A Survivor of 9/11 Speaks: An Interview with Deborah Weiss, Esq.

world trade  center 9-11-01 (3)By Jerry Gordon:

The jihad attack that took the lives of 2,996 Americans and foreigners on 9/11 was perpetrated by 19 middle class Egyptians, Saudis and Yemenis. This dastardly act by Al Qaeda (AQ) Islamic terrorists destroyed an iconic landmark of American International economic prowess, the twin towers of the World Trade Center. Another plane took out one side of the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia and another crashed into a rural area near Shanksville, Pennsylvania. The last recorded voice heard from Flight 93 was “allahu akbar” – their god Allah was “the greatest.” This was the first act of Islamic terrorism perpetrated from afar on America.  9/11 was called the “Pearl Harbor of the 21st Century.”

9/11 was followed over the past 13 years by other AQ- inspired acts of jihad terrorism in the US, two of which killed American service personnel in Little Rock and Fort Hood. Dozens of AQ-inspired attempts were foiled in Detroit, Times Square and other locations across the country. As of early 2014, 6,802 American service personnel and an estimated 6,800 contractors died in both the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts fighting AQ and Taliban jihadists.

The West and the world were unprepared when 9/11 occurred, although many warnings had been given.

The 9/11 warnings still have not been heeded. On August 19, 2014, the Islamic State (IS), formerly ISIS, released a “Message to America” – a video of the gruesome barbaric beheading of intrepid American photo journalist Jim Foley of Rochester, New Hampshire. He was captured in November 2012 by radical elements of the Free Syrian Army who contributed their captive to the extremist Salafist jihadi group, ISIS. ISIS is rumored to hold several other Americans captive, among them, journalist Steven Joel Sotloff was featured in the same video.

IS threatens the Levant from the Mediterranean to the Persian Gulf, the West and even the US. The 13th commemoration of 9/11 finds us no safer, perhaps unprepared to deal with this supremacist jihadist threat.

Deborah Weiss 2On the occasion of this 13th Commemoration of 9/11, we interviewed a survivor of that attack in lower Manhattan; Deborah Weiss, Esq. Ms. Weiss heads Vigilancenow.org.  She formerly worked for the Committee on House Oversight in Congress; the Forbes for President Campaign in 1995-96; and served as an attorney in New York under the Giuliani administration. Her articles have also been published in FrontPage Magazine, American Thinker, American Security Council Foundation, the Weekly Standard, Washington Times, and National Review Online. She is a contributor to Saudi Arabia and the Global Islamist Terrorist Network (Sarah Stern, editor) (Palgrave Macmillan, 2011). She is the principal researcher and writer of Council on American-Islamic Relations: Its Use of Language and Intimidation.

Watch this You Tube video of Deborah Weiss presenting at the Westminster Institute in August 2013:

 

Jerry Gordon:  Deborah Weiss, thank you for consenting to this interview.

Deborah Weiss:  Thank you for inviting me.

Gordon:  You are a 9/11 Survivor. Where were you when the terrorist attack occurred?

Weiss:  I was running late for work or I would have been inside the WTC. Instead, because it was Election Day for the mayoral primary, I was still in my apartment at Gateway Plaza, the closest residence to the WTC. I was getting ready for work and all of a sudden, I heard a really loud noise, like nothing I’ve ever heard before. I couldn’t figure out what it was. It sounded like my upstairs neighbor’s furniture was falling down. I also heard people screaming outside, but I’m not a morning person and NYC can be noisy, so at first, I didn’t bother to look out the window. I turned on the radio and found out that a plane had hit the WTC, so I turned on the TV. A little while later, I heard another noise, even louder than the first one. I knew then that the first plane wasn’t an accident, but that these were terrorist attacks. The lights in my apartment flickered and then went out. The building started to shake and I fell to the floor. I knew I had to get out of there and it was pretty scary. I made the decision to take my cat. So I went inside the closet to get her box and when I came out, I couldn’t see anything outside my window except pitch black. I had a huge window facing away from the WTC. I remember it was a beautiful sunny Tuesday morning. Just a bit earlier I had looked out and saw the sun and the leaves of a tree pressing against my window. The window was very wide and covered the whole side of my living room. Yet, after I got up, I couldn’t see one ray of light. Part of what makes it so scary when you’re in the midst of it is you don’t know what’s happening. People in other parts of the world know more of what is going on than you do. I thought we were getting bombed. All you really know in that situation is someone is trying to kill everyone around you and something really, really bad is happening and that you might not get out alive.

I dug my nails into my cat, threw her into her box and ran down the stairs. In the lobby, a lot of people were entering our building from the WTC side. They were covered in white with red eyes. Smoke started coming in and it became increasingly difficult to breathe. Along with some others, I entered a back apartment on the ground level and sat down on the floor. I remember one woman there with tears in her eyes holding her newborn twins, one in each arm. We couldn’t exit the back door of the building because it was locked. Finally, they unlocked it and a lot of people fled. I had learned that all the dust I saw was from the collapse of the first tower. Because there was no plan and nowhere to run, a few of us decided to stay put. Then, all of a sudden, a police officer came to the apartment and started screaming hysterically for us all to leave NOW! I ran out the door and knew immediately that we were at war. Everything was covered in white: the trees, the streets and the benches. I ran along the water. Looking backwards, I saw the remaining tower burning and tilting in my direction. Suddenly, a Coast Guard rescue ferry appeared and approximately 15 of us jumped on. Moments later, when we were a yard or two out, the second building collapsed. We all said a prayer for those who had just died. We were taken to a triage center in NJ, where we sat all day listening to radio updates. All the phones were out because the transmitters were in the WTC. So it was awhile before you could reach anyone by phone. Once you could, all the hotels were quickly filled up.

Read more at New English Review

Islam: Is Integration Working? Part II of III

Gatestone Institute, by Denis MacEoin, June 18, 2014:

Some motives of the members of the British Law Society might stem from a desire to appease the Muslim community, rather than insisting on the basic democratic dictum that the law is indifferent to wealth, poverty, skin color, political belief or religious allegiance.

What seems unpardonable is that our Western governments and institutions, including Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, are reinforcing these abuses.

Pressure to incorporate Shari’a law into broader legal systems is spreading beyond the UK.

Another apparent obstacle to integration seems to be the simple act, within circumscribed communities, of questioning. Questioning — as well as free speech and free thought — often seems to appear disrespectful and discouraged. A new effort to criminalize free speech internationally has in the past few years been promoted by, of all countries, the United States — led by then Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton in three closed-door conferences between 2010 and 2012. Clinton not only dusted off — but co-sponsored and actively promoted — the all-but-dead Pakistani resolution from the United Nations Human Rights Council, Resolution 16/18, misleadingly named “Defamation of Religion.” The resolution is, bluntly, an attempt legally to internationalize Islam’s repressive “blasphemy laws.” Anyone who might wish to question or discuss Islam can be accused of “blasphemy” and possibly sentenced to death. Since the beginning of Islam, anyone who might take steps to leave Islam can be accused of “apostasy,” and sentenced to death. As Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi said at the end of January 2013, “If they [Muslims] had gotten rid of the apostasy punishment [death], Islam wouldn’t exist today.”

What seems unpardonable is that it is our Western governments and institutions that are reinforcing these abuses.

 

Then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (L), Secretary-General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation [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)

Moreover, in March 2014, the British Law Society set out guidelines for solicitors (roughly, U.S. lawyers) to help draw up “Shari’a compliant” wills, in defiance of the fact that Islamic rules on inheritance are deeply discriminatory. Muslim women will not be given an equal share of an inheritance. Non-Muslims, illegitimate children, divorced spouses, people who have not had Muslim marriages, and anyone outside the kinship-based set of recognized heirs, may not inherit. The ruling tells solicitors (and from them, the courts) to make exclusions from an 1837 law, which allows gifts to pass to the offspring of an heir who has died. This has been done to provide Muslims with separate laws that do not apply to other British citizens. These separate laws also relegate British law to an inferior position in such matters. The ruling has been done knowingly and for poorly thought-out motives by people who should know better. Some motives might stem from a desire to appease the Muslim community, giving them rights that others do not have, rather than insisting on the basic democratic dictum that the law is indifferent to wealth, poverty, skin color, political belief or religious allegiance.

If this ruling is followed by others affecting marriage, divorce, the custody of children and much else, Britain will become a two-tier society in which Muslim men may marry four wives, keep concubines or, for the Shi’a, contract temporary (mut’a) marriages, while non-Muslim polygamists will be sent to jail. Needless to say, protests are already underway.

Pressure to incorporate shari’a law into broader legal systems is spreading beyond the UK.

In the U.S., in 2011, President Obama appointed Professor Azizah al-Hibri to the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF). Hibri, a professor at Richmond University, has a record of involvement in matters concerning the rights of Muslim women and human rights in Islam. But she is on record as saying that Islamic Law “is deeper and better than Western codes of law,” that the Qur’an inspired Thomas Jefferson and the Founding Fathers, and that the Saudi criminal justice system is more moral than the American one because it accepts blood money from murderers.

Hibri has also argued that Islam is fully compatible with women’s rights, human rights, and democracy, something many in the West would strongly contest. Moreover, to appoint an Islamist to a post as commissioner on a body dedicated to religious freedom, a body that spends much of its time protesting the treatment of religious minorities in Muslim countries seems at the very least indecent. The very idea of religious freedom does not exist in the Qur’an, the hadith literature, or in any book of Islamic law. It is not enough to cite the famous line from the Qur’an 2:256, “la ikraha fi’l-din” [there is no compulsion in religion]. It has to be modified by the laws that enforce belief by threatening death to apostates, or by the conditions imposed on Jews, Christians, Hindus, pagans and other non-Muslims. They are given a choice to convert, die, or live as dhimmis: lower-class, “tolerated” persons, who pay a tribute, or tax, called a jizya, or “reward,” for not being killed. The Qur’an itself is explicit: “Fight those who believe not in Allah… [even] people of the Book, until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued” (Qur’an 9:29).

 

Criticizing Islam Becomes “Incitement to Imminent Violence”

998_largeby Abigail R. Esman
Special to IPT News
June 11, 2014

You could say it is a new form of Islamic honor crime: the silencing of those who dare besmirch the honor of Islam or its prophet, except the suppression now doesn’t come from Muslims only. These days, it’s the work of secular groups and governments: theaters in Germany, prominent publishers in England and the USA, of public prosecutors in the Netherlands, and most recently, of the Spanish Supreme court.

On May 30, that court ruled that Pakistani refugee Imran Firasat be stripped of his refugee status and deported. A Pakistani Muslim apostate, Firasat for years received death threats for marrying a non-Muslim, and for his outspoken criticism of Islam. In 2006, he received amnesty in Spain, a country where he was guaranteed the glorious freedoms unavailable to him in his homeland – freedoms enshrined in the foundations of any Western democracy: of religion, of opinion, and of speech.

But evidently he was not.

In 2012, Firasat produced a film critical of Islam in which he included footage of the attacks of 9/11, along with subsequent Islamic terrorist attacks in London and Madrid. According to a report from Gatestone Institute, “Shortly after Firasat’s film was released, Spanish Foreign Minister José Manuel García-Margallo and Spanish Interior Minister Jorge Fernández Díaz initiated a process to review his refugee status.”

The reason? Garcia-Margallo had determined that Firasat’s film created a security risk from Muslims who might be angered by its content. (That those Muslims themselves posed a risk seems not to have entered the discussion.)

The Supreme Court’s decision, which affirms the ruling of a lower court, reflects the growing influence of an anti-blasphemy measure introduced to the United Nations in 2011 by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), comprised of the 56 Islamic states. That measure, Resolution 16/18, aims to limit – even criminalize – speech that can be understood as “discriminatory – which, as I wrote at the time, “involves the ‘defamation of religion’ – specifically that which can be viewed as ‘incitement to imminent violence.’”

But nearly anything can be called “incitement to imminent violence,” just as a woman walking the street without covering herself ankle to brow in a niqab could be called an “incitement to imminent rape.” Who decides what “incitement” and “imminent” are? Should we now arrest all non-veiled women in the West? Has Spain become another Sharia state? Has UN Resolution 16/18 marked the end of freedom as we know it in the West?

In fact, as the Heritage Foundation recently reported, “throughout Europe, in Canada, and even in the United States, judicial systems in countries with large Muslim minorities are under pressure to adopt Sharia free speech restrictions. As a result, in many places, including Denmark, it is now a crime to say anything negative about Islam or the prophet Mohammed, regardless of whether such statements are factually true or not. The concept that even offensive speech is protected—so fundamental to the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment—is collapsing.”

Such attacks on democratic values – and their success in destroying them – are what have many experts, human rights groups, and politicians concerned about multiculturalism in the West. The idealized model – in which multiple cultures coexist peacefully within the same society – simply doesn’t work; the conflicts of values are too extreme.

True, it would be easy enough to wave off such incidents of censorship if they were limited to a mere one or two: but they aren’t. In 2010, for instance, Comedy Centralpulled a “South Park” episode satirizing the violent reactions to depictions of the prophet Mohammad after a New York-based Islamic group, Revolution Muslim, threatened the show’s writers with death.

Four years prior, the Berlin-based Deutsche Oper cancelled its run of Mozart’s “Idomeneo,” in which the severed heads of Buddha, Jesus, and Mohammed are placed on chairs onstage. Explaining their decision, the organizers of the opera, which was first performed in 1781, cited warnings from the police that “the publicity surrounding the play would severely heighten the security risk.” (Neither Buddhist nor Christian groups, it should be noted, expressed any discomfort with the production.)

And there are others: the extended criminal case against Dutch Parliamentarian Geert Wilders for his statements against Islam and his film “Fitna,” which, like Firasat’s, focused on a recent history of Islamic terrorism and various calls for violence written in the Quran; or (also in the Netherlands) the arrest, at the demand of a radical imam, of pseudonymous cartoonist Gregorius Nekschot for sketches deemed “insulting” to Muslims.

America has hardly been immune: in 2008, Random House publishers cancelled publication of The Jewel of Medina, described as “a fictional account of the life of Mohammed’s wife, Aisha.” A year later, Yale University Press deleted images from a book about the so-called “Danish Cartoons” – a series of cartoons that ran in Denmark’s Jyllands Post in 2005, citing fears of “insulting Muslims” and – there it is again – a risk to national security.

And earlier this month, the New York Times demanded that the Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT) revise an ad slated to run on the Gray Lady’s web site, claiming that there had been numerous complaints about a previously approved, full-page version of the ad in the print edition of the paper. Explained the IPT at the time, “The NYT ordered us to insert the word ‘radical’ before the term ‘Islamist groups,’ so that it read, ‘Stop the radical Islamist groups from undermining America’s security, liberty, and free speech.’”

That change was not as minor as it might at first seem, argued IPT Executive Director Steven Emerson in an editorial for the IPT website. It suggested that Islamist groups who are not radicalized – like the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) – are not dangerous. And yet it is precisely these organizations worldwide which often exert the kind of pressure that results in censorship of speech, in the subjugation of the arts, in the compromise of truth.

Fortunately, America’s capitulation to pressure on this issue has been limited to the private sector. But Firasat’s story should be taken as a warning, as much for the U.S. as for Europe, of the damage Resolution 16/18 and similar efforts are having on our culture – and on our future.

One week after the Spanish court robbed Firasat of his democratic rights in a democratic country, President Barack Obama stood on the beaches of Normandy and spoke to those gathered to mark the 70th anniversary of D-Day. On that day, he said, the world marked the moment of “commitment” to liberty and freedom; and since then, “From Western Europe to East; from South America to Southeast Asia; seventy years of democratic movements spread. Nations that once knew only the blinders of fear began to taste the blessings of freedom.

That would not have happened without the men who were willing to lay down their lives for people they’d never met, and ideals they couldn’t live without.”

Those ideals still remain our ideals. We still cannot live without them. We cannot give up the fight.

Abigail R. Esman, the author, most recently, of Radical State: How Jihad Is Winning Over Democracy in the West (Praeger, 2010), is a freelance writer based in New York and the Netherlands.

Sounding the Alarm on Silent Jihad

By Andrew E. Harrod:

“There is broad bipartisan agreement that America is at risk,” declared former House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Chairman Pete Hoekstra via video at the March 6, 2014, National Security Action Summit (NSAC).  The “silent jihad” of Muslim Brotherhood (MB) affiliated groups described by Hoekstra at National Harbor’s Westin Hotel across the Potomac River from Washington, DC, should alarm all Americans.

Congressman Pete Hoekstra, former chairman of the Select Committee on Intelligence

Congressman Pete Hoekstra, former chairman of the Select Committee on Intelligence

In comparison to the “violent jihad” of groups like Al Qaeda, the MB “strategy is very, very different,” Hoekstra explained during the panel “The Muslim Brotherhood, the ‘Civilization Jihad’ and Its Enablers.”  MB groups “are going to use our laws, our customs…our freedom of speech, the values we profess…to become a cancer” in the United States.  MB supporters would seek “initially a tolerance of sharia law” that “begins the process of establishing of Islamism,” a process evident in certain European neighborhoods where sharia has become “de facto law.”  “Never forget the phrase:  The enemy of my enemy is my friend,” Hoekstra added when discussing cooperation across intra-Muslim sectarian divides such as between a Sunni Al Qaeda and a Shiite Islamic Republic of Iran.  “They ultimately share the same objective:  the destruction of the West.”

MB “Islamic supremacism” or Islamism “is not a fringe ideology” but is actually the “dynamic element of Islam” today, former first World Trade Center (WTC) bombing prosecutor Andrew C. McCarthy observed in his video address.  Contrary to the “very Politically Correct interpretation of Islam” encountered among policymakers by McCarthy, Islamism is “not a hijacking of a doctrine” but rather Islam’s “most unalloyed form.”  Suffering numerous maladies, the Blind Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman prosecuted by McCarthy could only lead the 1993 WTC terrorists because “he was a master of sharia doctrine.”  Without understanding “sharia supremacism” as a “very active ideology” according to polls of Muslims worldwide, “we will never be able to protect ourselves.”

“You don’t know jack,” sharia expert Stephen Coughlin agreed on the panel, without understanding this MB “metanarrative.”  “It runs deep…the threat,” Coughlin noted concerning terms taken “verbatim” from the 7thcentury Pact of Umar recently imposed by Syrian jihadist groups upon Christians.  Yet Coughlin worried that the “enemy knows us better than us” in an America whose political and religious leaders often no longer properly understand their constitution and Judeo-Christian faith, respectively.

Subverting rule of law through “narrative control” is central to Islamist groups such as the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), an international grouping of 57 (including “Palestine”) mostly majority-Muslim states.  “If you do not control the narrative, no matter what position you take, you will lose.”  In particular, “he who controls the First Amendment…controls the Constitution,” Coughlin warned in discussing the OIC’s 2005 Ten-Year Strategic Action Plan with its call for “Combating Islamophobia” via censorship.  The OIC would seek to interpret the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights’ Article 20 ban on incitement as prohibiting speech to which recipients react violently.  This is the “battered wife syndrome” of “if you say that, I am going to have to beat you up”

Read more at Religious Freedom Coalition

The Real Agenda Behind the Push for “Islamophobia”

by Raheel Raza:

Islamists have been successful in building the Islamophobia industry: it diverts attention from activities they would probably prefer not be noticed, such as promoting sharia law in the West, stealth jihad, and a push to implement a global Islamic caliphate, among many others.

What is ironic and hypocritical about the Islamophobia hype from members of the OIC is their double-standards when it comes to minorities in their own lands. Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Egypt, Turkey, Mauritania, Nigeria, Sudan, Bangladesh, Iraq, Kuwait, Syria, the Palestinian Authority and Iran are among OIC members that have appalling human rights violations against minorities.

Islamophobia has almost become a fad for a certain group of academics and Muslims across North America. 2013 was a bumper year for Islamophobia conferences in America and abroad.

  • “Islam, Political Islam, and Islamophobia: an International Conference” was held at Indiana University, Bloomington on March 29-30, 2013.
  • Islam, Politics and Islamophobia,” an international conference of the Ottoman and Modern Turkish Studies Chair, took place at the Indiana Memorial Union Faculty.
  • International Conference on Islamophobia: Law & Media“, hosted in Istanbul, was organized by the Directorate General of Press and Information, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and under the auspices of Mr. Bulent Arinc, the Deputy Prime Minister of Turkey, and took place in September, 2013. The website starts off by stating “Islamophobia, which is a term used to express the groundless fear and intolerance of Islam and Muslims, has swept the world, becoming detrimental to international peace especially in recent years.”
  • The IWIC’s 2013 conference on “Women in Islam,” in Atlanta, Georgia from November 22 to 24, used the theme, “Eradicating Islamophobia.”

One would think that four conferences in one year would be enough for the International group of speakers to discuss, debate and hash out that, in their view, there is an epidemic of Muslim-bashing taking place in North America.

However it seems that these are not enough to complete the agenda of the Islamists. Therefore this year the University of California, Berkeley is hosting its fifth annual International conference on the study of Islamophobia, from April 14 to 19, 2014.

It is frightening to realize that this is their fifth such conference; the website states, “the obsessive pre-occupation of everything related to Islam and Muslims, congressional and parliamentary hearings criminalizing Muslims and violations of their civil liberties and rights, domestic and international surveillance programs exclusively on Muslims and Arabs, extra-judicial use of force on Muslims and Arabs, interventions, military campaigns, and policies rationalizing its exercise, are, in essence, what we see and bear witness in the Muslim world. These are the direct effects of latent Islamophobia.”

University of California, Berkeley is home to Professor Hatem Bazian, who directs the school’s “Islamophobia Research and Documentation Project,” and teaches a course titled, “Asian American Studies 132AC: Islamophobia.”

Seriously? A course on Islamophobia? Recently, Professor Bazian told 100 students in his class to tweet about Islamophobia – all being done to promote an agenda of “victimhood.”

 

UC-Berkeley Professor Hatem Bazian speaks on “Promoting Islamophobia” at the Occupy AIPAC Summit in 2012. (Image source: YouTube screenshot)

Obviously the Islamophobia conferences, the courses and the tweeting professor must find support for their self-serving propaganda somewhere. Part of this support comes from the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), an international organization consisting of 57 Arab and Muslim member states, including the entity of the Palestinian Authority. The organization states that it is “the collective voice of the Muslim world” and works to “safeguard and protect the interests of the Muslim world in the spirit of promoting international peace and harmony.” The term “Muslim world” is offensive: no one speaks for all Muslims, and for the OIC to consider itself the “voice of the Muslim world” is dictatorial in the extreme.

No surprise, then, that on their website they have an Islamophobia Observatory, where they mention their support of Human Rights Council Resolution 16/18, adopted in 2011, on “Combating intolerance, negative stereotyping and stigmatization of, and discrimination, incitement to violence, and violence against persons based on religion or belief”.

What is ironic and hypocritical about all the Islamophobia hype by members of the OIC is their double standards when it comes to minorities in their own lands. Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Egypt, Turkey, Mauritania, Nigeria, Sudan, Bangladesh, Iraq, Kuwait, Syria, the Palestinian Authority and Iran are among OIC members that have appalling human rights violations against minorities, and are routinely ignored under UNHRC Resolution 16/18.

Read more at Gatestone Institute

Also see:

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

Chilling Effect for Me, But Not for Thee

yhFront Page, by :

“I don’t apply the same standards” as in the United States, the Muslim Harvard Law School professor Intisar A. Rabb stated at a November 21, 2013, Georgetown University conference with respect to “hate speech” restrictions and Islam abroad.  In connection with her concern about an American Muslim’s terrorism conviction “chilling speech,” Rabb’s acceptance of “just a different legal regime” abroad revealed troubling double standards towards Islam.

Raab addressed the final panel of “Muslim-Christian Relations in the 21st Century:  Challenges & Opportunities,” a controversial conference (see herehere, and here) marking the 20th anniversary of Georgetown’s Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding (ACMCU).  Rabb opposed a recent appeals court conviction affirmation for Tarek Mehanna, as elaborated in an amici curia brief in Mehanna’s appeal.  Therein Rabb and others warned of a “serious chilling effect” on speech from convicting Mehanna for translating the book 39 Ways to Serve and Participate in Jihad for the website at-Tibyan.

The federal government considered the book, website, and Mehanna’s “disfavored political and religious beliefs” all supportive of Al Qaeda.  The appellate opinion noted that Mehanna had a First Amendment right to praise Al Qaeda, but Al-Qaeda-coordinated advocacy was terrorism support.  “Under the Government’s theory,” amici curia warned, “translating an al-Qa’ida text is lawful, as is espousing beliefs…supporting al-Qa’ida,” but together these “legal acts gives rise to criminal liability,” a particular concern for scholars researching terrorism.

Rabb at Georgetown therefore demanded that action beyond speech underlie any terrorism support conviction.  Yet, unmentioned by Rabb, Mehanna had traveled in 2004 to Yemen, irrespective of any translation work charge.  The appeals court rejected his “rose-colored glasses” presentation as a “devoted scholar…protected by the First Amendment” and found a jury conclusion “virtually unarguable” that Mehanna “went abroad to enlist in…terrorist training.”

Legal issues aside, amici curiae did not consider Mehanna’s reading and website choices objectionable.   At-Tibyan, for example, “primarily” concerned “Abu Muhammad al-Maqdisi…a theologian and a jurist” who “endorses rebellion against…illegitimate Muslim regimes.”  Among “innumerable mainstream theological texts,”39 Ways also involved “basic…Sunni jurisprudence,” namely the “individual duty (fard ‘ayn) incumbent on all Muslims” to “contribute to wars of self-defense.”  “All collections of the words and deeds of the Muslim Prophet Muhammad (hadith) and all Islamic law books” endorsed this “standard position in all Sunni legal schools.”

The amici curiae cited a 2003 fatwa from “mainstream Muftis” at OnIslam, “[o]ne of the most popular websites in the English-speaking world devoted to Islam.”  The muftis considered whether for Muslims it is “necessary to fight alongside Afghans” or otherwise resist American-led forces in Afghanistan.  Citing Quran verses legitimating fighting against non-Muslims, the muftis answered that the “Muslim Ummah (nation) is considered one body, which if a single organ aches all the other organs will share the feelings of agony.”

Robert Spencer of the website Jihadwatch could not have explained such doctrines of jihad in a more troubling manner.  Questions in the brief about targeting civilians aside, the cited Islamic doctrine justified the killing of military personnel “attacking” Muslim nations, cold comfort to, among others, beheaded British soldier Lee Rigby or the 13 Americans of the Fort Hood shooting.  Rabb’s brief could only confirm the criticisms of Islam by individuals like Spencer or Holland’s Geert Wilders and incite Terry Jones to burn another Quran.

Unlike Rabb, though, Spencer has faced exclusion from the United Kingdom and Wilders criminal prosecution in Holland for their comments on Islam, while destroying a Quran is prohibited hate speech in countries like Belgium.  Such domestic legal actions accord with the longstanding international agenda of majority-Muslim nations in the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to prohibit criticizing Islam.  This agenda has culminated in the March 24, 2011,United Nations Human Rights Council Resolution 16/18 with troubling implications for free speech even after Western-induced modifications.

In this context, Rabb’s invocation of the proverbial “chilling effect” on free speech prompted my question about criticizing Islam.  Rabb’s “each regime is different” response allowed for “dignity laws” as a “prerogative” for other democracies dealing with anti-Islam speech grouped by her with Nazism.  Muslim-majority countries also had such laws, Rabb indicated, a worrying statement in light of Islamic blasphemy laws.

Critical issues involving Islam, however, were not absent from the conference.  George Soros-financed leftist evangelical Richard Cizek, for example, recalled during a panel how a fellow evangelical had once told him that “insults in Lynchburg produce riots in Lahore.”  Convicted terrorism financier Sami Al-Arian, meanwhile, discussed with me in the audience viewing the conference’s morning segment before going home to comply with his house arrest.

“Islamophobia” critic Nathan Lean was also in the audience.  Called a “stalker” by Spencer, Lean has repeatedly tweeted an article supposedly containing Spencer’s address and wife’s picture, a “clear attempt to intimidate me.”  Addressed by me on this matter, Lean curtly replied that it is “not appropriate” to discuss Spencer at a Christian-Muslim understanding conference and walked away.

Thus Lean, Rabb, and others, concerned about fundamentally necessary anti-terrorism laws infringing intellectual inquiry in the United States, exhibited little principled concern about uninhibited discussion of Islam.  Yet as the conference and Mehanna’s conviction show, the needs of security and liberty demand robust debate precisely with respect to Islam.

This article was sponsored by The Legal Project, an activity of the Middle East Forum.

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

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.

HOST AN EVENT IN YOUR COMMUNITY

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.)

EXAMPLES OF ATTACKS ON FREE SPEECH

UN RESOLUTION 16/18 & THE ISTANBUL PROCESS.

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.

ATTEMPTS TO SILENCE CANADIAN JOURNALISTS

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.

US MUSLIM LEADERS PROMOTING LEGISLATION BANNING FREE SPEECH

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.

U.S. EMBASSY IN CAIRO

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.”

AFTERMATH OF THE SEPTEMBER 11, 2012 RIOTS

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.

CAIR MISSOURI SUPPORTS PROSECUTING FREE SPEECH

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.”

UN SECRETARY GENERAL SUPPORTS RESTRICTING FREE SPEECH

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.”

“COMMON DECENCY” IS DEFINED BY SHARIA LAW

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.

“MUSLIM FAMILY DAY” AT THE SIX FLAGS

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:

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

 

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

 

The Alliance of Civilization Jihad

unaoc5 by , February 27, 2013:

As reported here early this morning, the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations met today in Vienna to… well, to do whatever it is alliances of civilizations do.

Actually, the goal of this Alliance is quite clear, even if it is not stated explicitly: to impose the will of the United Nations on all Western countries, especially those that have not yet implemented laws against “defamation of religions” as demanded by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation.

We are approaching endgame in the OIC’s long march through the major international institutions of Western culture. It began with the announcement in 2005 of the ten-year plan to end Islamophobia in the West, and the establishment of the Islamophobia Observatory shortly thereafter. These were obviously not enough to meet the Ummah’s needs, so it shifted its focus to other institutions. The OSCE must have also proved disappointing, as it is not high-profile and offers no prominent global platform.

The OIC has had better success with the General Assembly of the United Nations, taking virtual control of the organization by means of the votes of its 56 member states (57 if you count “Palestine”). However, this too is insufficient from the point of view of the embryonic World Caliphate. To establish full control, a permanent seat on the Security Council is an absolute necessity. The would-be Caliph — Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who obviously aspires to an office higher than prime minister of Turkey — has made it clear that Islam must be granted such a seat.

The process now unfolding before us on the international scene mirrors the “Civilization Jihad” launched long ago by the Muslim Brotherhood in the United States. With the installation of Chuck Hagel as Secretary of Defense, the Ikhwan has now positioned all its American pieces on the board in preparation for the final takedown of Israel. To secure their international geopolitical position, the Brothers and the OIC need to complete their takeover of the United Nations.

Today it seems they are very close to achieving success in — what shall we call their operation?

Perhaps the “Alliance of Civilization Jihad” would be most fitting.

*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *

Henrik Ræder Clausen and Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff were in Vienna to attend and report on today’s event, the 5th Global Forum — UN Alliance of Civilizations.

Read Elisabeth’s account at Gates of Vienna

aoclogo0

via Is The Alliance Of Civilizations A Pro Sharia Front? (libertiesalliance.org)

The 5th Global Forum of The United Nations Alliance of Civilizations takes place in Vienna today.  In our experience most UN initiatives these days have a pro-sharia twist.  The UNHRC for instance spends a lot of time criticising Israel but does not seem to adequately confront the human rights abuses elsewhere (1). Perhaps the UNHRCs work is corrupted because it gives membership to countries who are human rights abusers.  It produces UNHRC Resolution 16/18 but apparently does nothing to ensure that the member states of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) permit the religious freedom, a freedom that it purports to uphold.  In effect UNHRC Resolution 16/18 has become a pro-sharia document designed specifically to expand the reach of sharia.

We expect that the Alliance of Civilizations will be no different and will prove to be yet another mechanism to demonise sharia critics and facilitate the expansion of the zone of sharia compliance that already causes immeasurable misery around the world.  We will be watching the 5th Global Forum with great interest.

See Tundra Tabloids for updates.  Updates will also be posted below:

(1) Israel right to say ‘Enough!’ to grotesquely biased UNHRC inquiry (Haaretz)

Updates:

We are told from people on the ground at the event that the person who introduced the event suggested that they expected more harmony from this forum.  Below is a gist of what specific individuals talked about:

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

Suggested that anti-Muslim sentiment was commonplace. That Muslims are being vilified instead of being embraced.  That leaders need to speak the language of tolerance.  That the three most important issues that needed to be addressed by all speakers were:

1) The impasse between Israelis and Palestinians

2) The situation in Mali

3) The situation in Syria

Prime Minister of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdoğan

Suggested that racist attacks are on the rise.  That the magnitude of the threat is threefold:

1) lack of information

2) Intolerance

3) Prejudice – he believes that we can eliminate the threat posed by prejudice.  He

mentioned that there are many good examples of people living in harmony and such societies are more successful – however he did not name any of these countries or societies.

He suggested that we witness harsh and insulting behaviour towards Muslims and that this is an unconscionable act.  Also that we need to act on prejudices and need to consider Islamophobia as a crime against humanity. He suggested that no religion would ever endorse violence, that Islam is a religion of peace and that the word ‘Islam’ means peace.

On behalf of turkey he asked whether the UN Security Council represented the whole world and he concluded that it did not. He asked whether it represented all religious groups.  He suggested that the fundamental problem is that the Alliance of Civilizations needs to establish and alliance with the Security Council.

ICLA Comment: Our prediction of that the Alliance of Civilizations is a pro-sharia front seems to be coming true based on much of what has been reported above.  The focus seems very focused on issues that are seen as important to Islamic countries.  Nothing has been said about the persecution of non-Muslims in the Islamic world.  It seems from what Mr Erdoğan was saying about the Security Council that there should be permanent Islamic representation on that body.  This perhaps is an indication that Islam has political objectives.  It must be remembered that the Security Council is not a religious assembly.

We have a further update.  It appears that human rights issues have not been raised at this event though the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights was mentioned twice.  Much has been said with regard to the Arab-Israeli conflict and the plight of the Palestinian.  There was a round of applause when Palestine’s receipt of UNESCO status was mentioned.

Outgoing High Representative of the Alliance of Civilisations, Jorge Sampaio

He emphasized that we should not be talking but doing.  He raised the issue of successes and achievements of the Alliance of Civilizations but did not mention a single one.  He suggested that we need common ground and minimum standards of behivaiour, though he never mentioned what this might mean in practice.  He spoke about his desire for a world conference hosted by the Alliance of Civilizations with goal being to address the need to go back to zero with a bold vision and measurable goals.

Incoming High Representative of the Alliance of Civilisations, Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser

He referred to the prevalence of intolerance and xenophobia.  He emphasised the importance of the role of the Alliance of Civilizations to enhance international cooperation to advance a vision and ensure responsible leadership and good decision making.

ICLA Comment: It is clear that the Alliance of Civilizations is nothing more than a tool for totalitarian tyrants to impose their will on the rest of the world.  Dictatorships just want to impose their tyrannical rules on the rest of the world. When the free world says that it will not tolerate despotic rule, these dictatorships say that it is an insult to their culture. 

OIC Ramps Up ‘Islamophobia’ Campaign

kaffash20130201102509687-450x332By : The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has long been on the forefront of the Islamist mission to establish the equivalent of Islamic blasphemy laws in the West.  Now, during its 12th Islamic Summit held in Cairo February 7-8, 2013, the OIC set forth new and creative ways to silence, and ultimately criminalize criticism of Islam.

The OIC is a 57-member state organization that claims to represent 1.5 billion Muslims around the globe.  As the second largest international organization in the world, behind only the UN, and as the largest Islamic organization in the world, it is obviously quite powerful.  Though it is arguably the largest voting block in the UN, most people have never heard of it.

One of the OIC’s primary aims for at least the last fourteen years has been the international criminalization of speech that is critical of any Islam-related topic, including Islamic terrorism, Islamic persecution of religious minorities and human rights violations committed in the name of Islam.

Since 1999, the OIC has set forth UN resolutions that would “combat defamation of religions.”  These resolutions condemned criticism of religion, but in the OIC’s interpretation, it applied only to Islam.  True statements of fact constituted no exception.

Support for the resolutions declined once the United States and other Western countries caught wind of the true meaning of “defamation of religions” and its inevitable chilling effect on freedom of expression.

In 2011, at the State Department’s request, the OIC drafted an alternative resolution that was intended to retain freedom of expression and still address the OIC’s concerns about alleged Islamophobia.  The result was Resolution 16/18 to Combat Intolerance Based on Religion or Belief.

The US State Department and numerous Christian organizations were elated, believing that the OIC had abandoned its mission to protect Islam from so-called “defamation,” and instead replaced it with the goal of protecting persecuted religious minorities from discrimination and violence.  In other words, many assumed a paradigm shift away from providing legal protections to a religion and toward legal protections for people.

But the OIC had some very creative interpretations of the language embodied in the new resolution.  By its manipulation of words such as intolerance and incitement, giving new meanings to what many thought was plain English, the OIC made it clear that it had not dropped its ultimate goal of protecting Islam from “defamation.”

Read more at Front Page

Blasphemy and Islam

Coptic Christian blogger Alber Saber

Coptic Christian blogger Alber Saber

By Andrew C. McCarthy

In Cairo on Wednesday, a Coptic Christian blogger named Alber Saber was convicted of blasphemy and “contempt of religion.” There’s a tragic irony: As any of the country’s Christians can tell you, contempt of religion is not merely permitted but encouraged in the new, post-Mubarak Egypt. What is criminal, what has become increasingly perilous, is any criticism of Islam.

Nor is truth a defense. Another Egyptian court recently upheld the blasphemy conviction of Makarem Diab, also a Coptic Christian. Diab had gotten into a discussion with a Muslim acquaintance, Abd al-Hameed, who, in the course of mocking Diab’s faith, insisted that Jesus was a serial fornicator. Diab countered Hameed’s baseless taunt with an assertion most Islamic scholars regard as accurate: namely, that Mohammed had more than four wives. Yet, because the context of Diab’s assertion evinced an intention to cast Islam’s prophet in an unfavorable light, Diab was prosecuted for “insulting the prophet” and “provoking students.” He was sentenced to six years’ imprisonment.

This is now everyday life in Egypt. It is also certain to be the future of Egypt. The overwhelmingly Islamist population, having first elected Islamic supremacists led by the Muslim Brotherhood to top leadership positions, is now poised to adopt a constitution that is founded on sharia, Islam’s totalitarian legal framework, and that expressly enshrines these blasphemy standards. But the problem is not just sharia in Egypt. Sharia is here.

About three weeks ago, another Egyptian court sentenced seven people to death after convicting them in absentia on blasphemy charges. Most of the seven are in the United States. Most of them are Coptic Christians; one is a Florida-based pastor who is a blistering critic of Islamic scripture. The charges relate to the defendants’ alleged involvement in “Innocence of Muslims,” an obscure amateur video that Islamists have frivolously cited as a pretext for their latest round of international mayhem — and that the Obama administration has fraudulently portrayed as the catalyst of a massacre in Benghazi in which jihadists killed four Americans, including our ambassador to Libya.

So how has President Obama responded to the Egyptian government’s human-rights violations, its failure to protect the Copts from persecution (indeed, its willing participation in that persecution), and its provocations against Americans — which now include ordering their killing, through a kangaroo-court process that flouts our due-process standards, over their engagement in activity that is expressly protected by our Constitution?

Well . . . the president has announced that not only will he continue funding Egypt’s Islamist government, but he intends to include in that U.S. aid the provision of 20 F-16 fighter jets. Moreover, Obama is continuing his administration’s collaboration with the 57-government Organization of Islamic Cooperation on the “Istanbul Process.” That is the OIC’s campaign to impose sharia’s repressive blasphemy standards.

The most recent aggression in this blasphemy enterprise — a years-long, carefully plotted OIC campaign to snuff out American free-speech rights under the guise of “defamation of religion” — is U.N. Human Rights Council Resolution 16/18. It calls on Western governments to outlaw “any advocacy of religious hatred against individuals that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence.”

Read more at National Review

Andrew C. McCarthy is a senior fellow at the National Review Institute and the executive director of the Philadelphia Freedom Center. He is the author, most recently, of Spring Fever: The Illusion of Islamic Democracy, which was published by Encounter Books.