PBS' Religion and Ethics Newsweekly–The UN and Muslim Protests

[BOB ABERNATHY]I want to explore that with Kim Lawton, managing editor of this program, and Haris Tarin, director of the Washington office of the Muslim Public Affairs Council.

Haris, how are you trying to persuade, how are American Muslims trying to persuade other Muslims around the world that putting any kind of limit on free speech is dangerous?

HARIS TARIN (Muslim Public Affairs Council): Well, I think the first way we’re trying to convince fellow Muslims of this is the fact that the idea of free speech is a foundational part of the Quran itself. We don’t only believe that in terms of Americans and our belief in the Constitution , but the Quran challenges folks to engage in dialogue and in discourse, challenges people of the same faith and various different faiths, as well. So it’s foundational to the text of Islam, we believe. The Quran actually records insults to the Prophet Muhammad himself and challenges people to engage in that discourse. So I think it’s foundational not only to the Constitution but to our sacred texts, as well.

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