Saying freedom of speech and religion should be upheld equally, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has criticised laws around the world that make religious defamation a crime.
"Some claim that the best way to protect the freedom of religion is to implement so-called 'anti-defamation' policies that would restrict freedom of expression and the freedom of religion," she said on presenting a department report on religious freedom, according to an Agence France-Presse report in the Sydney Morning Herald.
"I strongly disagree. The United States will always... stand against discrimination and persecution... But an individual's ability to practice his or her religion has no bearing on others' freedom of speech," Clinton said.
"The protection of speech about religion is particularly important since persons of different faith will inevitably hold divergent views on religious questions. These differences should be met with tolerance, not with the suppression of discourse," she added.
Clinton slams 'anti-defamation' trend (Sydney Morning Herald)
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