Free Speech Alert: Islam Rips Ever Deeper Into Europe

dont-speakBy :

As a wild beast would pull its prey closer to guard it from other predators, Islam is sinking its barbed paws ever deeper into the heart of the European Union (EU). Right under the radar of the EU, the European Parliament is considering a proposal that requires the direct surveillance of any EU citizen suspected of being “intolerant.”

The proposal is called, “European Framework National Statute for the Promotion of Tolerance”, and it intends to compel the governments of all 28 EU member states to create “special administrative units” to monitor individuals or groups expressing views that these self-styled sentinels of European multiculturalism assess to be “intolerant”… an unprecedented threat to free speech in Europe. European citizens are already habitually punished for expressing the “wrong” views, specifically concerning Islam.

Remember, it’s all those citizens “Suspected” of being “intolerant”…I guess it depends on who looks through Allah’s microscope…

For those of us who have our coffee every morning, this was predictable. First we had the establishing of an OIC (Organization of Islamic Cooperation) office in Brussels in June 2013. This placed the influential 57 Muslim country bloc (actually, 56 sovereign states, plus the Palestinian Authority [given State status in the OIC]) at an in-your-face position to the European Parliament.

This is a doubling down of their efforts to control free speech in Europe…and the West. Something the OIC has been working arduously to accomplish at the UN. Since 1999 the OIC has attempted to have the issue of religious defamation included in UN Human Rights Council resolutions. And they’ve been making progress with elitists and fools (as if there’s a difference).

What the Sharia machine of the OIC fails to realize is…the Leftist World media/leaders, the little Islamic helper monkeys walking around with eyes wide shut…are not the only kafir out here. There is a growing number of infidels with eyes wide OPEN, who know what they’ve swept under their magic prayer rugs: Sharia Islamic Law forbids questions or criticism of Islam (including the Quran & Muhammed) of any kind. The idea of “questions or criticism” is intentionally vague and is subjective to the offended Mohammedan. It’s considered blasphemy whether it be committed by a Muslim OR non-Muslim. Sharia also calls for severe punishment, even death, for the offense.

Read more at Clash Daily

The Organization of Islamic Cooperation’s “Islamophobia” Campaign against Freedom

Dr. Mark Durie

Dr. Mark Durie

By Andrew E. Harrod:

The “quite formidable” Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) “has really escaped the notice of a lot of foreign policy observers,” religious freedom scholar Nina Shea noted at a January 17, 2014, Hudson Institute panel.  To correct this deficiency, Shea moderated an important presentation on the OIC’s stealth jihad against freedom by her “old friend” Mark Durie, an Anglican theologian and human rights activist.

As Durie’s PowerPoint presentation available online noted, the 1969-founded OIC headquartered in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, contains 57 mostly Muslim-majority states (including “Palestine”).  The second largest international organization after the United Nations (UN), the OIC is a “major global voting block” at the UN and unique in being the “only such organization devoted to advancing a religion.”  The OIC is “largely funded by Saudi Arabia,” Shea noted, having contributed $30 million to the 2008 budget, far greater than the next largest contribution of $3 million from Kuwait.

Ominously, the OIC has been “lobbying assiduously” since about 2000 against “Islamophobia,” Shea observed.  “Islamophobia” was analogous to “homophobia,” Durie’s PowerPoint elaborated, an analogy previously noted by Islamic sharia law expert Stephen Coughlin and analyzed by this author.  A “[n]arrow reading” of this “deep-seated and irrational fear about Islam or Muslims” would encompass only prejudices such as the “xenophobic aversion to Muslims” of some.

A “[b]road reading” by the OIC and others, though, condemns “all expressions of opposition to or disapproval of Islam” as “irrational and manifestations of prejudice.”  “Islamophobia is a deliberate scheme to distort the teachings and principles of peace and moderation engrained in Islam,” the PowerPoint quoted from the OIC’s 2013 Sixth OIC Observatory Report on Islamophobia.  “9/11 came as a long awaited opportunity,” the report specifies, “for the anti-Islam and anti-Muslim elements in the West to set in motion their well orchestrated plan to slander Islam and target Muslims by equating terror with Islam and Muslims.”  Such bigots were “just hanging out” and waiting for Al Qaeda’s September 11, 2001, attacks, Durie mocked.

The OIC and its recently retired Secretary-General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu assume that the “Islamic religion is under attack,” thereby posing an “atmosphere of threat to the world,” Durie stated.  Yet American Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) hate crime statistics in Durie’s PowerPoint belie this Islamic victimhood, with attacks upon Jews far outstripping those on Muslims in 2012 (674 to 130).  Western states in the past have also often aided their Muslim minorities and Muslim countries, such as when the British government donated land for the United Kingdom’s first mosque, London Central Mosque.

The “Islamophobia” campaign, moreover, manifests the distorted subordination of human rights to Islamic sharia law present throughout the OIC’s 1990 Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam.  Therein rights such as free speech may not contradict the Koranic phrase “what is good” according to Islam.  Similar distorted sectarianism is evident in the juxtaposition of OIC documents on “Combating Islamophobia” internationally and OIC-supported UN resolutions such as 16/18 in the Human Rights Council advocating religious equality.

Read more at Religious Freedom Coalition

Also see: Video: Mark Durie on the OIC and Free Speech Implications of a Proposed Ban on “Islamophobia (counterjihadreport.com)

Video: Mark Durie on the OIC and Free Speech Implications of a Proposed Ban on “Islamophobia

oic conferenceHudson Institute’s Center for Religious Freedom:

(Very good Q&A begins at 34:00)

“Islamophobia” is a widely used yet vague and controversial term referring to anti-Muslim bigotry. In recent years, identifying, monitoring, reporting on, and working to ban Islamophobia worldwide has been a major focus of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).

The OIC is an international body of 56 member states that is based in Saudi Arabia and active within the United Nations. While the United States has formally recognized its work in the past – US ambassadors have observed its sessions and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton co-chaired some of its meetings – American awareness of the organization remains scant.

In 2007, the OIC began issuing regular “observatory” reports on Islamophobia, and since 2009 has published monthly bulletins that cite primarily Western examples of Islamophobia.

Is Islamophobia a serious problem, or is the term itself an ideological cudgel designed to incite fear and criminalize dissent? Dr. Mark Durie discussed these and other basic questions related to the OIC’s efforts to ban Islamophobia. Click here for his PowerPoint.

Mark Durie is an Anglican pastor, theologian, author, and human rights activist. A fellow of the Australian Academy for the Humanities, he is a Shillman-Ginsburg Fellow at the Middle East Forum, a Research Fellow at the Centre for the Study of Islam and Other Faiths at the Melbourne School of Theology, and the Director of the Institute for Spiritual Awareness.

Hudson Institute Senior Fellow and Director of the Center for Religious Freedom Nina Shea moderated this discussion.

For more videos of Mark Durie go here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL56A31DB2DE8D692D and http://vimeo.com/search?q=mark+durie

Coercing Conformity

pic_giant_122813_ABy Andrew C. McCarthy:

In “protecting the rights of all people to worship the way they choose,” then–secretary of state Hillary Clinton vowed “to use some old-fashioned techniques of peer pressure and shaming, so that people don’t feel that they have the support to do what we abhor.”

Mrs. Clinton required translation into the language of truth, as she generally does when her lips are moving. By the “rights” of “all people” to “worship” as “they choose,” she meant the sharia-based desire of Muslim supremacists to foreclose critical examination of Islam. Madame Secretary, you see, was speechifying before her friends at the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) — the bloc of 56 Muslim countries plus the Palestinian territories.

At that very moment in July 2011, Christians were under siege in Egypt, Syria, Sudan, Iraq, and Iran — being gradually purged from those Islamic countries just as they’d been purged from Turkey, which hosted Mrs. Clinton’s speech. As Christians from the Middle East to West Monroe, La., can tell you, the Left and its Obama vanguard are not remotely interested in their “rights . . . to worship the way they choose.”

What they choose, after all, is to honor Christian tenets about sexuality, freedom of conscience, and the sanctity of life. Those tenets, just like honest criticism of Islam, are consigned to the category Clinton calls “what we abhor.” And if progressives abhor something, it somehow always becomes everyone’s duty to make certain that those who embrace that something “don’t feel that they have . . . support.”

Of course, they do have support . . . at least on paper. The First Amendment protects all of us against government suppression of speech. But the amendment is just a parchment promise if the government against which it is a safeguard actively undermines it. That is today’s United States government: rendering free expression an illusory right by inciting the mob, by extortionate lawfare tactics that exhaust the resources and energy of the citizen.

That brings us to the most compelling of all the points Mark Steyn made this week in his trenchant defense of free expression: When it comes to stifling speech, and thus suppressing thought, it is increasingly frivolous to distinguish between “state coercion” and “cultural coercion.”

Yes, it is textbook true that the First Amendment applies only against the government — indeed, only against the federal government as originally understood. The constitutional free-speech guarantee is literally irrelevant against private actors, including bullies like GLAAD, the gay-rights agitators who intimidated A&E into suspending Phil Robertson from a show about his family — which, I suppose, is the absurd reality when you’re producing a “reality” program (Duck Dynasty) about a family business.

But as long as we’re talking about reality, what if the “private” actors are really the deadly point of a coercive government’s spear? Mrs. Clinton proclaimed that the Obama administration would unleash “old-fashioned techniques of peer pressure and shaming” to squelch speech it disapproved of. We call these “techniques” extortion and intimidation when they are used by mafia families and other like-minded racketeering enterprises.

A corrupt government has some direct ways of undermining our rights. It can bring vexatious lawsuits, knowingly enact unconstitutional laws, or sign international agreements transparently intended to erode constitutional liberties. Theoretically, we can fight these tactics in the courts and by lobbying our lethargic lawmakers; as a practical matter, though, it takes years of anxiety at prohibitive expense. Few will be up to the task.

Secretary Clinton’s collaboration with the OIC is a good example: They jointly came up with a resolution that would make it unlawful to engage in speech that incites “discrimination” and “hostility” toward “religion.” More translation: “Religion” here does not mean religion; it means Islam. The Obama administration, itself no stranger to incitements against traditional Christianity, is not worried about that kind of hostility.

But put aside the hypocrisy of bashing Christians for merely holding beliefs while turning a blind eye to Muslims who kill over theirs. The point here is: It is pluperfectly palpable that the resolution negotiated by the Obama State Department and the OIC violates the First Amendment.

Free speech cannot work if the government it is designed to restrain does not respect it. A lawful American government — one that takes seriously its sworn obligation to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution — would not only enforce the First Amendment; it would refrain from engaging in unconstitutional schemes in the first place.

When it instead leads the pack in assaulting the Constitution — when, to take another example, the government repeatedly, publicly, and mendaciously blames a jihadist mass murder in Benghazi on an obscure movie; when, under the guise of a “supervised release” violation, it then trumps up a prosecution against the filmmaker precisely to sell the “Muslim world” on its commitment to imposing anti-constitutional sharia blasphemy standards — it is implicitly endorsing and obviously encouraging mob suppression of speech.

Read more at National Review

 

The OIC “Organizes” for Censorship

20131215_oic_logo_large

There is no mention in the report of the countless attacks on Christian churches or Jewish synagogues by Muslims. No mention in it of the countless physical attacks on Christians or Jews by Muslims. No mention of the murders committed by Muslims of non-Muslims. No mention of the countless rapes of non-Muslim women by Muslims in European countries. No mention of the nonstop, formulaic verbal abuse, libels, slanders, demonizations, and denigrations of Jews or Christians by Muslims in print or in person. No mention of the standard, stereotyping caricatures of Jews as drooling vampires by Muslims, or of the constant vilification of Jews as descendents of apes and pigs.

by EDWARD CLINE:

I begin this column with a quotation from Soren Kern’s Gatestone article of December 11th, “OIC Blames Free Speech for ‘Islamophobia’ in West“:

The Organization of Islamic Cooperation, an influential bloc of 57 Muslim countries, has released the latest edition of its annual “Islamophobia” report.

The “Sixth OIC Observatory Report on Islamophobia: October 2012-September 2013” is a 94-page document purporting to “offer a comprehensive picture of Islamophobia, as it exists mainly in contemporary Western societies.”

But the primary objective of the OIC-headquartered in Saudi Arabia and funded by dozens of Muslim countries that systematically persecute Christians and Jews-has long been to pressure Western countries into passing laws that would ban “negative stereotyping of Islam.”

I’ve written in the past about the OIC’s continuing campaign to insulate Islam from serious and satirical criticism herehere, and here in its call for international censorship. In this column I will discuss some angles Kern does not emphasize or discuss in his column.

The OIC report is unique in that it is illustrated and features photographs of individuals the OIC has found guilty of “Islamophobia,” images of “offensive” newspaper headlines and photographs, and even of “defamatory” FaceBook pages and “tweets” that identify the alleged criminals. These can be found between pages 10 to 83, which constitute the bulk of the report and represent a “catalogue of crimes.”

Kern writes, in reference to the OIC report:

But the common thread that binds the entire document together is the OIC’s repeated insistence that the main culprit responsible for “the institutionalization of Islamophobia” in Western countries is freedom of speech, which the OIC claims has “contributed enormously to snowball Islamophobia and manipulate the mindset of ordinary Western people to develop a ‘phobia’ of Islam and Muslims.”

According to the OIC, freedom of expression is shielding “the perpetrators of Islamophobia, who seek to propagate irrational fear and intolerance of Islam, [who] have time and again aroused unwarranted tension, suspicion and unrest in societies by slandering the Islamic faith through gross distortions and misrepresentations and by encroaching on and denigrating the religious sentiments of Muslims.”

“Freedom of expression” occurs six times in the document, while “freedom of speech” occurs only once. Not that it makes a difference which term the document employs. (Hillary Clinton would agree.)  The term “hate speech” occurs fifteen times, while “hate crime” was used thirty-five times, most frequently in the “catalogue of crimes.” The OIC demanded that Islam be “respected” seventeen times, and cited the importance of “interfaith dialogue” twenty-one times, even though such “dialogue” notoriously is set on Islamic terms and can go only one way, with concessions made by Christians and Jews, and none made by Muslims.

The term “toleration” and its variants, such as “intolerance,” occur fifty-seven times in the document. What this means in practice is that Western societies must “tolerate” the depredations of Islam and “accommodate” Muslims at the price of Western civil liberties, while any resistance or criticism of Islam’s ideology and practices, such as primitive Sharia law, can be designated as bigoted “intolerance.”

Islamophobia, as Kern points out, is a “nebulous term” invented for the purpose of defaming the knowledge and certainty that Islam is primarily a political nemesis of totalitarian character and that Islam does not tolerate dissension from its tenets or the existence of other creeds.

According Robert Spencer and David Horowitz’s 2011 publication, Islamophobia: Thought Crime of the Totalitarian Future:

 …A front group – the International Institute for Islamic Thought – invented the term “Islamophobia.

Abdur-Rahman Muhammad is a former member of the International Institute for Islamic Thought.  He was present when the word “Islamophobia” was created, but now characterizes the concept of Islamophobia this way: “This loathsome term is nothing more than a thought-terminating cliché conceived in the bowels of Muslim think tanks for the purpose of beating down critics.” In short, in its very origins, “Islamophobia” was a term designed as a weapon to advance a totalitarian cause by stigmatizing critics and silencing them.

The term occurs in the 1991 Muslim Brotherhood document, “An Explanatory Memorandum on the General Strategic Goal for the Group in North America,” which details the means and ends of introducing Islam in the U.S. with the long-term end of colonizing it with immigrant Muslims and gradually and stealthily transforming it into an Islamic state. Kern quotes from the OIC report:

Islam and Muslims have increasingly been portrayed as representing violence and terror that seek to threaten and destroy the values of Western civilization and that the Muslim way of life is incompatible with Western values of human rights and fundamental freedoms. For Muslims, Islamophobia is a deliberate scheme to distort the teachings and principles of peace and moderation engrained in Islam. As part and result of this scheme, Muslims tend to be collectively accused for any violence that erupts in society and are seen as ipso facto potential suspects well ahead of any investigation. This negative stereotype causes Muslims to be subjected to indignity, racial discrimination and denial of basic human rights. (p. 11, OIC report)

Islam and Muslims are justifiably associated with violence and terror and as a threat to Western civilization. That is, after all, an article of faith expressed in the Muslim Brotherhood memorandum of 1991.

The Ikhwan [the Brothers] must understand that their work in America is a kind of grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and “sabotaging” its miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers so that it is eliminated and God’s religion is made victorious over all other religions.

And over all other ideologies, beliefs, and principles. There will be no arguing the point. Kern goes on about how that “grand jihad” is being carried out by calling for restrictions on speech that castigate or criticize Islam, and quotes from the report:

The chapter further underscores that increased hate speech and discrimination against Muslims is a major factor behind the rise of the phenomenon of Islamophobia. In this context, acceptance of various forms of intolerance, including hate speech and the propagation of negative stereotypes against Islam and Muslims in some western countries contribute towards proliferation of intolerant societies. This process is further supported by three main manifestations, namely: the exploitation of freedom of expression and perpetuation of an ideological context advocating an inescapable conflict of civilizations; the right wing parties have politicized Islamophobia and instrumentalized fear in the context of growing socio-economic instability as well as the erosion of human rights in the name of national security and the fight against terrorism. (p. 7, OIC report)

The report claims that the news media is largely responsible for contributing to the alleged environment of fear and trepidation experienced by Muslims.

…the negative role played by major media outlets who not only propagate stereotypes and misperceptions about Islam, but also undermine and usually keep shadowed any meaningful instance of individuals or groups speaking out against intolerance, including advocacy of religious hatred and violence. This biased approach of the media has helped drawing an emphatically demonized, sometimes dehumanized, image of Muslims in the minds of a certain class of people which is predisposed to xenophobic feelings due to the increasingly dire economic situation, or the simply to the irrational fear of the other. (p. 15)

This is one of the most absurd claims of the report. The mainstream news media has not authored or perpetuated a “negative” stereotype of Islam and Muslims. Quite the contrary, it has instead largely white-washed Islam as a matter of editorial and journalistic policy, and denied that Islam has any causo-connection with Islamic terrorism, or has gone through evasive mental contortions to the same effect. If the news media has any “biased approach” to reporting news about Islam, it is in favor of Islam. One would need to search long and hard to find any major news media organization broadcasting any “negative” stereotypes or misperceptions about Islam.

Read more at Family Security Matters 

OIC Blames Free Speech for “Islamophobia” in West

by Soeren Kern:

The common thread that binds the entire document together is the OIC’s repeated insistence that the main culprit responsible for “the institutionalization of Islamophobia” in Western countries is freedom of speech.

“The Istanbul Process started with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton…. We need to build on it.” — OIC Secretary General Ekmeleddin Isanoglu

The Organization of Islamic Cooperation, an influential bloc of 57 Muslim countries, has released the latest edition of its annual “Islamophobia” report.

The “Sixth OIC Observatory Report on Islamophobia: October 2012-September 2013” is a 94-page document purporting to “offer a comprehensive picture of Islamophobia, as it exists mainly in contemporary Western societies.”

But the primary objective of the OIC—headquartered in Saudi Arabia and funded by dozens of Muslim countries that systematically persecute Christians and Jews—has long been to pressure Western countries into passing laws that would ban “negative stereotyping of Islam.”

In this context, the OIC’s annual Islamophobia report—an integral part of a sustained effort to prove the existence of a “culture of intolerance of Islam and Muslims” in the West—is in essence a lobbying tool to pressure Western governments to outlaw all forms of “Islamophobia,” a nebulous concept invented by the Muslim Brotherhood in the 1990s.

 

Then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (L), Secretary-General of the OIC Ekmeleddin İhsanoğlu (2nd L), Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu (3rd L) and EU High Representative Catherine Ashton (4th L) participate in the OIC conference on “Building on the Consensus” in Istanbul, Turkey, on July 15, 2011. (State Department photo)

The OIC report comprises five main chapters and several annexes aimed at documenting “incidents of slandering and demeaning Muslims and their sacred symbols including attacks on mosques, verbal abuses and physical attacks against adherents of Islam, mainly due to their cultural traits.”

But the common thread that binds the entire document together is the OIC’s repeated insistence that the main culprit responsible for “the institutionalization of Islamophobia” in Western countries is freedom of speech, which the OIC claims has “contributed enormously to snowball Islamophobia and manipulate the mindset of ordinary Western people to develop a ‘phobia’ of Islam and Muslims.”

According to the OIC, freedom of expression is shielding “the perpetrators of Islamophobia, who seek to propagate irrational fear and intolerance of Islam, [who] have time and again aroused unwarranted tension, suspicion and unrest in societies by slandering the Islamic faith through gross distortions and misrepresentations and by encroaching on and denigrating the religious sentiments of Muslims.”

Chapter 1 of the report deals with “Islamophobia, Intolerance and Discrimination against Muslims,” and purports to reveal the “unabated rise of Islamophobia in Western countries, thereby exacerbating tensions at all levels and constituting additional obstacles to the diversity and multicultural fabrics of the societies.”

Read more at Gatestone Institute

West must stop appeasing efforts to ban criticism of Islam

Istanbul. Great city. But no "process" please...

Istanbul. Great city. But no “process” please…

By Michael Curtis:

It is no accident that the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution states, “Congress shall make no law …abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press.” It is also no accident that there is no such absolute provision in the Arab and Islamic world.

On the contrary, for at least fifteen years a concerted effort has been made by Islamic organizations, particularly the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) to prevent or limit criticism of Islam and the Prophet.

This effort of the OIC has led to calls for controls of free speech in democratic countries as well as implementation of repression in its own member states. Although this OIC objective and its consequences have become familiar, it is puzzling that the Obama Administration, and Hillary Clinton, while Secretary of State, did not resist it but rather seemed to compromise with it.

It should have been obvious that major international organs have been manipulated by the OIC to suppress speech. Each year from 1999 until 2010, one of the countries of the 57 member-state OIC, often Pakistan, has proposed resolutions in the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) and in the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) outlawing “defamation of religions.”

Rather than protection of religions in general, the intent of all the resolutions that have been passed is to declare criticism of Islam illegal and therefore punishable. More recently, OIC-inspired resolutions have condemned and called for penalization of what they term “Islamophobia.”

However, the number of states approving such resolutions has been declining. The OIC is aware of the fact that democratic countries have become alert to the fact that infringements of free speech result from any implementation of supposed “defamation” resolutions.

In 2011 the OIC, attempting to overcome criticism of its tactics, no longer used the concept of “defamation of religions.” It modified its extremist rhetoric, but not its objective.

On March 24, 2011 at the UNHRC, the OIC introduced Resolution 16/18. The Resolution was worded and then revised to make it more acceptable to the U.S. It avoided “defamation” and instead called for “fighting against intolerance, negative stereotyping, stigmatization, discrimination, incitement to violence and violence against individuals because of their religion or belief.” It seemingly appeared to be concerned with individuals, rather than a religion. The OIC tactic was successful. The Resolution, which is nonbinding, was adopted by consensus.

What is important was the next step, the creation of “The Istanbul Process” at a meeting in Istanbul in July 2011 initiated by Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, Secretary-General of the OIC, with the assistance of Hillary Clinton and Catherine Ashton, European Union (EU) Foreign Representative.

Read more at The Commentator

Saudi Arabia, the UN and the OIC

by Lawrence A. Franklin:

Saudi Arabia’s rejection of a term on the UN Security Council likely reflects its view of itself as helping to establish an alternate international order based on Sharia law. The 56-member Organization of Islamic Cooperation is already the largest international organization after the UN. For Islamists, the UN, like all secular international organizations, lacks legitimacy.

A stated Islamist goal, to replace Western civilization’s liberal democratic order with a Sharia-governed Ummah[community of Muslims], now seems to involve an effort to delegitimize Western international organizations, as seen this week by Saudi Arabia’s refusing a seat on the United Nations Security Council. Saudi Arabia’s refusal likely reflects its view of itself as helping to establish an alternative international order based on Sharia law. For Islamists, the United Nations, like all secular international organs, lacks legitimacy.

OIC vs. UN

The Islamic world threw down the gauntlet to the secular international order in 1990 when it drafted an alternative declaration of human rights, the Kairos Document, based on the Sharia law. The 56 countries of what was then called the Organization of Islamic Conference, since renamed the Organization of Islamic Cooperation [OIC], criticized the UN’s 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights as being insensitive to religious concepts of the non-Western world. In Saudi Arabia’s UN Ambassador Abdallah al-Mouallimi’s October 13, 2013 statement, explaining the sudden and unprecedented rejection of a seat on the Security Council, he cites Saudi Arabia’s “historical responsibilities toward its people, Arab and Islamic nations as well as toward the peoples aspiring for peace and stability in the world.” The Saudi explanation continues by enumerating a litany of UN failures to solve problems in the Mideast. This statement underscores Saudi Arabia’s role as the capital of a shadow-caliphate alternative to the current liberal democratic international order.

 

Then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (L), Secretary-General of the OIC Ekmeleddin İhsanoğlu (2nd L), Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu (3rd L) and EU High Representative Catherine Ashton (4th L) participate in the OIC conference on “Building on the Consensus” in Istanbul, Turkey, on July 15, 2011. (State Department photo)

Riyadh’s sentiment was preceded by last summer’s rebuttal — which revealed the global scope of Islamist objectives — by the Pakistani Taliban fugitive, Adnan Rashid[1], to the UN address by the heroic Pakistani Malala Yousafzai (then 15 years old), shot by the Taliban for having asked for women’s education. In a letter, Rashid denounced Malala’s naiveté for placing trust in an international organization that he claimed is a tool of the West with which to punish Islamic nations.

Rashid’s riposte, however, has an unwritten corollary. He and his fellow Islamists bear allegiance to an alternate network that exists in parallel with the institutions of the current international order, the most visible symbol of which is the OIC.[2] The OIC, which promotes Islamic social, economic, and political solidarity, is, in fact, already the second-largest international organization after the UN. It has not only attempted to negotiate disputes among Islamic factions in Muslim-majority countries, such as Iraq and Somalia, but has also helped to mediate disputes between non-Muslim-majority states and their Islamic minorities, as in the Philippines and Thailand. In adjudicating these disputes, the OIC has employed, as the legal frame of reference, the principles of Sharia law rather than international law.

One has only to examine the flag and the logo of the OIC to realize its ambition. A crescent moon encompasses the entire globe. The earth rests on a sea of green, the color of Islam, with the Kaa’ba in the center of the globe. The flag resembles the national banner of the al-Saud Kingdom (the only country among all the embassies in Washington D.C. that, on 9/11, did not lower its flag). The OIC, however, is just one of several all-Islamic multinational organs that parallel secular international community structures. There is also, for example, the International Association of Islamic Banks and several other organs for cooperation, such as the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization and the Islamic States Broadcasting Organization.

Jihadi terrorists, as a matter of targeting policy, strike at representative symbols of the existing international order. One of the initial targets of Iraq-based al-Qaeda terrorists was the United Nations Special Commission in Iraq.[3] Pakistani and Nigerian Muslim terrorists have routinely assassinated international volunteers, even those working to eradicate deadly diseases such as polio. The most extreme assassinations have occurred in Sharia-governed northern Nigeria and Pushtun tribal areas in northwestern Pakistan, where, in both places, the murders closely followed sermons that vociferously denounced ongoing inoculation campaigns. Any form of assistance from international organizations is rejected by Muslim extremists as part of a Western conspiracy to influence Muslims to abandon their faith. Inoculations against polio, for instance, have been described by Islamic extremists as a plot to sterilize Muslim children.[4] It is more likely, however, that the radical clerics who urge believers to renounce such aid efforts are more concerned about losing control of their constituency.

Read more at Gatestone Institute

 

Geneva Conference Moves Toward Criminalizing “Islamophobia”

oic_summit_cairo_02_06_2013-450x346By Deborah Weiss:

In its quest to criminalize speech that’s critical of all Islam-related topics, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC)* endorsed the formation of a new Advisory Media Committee to address “Islamophobia.”

This past September, the OIC held “The First International Conference on Islamophobia: Law & Media.”  The conference endorsed numerous recommendations which arose from prior workshops on Islamophobia from media, legal and political perspectives.  A main conclusion was the consensus to institutionalize the conference and create an Advisory Media Committee to meet under the newly established OIC Media Forum based in Istanbul Turkey.

Supposedly, the purpose of the conference was to support an OIC campaign to “correct the image of Islam and Muslims in Europe and North America.”  By this, it means to whitewash the intolerant, violent and discriminatory aspects of Islam and Islamists.  The OIC has launched a campaign to provide disinformation to the public, delinking all Islam from these undesirable traits and attacks all who insist on these truths, as bigots, racists and Islamophobes.

The OIC is a 57 member organization consisting of Muslim countries whose long term goal is the worldwide implementation of Sharia law and seemingly the ultimate establishment of a Caliphate.  Its members tend to vote together as a block in the UN, so it is extremely powerful, despite the fact that few people have heard of it.

Its present goal is the international criminalization of all speech that “defames” Islam, which the OIC defines as anything that sheds a negative light on Islam or Muslims, even when it’s true.

Its target is the West and one of its tactics is to accuse those who criticize Islam or its various interpretations as “Islamophobic.”  It is attempting to pass the equivalent of Islamic blasphemy codes in the West, using accusations of bigotry to silence anyone who speaks the truth about Islamic terrorism or Islamic persecution of religious minorities.

The OIC uses international bodies such as the UN and international “consensus building” as a platform to achieve its goals.  Certainly, if the OIC straightforwardly informed America and Europe of its aspirations to silence speech, it would gain no strides.  Therefore, it uses bureaucratic, unaccountable entities such as the UN as a means to make inroads, using watered down language and words that sound palatable to the West in order to deceive the public about its underlying goals.

Unfortunately, the OIC has been fairly successful in passing UN resolutions that if implemented, would have the effect of stifling speech that “defames religions.”  Of course, the OIC is only concerned with the defamation of Islam.  Indeed, OIC countries all have some sort of Islamic blasphemy laws which prohibit such defamation.  To be certain, these laws are regularly used to criminally punish those who speak critically of Islam.  These laws are also used to justify persecution of religious minorities.  For example, in many OIC countries, openly practicing a version of Islam not sanctioned by the government can land one in jail for blasphemy.  The OIC has no reciprocity in refraining from “defamation” of Judaism, Christianity, or other religions.

Read more at Front Page

International “Islamophobia Conference” Promotes Sharia Agenda

bangladesh-protest-reutersby ANDREW E. HARROD AND SAM NUNBERG:

Objective observers should be rightfully concerned by the “International Conference on Islamophobia: Law & Media” held by the Turkish government’s Directorate General of Press and Information (DGPI or BYGEM in Turkish) and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) this past September 12-13 in Istanbul’s Grand Tarabya Hotel. Conference participants substantiated all too many threats emanating from various Muslims and their allies, calling into question their respect for free speech and freedom of expression.

The conference website defined “Islamophobia” according to the Greek suffix phobia as a “groundless fear and intolerance of Islam and Muslims.” By “culminating in hate speech and attitudes towards Muslims,” this phobia is “detrimental to international peace.” There should be “recognition of Islamophobia as a hate crime and Islamophobic attitudes as human rights violations.”

In Istanbul, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan reiterated his well-known meme (see here and here) that “Islamophobia” as a “kind of racism” is a “crime against humanity.” “No monotheistic religion,” Erdoğan elaborated, “adopts, supports, permits or leads terror.”

“If Christianity and Judaism cannot be mentioned with terrorism,” Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arinç seconded in his remarks, “then our noble religion Islam cannot be defamed this way either.” Arinç discerned the main cause of “Islamophobia” in the belief that “Islam and democracy are not compatible,” yet “Muslims are democrats in essence.”

Representing the OIC’s 57 Muslim-majority states (including “Palestine”), a fellow Turk, OIC Secretary General Dr. Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, reprised themes from the OIC’slongstanding attempts to restrict criticism of Islam. Ihsanoglu decried the “exploitation….of freedom of speech.”

The conference’s first session featured internationally renowned Islam scholar and regular Islamist apologist John Esposito. Esposito cited “irrational fear” being behind “anti-Sharia legislations” in the United States. Turning toward Egypt, Esposito criticized those who “think it is legitimate to overthrow a democratically elected government.”

Read more at Breitbart

OIC Opens Office in Brussels to Fight “Islamophobia” in Europe

download (2)by Soeren Kern:

The OIC Secretary General appears to be laying the diplomatic groundwork to persuade non-elected bureaucrats at EU headquarters to enact hate-speech legislation that would limit by fiat what 500-million European citizens — including democratically elected politicians — can and cannot say about Islam.

The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), an influential bloc of 57 Muslim countries, has officially inaugurated a Permanent Observer Mission to the European Union (EU).

The primary objective of the OIC, headquartered in Saudi Arabia and funded by Islamic countries around the world, has long been to pressure Europe and the United States into passing laws that would ban “negative stereotyping of Islam.”

The establishment of a permanent OIC presence in Brussels implies that the group intends to redouble its lobbying efforts aimed at outlawing all forms of “Islamophobia” [a term invented by the Muslim Brotherhood in the 1990s] within the 27-member EU, where restrictions on free speech regarding Islam-related issues are already commonplace (see hereherehere and here).

OIC Secretary General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu opened the mission to the EU during a formal inauguration ceremony in Brussels on June 25; it was attended by diplomats, EU officials and dignitaries from Europe and across the Muslim world.

In his inaugural speech, Ihsanoglu declared, “There is a growing and developing interest at the highest level in the EU to cooperate with the OIC… I think our relations with the European Union on the different agenda items that we share will benefit all of us. There is a need for cooperation between the Muslim world and Europe, and the OIC, as a collective voice of the Muslim world which stands for modernization and moderation, will be the proper institution to deal with the EU.”

Ihsanoglu — who recently said in an interview with Al Jazeera Television that his number one job is to combat the religious persecution of Muslims in the West — added, “We need to seriously fight against Islamophobia to further strengthen ties between the Islamic world and Europe and to eradicate the unnecessary sensitivities.”

Since the late 1990s, the OIC has been promoting the so-called Istanbul Process, an aggressive effort by Muslim countries to make it an international crime to criticize Islam. The explicit aim of the Istanbul Process is to enshrine in international law a global ban on all critical scrutiny of Islam and Islamic Sharia law.

In recent years, the OIC has been engaged in a determined diplomatic offensive to persuade Western democracies to implement United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC) Resolution 16/18, which calls on all countries to combat “intolerance, negative stereotyping and stigmatization of … religion and belief.” (Analysis of the OIC’s war on free speech can be found here and here.)

Resolution 16/18, which was adopted at HRC headquarters in Geneva in March 2011 (with the support of the Obama Administration) — together with the OIC-sponsored Resolution 66/167, which was quietly approved by the 193-member UN General Assembly on December 19, 2011 — is widely viewed as marking a significant step forward in OIC efforts to advance the international legal concept of defaming Islam.

The OIC scored a diplomatic coup when the Obama Administration agreed to host a three-day Istanbul Process conference in Washington, DC on December 12-14, 2011. By doing so, the United States gave the OIC the political legitimacy was seeking to globalize its initiative to ban criticism of Islam.

Read more at Gatestone Institute

 

The Istanbul Process Continues

oicclintonihsanoglu by :

Almost two years ago — exactly a week before Anders Behring Breivik’s massacre in Norway — U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Secretary General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) launched what they called the “Istanbul Process”. Their initiative was a joint project of the OIC and the USA, and was intended to bring Western nations (especially the USA) into compliance with UN Resolution 16/18, which aims to “[combat] intolerance, negative stereotyping and stigmatisation of, and discrimination, incitement to violence, and violence against persons based on religion and belief.” The eventual goal is that member states of the UN will be required to pass laws criminalizing such “stereotyping” and “discrimination” based on religious belief. I don’t have to tell you that the intended primary beneficiary of Resolution 16/18 is Islam, and that all the attempts to implement the resolution are being pushed by the OIC and its Muslim Brotherhood-influenced allies in the governments and NGOs of major Western nations.

Mrs. Clinton is gone from the scene now, felled by the Benghazi scandal, but the Istanbul Process soldiers on without her. The European Union has to a large extent already complied with the demands of Resolution 16/18, and that’s why it was such a pleasant surprise to hear about the recent vote by the European Parliament.

On Tuesday June 18 the Legal Project published the following report about a very welcome resolution on free speech passed by the EP:

EU Challenges the UN and OIC on Press Freedom
by Nathaniel Sugarman

The European Parliament (EP) in Strasbourg passed two resolutions Thursday, each detailing a set of recommendations to protect the rights of journalists to speak and print freely.

“The EU, as a community of values, should aspire to lead in ensuring the free word, whether blogged or spoken, and information, whether researched or photographed, are protected. Journalists and a free, pluralist media, are essential for democracies and checks on power. Freedom of speech and freedom after speech are at the core of open and free societies,” said Marietje Schaake (ALDE, NL), rapporteur for press and media freedom in the world. The EP is the directly elected parliament of the European Union.

The first resolution (2011/2081(INI)), focusing on press freedom, “(r)ecognizes that governments have the primary responsibility for guaranteeing and protecting freedom of the press and media.” The resolution also “points out that governments also have the primary responsibility for hampering freedom of the press and media and, in the worst cases, are increasingly resorting to legal pressures in order to restrict that freedom, e.g. through the abuse of anti-terrorism or anti-extremism legislation and laws on national security, treason or subversion.” The EP endorses a “balance” between the concerns of national security and press freedom. The resolution goes further to deplore the fact that “journalists are frequently wounded or murdered or are being subjected to serious abuses throughout the world, often with impunity,” and stresses the “importance of combating impunity.”

The second resolution (2013/2082(INI)), centering on religious freedom, endorses the firm opposition of “any attempt to criminalise freedom of speech in relation to religious issues, such as blasphemy laws.” The EP predictably condemns “all forms of violence and discrimination,” but goes further to emphasize that “particular attention should be paid to the situation of those who change their religion or belief, as in practice they are subject in a number of countries to social pressure, intimidation or outright violence.”

Both moves by the EP stand in contrast to the more restrictive policies endorsed by the United Nations (UN) and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). The OIC has endorsed “blasphemy laws” — the same type of law denounced by the EP in today’s resolution. Although now blasphemy laws are often euphemistically referred to as laws protecting the “defamation of religion,” the concept remains the same — laws that punish non-incitement speech about religion. The UN has worked with the OIC to help codify this type of speech restriction as international law.

[…]

Some have already opined that the European Parliament, although ideologically praiseworthy, lacks the will to implement these resolutions as law, which now only exist as recommendations. Whether or not resolutions 2081 and 2082 are eventually codified in any way, the EP’s actions remain significant in the face of UN and OIC pressure to promote a more restrictive international speech code.

What’s going oh here? Just a few days after this resolution was passed, Secretary General Ihsanoglu said the “Istanbul Process must also be seen as a poster child of OIC-US-EU cooperation.” So what happened to the third leg of the 16/18 triad? Did the EU secede from the Istanbul Process? Or was this just a last toothless gesture of European defiance against an illiberal regime that will criminalize all thoughtcrimes concerning Islam?

Events surrounding the Istanbul Process often seem to move in a mysterious synchrony with other relevant events. Sometimes its proponents seize on a serendipitous opportunity, as seems to be the case with the Breivik massacre — which occurred just a week after the launch of the Istanbul Process. Alternatively, certain eruptions of “Islamophobia” are carefully prepared in advance, at least partially, and then used as grist for the OIC’s mill at the right moment. An example of the latter is the notorious Mohammed movie, which was obviously pushed into the Arabic-language Internet just in time for the “Free the Blind Sheikh” demos in Cairo on September 11, 2012. Events in Benghazi put a spanner in the works of that project — there’s no telling how it would have turned out if Al Qaeda hadn’t departed from the prepared script in Libya.

In another amazing coincidence, the next round of the Istanbul Process began the day after the Legal Project published its report on the EP resolution: on June 19 the OIC convened its third meeting on “Religious Hatred” in Geneva.

The Malaysian Bernama news serviceannounced the three-day event [emphasis added]:

 

OIC To Host 3rd Meeting On “Religious Hatred” In Geneva

KUALA LUMPUR, June 18 (Bernama) — The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) will host the third meeting of international experts on the implementation of the UN Human Rights Council resolution on combating intolerance and incitement to hatred on religious ground from June 19-21.

The meeting, to be held in Geneva, Switzerland, is expected to focus on concrete steps in implementing some of the measures under the UN Resolution 16/18, which focuses on “combating intolerance, negative stereotyping and stigmatisation of, and discrimination, incitement to violence, and violence against persons based on religion and belief.”

The experts will discuss issues like ‘Speaking out against intolerance, includingadvocacy of religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence‘ and ‘Adopting measures to criminalise incitement to imminent violence based on religion or belief as stated under the UN Resolution, the OIC said in a statement.

One other point for discussion is ‘Recognising that the open, constructive and respectful debate of ideas, as well as interfaith and intercultural dialogue at the local, national and international levels, can play a positive role in combating religious hatred, incitement and violence,’ it added.

OIC secretary-general, Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, who will be attending the three-day meeting, said that developing a better understanding among the international community on the issues and devising a suitable plan was significant.

The first meeting was held in Washington D.C. in December 2011 while the second one was held at Wilton Park in London a year later, the statement said.

The UN HRC Resolution 16/18 is within the framework of the Istanbul Process launched by the OIC secretary-general and former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in July 2011.

Here is the official OIC press release saying more or less the same thing.

What is notable in these statements is the conflation of “incitement to imminent violence” with “intolerance, negative stereotyping and stigmatisation of, and discrimination… against persons based on religion and belief”. The stated intention of the OIC and Resolution 16/18 is to induce countries to “[adopt] measures to criminalise incitement to imminent violence based on religion or belief.” But incitement to imminent violence is already outlawed as a criminal act throughout the West. The motive here is to first designate the criticism of Islam as “advocacy of religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence” and then equate that with incitement to imminent violence, as if Islam-critics were exactly the same as people who stand on an overturned car and urge their fellow rioters to “kill whitey” (or “greenie” or “sambo” or whatever the hated group might be).

Following this logic, through his exposure of Islamic doctrine, Dr. Bill Warner would become as culpable for Muslim violence as if he had shouted over a megaphone for believers to go out and slit infidel throats. In fact, he would be even more culpable, since Muslims — as has become obvious from the two-tier system of British “justice” — will never be held accountable for public calls to kill infidels.

Thus, what is billed as a nice fluffy opportunity for “interfaith and intercultural dialogue” becomes a mandate for the legal suppression of all information about Islam except that which Muslims themselves choose to release.

Read more at Gates of Veinna

U.S. Praises Sharia Censorship

2012-634807128700938005-93By Deborah Weiss:

The United States is silent as the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) passes its most recent UN Resolution that unravels global consensus to support freedom of speech.

From 1999-2010, the OIC succeeded in passing its “defamations of religions” resolutions, which ostensibly would protect Islam from all criticism, including true statements of fact.  Though the name of the resolutions indicated that it would pertain to all religions equally, in the OIC’s interpretation, it applied to Islam only.

Realizing the clash that this concept holds with that of free expression, the US State Department urged the OIC to produce an alternative resolution which would address the OIC’s concerns about “Islamophobia” and still protect free speech.

Accordingly, in March 2011, the OIC introduced the now infamous Resolution 16/18 to combat intolerance based on religion or belief, purportedly proposed as a replacement for the defamation of religions resolution.  It garnered wide-spread support and Western states touted it as a victory for free speech.  They believed that its focus marked a landmark shift from suppression of speech critical of religions to combating discrimination and violence against individuals based on their religious beliefs.

Over time it became clear that the OIC retained its long term goal to protect Islam from “defamation” and indeed to criminalize all speech that shed a negative light on Islam or Muslims.  Resolution 16/18 turned out to be a tactical move by the OIC to bring the West one step closer toward realizing its goal of achieving global blasphemy laws, by using language more palatable to the West, and open to interpretation.

Against this backdrop the US held the first conference to “implement” Resolution 16/18, the process now known as the “Istanbul Process.”

Unfortunately, America’s concern for the protection of free speech seems to have gotten lost as its focus moved closer to the OIC’s positions, and an emphasis was placed on protecting Muslims in the West from “Islamophobia.”

Some circles including free speech advocates, national security experts, and those concerned about the Persecuted Church, have beaten the drum against Resolution 16/18 and the continuation of the Istanbul Process.  Their efforts have been to no avail as the Istanbul Process continues.

However, while awareness of the perils of Resolution 16/18 is on the increase, news on Resolution A/HRC/22/L.40 has gone virtually unreported.  It retains the same title as Resolution 16/18, but has glaringly dangerous amendments.

To focus on just one, it asserts that “terrorism…cannot and should not be associated with any religion, nationality, civilization or ethnic group.”  This is obviously problematic.  The lumping together of these categories implies a false equation of immutable characteristics such as nationality and ethnicity with those that are subject to choice such as religion or belief.

Religions and belief systems come in all stripes.  To preclude the possibility that any of them might be ideologically associated with terrorism leads to a position based on an unexplored assumption rather than a conclusion based on fact.  Indeed, the assertion condemns the mere exploration of the facts a priori, a notion which is not only illogical but dangerous.

Read more at Front Page

 

UN Pressures Germany to Bow to ‘Hate Speech’ Hysteria

United-Nations-signBy Andrew Harrod & Sam Nunberg:

A recent decision by the United Nation’s (UN) Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) foreshadows an ominous future for free societies should Muslim entities like the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) achieve their goal of having “Islamophobia” defined internationally as a form of prejudice.

Former German central bank board member Thilo Sarrazin has got himself in trouble with the UN, as the Turkish Union in Berlin-Brandenburg (Türkischer Bund in Berlin-Brandenburg or TBB) stated with satisfaction in an April 18, 2013, German-language press release.  The spokesman of this German-Turkish interest group, Hilmi Kaya Turan, praised a February 26, 2013, “historic decision” by the CERD condemning Germany for not having prosecuted Sarrazin’s criticism of Arab and Turkish immigrants.

Sarrazin, a member of the Social Democratic Party of Germany (Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschlands or SPD), produced a storm of controversy with his August 2010 book Deutschland Schafft Sich Ab: Wie Wir Unser Land aufs Spiel Setzen (“Germany Abolishes Itself:  How We Are Risking Our Country”).  In the context of this controversy, CERD’s detailed 19-page decision extensively excerpted in English translation a fall 2009 interview with Sarrazin.  In the interview, the Berlin magazine Lettre International discussed some of the upcoming book’s themes.

CERD complained that “[i]n this interview, Mr. Sarrazin expressed himself in a derogatory and discriminatory way about social ‘lower classes’, which are not productive’ and would have to ‘disappear over time’ in order to create a city of the ‘elite’.”  Sarrazin specified that about 20% of Berlin’s population depended on welfare payments, which he wanted to cut, “above all to the lower class.”

Berlin’s indigent included within the immigrant population a “large number of Arabs and Turks in this city, whose numbers have grown through erroneous policies, have no productive function, except for the fruit and vegetable trade.” Compounding the problem for Sarrazin was a birthrate among Arabs and Turks about three times their percentage of the population.  Sarrazin thereby saw “Turks…conquering Germany just like the Kosovars conquered Kosovo: through a higher birth rate.”  Sarrazin “wouldn’t mind if” these immigrants “were East European Jews with about a 15% higher IQ than the one of Germans.”  Central to Sarrazin’s thesis was the assumption that “human ability is to some extent socially contingent and to some extent hereditary.” Sarrazin’s “solution to this problem” was “to generally prohibit influx, except for highly qualified individuals and not provide social welfare for immigrants anymore.”

As noted by CERD, Sarrazin’s interview comments prompted on October 23, 2009, a criminal complaint by the TBB under the German Criminal Code’s Article 130 against “Incitement to Hatred” (Volksverhetzung).  Yet upon review, German prosecutors suspended their investigations on November 23, 2009, deciding that Sarrazin’s views fell under the protection of free speech contained within Article 5 of Germany’s Basic Law (Grundgesetz).  Prosecutors quoted by CERD had judged Sarrazin’s statements as a “contribution to the intellectual debate in a question…very significant for the public.”

Read more at Front Page

See also:

Muslims Demand Germany “Make Islam Equal to Christianity” (gatestoneinstitute.com)

 

Shadowing Europe with the ‘Islamophobia’ Canard

20130411_shadow_report_2011-12by ANDREW E. HARROD:

On March 21, 2013, the United Nation’s observed its annual International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, commemorating the anniversary of the 1960 apartheid massacre in Sharpeville, South Africa.  Attempting to draw a parallel with the massacre, the Non-Governmental-Organization (NGO) grouping European Network Against Racism (ENAR) issued its Racism in Europe:  ENAR Shadow Report 2011-12 on racism in Europe the week earlier.  In the report’s associated Key Findings on Muslim Communities and Islamophobia, ENAR, an entity linked on its website to George Soros’ Open Society Foundations, calls upon European Union (EU) institutions to “recognize Islamophobia as a specific form of racism.”  ENAR’s cavalier invocation as “racism” of what has been analyzed as an Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) developed “thought crime of the totalitarian future” portends problematical developments with respect to the treatment of Islam amidst its critics in Europe.

Relating “racism” to Islam asks the obvious, “are Muslims a race?”  The Shadow Report does little to clarify the confusion, stating (page 2) that “Islamophobia describes an irrational fear, prejudice and hatred towards Islam, Muslims or Islamic culture.”  ENAR thus condemns not just animus against Muslim individuals, but also any undefined “irrational” opposition to Islam as an idea in faith or culture.   Accordingly, the report condemns as “Islamophobia” (13) not simply “criminal damage to Islamic buildings and violence against Muslims” but also “opposition to, as well as protests against, the building of mosques,” irrespective of any individual criticism of such mosques like the proposed New York City Ground Zero Mosque.

The Shadow Report similarly bemoans the poor public relations (PR) image concerning Islam and Muslims in Europe.  While noting (4) that the “news media plays a critical role in shaping public opinion,” the Shadow Report declares without any empirical substantiation that “news reporting of ethnic minorities…is generally negative and distorted.”  The report complains of a “tendency for the media to blame migrants and asylum seekers for high rates of unemployment and criminality.”

In contrast, the Shadow Report recommends (5) that supposedly objective journalists “[u]se positive terminology and encourage positive media reporting about ethnic and religious minorities and migrants to emphasize their economic, social and cultural contributions to European societies.”  This would be part of what the report (5) describes as a desired “ethical journalism, protective of values such as equality and dignity.”  Similarly (6), the report calls upon authorities to “[r]eview school curricula to ensure that they take into consideration the presence of minorities and migrants and their contribution to culture and society, and contribute to overcoming stereotypes and promoting inclusion.”

While promoting positive speech about Islam and Muslims along with other minority groups, the Shadow Report disturbingly calls for restricting negative speech on these matters.  The Key Findings and the report (5) both advocate a “courageous approach to tackling hate speech and racist rhetoric in the public discourse” and a “zero tolerance policy to stigmatizing comments and terminology likely to incite violence, racism or other forms of discrimination.”  While most EU members (4) “have legal provisions in place for tackling hate speech…in some cases they are insufficient or ineffective.”

Thus the report, in reiterating this charge on page 30, states that “[i]n some cases measures still need to be brought in.”  In particular, the report (5) deems “regulation of the internet” as “seriously inadequate and often completely lacking” even though “[s]ocial media and social networking sites have become a growing space for disseminating xenophobic, Islamophobic and racist discourse.”  EU members should accordingly “[r]einforce legislation to monitor hate on the internet and in the media.”

The report (30) identifies Austrian politicians, “particularly from far-right parties,” as “regular perpetrators of hate speech.”  The report references the October 14, 2011, acquittal of the provincial Freedom Party (Freiheitliche Partie Österreichs or FPÖ) chairman in Styria, Gerhard Kurzmann, of incitement charges.  The Styria FPÖ had posted on its website a game entitled Moschee Baba (Austrian slang for “Mosque Goodbye”) in which players targeted mosques, minarets, and muezzins on screen, something that brought prosecution accusations of replicating a shooting gallery.  The Shadow Report finds that this case “demonstrates the difficulty in successfully prosecuting hate speech in Austria, especially when the perpetrator is a public figure.”

Read more: Family Security Matters

Andrew E. Harrod serves as a Legal Clerk for The Legal Project, an activity of the Middle East Forum. Mr. Harrod is also a freelance researcher and writer who holds a PhD from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy and a JD from George Washington University Law School. This article was commissioned by The Legal Project.