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After Benghazi Killings, US Proposed Criticizing Denigration of Religion, France Said No: Likes Denigrating

By Matthew Russell Lee, Exclusive

UNITED NATIONS, September 14, updated below -- Two days after the UN Security Council issued a press statement on the "Attacks against U.S. Diplomatic Personnel" in Libya, Inner City Press has learned of a telling back-and-forth in the Council prior to adoption of the statement.

   The US Mission to the UN proposed the initial draft, which included a phrase against the denigration of religion, Inner City Press has exclusively been informed, then France opposed inclusion of that phrase, arguing among other things that the French constitution is secular.

  While this action too will have its reaction -- three Council members paraphrased French Permanent Representative Gerard Araud that he likes and takes pride in the freedom to denigrate religion, and two called this outrageous -- the Council Press Statement was issued on September 12 without anything on denigration of religion.

   It is newsworthy, Council members emphasize to Inner City Press, both that this US Mission to the UN proposed the phrase criticizing denigration of religion, and that France -- where the Sarkozy-era spats about religious jewelry and even halal butchers are apparently not over -- opposed it.

   "There are other statements coming," a Security Council member told Inner City Press at 4 pm on Friday. Watch this site.

Update of 7 pm -- Council members tell Inner City Press there IS another press statement under the silence procedure, about the attacks on embassies in Sudan.

  Meanwhile the US had Vice President Biden call Sudanese Vice President Taha. President Omar al-Bashir, of course, has been indicted by the International Criminal Court for genocide. But that didn't stop Ban Ki-moon from greeting, if not meeting, Bashir. Priorities...

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