The Obama administration, through Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, came out strongly today against the Organization of the Islamic Conference’s efforts to get the UN Human Rights Council to adopt resolutions barring the defamation of religion. By “religion,” the OIC means “Islam.”
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton criticized on Monday an attempt by Islamic countries to prohibit defamation of religions, saying such policies would restrict free speech.
“Some claim that the best way to protect the freedom of religion is to implement so-called anti-defamation policies… . I strongly disagree,” Clinton said. “The protection of speech about religion is particularly important since persons of different faiths will inevitably hold divergent views on religious questions.”
While unnamed in Clinton’s speech, the Organization of the Islamic Conference, a group of 56 Islamic nations, has been pushing hard for the U.N. Human Rights Council to adopt resolutions that broadly bar the defamation of religion. The effort has raised concerns that such resolutions could be used to justify crackdowns on free speech in Muslim countries.
Earlier today, President Obama signed into law a new hate crimes bill that has been enraging the religious right, because it extends federal hate crimes to include assaults against people due to sexual orientation.
Here’s Christopher Hitchens on the Organization of the Islamic Conference’s latest attempts to use the United Nations to criminalize “blasphemy” (read: criticism of Islam) around the world.
Our pals in Saudi Arabia and the other Islamic nations that make up the world’s biggest organization of whiny crybabies are really pushing the “Islamophobia” hoax, in order to criminalize free speech in any Western nation gullible enough to fall for it.
Luckily, Denmark isn’t one; Danish courts rejected a suit against Jyllands-Posten by an Islamic front group, over the dreaded cartoons of blasphemy.
And this sets the crybabies off, of course.
The Saudi-based OIC, the largest grouping of Muslim countries, said the ruling could encourage “Islamophobia”, a fear or dislike of Islam, which the group has identified as existing in the West.
“The Danish ruling came as a surprise to the OIC at a time when almost all Western governments including the USA had made categorical statements rejecting any linkage between Islam and terrorism,” the OIC said.
“The linkage drawn by the Danish court … could create a precedent for exacerbation of Islamophobia.”
Many Muslims regard depictions of the Prophet as blasphemous. The Islamic Faith Society, one of the groups that brought the lawsuit against the Danish newspaper, said it might take its case to the European Court of Human Rights.
Who says Islamic nations aren’t coming up with ground-breaking, innovative research? The 57 nations of the Organization of the Islamic Conference are opening a new observatory!
No, not that kind of observatory, silly.
Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) Secretary-General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu has stated that a project called the Islamophobia Observatory has been launched in order to eliminate the worldwide waves of fear of Islam. [Good luck with that. – ed.]
Ihsanoglu cited the commonsensical intellectual reaction of the Danish public following cartoons published in the country that were critical of Islam as one of the important successes of the project. “We presented a report on Islamophobia at the first summit we held with the CEOs and civil society organizations we are in touch with. It has sparked very positive reactions and spread across Europe in a short time. Publications have praised the initiative. We have seen both support of and opposition to the initiative, but [all in all] it has created very positive reactions,” he said.
Ihsanoglu visited the Zaman Media Group on Thursday and briefed editors and columnists on OIC projects. Stating that the foremost target was to eradicate prejudice and fear of Islam, Ihsanoglu noted that there were groups in favor of the projects and also those disturbed by them. An OIC report on Islamophobia has seriously disconcerted Americans and Europeans, he said, adding: “The report has started to pay off. Let me give you an example: The cartoons published in Denmark and a short film, named ‘Fitna’ and released last month, if you look at the attitudes of the Danish prime minister, the media and civil society organizations, they are all very different from one another. So far, in these three-and-a-half years we have managed to get the UN General Assembly and Geneva make very important decisions. In the meantime the European group was left alone. We have gathered significant support from our own group in Asia, Africa and Latin America. A special rapporteur has been assigned [to track] the denigration and hatred campaigns against religions, and this person will write up reports on the issue.”
(Hat tip: Jihad Watch.)
The Organization of the Islamic Conference, infamous for its antisemitic statements and tacit support for terrorism, and comprised of nations with absolutely abysmal records on human rights, where freedom of religion is utterly nonexistent, wants the world to de-link Islam from terrorism.
They’re not talking about stopping the actual terrorism, of course—just “de-linking” the word “terror” from Islam. They want the West to give up that pesky “free speech” thing, and stop offending Muslims. The same old drill.
GENEVA, Sept 13 (KUNA) — The Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), told the Human Rights Council (HRC) Thursday that the report of the Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief called for stronger denunciation of violence by Muslim leaders in order to “de-link” Islam from terrorism. Representing the OIC, Pakistani diplomat Marghoob Saleem Butt said that there had been many such denunciations and a matching response had not been forthcoming. “The ever-growing incidents of religious intolerance and xenophobia in the west were taking the world far from its aim of religious and cultural harmony. The OIC condemned forced religious conversions by majority religious groups, attacks of places of worship, restriction on the display of religious symbols and erosion of rights of parents to ensure moral education for their children, ” the diplomat added. The representative of the OIC stressed that the Islamic countries deplored States that linked freedom of belief with freedom of expression and opinion in order to shrug off responsibility. “Unrestricted and disrespectful enjoyment of freedom of expression was contrary to the spirit of peaceful dialogue. Equating religions with extremist terrorism was dangerous and it was essential to de-link terrorist acts from the right to peacefully follow one’s faith,” the diplomat added. The representative of the OIC said efforts were needed to eliminate intolerance and discrimination, including through education and interfaith dialogue.
While the Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief, Asma Jahangir, presenting her report, said that in some countries, believers belonging to religious minorities were not allowed to worship or conduct any religious activities without State approval or prior registration. “Furthermore, places of worship or religious properties had been attacked or otherwise subjected to restrictions, and also misused by non-State actors for illegitimate purposes,” she added. Jahangir said that the freedom of pursuing one’s religion or belief should be protected and respected. “On the other hand, the rights of individuals had also to be protected from being violated on the premise of religion or belief. The mandate had noted, time and again, that victims of religious intolerance belonged to all religions and beliefs. At the same time, the perpetrators were also not confined to one or a few identified religious or belief communities,” she said. Jahangir added that freedom of religion or belief was a multifaceted human right. “States should devise pro-active strategies in order to prevent acts of intolerance and discrimination,” she stressed.
(Hat tip: Jihad Watch.)
This is not unexpected, but still horrible news; another entry in the “What the Hell is Wrong with the Bush Administration?” series. Steve Emerson (who has better connections with law enforcement and officials than you or I) is appalled at suggestions that a US envoy to the Organization of the Islamic Conference (a terrible idea in itself) should be approved by CAIR: The White House, CAIR and the OIC.
The White House has admitted to a senior government official that it did not vet the audience members in attendance at President Bush’s speech last week at the Islamic Center of Washington, D.C., despite having been warned of the potential presence of individuals who might have triggered national security concerns.
An informed source has told me that the White House was completely unaware that a Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) representative would be present at President Bush’s speech last week for the rededication ceremony of the Islamic Center of Washington, D.C., and, in fact, had no idea who the mosque leaders had invited to the event, basically surrendering the vetting process to the Islamic Center, a Saudi-funded institution with a documented history (pdf) of extremism and anti-Semitism.
Further, the source told me, “We desperately need to know what radical Islamists are doing in this country” and he was “shocked and surprised to learn that the White House would not take greater care of who was vetted to this event,“ adding, ”this was not your typical Rotary Club invitation.” The source told me that a White House official said that it does not vet all attendees at events to which the President is invited to speak, and the Islamic Center ceremony was no exception. Additionally, the White House was warned by a senior government official that it was making a huge national security error in not vetting those in attendance at the mosque. A White House liaison has told me in the past that CAIR has been barred from attending White House events on national security grounds.
And on cue, CAIR is playing up spokesman Ibrahim Hooper’s attendance at the speech and taking full advantage of its presence to insinuate itself into the President’s agenda.
On the heels of President Bush’s strange announcement at the mosque that he would appoint a “special envoy” to the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), a body with a very disturbing track record (see my article published in the National Review Online, Radical Outreach: Bush coddles American apologists for radical Islam), CAIR has started lobbying for the job.
On a trip to Saudi Arabia to meet with OIC Secretary General Ekmeleddin Ishanoglu to “discuss future CAIR-OIC projects,” CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad made his feelings on the American-OIC envoy known, telling the Saudi-based Arab News, “[w]e hope that the selection of the individual would also be representative of the Muslim community and its views,” meaning that to avoid an Awad-engineered outcry and pressure campaign, the envoy must be “CAIR-approved.”
Here’s the article at the Saudi family’s English mouthpiece, ArabNews, lauding the cooperation between the Council on American Islamic Relations and the Organization of the Islamic Conference: Awad, Ihsanoglu Discuss Future CAIR-OIC Projects.
I am experiencing mild nausea.
Terrorism expert Steve Emerson is just as dismayed by President Bush’s pandering to radicals at the Islamic Center of Washington DC as I am: Radical Outreach.
The President’s idea of an envoy who will “learn” from the Organization of the Islamic Conference is simply ludicrous.
At Wednesday’s rededication ceremony of the Saudi-funded Islamic Center of Washington, D.C., President Bush missed a perfect opportunity to repudiate apologism for radical Islam, and instead announced his latest plan to get the Muslim world to stop hating America: appoint a special envoy to the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC).
Bush praised the OIC, saying, “We admire and thank those Muslims who have denounced what the Secretary General of the OIC called ‘radical fringe elements who pretend that they act in the name of Islam.’” The special envoy’s mission, Bush said, would be to “listen and learn” to OIC ambassadors.
While this may sound nice, it is rooted in complete ignorance of the rampant radicalism, pro-terrorist, and anti-American sentiments routinely found in statements by the OIC and its leaders, including referring to “Islamophobia” — and not the mass slaughter of innocents in the name of Islam — the “worst form of terrorism,” as OIC did last May.
In 2002, the OIC published its “Declaration on International Terrorism.” Therein, the authors stated, amongst other outrageous claims, that there was no such thing as Palestinian terrorism, writing, “We reject any attempt to associate Islamic states or Palestinian and Lebanese resistance with terrorism.” To the OIC, groups like Hamas, Islamic Jihad, the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, and Hezbollah are not terrorists, but “freedom fighters.”
This is just the beginning of a litany of the OIC’s wrongs. In March 2006, OIC General Secretary Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu embraced Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal at a press conference at OIC’s headquarters. Ihsanoglu whitewashed: “With its win, Hamas begins a new stage in the development of the Palestinian issue. We assure that Hamas will deal with all national and international requirements in a practical and logical way.”
At a “special session” of the OIC in August of the same year, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad called for “the elimination of the Zionist regime,” a statement that OIC failed to condemn. Moreover, the OIC has repeatedly backed Iran’s nuclear ambitions. As Ishanoglu said in April, “All member states of the OIC and I have obviously supported Iran’s right to access peaceful nuclear technology,” despite clear indications that the Iranian regime’s uranium-enrichment program is designed chiefly to make nuclear weapons.
And then, there is OIC’s explaining away of the 9/11 attacks, which “expressed the frustration, disappointment, and disillusion that are festering deep in the Muslims’ soul towards the aggressions and discriminations committed by the West.”
There’s more. Read the whole thng…
In all the mainstream media articles about President Bush’s announcement that he’s appointing an envoy to the Organization of the Islamic Conference, not a single one actually looks at the history and statements of this hate-filled Islamic group, whose charter explicitly states that it was formed to help implement the destruction of Israel.
Case in point: this is how the Washington Post describes the OIC: Bush Plans Envoy To Islamic Nations.
The creation of the post will mark the first time a U.S. president has designated an envoy to the 38-year-old organization, which promotes Islamic solidarity and cooperation.
I guess it would just be too difficult for these journalists to actually do some research and find out what the OIC really promotes. They’ve even covered it themselves in the past, but now seem to have forgotten about Malaysian prime minister Mahathir Mohamed’s statement that “Jews rule the world by proxy” and Muslims must unite to find a way to wipe them out: Speech by Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad of Malaysia to the Tenth Islamic Summit Conference.
Or they could just search LGF, for years of stories about the hate speech and support for murder and jihad for which the Organization of the Islamic Conference is infamous: LGF search: “Islamic Conference”.
Our mainstream media: making sure the public stays ignorant. (But we know every detail about Paris Hilton’s field trip to jail.)
Here’s President Bush’s speech at the Islamic Center of Washington DC: President Bush Rededicates Islamic Center of Washington.
The news: Bush is appointing an envoy to one of the world’s most implacable hate-filled groups, the Organization of the Islamic Conference.
To underscore America’s respect for the Muslim faith here at home, I came to this Center six days after the 9/11 attacks to denounce incidents of prejudice against Muslim Americans. (Applause.) Today I am announcing a new initiative that will improve mutual understanding and cooperation between America and people in predominately Muslim countries.
I will appoint a special envoy to the Organization of the Islamic Conference. This is the first time a President has made such an appointment to the OIC. (Applause.) Our special envoy will listen to and learn from representatives from Muslim states and will share with them America’s views and values. This is an opportunity for Americans to demonstrate to Muslim communities our interest in respectful dialogue and continued friendship.
Most Americans probably have no idea what the OIC is all about. But we’ve been covering them at LGF for years—and what they’re all about is blind, virulent hatred of the West, open antisemitism, and enabling of jihad.
Take a walk down memory lane: LGF search: “Islamic Conference”.