by Baron Bodissey:
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