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US hits out at bid to bar religious defamation

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The Obama administration is opposing efforts by Islamic nations to bar the defamation of particular religions, saying such measures would restrict free speech.

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said Monday that attempts by Muslim and Arab states to push resolutions at the United Nations condemning insulting or offensive language and images directed at religions are misplaced.

Clinton says a person’s ability to practice religion is unrelated to another person’s right to free speech.

Her comments come as Islamic states press the U.N. Human Rights Council to adopt a resolution that would designate religious defamation a human rights violation.

© 2009 Associated Press. Displayed by permission. All rights reserved.

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