A number of people have asked me about this Lou Dobbs/Christopher Hitchens segment, which aired Thursday night on CNN. There is a lively discussion about it over in the comments section on Blogging Heads.
Despite Dobbs’ hyperventilating, there is really not much to this. The 57 members of the Organization of Islamic Conferences periodically bring up some sort of anti-blasphemy resolution in UN forums. This done for domestic political consumption — i.e. politicians in OIC countries table symbolic resolutions like this to curry favor with the religious right (sound familiar?). There’s never been an anti-blasphemy resolution passed in the General Assembly and I don’t expect there ever will be.
The segment is full of factual inaccuracies — mainly, there is no such thing as a “binding General Assembly resolution.” Contra Dobbs, there are only two ways way the United Nations could impose anti-blasphemy laws on Americans. 1) Through some sort of anti-blashphemy treaty convention, which the president signs and the Senate ratifies. 2) If the Security Council (on which the United States holds veto power) orders member states to adopt anti-blasphemy laws by invoking Chapter VII of the UN Charter.
I would submit to you, dear reader, that both scenarios are highly unlikely. The UN thought police will stay put in their black helicopters for the time being.
UPDATE: See this post for a correction and further thoughts on this issue.