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 here, here, here 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