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What The State Department Can Learn From The Art World

CULTURAL AFFAIRS: Covering the crossroads of culture and culture

Source: Cultural Affairs

SEPTEMBER 12, 2012, 7:38 PM

After Attacks In Egypt And Libya, What The State Department Can Learn From The Art World

Late last year, the U.S. State Department sent me a response to a piece I’d written for about America’s ratification of UN resolution 16/18, limiting expression that can be interpreted as “defaming” religion, or as “incitement to imminent violence.” In effect, the resolution bans any form of speech or other expression that could lead to a violent reaction, whether or not it is intended to do so; it blames the girl in the short skirt for the rape, the man carrying the wallet for the mugging, the rabbis for the Holocaust. And I said as much.

Unsurprisingly, the State Department disagreed.

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