and a free, civil exchange of ideas. 

Second, it has not prevented the bigotry and violence it has sought to guard against. In fact, evidence in several countries shows the opposite – local blasphemy laws have provided a pretext for vigilante violence, and legitimated harassment and violence against people with different religious and political views. 

From the report:  

“This paper argues against the Defamation of Religions (DoR) concept on both religious and practical policy grounds. Religiously, the DoR resolution runs contrary to Qur’anic verses that emphasize free speech and open civil debate.” (P. 1) 

Download it now: 

“No Compulsion in Religion: A Faith-Based Critique of the ‘Defamation of Religions’ Concept”



View All


Help us continue our work with a quick
one-time or monthly donation.