CNS.com's Patrick Goodenough reports today on activity at the OIC hive, where busy bees are attempting to use the Florida Koran incident (whether it comes off or not) as an impetus for advancing OIC plans to censor the Islam debate -- to seek a law "criminalizing all forms of offense against religions [read: Islam] under any circumstances" -- through changes in international law.
NB: "Religions" (plural) is a deception because under Islam it is in fact apostasy to believe in the validity of other religions because they have been in effect nullified by Islam. See, for example, w4.1(2) in Reliance of the Traveller, which states, among other things, that "previously revealed religions were valid in their own eras, as is attested in many verses of the Holy Koran, but were abrogated by the universal message of Islam. Both points are worthy of attention from English-speaking Muslims, who are occasionally exposed to erroneous theories ... affirming these religions' validity but denying or not mentioning their abrogation, or that it is unbelief (kufr) to hold that the remnant cults now bearing the names of formerly valid religions, such as `Christianity' or `Judaism,' are acceptable to Allah ... This is a matter over which there is no disagreement among Islamic scholars...."
“The Florida Dove World Outreach Center Church’s plan to burn copies of the Holy Quran on September 11 … requires immediate action to outlaw all acts of defamation of religions and religious sanctities,” the Morocco-based Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO) said in a communique.
“It is a blot on humanity that such discriminatory attack against Islam and Islamic holy sites is continuing in the absence of deterrent legal measures, local and international.”
ISESCO, an arm of the 56-nation Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), called on the U.N. “to issue an international law criminalizing all forms of offense against religions under any circumstances.”
ISESCO’s call was an expected opening salvo in a fresh push by the OIC to use both the Quran-burning threat and the Manhattan mosque dispute to move forward its decade-old campaign to get the U.N. to outlaw what it calls “religious defamation” worldwide.
The OIC argues that legal deterrents are necessary in the light of instances of “Islamophobia” which it says have increased significantly since 9/11. OIC publications use the label “Islamophobia” to cover a range of incidents and trends, from anti-Muslim graffiti to criticism of human rights abuses in Islamic states to counter-terrorism profiling.
Although it has succeeded in getting the U.N. General Assembly and Human Rights Council to pass annual “religious defamation” resolutions, the OIC’s drive has been losing ground – in terms of the size of the vote – amid growing public awareness and opposition by religious freedom, freedom of expression and other advocacy groups.
A little good news (for a change).
Critics say outlawing “religious defamation” would silence legitimate criticism of Islamic teachings and authorities, make life even more difficult for non-Muslim minorities, and amount to enforcing blasphemy-type laws similar to those in place in some of the OIC’s most activist member states, such as Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.
The declining support for its resolution campaign has prompted the OIC to pursue a parallel strategy – to have an existing global anti-racism measure, the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD), amended to incorporate religion.
A U.N. committee looking at identifying and rectifying any “gaps” in the ICERD is considering an OIC request to broaden its provisions to cover religion as well as race.
The following is relevant to something I posted yesterday dealing with the urgent need for our leaders to emphasize what freedom of speech means in the West, and specifically in the USA:
An editorial published by the Saudi daily Arab News Thursday expressed surprise that the U.S. authorities had no legal means of stopping the Quran-burning event because those behind it claimed to be “exercising their right to freedom of expression.”
It echoed similar sentiments raised in editorials and news stories across the Islamic world in recent days.
For a variety of legal, religious and cultural influences codified by Islam, freedom of speech is outside the Islamic experience.
“Ban the desecration now,” Dubai’s Khaleej Times editorialized on Wednesday.
“It is hoped not just in the Muslim communities but enlightened, progressive and peaceful societies across the world that an act such as the Quran bonfire should be strictly forbidden.”
"Forbidden"? That's beyond our ken.
In another small Gulf state, Bahrain, a meeting of multifaith leaders Thursday called on the U.N. to adopt a resolution during its upcoming General Assembly session outlawing the burning of texts held holy by any religion.
In Iran, senior Shi’ite cleric Grand Ayatollah Saafi Golpayegani said Jones should be arrested immediately and his church permanently shut down.
(Elsewhere in Iran, a deputy defense minister said the U.S government was behind the Quran-burning event – an attempt to divert attention away from its global “crimes” – while Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said it had been “orchestrated by the Zionist regime after being defeated in its efforts against Muslims and the Islamic world.”)
Writing on Townhall.com Friday, conservative columnist Diana West said that the only law Jones would break in burning Qurans is Islamic law.
Hey, that sounds familiar ...
“With this in mind, it should become clear that the extraordinary global campaign against this stunt is yet another concerted effort, aided by an army’s worth of useful fools, to bring our constitutional republic into conformance with Islamic law,” she wrote.