In his first speech to the UN General Assembly on Sept. 26, the Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi struck out against the freedom of expression as a universal principle. Should the international community back further away from freedom of speech and religion, Muslims and religious minorities in societies like Egypt, Pakistan and Iran, have most to lose, write Jacob Mchangama and Aaron Rhodes of the Freedom Rights Project in the Huffington Post.
The weakening of international human rights guarantees protecting the freedom of expression and freedom of religion would deprive Muslims and members of minorities in Muslim states of clear standards and the small leverage on their governments such standards afford. Freedom of expression is the primary means by which, through peaceful dialogue in civil society, Muslims in such states can work together toward reducing the international threat of Islamist extremism. Freedom of expression is one of the antidotes to the devastating domestic consequences of increasing radicalism, including inhumane punishments by unfair courts, the relegation of women and girls to inferior and vulnerable positions in society, discrimination against dissenters and minorities, and wide-ranging forms of repression in many areas of public and private life. More here.