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