The OIC's Back-Door "Blasphemy" Campaign at Durban II
by Aaron Eitan Meyer • Apr 27, 2009 at 1:41 pm
One of the few relatively positive developments to have emerged from the UN debacle known as Durban II was the deletion from the draft resolution of language calling for the international criminalization of "defamation of religion." Without going into a previously addressed issue, the Organization of the Islamic Conference did not thereafter cease its attempts to eradicate the right to criticize Islam, promptly securing a UN Human Rights Council resolution to that effect.
However, despite the fact that even the word "defamation" is absent from the final Durban Review Outcome document, it would be a grave mistake to believe that the OIC abandoned its attempts to use the Durban conference to pursue its 'blasphemy' agenda.
At the high level segment of the Durban Review Conference, OIC Secretary-General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu made certain to restate the claim that "defamation of Islam represents one of the most conspicuous demonstrations of contemporary racism and intolerance, and constitutes a threat to harmonious and cooperative relationship between and among nations."
Ihsanoglu then discussed the need for "a single "universal document" as guidelines for legislation to counter discrimination and its root causes," which is of course extremely ironic considering how the OIC, and Ihsanoglu himself, have expressly stated that they are not bound by any international covenants unless those comport with self-defined Islamic doctrine.
Still, the crucial section of the final document is paragraph 12, which reads as follows:
"Deplores the global rise and number of incidents of racial or religious intolerance and violence, including Islamophobia, anti-Semitism, Christianophobia and anti-Arabism manifested in particular by the derogatory stereotyping and stigmatization of persons based on their religion or belief; and in this regard urges all the UN Member States to implement paragraph 150 of the DDPA" [Durban Declaration and Programme of Action, the much-criticized outcome document of the first Durban conference]
Taken by itself, the paragraph merely condemns several forms of discrimination, naturally emphasizing OIC-invented claims of widespread 'Islamophobia' and 'anti-Arabism.' The following section builds upon it, calling for the prohibition of "any advocacy of national, racial or religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence…"
However, Saudi Arabian delegate Abdulwahhad Attar's speech at the Durban Review Conference serves to explain what 'stigmatization' and 'incitement to discrimination' actually mean as far as the OIC is concerned. Amid rather standard rhetoric, including protestations of tolerance, condemnation of Israel and the like, Attar cited "attacks on religious personalities and symbols" as "aggravating intolerance" and called for "effective and practical steps to address this issue… in accordance with paragraph 150 of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action."
Pakistan's Foreign Minister, Nawabzada Malik Amad Khan, followed suit, terming 'defamation' of religions and 'Islamophobia' as "one of the most insidious forms of contemporary racism" and further contending that 'defamation of religion' incites "violence against its followers."
Accordingly, the OIC's strategy is clarified. Despite not being able to insert an actual 'defamation of religion' clause into the final document, future OIC-backed resolutions will assuredly continue to interpret the document so that its provisions calling for an end to inciting intolerance will be read as including the thought crime of 'defamation of religion.'
It should therefore not be surprising that the OIC has expressed its satisfaction at the adoption of the text. For while the text itself may have been revised and finalized 'by consensus,' the all-important meaning and scope of its words will be construed to further the aims of the OIC.
Geert Wilders Lauds Legal Project
Latest Blog Posts
Latest LP in the Media