BOOK RELEASE: The Organization of Islamic Cooperation’s Jihad on Free Speech


Washington, D.C.: The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), the largest Islamic organization in the world – comprised of 56 UN Member states plus the Palestinian Authority — has long been trying to silence, and ultimately criminalize, all criticism of Islam, specifically targeting America and the West. What has largely gone unremarked is the help the OIC has received from the Obama administration to this end.

Deborah Weiss, attorney, author and expert on Islamist efforts to stifle free speech reveals in a new monograph published by the Center for Security Policy Press how the OIC is working through UN resolutions, multilateral conferences and other international vehicles to advance its agenda. The goal of these efforts, according to the OIC’s 10-year program of action, which was launched in 2005, is to combat so-called “Islamophobia” and “defamation of religions”. In practice, this means banning any discussion of Islamic supremacism and its many manifestations including: jihadist terrorism, persecution of religious minorities and human rights violations committed in the name of Islam.

Upon the publication of her monograph entitled, The Organization of Islamic Cooperation’s Jihad on Free Speech, Ms. Weiss remarked:

The Organization of Islamic Cooperation is the largest and most powerful voting bloc in the United Nations and yet most Americans have never heard of it. Of particular concern is the OIC’s ten-year program which amounts to an international effort to suppress freedom of expression under the guise of protecting Islam from so-called “defamation.” This initiative, however, is in the service of OIC’s long-term mission: the world-wide implementation of Shariah, a legal-political-judicial-religious doctrine which favors Muslims over non-Muslims, men over women, and denies basic human rights and freedoms.

Ms. Weiss’ monograph documents how the Obama Administration has collaborated with the Organization of Islamic Cooperation in ways that, whether intentional or unwitting, have advanced the OIC’s supremacist agenda. As it happens, recently released State Department documents obtained by Judicial Watch through court-enforced Freedom of Information Act requests underscore the extent of Team Obama’s collusion with the OIC.

Specifically, these emails offer insights into how, in September 2012, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the White House worked with the OIC to fabricate a narrative that falsely blamed an online video “Innocence of Muslims” for the violent uprising at the U.S. special mission compound and CIA annex in Benghazi, Libya.

In the immediate aftermath of the attacks, the documents reveal that the Obama administration immediately went into damage-limitation mode, with a well-coordinated effort to scapegoat the video as the cause of the attack. Rashad Hussain, President Obama’s envoy to the OIC, reached out to the Organization’s leadership urging it to condemn the “anti-Islamic film” and “its related violence” and to respond in a way that is “consistent with Islamic principles.”

The OIC readily obliged, issuing a statement accusing the video of “incitement” – though nothing in the video called for violence against Muslims – and claiming that it “hurt the religious sentiments of Muslims” and “demonstrated serious repercussions of abuse of freedom of expression”.

The effect was to reinforce the OIC’s goal to protect Islam from “defamation” instead of supporting the US Constitutional principle of free expression.

In her monograph, Ms. Weiss elucidates examples of the escalating assault on freedom of expression that the OIC has launched against the West and their implications. She describes the critical role freedom of speech plays in preserving religious freedom, human rights and national security efforts. As she correctly points out, “If you look around the world, you will see that freedom is the exception, not the rule.”

Frank J. Gaffney, Jr., President of the Center for Security Policy, observed that:

Deborah Weiss’ important new book is a clarion call to Americans and their federal representatives to end all cooperation with the Islamic supremacists of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, including cessation of participation in the anti-free speech “Istanbul Process” launched by Hillary Clinton during her tenure as Secretary of State. Citizens and policy-makers alike should, instead, commit themselves vigorously and unapologetically to freedom of expression – including to its employment as an indispensable weapon in the execution of a comprehensive strategy to defeat the Global Jihad Movement.”

The Center for Security Policy/Secure Freedom is proud to present Ms. Weiss’s monograph as a superb addition to its Civilization Jihad Reader Series. The Organization of Islamic Cooperation’s Jihad on Free Speech by Deborah Weiss, Esq. is available for purchase in kindle and paperback format on at:

Or download the pdf:

Garland Police Stop “Known Wolf” Jihadists but Free Speech Threat Remains

6850320CSP, by Kyle Shideler, May 4, 2015:

Sunday night, May 3rd, outside the Curtis Culwell Center in Garland Texas, two would-be jihadists attempted to launch an attack against a free speech event being held by the American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI). Thanks to the swift response by local security and GPD, the two suspects were killed, while an officer was wounded, but soon released from the hospital.

One of the suspects was identified as Elton Simpson, an Arizona man convicted in 2011 for lying to federal agents regarding his attempt to travel to Somalia to join a terror group. On a twitter page reportedly connected to Simpson, the author swears an oath of allegiance to Islamic State leader AbuBakr Al-Baghdadi just moments prior to the attack taking place, with the hashtag #Texasattack. An investigation is currently underway to determine who the second suspect was, identified in Simpsons’ twitter page only as “the bro with me.”

There is no doubt that many in the media will attempt to paint the responsibility for this attack on the hosts of the event, for having the temerity to hold an art exhibit featuring a number of drawings (both contemporary and historical) of Islam’s prophet Mohammad. But an examination of Simpsons’ earlier trial documents make clear Simpson was committed jihadist. From the Court quoting transcripts from the audio recordings submitted by the FBI:

In that recording, Mr. Simpson told Mr. Deng that Allah loves an individual who is “out there fighting [non-Muslims]” and making difficult sacrifices such as living in caves, sleeping on rocks rather than sleeping in comfortable beds and with his wife, children and nice cars. Mr. Simpson said that the reward is high because “If you get shot, or you get killed, it’s [heaven] straight away.” Mr. Simpson then said:

“[Heaven] that’s what we here for…so why not take that route?”

Simpson went on to describe the importance of Shariah law, and the willingness to fight to establish it:

They’re trying to make them live by man-made laws, not by Allah’s laws. That’s why they get fought. You try to make us become slaves to man? No we slave to Allah, we going to fight you to the death.”

As we have noted previously, Shariah blasphemy laws call for death for perceived insults to either Allah or Mohammed, and multiple Muslim-majority countries maintain the death penalty for blasphemy, and in many others extrajudicial killings are routine. The attempted attack on the Curtis Culwell Center should likewise be viewed as an attempt to enforce a foreign system of law against the constitution, through violence. It is not an irrational act by those “angered” or offended by a display, but one attack in a campaign targeting America’s system of governance.

Such attacks do not occur in isolation, but are part of a larger political effort to impose Shariah over American law. This is done first by equating the act of speech with the violence directed against the speakers. As we noted at the time of the Charlie Hebdo attacks in Paris:

The Organization of the Islamic Cooperation has led the charge to see the criminalization of defamation of religion (interpreted by the OIC to mean Islam only) enforced by governments. Unfortunately the U.S. State Department has cooperated with implementing these efforts under the “Istanbul Process” for the past several years. Wickham’s claim that because violence against the speaker will inevitably result, the publication of images of Mohammad are not protected speech is the exact line of thinking represented by the Istanbul Process’s“test of consequences” concept and shows how successful the OIC’s effort to peddle this narrative has been.

This same line was adopted by the Islamist organizers of the “Stand With the Prophet” Rally, also held in Garland, Texas. From a Free Beacon article covering the event:

“Frustrated with Islamophobes defaming the Prophet?” the event materials ask. “Fuming over extremists like ISIS who give a bad name to Islam? Remember the Danish cartoons defaming the Prophet? Or the anti-Islam film, ‘Innocence of Muslims’?”

“When real events warrant, like the Danish Cartoon controversy, Sharia ban, Quran burning, Boko Haram kidnappings. [Islamic State] brutality, etc., we articulate fresh talking points and content quickly, and in a timely manner, working with professionals to disseminate it through community spokespersons and our allies,” organizers state on their website.

The publication of cartoons and other acts of free speech are being directly equated here with kidnapping, brutality and terrorism as part of an intentional effort to permit the banning of free speech that offends Islam. It’s the same logic that led Congressmen Andre Carson and Keith Ellison to demand Dutch lawmaker Geert Wilders be barred from the country. Wilders attended and spoke at the Garland event.

Sadly this rhetoric has clearly caught on, and was on hand following the Garland shooting as journalists, bloggers and “Countering Violent Extremism” analysts lumped the AFDI and those who attempted to murder them together as “extremists.”

We should all be thankful that swift action by the Garland police put down a violent threat to free speech and the Constitution on Sunday.  But we should all respond equally swiftly to the political threat to free speech by loudly and unapologetically insisting that the Constitution trumps Sharia law, and free speech trumps  “so-called” blasphemy.

And there’s nothing extremist about that.

Video: Robert Spencer on Hillary Clinton’s War On Free Speech

11436The following is the video of Robert Spencer’s recent talk at the Freedom Center’s Wednesday Morning Club on April 14, 2015.

He discussed “Hillary Clinton’s War On Free Speech”:

One Dead at Danish Free Speech Event in Assassination Attempt on Swedish Artist

Policemen secure the area around a buildCSP, by Kyle Shideler, Feb. 14, 2015:

Police in Copenhagen are currently searching for two gunmen who opened fire with automatic weapons on a cafe in the Danish capital, killing one and wounding several including police. At the time of the event, Lars Vilks, a Swedish artist best known for his cartoon of Mohammad as a “roundabout dog” (an iconic Swedish image), was in attendance.

larsvilks-226x300Vilks, who police believe was the target of the attack, has previously survived prior plots on his life including an attempted arson, and a plot involving American Islamic convert Collen Rose (aka “Jihad Jane”). The French ambassador to Denmark was also in attendance, and security was tight with multiple armed policeman providing security.

The topic of the presentation was on free speech, and the BBC noted the principal question focused on, “whether artists could “dare” to be blasphemous in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo terror attacks by Islamist gunmen in Paris last month.”

With suspects not yet in custody (as of this writing), it’s too early to speculate whether the attackers will be linked to a jihadist organization such as Islamic State or Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (as the Charlie Hebdo attackers were), or if they will turn out to be “Known Wolves“, already on the radar screens of European intelligence.

But it is worth noting that the recent publication of the Islamic State’s “Dabiq” magazine Issue 7 focused extensively on the Charlie Hebdo attack and issued numerous and specific threats against supposed blasphemers, including U.S. citizens, and U.S. intelligence and law enforcement officials should take seriously threats made against Americans for having violated sharia “blasphemy” laws. Like the Charlie Hebdo attack, today’s incident appears to be less about terrorism, than sharia enforcement. As a result, the response must include not only the full force of Western law enforcement capability targeting the individual terrorists, and their networks, but also a reiteration, by politicians and society more generally, of full throat-ed support for Western principles of free speech and a refusal to submit to the imposition of blasphemy laws, whether through violence, through international forums such as the Istanbul Process, or out of self-censorship.


Feeling the Pinch on Free Speech

free spCSP, by Kyle Shideler, Jan. 22, 2015:

An article in USAToday by Dean of Journalism DeWayne Wickham calling Charlie Hebdo’s decision to feature another image of Mohammed on its post-attack cover, “fighting words”, not protected by the 1st amendment reminds us how badly damaged Free Speech protections have become.  Much of the free world claimed to rally around Charlie Hebdo crying JeSuisCharlie, in the wake of the brutal terror attack perpetrated by jihadists aligned with Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. The world was rightly outraged that these people were killed for having the temerity to publish cartoons. The problem is that as outrage fades, few people are paying attention to the continued efforts to use the attention that violence wrought to achieve Al Qaeda’s goals, without violence.

For example by the Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation’s effort to see Charlie Hebdo prosecuted:

“OIC is studying Europe and French laws and other available procedures to be able to take legal action against Charlie Hebdo,” he said. “If French laws allow us to take legal procedures against Charlie Hebdo, OIC will not hesitate to prosecute the French magazine,” he said. “This (the publication by Charlie Hebdo) is an idiotic step that requires necessary legal measures,”[Secretary General] Iyad Madani said on his Twitter account while condemning the republication of the anti-Islam cartoons.

The Organization of the Islamic Cooperation has led the charge to see the criminalization of defamation of religion (interpreted by the OIC to mean Islam only) enforced by governments. Unfortunately the U.S. State Department has cooperated with implementing these efforts under the “Istanbul Process” for the past several years.  Wickham’s claim that because violence against the speaker will inevitably result, the publication of images of Mohammad are not protected speech is the exact line of thinking represented by the Istanbul Process’s “test of consequences” concept and shows how successful the OIC’s effort to peddle this narrative has been.

The OIC’s ]continued efforts have been backed by Muslim Brotherhood chief jurist Yusuf Al-Qaradawi, whose International Union of Muslim Scholars, also announced renewed support for criminalizing free expression:

Influential preacher Yusuf al-Qaradawi wants a law to be brought in by the UN to forbid the “contempt of religions,” according to an article he wrote, which was published on the organization’s website. “The Union calls on Islamic countries to submit a global law draft criminalizing the defamation of religions and the prophets and the holy sites of all, through a global conference to discuss clauses in complete freedom,” the preacher added. He condemned the decision by the French journal to publish the cartoon saying that it gave “credibility” to the idea that “the West is against Islam,” AFP reported.

The irony of course is that OIC member states, including Jordan, Egypt, U.A.E., Algeria and Turkey (putting the Istanbul in the Istanbul Process) all attended the Paris Unity Rally following the Charlie Hebdo attack, taking credit for standing against terror and in favor of free speech. The same is true for some supposedly “moderate” Muslim organizations in Europe. For example, the French Council on the Muslim Faith (CFMF), which condemned the attacks, calling them, ““an attack against democracy and the freedom of the press” while at the same time CFMF’s membership includes the Union of Islamic Organizations of France, whose leaders have had close ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, and Qaradawi. The same is true of the Muslim Council of Britain, considered to have links to Jamaat-e-Islami, the Pakistani Islamist group which has held massive protests against Charlie Hebdo in Karachi.

What needs to be recognized is that as horrific as the attacks were, they are not the main effort against free speech. It is not terror attacks like the Paris assault that will ultimately diminish free speech. Terrorism is, as in death by lethal injection, only the painful pinch of the needle that you feel. It does no good to address that threat, but ignore the efforts of groups like the OIC that represent the pressing of the plunger to finish the job.

Also see:

Largest Islamic Body in the World Calls For More Anti-Free Speech Laws In Wake of Charlie Hebdo Attack

oic-erasing-freedom-of-speech-edited (1)PJ Media, By Patrick Poole, On January 12, 2015:

Last week’s terror attack targeting French magazine Charlie Hebdo’s office in Paris has sparked a global conversation about the nature of free speech, with the “Je Suis Charlie” hashtag in support of the murdered Charlie Hebdo staff going viral and becoming the most used hashtag in the history of Twitter.

But this afternoon, the UN representative for the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Ufuk Gokcen was expressing another view with respect to free speech.

The OIC is comprised of the 57 Muslim-majority nations and the Palestinian Authority. They are the largest bloc at the UN, and when they meet on the head-of-state level, they literally speak for the Muslim world.

So it is noteworthy that after the Charlie Hebdo attack, Gokcen was tweeting out calling for more speech codes and ‘defamation’ laws that would limit the very type of speech that Charlie Hebdo engaged in:


The timing of Gokcen’s call could be more perfect.

Today, University of Tennessee law professor Robert Blitt (a colleague of our own Instapundit, Glenn Reynolds) had an oped published in USA Today calling out the OIC for its retrograde views on free speech and how they fuel Islamic extremism:

The OIC, whose member states range from moderate U.S. allies such as Jordan to adversaries such as Iran, describes itself as the world’s largest international body after the United Nations. For more than a decade, “the collective voice of the Muslim world” has spread the belief that any insult directed against the Muslim faith or its prophet demands absolute suppression. Quashing “defamation of Islam” is enshrined asa chief objective in the organization’s charter.

With countless internal resolutions, relentless lobbying of the international community and block voting on resolutions advocating a prohibition on defamation of religion at the U.N., the OIC continuously pushes to silence criticism of Islam.

Translated into practice inside Islamic nations and increasingly elsewhere, this toxic vision breeds contempt for freedom of religion and expression, justifies the killing of Muslims and non-Muslims alike, and casts a pall of self-censorship over academia and the arts.

By building the expectation that dissent or insult merits suppression, groups such as the OIC and the Arab League have emboldened extremists to take protection of Islam to the next level. With the most authoritative Muslim voices prepared to denounce violence but not to combat the idea that Islam should be immune from criticism, a meaningful response to counteract the resulting violence continues to be glaringly absent.

An OIC statement released after a 2011 Charlie Hebdo issue “guest-edited” by the prophet Mohammed typifies this troubling position: “Publication of the insulting cartoon … was an outrageous act of incitement and hatred and abuse of freedom of expression. … The publishers and editors of the Charlie Hebdo magazine must assume full responsibility for their … incitement of religious intolerance.”

As Professor Blitt notes in his oped, the OIC has been the international driving force behind the passage of UN Human Rights Council Resolution 16/18, which was co-sponsored by Pakistan and the United States and passed in December 2011.

When passed, Resolution 16/18 was billed by the Obama administration as an improvement over previous “defamation of religion” resolutions. But the effort immediately came under fire by religious liberties and free speech experts:

In the view of veteran international religious liberty analyst and advocate Elizabeth Kendal resolution 16/18, “far from being a breakthrough for free speech … is actually more dangerous than” the religious defamation resolutions.

“Indeed, the strategic shift from defamation to incitement actually advances the OIC’s primary goal: the criminalization of criticism of Islam,” she wrote.

The OIC’s push to criminalize ‘defamation of Islam’ goes back to the OIC’s 10 Year Plan of Action adopted in 2005. Under the section “Countering Islamophobia” (VII), the plan says:

3. Endeavor to have the United Nations adopt an international resolution to counter Islamophobia, and call upon all States to enact laws to counter it, including deterrent punishments.

In their published implementation plan for their 10 Year Plan of Action, they are more clear that combating ‘defamation of religion’ is not what they were after, but criminalizing ‘Islamophobia’:


Which is effectively what they’ve accomplished with the generous assistance of the Obama administration. Just two months before the passage of Resolution 16/18, senior Justice Department officials were meeting with US Islamic groups discussing that very thing.

In fact, in my annual “National Security ‘Not Top 10′ of 2011″ (no. 7) here at PJ Media I noted the active cooperation of Hillary Clinton and the State Department in working with the OIC as part of their “Istanbul Process” to that end.

And in November 2012 when I reported here that US Embassy in Saudi Arabia Consul Anne Casper was going to be addressing the OIC’s symposium on “defamation of Islam”, the OIC quickly scrubbed any reference to her appearance.

My colleague Stephen Coughlin has posted a video lecture outlining how the OIC’s efforts with respect to Resolution 16/18 are really rooted in Islamic law’s codes prohibiting blasphemy:

It’s hardly surprising that even after the Charlie Hebdo attack the OIC is not content to abandon their decade-long effort to criminalize “Islamophobia.” But what the OIC might find is how, much as Professor Britt has warned in his oped today, by doing so they are pushing the global Islamic community further away from the rest of the world.

The Future Belongs to Charlie Hebdo

CSP, by Kyle Shideler, Jan. 7, 2015:

“The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam,” were the words of President Barack Obama, before the United Nations. And for twelve people at the office of satirical French magazine Charlie Hebdo, massacred by gunmen today in Paris, there will indeed be no future.

The two gunmen reportedly forced their way into the magazine offices, yelling “allahu akbar” (God is Greater),and opened fire. There are reports coming in that the gunmen instructed survivors, “You say to the media that it was al-Qaeda in Yemen.” If this is true, it would be a realization of a threat made against the newspaper’s editor by a 2013 edition of the AQAP produced “Inspire Magazine.”

PARIS-wanted_poste_3157269cEach gunmen wore a black ski mask, and were armed with kalashnikov rifles. A video shot by a nearby bystander shows  two gunmen emerge from the building and engaged a French police officer with more gunfire. After the policeman fell, a gunmen executed him with an additional round at close range, before the two attackers fled in a stolen vehicle.

The same White House which is now condemning the attack, had previously gone out of its way to condemn the cartoons published by the magazine back in 2012:

“We are aware that a French magazine published cartoons featuring a figure resembling the prophet Muhammad, and obviously we have questions about the judgment of publishing something like this,” [Then White House Spokesman Jay] Carney told reporters during a midday press briefing at the White House. “We know these images will be deeply offensive to many and have the potential be be inflammatory,” Carney said in a prepared statement. Putting satirical cartoons on the same level as terrorist murder is exactly the problem.

Unfortunately, this is not merely a matter of spinelessness, but spinelessness as official policy.

The Obama administration has been deeply involved in pursuing an agenda, promoted by the Organization of the Islamic Cooperation (OIC), which equates speech which offends with direct incitement to murder. That effort, known as Resolution 16/18, after the joint U.S.-Egyptian resolution which introduced it, or the “Istanbul Process,” by the series of  high-level meetings held between the State Department and OIC members, is explicitly intended by Islamic states to prohibit what they describe as “defamation of religion” including insulting Islam’s prophet.

White House officials were already uttering the standard reassurances that despite the clear effort by the gunmen to enforce Sharia strictures on Blasphemy, this attack may not be terrorism, and of course, taking the submissive posture that Islam is an inherently and indisputably a peaceful religion (which is not the same thing as recognizing that many individual Muslims are themselves peaceful people.)

The attack on Charlie Hebdo is only one front in the war on free expression perpetuated in the name of enforcing Sharia blasphemy laws. The staff of Charlie Hebdo are martyrs to free speech, but they are not alone. Over 35 Christians in Pakistan were lynched last year over the mere rumor of possible blasphemy, including a couple which was burned alive. In 2012, a Saudi blogger tweeted a comments questioning his own commitment to belief in Mohammed’s prophethood. Death threats followed. He fled to Malaysia, but was deported under an Interpol Red notice to Saudi Arabia, where he faced execution for blasphemy (he was eventually freed after almost two years in prison.)

But it is not only in the Middle East. In The United Kingdom, an 85-year old woman was charged by police after yelling outside a Chatham-area mosque,  expressing anger regarding the brutal massacre of British Army Drummer Lee Rigby.  Here in the United States, Terry Jones (whose face adorns the Al Qaeda hit list), was directly castigated by President Obama and General David Petraeus in an attempt to prevent the Pastor from conducting a public burning of the koran in an act of protest (a perhaps distasteful but legally permissible act of free expression.) In 2012, following the attack on the Benghazi consulate where four Americans were killed, then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told one victim’s father that the maker of a film mocking Mohammed would be jailed as a result. As indeed, it turned out that the man, Nakoula Bassely Nakoula, was indeed jailed. Molly Norris, a cartoonist was forced into hiding, after she  attempted to establish “Every One Draw Mohammed Day” in defense of the creators of the TV Show South Park being censored for attempting to do so. In 2010, Christians were arrested in Dearborn, Michigan for “breach of peace” during a peaceful attempt to preach to Muslims at an Arab Festival. (They were eventually released and the city apologized following a lawsuit.) And there remains, of course, the infamous, Danish Cartoons, whose authors have repeatedly and continuously faced assaults and threats ever since.

Whichever jihadist group was responsible for the attack of Charlie Hebdo bears the ultimate responsibility. But there is a culpability also for those who have hinted that violence and threats of violence will encourage us to abandon our commitment to free expression, or established a policy which says that the West is amendable to surrendering cherished freedom rather than risk “offense.” That culpability remains until political and media leaders can say unapologetically, “The Future belongs to Charlie Hebdo.”


Also see:

OIC Secretary General Warns Chicago Audience Not to Criticize Islam


Picture taken at the Chicago Club (81 East Van Buren Street, Chicago, Illinois 60605) where the Chicago Council on Global Affairs regularly holds events

Center For Security Policy:

Just a week after the 13th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terror attacks, the new Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), Iyad Amin Madani, addressed a select audience at an American Islamic College (AIC)-sponsored event at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs. In a carefully-crafted message delivered on 17 September 2014, in which the OIC Secretary General was to discuss contemporary challenges facing the Muslim world, he charged that “Americans are not terribly famous for caring about the rest of the world.” Echoing lines promoted by the U.S. administration, Madani also declared that the Islamic State (IS) has no nexus with Islam and issued a warning to those critical of Islam. He also characterized Israel’s Operation Protective Edge in Gaza as illegal.

The AIC, known for its religious interfaith dialogue program in Chicago involving leadership figures from the Muslim Brotherhood, was established in 1981 as the only Islamic institution in the U.S. authorized to grant university degrees. Likewise, its relationship with the OIC is not a new one. In an earlier chapter of their collaborative relationship, the OIC and AIC co-sponsored a conference focused on “The Role of the OIC and the Scope for Its Relations with American Muslims” in September 2010. The following year in September 2011, the AIC and OIC joint conference Islam and Muslims in America included Obama administration appointee Rashad Hussain, the U.S. Special Envoy to the OIC. The evening before Madani’s 17 September speech, the program featured his keynote address for the AIC’s 2nd Annual Convocation Ceremony.

Prior to Madani becoming the OIC’s 10th Secretary General in January 2014, the OIC held The First International Conference on Islamophobia: Law & Media in September 2013 in Geneva, Switzerland to press for the criminalization of freedom of expression by individuals speaking about Islam in ways deemed ‘offensive’ and to control media content. When Iranian President Hassan Rouhani met with Madani, he, too, reiterated the OIC’s ‘Islamophobia’ conference theme as shown in his 5 February 2014 message to Twitter followers:


The OIC is an inter-governmental organization of 56 Islamic states (plus the Palestinian Authority) that represents the head of state leadership of the Muslim world and takes and implements decisions on behalf of the ummah. One of the OIC’s top agenda items is the Istanbul Process, its vehicle for pursuing insinuation of Islamic Law on slander into the U.S. and other Western legal codes. The Obama administration, including the Department of State, has eagerly promoted the Istanbul Process, as when Secretary of State Hillary Clinton gave her speech to OIC on 15 September 2011. A year later, in his annual address to the United Nations on 25 September 2012 in New York City, President Obama left no doubts about his own position on the Islamic law on slander, when he told the UN General Assembly that “The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam.”

As Madani warned his Chicago audience about speaking against Islam, he was only reminding them of the OIC’s 10 year strategic plan, established in 2005 in part to advocate for an anti-blasphemy law regarding Islam. About freedom of expression, Madani made clear that, for Muslims, Islam is off-limits, saying that it “should not reach religious tales…we think freedom of expression ends there.” Attempting to draw an analogy about the discussion of sensitive subjects in American society and “insulting” or “contextualizing” a religious faith such as Islam, Madani continued “You have to give the same privilege and rights to others. There are certain limits to which the freedom of speech can reach where social values of one society should be considered as human values” and that insisting on free speech about such things is a “breach of human rights.” Although left unspoken by Madani, his reference to “human rights” clearly was meant to evoke for his Muslim audience specifically and only those rights permitted under shariah (Islamic Law).

Of course, the OIC authored the 1990 Cairo Declaration of Human Rights in Islam, which states, “All the rights and freedoms stipulated in this Declaration are subject to the Islamic Shari’ah,” and “The Islamic Shari’ah is the only source of reference for the explanation or clarification of any of the articles of this Declaration.”

The OIC’s Cairo Declaration of Human Rights, which explicitly rejects the UN’s own Universal Declaration of Human Rights, nevertheless was presented to and accepted by the UN General Assembly in 1993. Rather, as stated in the OIC’s charter, its member Muslim states intend “to be guided by the noble Islamic values of unity and fraternity, and affirming the essentiality of promoting and consolidating the unity and solidarity among the Member States in securing their common interests at the international arena.” 

Turning next to the recent Israeli action in Gaza, Madani addressed the audience of around ninety people at the Chicago event, attacking Israel’s inherent right to protect itself from terrorism and an existential threat. Less than two months before the Madani event, Chicago witnessed vicious antisemitic demonstrations led by HAMAS and Muslim Brotherhood supporters. Madani claimed that “President Abbas has compromised on everything he can compromise on. And all he is asking now is for a peace negotiation to start with defining what borders the Israelis want for their country.” Madani displayed frustration that the Israeli-Palestinian issue “will not find a fair hearing within the political process” in this country. This issue, as well, is firmly-grounded in the OIC’s charter, which states its objective“….to establish a sovereign state for the Palestinian people with Al-Quds Al-Sharif [Jerusalem] as its capital, and to safeguard its historic and Islamic character, and the holy places therein….”

The OIC Secretary General also decried what he termed “extreme pressure from the American foreign policy establishment” placed on the sixteen member countries of the United Nations Human Rights Council to not form a special session led by the OIC to investigate purported Israeli war crimes. Agitated by this matter he concluded, “The only country that voted against that was the United States of America.” In July 2014, Madani had Tweeted his disapproval of the American position on Twitter.

tweet (1)

While both the OIC and Secretary General Madani declare that Boko Haram and the Islamic State “…have no relationship with Islam,” the reality is that non-Muslims in Iraq and Syria are being slaughtered by Muslims who declare their authority derives from Islamic doctrine. The Islamic State is committed to the complete subjugation or annihilation of the Christian and other former ethnic majority people of the Middle East and eradication of their ancient historical roots in the region. Islamic State jihadis systematically are marking Christian homes with the Arabic letter “N”, which is shorthand for “Nasrani,” meaning Nazarene or Christian. The infamous triple choice of Islam – convert, pay the jizya, or die – derives directly from Qur’anic verse 9:29, and intends ultimately to make the Middle East birthplace of Christianity “Christian-rein” as, with the exception of a vibrant Israel, it virtually already is for Jews. The savage Qur’anic punishments laid out in verse 5:32-33 await all those who refuse to be dhimmis.

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia, the home country of OIC Secretary General Madani, is ranked as one of the top ten countries in the world regarding the most extreme persecution of Christians. The government of Saudi Arabia has banned all churches, synagogues, and temples. Not only does the government deny recognition or protection of any religion other than Sunni Islam, it prohibits the open practice of any other religion. Apostasy is punishable by death, as per shariah.

This is the ideology and world view welcomed with open doors by American Islamic College (AIC), the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, and the American citizens who attended their event.

The OIC “Organizes” for Censorship


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.


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

It’s Freedom of Speech Day!

fosACT! for America:

On September 25, 1789, Congress passed the Bill of Rights, anchored by the very important First Amendment. Today, our cherished right of freedom of speech is under assault. The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) wants to criminalize speech that “denigrates” Islam. Muslim Brotherhood connected organizations and their politically correct enablers regularly engage in name calling and character assassination to silence those who dare speak out about the threat of radical Islam.

This is why, on September 25, 2013, 224 years after the passage of the Bill of Rights, patriots across America will host events and educate the public about how freedom of speech is under attack – and what we all can do to protect it.

Visit CJR’s page on The Threat to Free Speech for more.

ACT! for America Campaign to Defend Free Speech gearing up for September events

freedom of speech day

ACT! chapters are gearing up nationwide to host events aimed at increasing awareness of  the growing threat to our freedom of speech.


From ACT! for America:

It began decades ago as a few lonely voices around the world. A few Muslim leaders clamoring for restrictions on speech that “insults,” “defames,” “offends” or “denigrates” Islam and Muhammad.

The worldwide riots by Muslims in response to the Danish cartoons escalated this demand for restrictions on free speech. Numerous European countries now have “hate speech” laws that restrict speech that Muslims find offensive.

Lars Hedegard, Geert Wilders, and ACT! for America chapter leader Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff have been victims of these laws.

But too many Americans say “this could never happen here.” Really?

What about all the “speech codes” on college campuses that restrict speech for reasons such as “speech that causes offense”? We ignore the rising tide demanding restrictions on free speech at our own peril.

“Americans United to Defend Free Speech” is ACT! for America’s response to this threat. Below is just a small sampling of the growing worldwide effort to restrict speech deemed “offensive” to Islam. (Google searches turn up hundreds of examples.)



Our very own State Department worked with the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to pass UN Resolution 16/18. The resolution contains the very “hate speech” language that has led to the criminalization of certain speech in many European countries. The OIC’s true intentions for UN Resolution 16/18 were made clear in a February 18, 2013 article in the Saudi Gazette, “OIC gears up to get denigration of religions criminalized.”

Here’s a quote from that article:
Getting the go-ahead from the Cairo Islamic Summit, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has been actively trying to get the denigration of religions recognized as a criminal offense, according to a top official.

“Next session of the Istanbul Process on Islamophobia will be held in the first half of this year, and the session will squarely focus on the issue of criminalizing denigration of religions,” said Rizwan Saeed Sheikh, director of cultural affairs at the OIC general secretariat and spokesman for the OIC secretary general.


In 2008, journalist Ezra Levant was hauled before a Canadian human rights commission because he published the Danish cartoons. Author Mark Steyn endured a similar fate.


In 2012, the Islamic Society of Greater Kansas City launched an online petition calling for legislation that “outlaws any action that may insult one’s religion.” Muslim leaders in New Jersey joined this effort.


Remember the U.S. Embassy in Cairo’s immediate response to the riots on September 11, 2012 outside its compound? “We firmly reject the actions by those who abuse the universal right of free speech to hurt the religious beliefs of others.”


In the aftermath of the September 11, 2012 riots, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Yemen spoke out: “Insults against the prophet of Islam, Muhammad, are not acceptable,” said Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi. “We will not allow anyone to do this by word or by deed.” “There should be limits for the freedom of expression,” added Yemen’s president, Abed Rabbu Mansour Hadi, “especially if such freedom blasphemes the beliefs of nations and defames their figures.” Saudi Arabia went even further and advocated an international censorship body to crush blasphemy on the Internet.


Early this year, the director of the Missouri affiliate of CAIR (Council on American-Islamic Relations) posted on his blog that Muslim activists should “Report anti Islamic and anti Muslim content on the internet to appropriate authorities to take action to remove it and go after those who post it online and prosecute and take actions according to the Shariah ruling.”


In the aftermath of the YouTube video controversy in the fall of 2012, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon joined the chorus of those supporting restrictions on speech, saying that speech that “humiliates others’ beliefs…cannot be protected.”


In an October 8, 2009 op-ed in the Wall Street Journal, Sheikh Ali Gomaa, the grand mufti of Egypt wrote: We [the Dar al Iftaa, Egypt’s supreme body for Islamic legal edicts over which Gomaa presides] upheld the right of freedom of conscience and of free of expression within the bounds of common decency. As Gomaa made clear in the op-ed, “common decency” is defined by sharia law.


In 2007 Joe Kaufman was sued by several Dallas–area Muslim organizations in response to an article he wrote about “Muslim Family Day” at the Six Flags Over Texas amusement park. After two years of legal battles the suit was dismissed.

Read more at ACT! for America’s Free Speech Day page

In this national webcast on March 14, 2013, ACT! for America documents the growing worldwide clamor for suppression of speech perceived as “offensive” to Islam, and what ACT! for America is doing to combat this increasingly serious threat to the First Amendment:

Part One with Brigitte Gabriel and Guy Rodgers:

Part Two with Deborah Weiss:

Part Three with Guy Rodgers:

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