Bad news. Really bad news:
Ishanoghlu wants mutual understanding, tolerance, respect and empathy for Islam. Strange that he doesn’t offerÂ mutual understanding, tolerance, respect and empathy for Christianity or Judaism, don’t you think?
This is it, people: If the Alinsky disciple Willary succeeds in shutting down freedom of speech we will face serious persecution.
Remember: once freedom of speech is lost, nothing can be gained without violence.
By ANDREW QUINN —AL REUTERS ISTANBULÂ Â (thanks to Mullah)
US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton agreed with a major global Islamic organization on Friday to pursue new ways of resolving debates over religion without resorting to legal steps against defamation.
Mrs. Clinton met Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, the head of the 57-nation Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), in Istanbul to help set up new international mechanisms both protect free speech and combat religious discrimination around the world.
“Together we have begun to overcome the false divide that pits religious sensitivities against freedom of religion. We are pursuing a new approach based on concrete steps to fight intolerance wherever it occurs,” Secretary Clinton said.
Under heavy US pressure, the OIC agreed in March to set aside its 12-year campaign to have religions protected from defamation, a step which allowed the UN Human Rights Council to approve a broader plan on religious tolerance.
Western countries and their Latin American allies, strong opponents of the defamation concept, joined Muslim and African states in backing without vote the new approach that switches focus from protecting beliefs to protecting believers.
Mr. Ihsanoglu underscored that the OIC’s aim was not to limit free expression, but to combat religious intolerance which he said was spreading dangerously around the world.
(“not to limit free expression”, but to limit all free expression against Islam, of course)
“Our cause, which stems from our general concern, should not be interpreted as calls for restriction of freedom,” he said.
“We believe that mutual understanding, tolerance, respect and empathy should also be accompanying components when we advocate supremacy of freedom of expression.”
Both Mr. Ihsanoglu and Mrs. Clinton outlined steps they would take to cultivate religious and cultural diversity along guidelines set by the UN Human Rights Commission, part of a process that will be overseen by the United Nations.
“These are fundamental freedoms that belong to all people in all places and they are certainly essential to democracy,” Mrs. Clinton said. “We now need to move to implementation.”
(Better not move at all, Mrs Clitman!)
The new approach calls on countries to protect freedom of religion and counter offensive expression through education, dialogue and public debate. It also calls for prohibitions on hate crimes and discrimination, but not to criminalize speech unless there is incitement to imminent violence.
Debates over international moves to “combat defamation of religion” have occurred regularly since 1998, pitting opponents who say such steps would violate free speech and against proponents who say they are necessary.
Since 1998, the OIC had won majority approval in the council and at the United Nations General Assembly for a series of resolutions on “combating defamation of religion.”
Critics said the concept ran against international law and free speech and allowed states where one religion predominates to keep religious minorities under tight control or even leave them open to forced conversion or oppression.
Islamic countries pointed to the publication of cartoons depicting the Prophet Mohammed in Denmark in 2005, which sparked anti-Western violence in the Middle East and Asia, as examples of defamatory treatment of their faith that they wanted stopped.
STFU, you bastards!
In the current state of affairs, in a way, they can, but not in the way the Secretary of State meant in her comments to theÂ Organization Formerly Known As The Organization of the Islamic ConferenceÂ (OFKATOIC). Islamic groups continue to press their demands while their spokesmen engage in deliberate deceit about the limitations of Islamic tolerance. They speak of “tolerance,” “justice,” and “human rights” with the expectation that Western listeners will project their own understanding of the terms onto what is being said.
Much of the West, for its part, operates on the article of faith that those values are shared and do fundamentally match, becauseÂ allÂ cultures are supposed to be based on the same values and vision of the future. It is on that gelatinously shaky ground that they tend to come into agreement, and it is to the benefit of organizations like theÂ OIC.
Clinton’s defense of free speech is not unwelcome, of course, but theÂ OICÂ will say “yes, thank you, that’s very nice,” and press on with its agenda. “Clinton: Islam, West can agree on tolerance,” by Matthew Lee for theÂ Associated Press, July 15 (thanks to JW):
ISTANBULÂ â€”Â U.S.Â Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton says she’s hopeful thatÂ a religious tolerance agreementÂ between the West and Islamic countries will end efforts to criminalize blasphemy that threaten freedom of expression.
Talk of a “tolerance agreement” threatens to dignify theÂ OIC’s position with a response, when no response is warranted except an intensified refusal to compromise on free speech.
Clinton said Friday in Turkey that an initiative by theÂ U.S.,Â the European Union and the Organization of the Islamic Conference will promote religious freedom without compromising free speech.
The Associated Press seems to have missed the memo on theÂ OIC’sÂ great re-brandingÂ as the equally awkward-sounding “Organization of the Islamic Cooperation.”
Many Muslim nations have laws that punish perceived insults to Islam. As a way to rationalize those laws, those countries have long soughtÂ U.N.Â action condemning the defamation of religion.
“Rationalize” is an odd word, and doesn’t seem to fit. All of the global initiatives are simply an extension of the same supremacist impulse that drives those laws on the national level.
TheÂ U.S.Â and others were concerned that such a step could stifle legitimate debate. Earlier this year, theÂ U.S.Â brokered an agreement thatÂ removed defamation languageÂ from aÂ U.N.Â resolution and focused instead on ending religious discrimination.