Goals given boost when Obama administration legitimizes ban on criticism
That event, writes Soeren Kern, Senior Fellow for European Politics at Madrid’s Grupo de Estudio, “gave the [Organization of Islamic Cooperation] the political legitimacy it has been seeking to globalize its initiative to ban criticism of Islam.”
The coming event, Caliphate Conference 2012, is being organized by Hizb ut-Tahrir, which Kern describes as a “pan-Islamic extremist group that seeks to establish a global Islamic state, or caliphate, ruled by Islamic Shariah law.”
The 57-member OIC has been proposing a special international law that would make it criminal to speak ill of Muhammad or his followers for years, but it never was successful under its earlier plans that were portrayed as a ban on the “defamation of religions.” Actually, support for the idea had started waning.
But then it proposed Resolution 16/18, a plan for countries to “combat” things like “intolerance, negative stereotyping and stigmatization of … religion and belief.” The idea was adopted in the U.N. General Assembly just a few weeks ago and Kern’s analysis notes that it would be largely ineffectual as long as the West doesn’t jump behind it.
That is why it was a “diplomatic coup,” according to Kern, when Obama held the three-day conference in Washington, where Secretary of State Hillary Clinton committed to the key principal Muslims have been seeking for years: holding people responsible when “free speech” … “results in sectarian clashes.”
The critical question that has been among the reasons the so-called “anti-defamation” plans previously have failed is that such limits suggest, even require, that the blame be placed on the person making a statement if the situation is that someone else reacts to it violently.
Free speech advocates are worried over her comment that, “It’s one thing if people are just disagreeing. That is fair game. That’s free speech. But if it results in sectarian clashes, if it results in the destruction or the defacement or the vandalization of religious sites, if it even results in imprisonment or death, then government must held those – hold those who are responsible accountable.”
In Western civilization, the standard for responsibility would be to hold those accountable who do violence, not those who make statements that those who do violence blame for their actions.
The U.N. strategy, proposed by Pakistan “on behalf of the Organization of the Islamic Conference,” again creates an open door to blame someone for making a statement about Islam to which Muslims would react violently, by raising concerns about “incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence.”
Further, it “condemns any advocacy of religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence.”
Repeated concerns have been raised by such statements, as they open the door for attacks on people making statements about their own beliefs, which someone else would choose to decry as “hatred.”
In fact, the resolution calls for “measures to criminalize” some related behaviors.
Sharona Schwartz at at the Blaze noted that the German-language promotion video for the conference starts: “The relentless decline of capitalism has begun. The time has come to fight against poverty. Time to obliterate the injustices. Time for the correct system.”
Which is identified as Islam.
In a report published by the Stonegate Institute, Kern said the “explicit aim” of the Istanbul Process is to make it a crime to criticize Islam.
He writes, “According to Steven Emerson, a leading authority on Islamic extremist networks, Hizb ut-Tahrir is emulating the three-stage process by which Muslims established the first Islamic caliphate after the death of the Islamic Prophet, Mohammed, in the year 632.
“During the first stage, Hizb ut-Tahrir builds a party by cultivating a small number of supporters to engage in recruitment and propaganda. In the second stage (which Hizb ut-Tahrir is now entering in Europe and the United States), the group educates Muslims in order to recruit a larger group of people to join Hizb ut-Tahrir and support its revolution. Finally, having won the support of Muslims, Hizb ut-Tahrir moves to establish a Shariah-ruled Islamic government.”
He notes the OIC just two weeks ago sponsored a symposium in Brussels to talk about “anti-Islamophobia.”
“Resolution 16/18, which was adopted at HRC headquarters in Geneva in March 2011, is widely viewed as a significant step forward in OIC efforts to advance the international legal concept of defaming Islam,” he reports.
He cited the report from the International Islamic News Agency, which stated, “The phenomenon of Islamophobia is found in the West in general, but is growing in European countries in particular, in a manner different from that in the U.S., which had contributed to drafting Resolution 16/18. The new European position represents the beginning of the shift from its previous reserve over the years over the attempts by the OIC to counter ‘defamation of religions’ in the Human Rights Council and the General Assembly of the United Nations.”
WND previously has written about the Islamic-led Defamation of Religions proposal in the United Nations. It was “nothing more than an effort to achieve special protections for Islam – a move to stifle religious speech,” according to an analysis by Jay Sekulow of the American Center for Law and Justice.
According to the Human Rights First organization, the plan simply violates fundamental freedom of expression norms.
Tad Stahnke, of Human Rights First said the concept is “unfortunate for both individuals at risk whose rights will surely be violated under the guise of prohibiting ‘defamation of religions,’ as well as for the standards of international norms on freedom of expression.”
The issue also has been addressed by Carl Moeller, chief of Open Doors USA, in an interview with WND at the time, because of the pending threat to the freedoms in America.
“This is a battle for our basic freedoms,” he warned.
“This [U.N. idea] is Orwellian in its deviousness,” he said. “To use language like the anti-defamation of a religion. It sounds like doublespeak worthy of Orwell’s 1984 because of what it really does.”
He said Muslim nations would use it as an endorsement of their attacks on Christians for statements as simple as their belief in the divinity of Jesus Christ, which Muslims consider an affront.
Worse would be the “chilling” effect on language that the U.N. plan would create worldwide, he said.
“This would be a huge blessing to those who would silence dissidents in their countries, Islamic regimes,” he said. “This stands as a monument to the gullibility of the masses in the United States and other places who don’t see this for what it is.”