The head of the Arab League is calling for the international community to criminalize blasphemy, warning that insults to religion pose a serious threat to global peace and security.

Nabil Elaraby's comments to a special session of the U.N. Security Council put him at odds with the United States and many of its western allies, which are resolutely opposed to restrictions on freedom of expression. However, Elaraby said that if the west has criminalized acts that result in bodily harm, it must also criminalize acts that cause "psychological and spiritual harm."