Organization of Islamic Cooperation on the Defensive Over Shariah in America

20110225_Shariah4Americaby CLARE M. LOPEZ

For all who’ve been working hard to educate Americans on the facts about  Islamic Law (shariah), there are some encouraging signals. The Organization  of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and its affiliated network, including the  Muslim Brotherhood in America, would seem to be in full-on defensive mode about  shariah if a recent Brotherhood conference and a couple of new reports are  indicative.

At the Muslim American Society (MAS)-Islamic  Circle of North America (ICNA) conference in Chicago, Illinois 21-25  December 2012, a few thousand mostly Arabic speaking Muslims circled the wagons  for a five-day program aimed at rousing them to defense of Islam. The Islamic  Circle of North America (ICNA), acknowledged in the Brotherhood’s 1991 “Explanatory  Memorandum” as one of its organizations, and the Muslim American Society  (MAS) co-sponsored the 11th Annual MAS-ICNA  Convention. The Convention speakers roster featured Tariq  Ramadan, scion of the Brotherhood’s al-Banna founding family; Nihad  Awad, the Executive Director of HAMAS’  U.S. branch, CAIR  (Council on American Islamic Relations); Siraj  Wahhaj, Imam of the al-Taqwa Mosque in Brooklyn, NY and included on a list  of unindicted  co-conspirators from the 1993 World Trade Center bombing trial;  and  Mohamed Magid, president of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA),  the largest Muslim  Brotherhood front group in the U.S.

The Convention theme of “Renaissance” was all about getting American Muslims  to experience a “double revolution in intellect and psychology,” as Ramadan put  it, so they’d be energized enough to stand up to an alleged atmosphere of   “Islamophobia” in the U.S. that has shariah in its sights. This theme, of  course, is straight out of the OIC’s “Islamophobia  Observatory” which hyperventilates about such things at Foreign Ministers  meetings and in regular reports posted to its website.

A 19 January 2013 report from the Brookings Institute’s Doha Center entitled,  “A  Rights Agenda For The Muslim World,” presents a full-throated apologia for  the OIC’s allegedly frustrated efforts to get its recalcitrant member states to  integrate shariah with modern international standards on human rights. The  problem seems to be that the OIC allows some of those countries with a “conservative  brand of Islam” too much leeway to cling to their  “emphasis  on national sovereignty,” which just wrecks the OIC Secretary General  Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu’s sincere efforts to implement more effective “supra-national  human rights mechanisms.”  Apparently, according to the report’s  author, Turan Kayaoglu, Ihsanoglu wants to make human rights the centerpiece of  the OIC agenda, which Turan says “shows  a gradual move away from emphasizing the centrality of shariah.” Supposedly,  Ihsanoglu increasingly is willing to “discuss  these issues in the context of international human rights rather than  exclusively within that of Islamic law and tradition.” A quick check of the  OIC website shows the “Islamophobia Observatory” is still up and the Human  Rights page features the UN Human Rights Council Resolution 16/18 (the one  about restricting free speech criticism of Islam) and other items about “combating intolerance,  negative stereotyping, and stigmatization of, and discrimination, incitement to  violence and violence against persons, based on religion or  belief“-i.e., Islam.

Nothing much about international standards of human rights superseding  shariah anytime soon, but the OIC did establish an “Independent Permanent  Commission on Human Rights” (IPHRC) in 2011, the Brookings report says, that is  supposed to “promote  the civil social, and economic rights enshrined in the organization’s human  rights documents.” Of course, the 1990 Cairo  Declaration that abrogates the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human  Rights in favor of shariah is still posted in its usual spot on the OIC’s Human  Rights page, so maybe they just haven’t gotten around to updating that yet. But  in the meantime, the OIC wants everyone to know that its focus on shariah is  definitely on the wane. Really.

Read more: Family Security Matters

One thought on “Organization of Islamic Cooperation on the Defensive Over Shariah in America

Comments are closed.