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Arab nations call on UN to ban attacks on religion

[JURIST] The 12th General Conference of the Arab Inter-Parliamentary Union (AIPU) [official website, English version] ended Tuesday with members of Arab states calling on the United Nations [official website] to adopt a resolution which bans offenses against religion, including Islam. The member countries harshly criticized the cartoons of Prophet Muhammad [JURIST news archive] printed in European publications and urged the UN to bring individuals who attack religion "to justice." Last weekend, Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf said he would lobby the UN to make blasphemy an internationally-recognized criminal offense [JURIST report]. Parliamentarians from 16 Arab countries on Tuesday also confirmed their stance against terrorism and asked the UN to sponsor an international conference to define terrorism.

Additionally, the participating countries addressed current events in other Middle Eastern countries by expressing their support for a unified, sovereign Iraq [JURIST news archive]; standing behind Syria as the country is investigated for involvement in the murder of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri [JURIST news archive]; and criticizing nations who threaten to remove Palestinian aid [JURIST report] after Hamas' victory in the January elections [JURIST report]. AFP has more.

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