* 3 articles here!
ByÂ Deborah Weiss
The Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) is an Islamist supremacist organization.Â Â Composed of 57 member states with Muslim majority populations, the OIC is the largest Islamic body in the world.Â Â It is also the largest international organization of any kind, second only to the United Nations.Â Â It represents an estimated 1.5 billion Muslims across the Middle East, Asia andÂ Africa.Â
The purpose of the OIC is to promote Islamic values, to revitalize Islam’s pioneering role in the world, to strengthen and enhance the bond of solidarity and unity among Muslim states, to support “the Palestinian struggle” and to defend Islam.Â Â Its charter claims that OIC works to promote peace, tolerance, and fight terrorism.Â Â However, its actions are dissonant with these claims, as it strives to define these words through the extraordinarily skewed views of radical Islam.
Since 1999, the OIC has been pushing incrementally and strategically toward its goal of internationally outlawing all criticism of Islam, Muslims, Muslim theocracies, and Islamic extremism.Â Â Subsequent to September 11, 2001, it professed concern about alleged backlash against Muslims.Â Â
In 2005, the OIC urged the United Nations Commission on Human Rights (“UNCHR”) to pass a resolution called “combating defamation of religions.”Â Â Although the title of the resolution referred to religions generally, the text cited concerns onlyÂ Islam specifically.Â Â It lamented negativity towards Islam in the media and the use of broadcast, print and the internet to incite violence, discrimination or intolerance towards Islam and other religions.Â Â It revealed alarm over the backlash against Muslims since 9/11, and law enforcement measures that “target Muslims.”Â Â It expressed deep concern over statements which “attack” religions generally, and Islam and Muslims in particular, and concern over the ethnic and religious profiling of Muslim minorities.Â Â It alleged that Islam was frequently and wrongly associated with human rights violations and terrorism.Â Â Additionally, it proclaimed that defamation of religions plays a role in the denial of fundamental rights of the target groups.
The Commission urged resolute action to prohibit “racist, and xenophobic ideas and material aimed at any religion or its followers… and to protect against acts of discrimination, intimidation, hatred, and defamation of religion.”Â Â It called on the international community to begin a “global dialogue” on religious diversity and to combat defamation of religions.Â Â It further required the Special Rapporteur to report on the discrimination faced by Muslims and Arabs.Â Â Not surprisingly, the countries that voted in favor of the resolution included many Muslim countries such asÂ Saudi Arabia,Â Malaysia,Â Qatar,Â Kuwait, andSudan, among others.Â Â Freer nations such as the United States, Australia, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, Ireland, and Japan, all voted in opposition to the resolution.
The OIC’s insistence on prohibiting defamatory speech against Islamic countries was without reciprocity.Â Â No effort to silence anti-Jewish or anti-Israeli speech has been made.Â Â At an OIC Special Session in 2006, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad freely expressed his goal to eliminate the “Zionist regime.”Â Â Indeed, the OIC backsÂ Iran’s nuclear program, supports Hamas, and rationalizes 9/11.Â Â Moreover, the OIC insists that the definition of terrorism should exclude the killing of innocent civilians where there is a “legitimate resistance to foreign occupation,” i.e.Â Israel.Â Â It is for this reason that the UN has been unable to pass a comprehensive convention against international terrorism.
At the OIC’s 2006 summit inÂ Mecca, it adopted a zero tolerance policy regarding insults to Islam, going so far as to include “hostile glances” in its definition of Islamophic behavior.Â Â The immediate goal of the summit was to obtain “protection” for Islam in European parliaments and the UN including the Human Rights Council (which replaced the Human Rights Commission with the failed hope of becoming an effective advocate for human rights).Â Â It also proposed the creation of an “Islamic Council of Human Rights” and a “Charter of Human Rights in Islam.”Â Â Both would be based on Sharia law and run contrary to the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
In 2007, the Secretary General of the OIC, Professor Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, a “moderate” Muslim fromÂ Turkey, used the “International Day of Tolerance” to assert that freedom of speech is defiling Islam.Â Â He stated, “[M]uslims around the world are the first victims of intolerance.Â Â They are facing a campaign of hatred and prejudice, what is otherwise known as Islamophobia.Â Â This growing trend of Islamophobia has subjected them to discrimination including religious profiling and stereotyping.Â Â The right to freedom of speech is being used to defile the sacred symbols of Islam.”
He continued, “[I]t is high time that the international community considers enacting legal measures against defamation of religions and religious beliefs.Â Â I would urge the Alliance of Civilizations and the Human Rights Council to take pro-active action in this regard.”
The International Humanist and Ethical Union (“IHEU”) warned that UN approval of a law combating defamation of religions would have grave implications for the freedom to criticize a religion or its practices.Â Â It explained that countries will have broad latitude in how they penalize the disrespect of religion because OIC’s resolution did not define what constitutes “defamation.”Â Â Further, the resolution failed to distinguish between defamation of religion and incitement to racial and religious violence.
In March 2008, the OIC held a two-day summit inÂ Senegal, where it produced a battle plan to combat Islamophobia.Â Â It would defend itself against all forms of free expression that could be interpreted as criticism of Islam, including that of cartoonists, film producers, reporters, politicians or governments.Â Â Countries that already regularly deny religious freedom and freedom of speech to their own citizens, demanded legal measures to have their oppressive rules be imposed internationally.Â Â “I don’t think freedom of expression should mean freedom from blasphemy” explained Abdoulaye Wade,Senegal’s President, and Chairman of the OIC.Â Â “There can be no freedom without limits.”Â Â To support his argument, some OIC delegates pointed to European laws that criminalize holocaust denial and anti-Semitic rhetoric, as well as to UN charters that condemn discrimination based on religion.Â Â As a result of this summit, the UNHRC passed the resolution.
Instead of fighting terrorism to make obvious that Islam and terrorism need not be affiliated, the OIC unveiled at its summit, the first report on Islamophobia.Â Â It consisted of 58 pages of real, perceived, and alleged claims of Islamophobia.Â Â Under “negative incidents,” it cited numerous occurrences of Muslims threatening or committing violence against non-Muslims in response to factual reports on Muslim behavior.Â Â Negative reports about Muslims, even if true, resulted in claims of Islamaphobia.Â
Some of the incidents reported as Islamophobic included:Â Â Wikipedia’s refusal to cave into Muslims’ demand to remove all depictions of the Prophet from its English language website;Â Â a report accurately stating Muslims were outraged by the opening of the first church in Qatar and insisting that Qatar is a Muslim country where others have no right to build a place of worship;Â Â the fact that Florida Attorney General (and former Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Crime in Congress) showed the movie “Obsession” to his staff;Â Â and the fact that the European Union requested Iran to drop the death penalty in its penal code for the crimes of apostasy, heresy, and witchcraft.Â Â Reports of threats made to Dutch parliamentarian Geert Wilders, producer of the documentary “Fitna,” were also deemed Islamophobic.Â
Finally, the bulletin suggested that Islamophobia poses a threat to global peace and security.Â Â It proposed the use of legal instruments to prohibit Islamophobic speech, urged monitoring and compiling lists of Islamophobic incidents, and encouraged the persuading of others to believe that Islam is a moderate, peaceful and tolerant religion.
In June of 2008, the OIC reported on the 2007 opening of itsÂ Washington,Â DCÂ office which works to engage OIC politically.Â Karen Hughes, then-undersecretary of public diplomacy at the State Department, spoke at the opening ceremony.Â Â She lauded OIC’s effort to pass the resolution on combating defamation of religions.Â Â She also advocated a program called “citizen dialogue” which she started in order to address Muslims’ sense of isolation.Â Â However, Muslims abroad indicated that they were not interested in meeting withÂ U.S.Â government officials or non-Muslim Americans, so she sent Muslim-Americans as envoys to foreign countries for the so-called dialogue.Â
The OIC also boasted about the inroads it has made at the UN.Â Â It pledged to place Islamophobia at the forefront of its next summit in April 2009.Â
Additionally, a rule has been implemented at the UNHRC, requiring that all speaker presentations and discussions omit any “judgment or evaluation about religion.”Â Â The word “sharia” does not have to be expressly stated to violate this rule.Â Â All discussions must avoid making any mention of controversial fatwas (religious rulings) or human rights abuses that are implemented as part of Sharia or in Islamic countries.Â Â This includes, for example, protests against the forced marriages of young girls.Â
The OIC construes the word Islamophobia very broadly, using it to include news reports, observations, and accurate accounts of violence or intolerance on the part of Muslims or Islamic theocracies.Â Â In effect, the OIC is requesting a legal exemption from free speech rights of any criticism of theÂ effectsÂ of an extremist interpretation of Islam.Â Â Any individual, group, or government acting in the name of Islam would be entirely off limits for open debate or discussion.
The obvious result of OIC’s push to internationally outlaw defamation of Islam, would be not only to stifle free speech and freedom of religion, but to devastate efforts to fight human rights abuses and to counter terrorism.Â Â Fighting for human rights in Islamic countries might be deemed Islamophobic even if it pertains to the human rights of Muslims.
Therefore, OIC’s comment that Islamophobia jeopardizes global peace and security was not an expression of fear of Islamophobia.Â Â Rather, it was a warning that anyone who claims Islam is not a religion of peace might have violence perpetrated against him.Â Â Its simultaneous propaganda campaign to convince people that Islam is a “moderate, peaceful, and tolerant religion” demonstrates that its words and actions are at odds with each other.
It’s ironic that countries which follow an interpretation of Islam that disallows religious freedom or freedom of speech at home, are utilizing these very freedoms abroad to achieve their Islamist goals.Â Â By turning the definition of freedom on its head, free speech and religious freedom for non-Muslims can now be condemned as anti-Islamic.
Claiming victimhood can score big political points in a free and compassionate society.Â Â If the OIC can convince people that those who stone women, behead apostates, sexually abuse minors, fly planes into buildings, and blow up subway systems are really the victims of evil, rather than the perpetrators, then the OIC’s proposed restrictions on free speech will accomplish more damage throughout the west than 9/11 ever could.
It is important to understand that only individuals should be afforded rights.Â Â Ideas, thoughts and religions should not be protected from criticism.Â Â There is no such thing as defamation of religion.Â Â To the degree that it is concocted, the rights of ideas and religions will stand in direct opposition to the rights and freedoms of humans.Â Â The right of free speech is, in part, designed to offend others.Â Â The Founding Fathers of theÂ United StatesÂ Constitution erected the First Amendment for the purpose of fostering cantankerous political speech.Â Â They believed that the way to counter offensive speech and bad ideas is to engage in more speech, espousing good ideas.Â Â In this case, however, it is the OIC that clearly has the bad ideas, and not the alleged defamers.Â Â Perhaps the reason the OIC seeks to prohibit free speech rather than to rebut it, is because it too knows that free speech works
Confronting Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu
by Baron Bodissey
We’ve written numerous times in this space about Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, the Secretary General of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) â€” see the bottom of this post for a full list of previous articles on the topic.
The OIC functions as a sort of Islamic United Nations, and in the last ten years or so has become the tail that wags the UN dog. Since the OIC almost always votes as a block in the General Assembly, it can force through resolution after resolution condemning Israel, Zionism, Islamophobia, the “defamation of religion”, etc., etc.
The OIC has implemented a ten-year plan to eradicate Islamophobia, and has set up an “Islamophobia Observatory” to keep an eye on Islam-unfriendly activities among the infidels. Prof. Ihsanoglu is the point man for this operation, traveling the world to confer with leaders and speak to both Muslims and kuffar about the dangers of Islamophobia.
When you read Prof. Ihsanoglu’s speeches, you’ll notice a certain disconnect between the Islam he describes â€” peaceful, tolerant, modern, benign, and ecumenical â€” and the one that is seen nightly on the TV news, even when laundered through the PC washing machine that is the MSM.
Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu offers bromides, clichÃ©s, and banalities when describing Islam to Westerners, and he is not generally challenged when he does. This past week offered a rare exception, however, when the Secretary General came to Helsinki to give his stump speech to a Finnish audience.Â Tundra TabloidsÂ was there, and was able to confront Prof. Ihsanoglu face to face.
Below are some excerpts fromÂ a report by KGS. Visit the original post for more details, plus photos and video:
[KGS said during question time] “I must take exception to the remarks by OIC Sec-Gen Ihsanoglu, that “there is no such thing as the right to insult.” Contrary to what the Secretary-General says, Freedom of speech does in fact mean the right to insult. Regardless of how tasteless it may be, it is a crucial, integral part of freedom of speech, one simply can’t survive without the other.
Also, while it’s understandable that professor Ihsanoglu presents the Organization of the Islamic Conference in the best light possible, I find it necessary however, to bring to light some of the troublesome aspects of the OIC itself and its agenda, that Sec-Gen Ihsanoglu is unwilling to touch.
While the OIC presents itself as being concerned with human rights as well as being a bridge for peace and understanding to the non-Muslim world, many of its own member states are the chief violators of human rights and promoters of the vilest forms of anti-Semitism seen since the rise and fall of National Socialism in Germany, during the 30’s and the 40’s. The evidence is undeniable, it’s a fact which has led the US House of Representatives to approve Resolution 1361 adopted on Sept. 23 of this year, with the expressed aim, and I quote:
“defeating the campaign by some members of the Organization of the Islamic Conference to divert the United Nation’s Durban Review Conference from a review of problems in their own and other countries, by attacking Israel, promoting anti-Semitism, and undermining the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.”
So my question to professor Ihsanoglu is:Â In light of the US Congress resolution, Can OIC sec-Gen offer his own personal assurances that the O I C is not going to use the conference, to attack Israel, as well as focusing on global blasphemy, which “would legitimize arbitrary restrictions of freedom of thought, conscience and religion, and the freedoms of expression and opinion, all in the name of protecting religions from ‘defamation’ and ‘blasphemy.?
OIC Sec-Gen Professor Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu:Â “Well there are many other things to speak of… I don’t know what you mean by eh… this person asked me, “What is the alternative to Islamism?” I don’t know anything called Islamism, I know Islam, in fact I don’t know what Islamism is. Now, coming to the very important question, addressed by the last person, sir you are under the wrong impression.
Tundra Tabloids:Â How so?
Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu:Â We are not anti-Semitic, (unclear) believing in moderacy and decency as part of my belief, my doctrine, I am a Muslim, and when I pray, I pray for all prophets including Moses, Jesus and Mohamed. So you cannot speak about any Muslim, good or bad, as anti-Semitic, this is a theory, this is not the case.
Now coming to the Durban Conference, We have to, for those who follow these issues. The Human Rights Council in Geneva has been issuing resolutions related to the defamation of religions and the protection against hatred. This is the Human Rights Council, and the Human Rights Council mandated to discuss this, and there are certain rapporteurs appointed by the High Commission. They do the report and according to this report they accept or refuse this resolution. This is the framework, legal framework.
When it comes to OIC’s position, I have to tell you our group there is very active, and we’re proud of it. But we being active there, we say, to European countries who are members of this, eh, and other Western countries of this commission, the Council, the Human Rights Council, “Please, lets work together… please lets work together”.
We are not anti-Christian, we are not anti-Semitic, we are not anti-anybody. but we are anti-insult, we are anti-defamation, we are anti-abusing the freedom. The freedom sir, does not mean insulting, this is not acceptable, this is incitement to hatred on a religious basis, on a racial basis is prohibited by international convention.
If you say that this publishing of the cartoons is still a matter of freedom of expression…
Tundra Tabloids:Â Yes it is.
Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu:Â I must then as you one question, why did the same newspaper refuse, the same editor who allowed these uncivilized cartoons, “on my prophet”, why he did not allow publishing a similar cartoon on Jesus Christ? The same newspaper?
It’s hard for me to believe thatÂ Jyllands-PostenÂ â€” or virtually any other European newspaper â€” has never published a single cartoon that depicts Christ in an insulting fashion. During my time in England, I remember seeing several such cartoons â€” one of them depicting Jesus in drag.
So this is disingenuous, to say the least, as is most of what Prof. Ihsanoglu says. As usual, he is long on platitudes, but short on specifics.
We should all “work together” â€” OK, a nice sentiment, and it makes for a good sound bite.
But what specific form should our “working together” take? Would it perhaps involve the building of Orthodox and Catholic cathedrals in Saudi Arabia and Iran, even as mega-mosques rise to dominate the skylines of European cities?
Should we expect that something resembling English Common Law will take root in Pakistan, even as Sharia Courts are officially implemented in the UK?
C’mon, man, tell us what you propose!
Unfortunately, Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu is not going to give more detailed explanation of what “working together” means, because the nasty little truth is that Islam isÂ neverÂ going to work together with the infidel West, except on Islam’s terms. Those terms are as follows:
|1.||Â||All other religions are to be subordinate to Islam.|
|2.||Â||Non-Muslims are to pay a special tax to Muslims.|
|3.||Â||Non-Muslims who refuse #1 and #2 are to be fought until they either submit or are killed.|
|4.||Â||There will be no law other than sharia, the law of Islam.|
|5.||Â||Non-Muslims must at all times display a proper respect towards Islam. The exact terms of this respect will be defined by the Muslims themselves.|
This is working together, Islam-style. We’d best get used to it, because it represents our future.
Previous posts about Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu and the OIC:
|2007||Â||Aug||Â||31||Â||The OIC is Barking Now|
|Â||Â||Sep||Â||7||Â||OIC: Insulting Islam is an Illness|
|Â||Â||Â||Â||12||Â||Sweden Apologizes Again… Or Not|
|2008||Â||Feb||Â||17||Â||Nice Little Civilization You Have Here…|
|Â||Â||Mar||Â||6||Â||Our Man in the OIC|
|Â||Â||Â||Â||13||Â||An American Dhimmi in Dakar|
|Â||Â||Apr||Â||30||Â||Is Europe a “Christian-Muslim” Continent?|
|Â||Â||Jun||Â||10||Â||OIC: Time to Crack Down on Provocative Speech|
|Â||Â||Â||Â||17||Â||The OIC’s Plan for Fighting Islamophobia|
|Â||Â||Â||Â||22||Â||The OIC’s Crusade Against Islamophobia|
|Â||Â||Aug||Â||3||Â||The Islam-Aligned Movement|
|Â||Â||Sep||Â||25||Â||The OIC Fights Islamophobia at Columbia Univers|
Morocco — “historic place of dialogue and coexistence between cultures and religions” — censors French publication
Originally for “insulting,” now for “attacking” Islam. More onÂ this story. “French weekly censored in Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria for ‘attack on Islam,'” fromÂ Reporters without Borders, November 3:
Reporters Without Borders today voiced its dismay after Morocco’s communications ministry announced a ban on distribution of the international edition of the French weekly L’Express for an “attack on Islam”.Â
Algerian and Tunisian authorities followed suit three days after the 31 October Moroccan decision, the US news agency Associated Press reported today.
The 30 October to 5 November 2008 issue of l’Express had a cover page headlined “The shock: Jesus-Mohammed: Their journey, their message, their vision of the world”.
A ten-page article inside presented portraits of the founders of Christianity and Islam days ahead of a meeting in Rome of Muslim and Catholic dignitaries on the initiative of Pope Benoit XVI, to “promote dialogue” between the two monotheist religions.
“It is unfortunate that the communications ministry has on[c]e again chosen to resort to censorship to have a newspaper banned which was only bringing elements to the debate on an issue in the news that is of major interest to its Moroccan readers”, the worldwide press freedom organisation said.
“This decision is all the more surprising since the Moroccan authorities never stop describing the kingdom as an historic place of dialogue and coexistence between cultures and religions”.
That may be, but it still is, after all, the western most appendage of Dar al-Islam, where this sort of thing is beyond hackneyed.
“It is still more unfortunate that Algiers and Tunis decided to follow in Morocco’s footsteps” it added, wondering “if the kingdom is in the process of becoming an example for the repression of press freedom in the region.”[…]
No, such “sensitivity” and censorship is hardly a product of Morroco’s example; rather, it is endemic to the Islamic world.
Morocco was ranked 122nd out of 173 countries in Reporters Without Borders’ world press freedom index, released on 22 October 2008.
Take a wild guess what the predominant religion of countries ranking 123-173 is? Coincidence, or has Morroco simply corrupted them too?
Dutch scrap blasphemy law for now, to introduce a more insidious version later….
“A majority of parties argued that offering religious groups an extra layer of legal protection is outdated.”
Good news? Not so much. See the update below. “Blasphemy law ditched by the Dutch,” by Hans Andringa forÂ Radio Netherlands, November 1:
A controversial anti-blasphemy law is being scrapped by the Dutch government. The move is remarkable as two of the current three members of the ruling coalition are Christian parties and they had originally wanted to maintain the ban.
In scrapping the law the cabinet is meeting the demand of parliament where a majority of parties argued that offering religious groups an extra layer of legal protection is outdated.
As an alternative the cabinet is now seeking to strengthen anti-discrimination laws against groups whatever their background, thus taking the religious component out of the equation.
Justice Minister Ernst Hirsch Ballin (photo right), says the law will now offer the same protection to all.
Freedom of speech/from discrimination
There has been much discussion about the balance between freedom of speech and the right not to be discriminated against in the past few years in the Netherlands, particularly around the role of Islam in society.
Populist politicians like Ayaan Hirsi Ali, who has now left the Dutch political scene, and Geert Wilders, have been constant critics of what they see as the negative influence of Islam on society. […]
Threat of prosecution
The Dutch anti-blasphemy law was much talked about – against the backdrop of the continual criticism ofÂ FitnaÂ and of its maker Geert Wilders – as a possible means of redress for those who felt offended.Â Stand-up comedians and cartoonists who sought to satirise extremist Islam have also found themselves being threatened with possible prosecution under the anti-blasphemy law in the past few years.
The discussion about the use of the law, which dates back to the 1930s, made a lot of people worried that the right to freedom of speech was being eroded and that the rights of the religious not to be offended was being given the upper hand….
Several readers have pointed out that this is simply a bait-and-switch. “Dutch blasphemy law – the bad news,” fromÂ Media Watch Watch:
It appears we were a little hasty in celebrating the demise of the Dutch blasphemy laws.
Danish journalist Flemming Rose has contacted MWW, relating the concerns of a Dutch colleague about this supposed repeal. All is not as it seems.
The intention is to introduce the concept of “indirect insult” and expand an existing law which protects people on the basis of race, age, disability, and sexual orientation to include protection on the basis of religion or “conviction”. This means that remarks directed at Islam, Christianity, Buddism or – depending on your interpretation of “conviction” – even homeopathy and astrology, could be interpreted as indirect insults to people, and prosecuted as such.
According to a commenter on the original story, this law carries a maximum sentence of 12 months, whereas the original defunct blasphemy law carried a maximum 3 month sentence.
This spring the Dutch minister of justice Hirsch Ballin wrote a note to parliament asking them to consider stiffening blasphemy laws. In the aftermath of the scandal surrounding the arrest ofÂ Gregorius NekschotÂ parliament refused to go along, and this proposal is the compromise that the government came up with.