“I must take exception to the remarks by OIC Sec-Gen Ihsanoglu, that “there is no such thing as the right to insult.” Contrary to what the Secretary-General says, Freedom of speech does in fact mean the right to insult. Regardless of how tasteless it may be, it is a crucial, integral part of freedom of speech, one simply can’t survive without the other.
Also, while it’s understandable that professor Ihsanoglu presents the Organization of the Islamic Council in the best light possible, I find it necessary however, to bring to light some of the troublesome aspects of the OIC itself and its agenda, that Sec-Gen Ihsanoglu is unwilling to touch.
While the OIC presents itself as being concerned with human rights as well as being a bridge for peace and understanding to the non-Muslim world, many of its own member states are the chief violators of human rights and promoters of the vilest forms of anti-Semitism seen since the rise and fall of National Socialism in Germany, during the 30’s and the 40’s. The evidence is undeniable, it’s a fact which has led the US House of Representatives to approve Resolution 1361 adopted on Sept. 23 of this year, with the expressed aim, and I quote:
“defeating the campaign by some members of the Organization of the Islamic Conference to divert the United Nation’s Durban Review Conference from a review of problems in their own and other countries, by attacking Israel, promoting anti-Semitism, and undermining the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.”
So my question to professor Ihsanoglu is: In light of the US Congress resolution, Can OIC sec-Gen offer his own personal assurances that the O I C is not going to use the conference, to attack Israel, as well as focusing on global blasphemy, which “would legitimize arbitrary restrictions of freedom of thought, conscience and religion, and the freedoms of expression and opinion, all in the name of protecting religions from ‘defamation’ and ‘blasphemy.?
“Well there are many other things to speak of..I don’t know what you mean by eh…this person asked me, “What is the alternative to Islamism?” I don’t know anything called Islamism, I know Islam, in fact I don’t know what Islamism is. Now, coming to the very important question, addressed by the last person, sir you are under the wrong impression.
OIC Sec-Gen Professor Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu:
Tundra Tabloids: How so?
Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu: We are not anti-Semitic, (unclear) believing in moderacy and decency as part of my belief, my doctrine, I am a Muslim, and when I pray, I pray for all prophets including Moses, Jesus and Mohamed. So you cannot speak about any Muslim, good or bad, as anti-Semitic, this is a theory, this is not the case.
Now coming to the Durban Conference, We have to, for those who follow these issues. The Human Rights Council in Geneva has been issuing resolutions related to the defamation of religions and the protection against hatred. This is the Human Rights Council, and the Human Rights Council mandated to discuss this, and there are certain rapporteurs appointed by the High Commission. They do the report and according to this report they accept or refuse this resolution. This is the framework, legal framework.
When it comes to OIC’s position, I have to tell you our group there is very active, and we’re proud of it. But we being active there, we say, to European countries who are members of this, eh, and other Western countries of this commission, the Council, the Human Rights Council, “Please, lets work together…please lets work together”.
We are not anti-Christian, we are not anti-Semitic, we are not anti-anybody. but we are anti-insult, we are anti-defamation, we are anti-abusing the freedom. The freedom sir, does not mean insulting, this is not acceptable, this is incitement to hatred on a religious basis, on a racial basis is prohibited by international convention.
If you say that this publishing of the cartoons is still a matter of freedom of expression…
Tundra Tabloids: Yes it is.
Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu: I must then as you one question, why did the same newspaper refuse, the same editor who allwed these uncivilized cartoons, “on my prophet”, why he did not allow publishing a similar cartoon on Jesus Christ? The same newspaper?
I’m against any cartoon, impolite, against any prophet, against any revered symbol of any religion. I have to repsect that this is part of my doctrine. But I’m asking a question, when he refuses one on Jesus and accept, and even solicit and provoke and make a competition and then publish them. Why?
Here I think we have a little problem, not freedom, but a problem, it’s not a problem it’s a matter of morality which is (unclear) it’s public morality.
The rest of his responses concerning free speech and the upcoming Durban Conference, were as depressingly simple minded as his odd denial of Islamic anti-Semitism. Remember, this is a man who is leading the world’s largest Islamic body, and if he can’t even admit to stark reality of Islamic anti-Semitism, how in the world can the West ever expect Islam to be “modernized, if it refuses to own up to its dark past and present? KGS
Ann Bayefsky who runs Eye on the UN, does us all a favor and fisks the provisions of Durban II, which begins here. There are only five more months left before the spectacle begins, Bayefsky lest us know in advance what’s in store. KGS
The Demonization of Israel and of Jewish Self-Determination – Modern Antisemitism
Attacking Freedom of Expression
Attempting to Thwart Efforts to End Terrorism
The Victimhood Game – Alleged Discrimination Against Muslims
72.Reaffirms that a foreign occupation founded on settlements, its laws based on racial discrimination with the aim of continuing domination of the occupied territory, as well as its practices, which consist of reinforcing a total military blockade, isolating towns, cities and villages under occupation from each other, totally contradict the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations and constitute a serious violation of international human rights and humanitarian law, a new kind of apartheid, a crime against humanity, a form of genocide and a serious threat to international peace and security;
136.[Reiterates its concern about the plight of the Palestinian people and other inhabitants of Arab territories under foreign occupation, urges respect for international human rights law and international humanitarian law and calls for a just, comprehensive and lasting peace in the region;]
137.[Although 7 years have passed since the adoption of DDPA Notes Condemns the fact that the Palestinian people continue to be denied the fundamental right of self determination and that, . Iin order to consolidate the occupation, they have been subjected to unlawful collective punishment, torture, economic blockade, severe restriction on movement and arbitrary closure of their territories. It further notes that illegal settlements continue to be built in the occupied territories and that the Review Conference must look into the human rights situation and urge member states to implement the provisions of DDPA with a view to bring lasting peace in the Middle East.]137.[Expresses deep concern at the plight of the Palestinian refugees and other inhabitants of the Arab occupied territories as well as and displaced persons who were forced to leave their homes because of war and racial policies of the occupying power and who are prevented from returning to their homes and properties because of a racially based law of return., It and recognizes the right of return of the Palestinian refugees as established by the General Assembly in its resolutions, particularly resolution 194 (III) of 11 December 1948, and call for their return to their homeland in accordance with and in implementation of this right;]138.[Re-emphasizes the responsibility of the international community to provide international protection for the Palestinian people under occupation and other inhabitants of the Arab occupied territories against aggression, acts of racism, intimidation and denial of fundamental human rights, including the rights to life, liberty and self-determination;]139.[Recognizes the individuals, groups and nations affected by policies and practices, such as colonialism, slavery and cleansing, that are based on theories of racial or national superiority, hatred and distinction as to race, colour, descent, or national or ethnic origin as well as culture, religion and language as victims of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance;]
9.[Reaffirms that a foreign occupation founded on settlements, its laws based on racial discrimination with the aim of continuing domination of the occupied territory, as well as its practices, which consist of reinforcing a total military blockade, isolating towns, cities and villages under occupation from each other, totally contradict the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations and constitute a serious violation of international human rights and humanitarian law, a new kind of apartheid, a crime against humanity, a form of genocide and a serious threat to international peace and security;]
346.Recognizes Jerusalem as a city of reverence and religious sanctity for three major religions of the world and call for an international effort to bring foreign occupation, together with all its racial practices, to an end, especially in holy shrines dear to the three religions;
93.Expresses deep regret the practices of racial discrimination against the Palestinians as well as other inhabitants of the Arab occupied territories which have an impact on all aspects of their daily existence such as to prevent the enjoyment of fundamental rights, express our deep concern about this situation and renew the call for the cessation of all the practices of racial discrimination to which the Palestinians and the other inhabitants of the Arab territories occupied by Israel are subjected;127.Reiterates that the Palestinian people continue to be denied the fundamental right of self determination and urges member States to look at the situation of Palestinian people during the Durban Review Conference and implement the provisions of DDPA with a view to bring lasting peace in the Middle East;
Section 4 – Identification and sharing of best practices achieved at the national, regional and international levels in the fight against racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance.
24 (c) [Elaborating specific laws on combating defamation and incitement to racial and religious hatred, in conformity with obligations under article 20 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and article 4 of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination;]
16.[Urges States to adopt and enforce legal and administrative measures at the national and local levels, or to strengthen existing measures, with the aim of preventing and punishing expressly and specifically contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance in public and private life];
Still to be discussed, as part of this ongoing “human rights” dialogue, are the following outrageous proposals for the final outcome of Durban II: a code of conduct for journalists, a call for states to highly regulate speech according to Islamic states’ concepts of “objectivity,” and more and more national and international rules about the concocted “defamation or negative stereotyping of religions.”
109.Recommends that the use of the new information technologies, including the Internet, should contribute to combating racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance and that they should also be used to promote tolerance and respect for diversity;110. Calls upon the world media to establish and disseminate through their relevant associations and organizations a code of ethical conduct with a view to prohibiting the proliferation of ideas of superiority and the justification of racial or religious hatred and discrimination in any form, and promoting mutual respect and tolerance among all peoples;
140….recent events have once again highlighted the need to demarcate the legal contours between freedom of expression and hate speech. OHCHR’s proposed Expert Consultations on the permissible limits to freedom of expression, by taking into account the mandatory prohibition of advocacy of religious hatred, should reach some
conclusions and recommendations coming out from the consultations should be worthy of including in the Review Conference documents
146.Calls upon the Durban Review Conference to provide guidelines for States taking into account the assessment of various Durban follow up mechanisms as well as the recommendations of the Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance on the issue of defamation or negative stereotyping of religions;
189.Notes that some of the other obstacles hampering progress in the collective struggle against racism and racial discrimination include; weak legislation and policies, lack of moral, educational and practical strategies, non-implementation of international legal framework and commitments by some, persisting impunity on different grounds such as freedom of expression, counter terrorism or national security as well as sharp increase in the extreme right wing xenophobic political platforms.
235.Calls on states to ensure that any measures taken in the fight against terrorism do not discriminate, in purpose or effect, on the grounds of race, colour, descent, or national or ethnic origin as well as on the grounds of culture, religion and language and that non-citizens are not subjected to racial or ethnic profiling or stereotyping;
102.Calls on States to ensure that any measures taken in the fight against terrorism do not discriminate, in purpose or effect, on the grounds of race, colour, descent, or national or ethnic origin as well as on the grounds of culture, religion and language and that non-citizens are not subjected to racial or ethnic profiling or stereotyping;
41.Notes that As regards the debate of contemporary forms of racism, some of the most worrying trends since 2001 include racio-religious profiling and discrimination, defamation of Muslims, their faith and beliefs, incitement to religious hatred and its concomitant effects on multiculturalism, national and international peace and stability as well as human rights of the affected communities.43.Shares the Special Rapporteur’s assessment that the most serious manifestations of defamation of religions are the increase in Islamophobia and the worsening of the situation of Muslim minorities around the world. He has mentioned three main developments in this context; a) the stereotypical association of Islam (and Muslims) with violence and terrorism; b) the determination to impose restrictions on manifestation of Islam including construction of mosques and its minarets; and c) monitoring and surveillance of places of worship, culture and teaching of Islam.45. Acknowledges that the most disturbing phenomenon is the intellectual and ideological validation of Islamophobia. When it is expressed against migrants it takes the form of religo-ethnic or religo-racial tones, when it is expressed in the form of defamation of religions, it takes cover behind the freedom of expression and when it is expressed in the form of profiling. It hides behind the war against terrorism.Believes that association of terrorism and violence with Islam or any other religion including through publication of offensive caricatures and making of hate documentaries would purposely complicate our common endeavours to address several contemporary issues including fight against terrorism and occupation of foreign territories and peoples.
Up for debate are more and more and more allegations of Islamophobia. The only question is how many such hysterical, false and inflammatory allegations will the European Union allow into the Durban II final product.
2.[Notes also with concern the increase in incidents of defamation of religions, a phenomenon involving racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance that is developing in the current political and ideological context and its most serious manifestation in the form of increase in Islamophobia.]
53….When examining periodic reports, the Committee has expressed its concern about reported cases of “Islamophobia” following the 11 September attacks. Furthermore, while taking note that the criminal legislation of some States includes offences where religious motives are an aggravating factor, it has regretted that incitement to racially motivated religious hatred is not outlawed. The Committee has recommended that States give early consideration to the extension of the crime of incitement to racial hatred to cover offences motivated by religious hatred against immigrant communities . [para 8, page 10 A/CONF.211/PC.2/5]
100.Urges States to take serious steps to address the contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance and in this context to take firm action against negative stereotyping of religions and defamation of religious personalities, holy books, scriptures and symbols;
142.National laws alone cannot deal with the rising tide of defamation and hatred against Muslims, especially if such trends are spreading to the grass root communities. A framework is needed to analyze national laws and understand their provisions. This could then be compiled in a single “universal document” as guidelines for legislation – aimed at countering “defamation of religions”.