“Incoming” – UK signs agreement on “religious freedom” with OIC.(SEC).Concerns have been raised by the National Secular Society that the UK’s stance on free speech could be compromised by an agreement signed at the United Nations between this country and the Organisation of Islamic Co-operation (OIC). The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed by Baroness Sayeeda Warsi – the new “Minister for Faith” – and pledges that the UK and the OIC will “work together on issues of peace, stability and religious freedom.” At present, the OIC is agitating at the United Nations for a global blasphemy law that would make criticising or satirising religion a punishable offence. Terry Sanderson, president of the National Secular Society, said: “We are all for co-operation between nations to try to foster peace and understanding, but the concept of ‘religious freedom’ is one that the OIC has distorted to mean restrictions on free expression.
“We hope that by signing this document the UK will not in any way compromise its commitment to human rights – particularly the human right to free speech. The British Government has been steadfast in its opposition to the OIC’s blasphemy proposals up until now. We hope that this document will not change that in any way.”
Baroness Warsi’s other remit – as well as being ‘Minister for Faith’ – is at the Foreign Office and includes being the lead minister responsible for Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Central Asia, the UN, the International Criminal Court and the OIC, which is the largest multi-lateral organisation in the world after the UN. She became the first British minister to speak at the OIC’s conference in June 2011 in Astana, Kazakstan. Previously she had hosted the secretary-general of the OIC in London and visited its secretariat in Jeddah, while she was in Saudi Arabia for performing Hajj. This led to the appointment of Britain’s first special representative to the organisation and its 57 members. Baroness Warsi has visited Pakistan five times during the past two and a half years in government, a country which was so central to the formation of the Islamic Conference. In the landmark agreement there is a particular emphasis on promoting the “key role Muslims have played in shaping modern Britain” and encouraging Muslim communities to play a key role at all levels in public life. Lady Warsi said: “When I addressed the OIC Conference in Kazakhstan in June 2011, I said we face the global challenges together.
This agreement formalises that, establishing our many, many areas of co-operation, from security to conflict prevention; from religious freedom to human rights. One of the central aims of my new role will be to strengthen this relationship further and I am looking forward to ensuring we continue to work closely to achieve our mutual goals.” She also praised the Framework Co-operation Agreement, signed with the OIC’s secretary-general, for its focus on promoting inter-religious understanding and interfaith dialogue, especially as these are two vital areas in the senior minister’s new governmental role. Terry Sanderson commented: “There is certainly a need for some kind of inter-religious understanding among OIC member states, a number of which suppress Christianity and other religions in a brutal and merciless fashion. “The blasphemy law which is being proposed by the OIC on behalf of its members would be an entirely dangerous and regressive step if it were to be approved at the UN. It is quite clear that it would be used to persecute and oppress non-Muslim minorities in Muslim-majority countries, as the domestic blasphemy law in Pakistan does at present. Mr Sanderson continued: “In Egypt the blasphemy laws are also used to get rid of political opponents and are sometimes used as a means of revenge by neighbours or colleagues who are in dispute. We do not need this kind of primitive legislation in our democracies and we need reassurance from our Government that their resolve remains unaffected by the signing of this agreement with the OIC.”Read the full story here.
…but it works both ways with Islam. If slandering religion is illegal, then Islam is illegal. however we all know the intent in the change in the UK
(weaselzippers.us) Via WaTi:
. . .Sec. Clinton’s statement on Thursday bring to light her address to the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) after the UN’s Human Rights Council passed resolution 16/18. The resolution was heavily promoted as a method to “combat religious intolerance.” In her remarks, Mrs. Clinton said:
The Human Rights Council has given us a comprehensive framework for addressing this issue on the international level. But at the same time, we each have to work to do more to promote respect for religious differences in our own countries. In the United States, I will admit, there are people who still feel vulnerable or marginalized as a result of their religious beliefs. And we have seen how the incendiary actions of just a very few people, a handful in a country of nearly 300 million, can create wide ripples of intolerance. We also understand that, for 235 years, freedom of expression has been a universal right at the core of our democracy. So we are focused on promoting interfaith education and collaboration, enforcing antidiscrimination laws, protecting the rights of all people to worship as they choose, and to use some old-fashioned techniques of peer pressure and shaming, so that people don’t feel that they have the support to do what we abhor.
#Sensitivity: Let’s send another gay 2get ass raped by the #MuslimBrotherhood. Sexual orientation doesn’t matter here!
“While the United States rejects efforts to denigrate the religious beliefs of others, we must all unequivocally oppose the kind of senseless violence that took the lives of these public servants,” President Obama said in response to the brutal murder of the U.S. ambassador to Libya John Christopher Stevens and three other embassy staff members. Obama promised to “bring justice” to the killers and added: “There is absolutely no justification to this type of senseless violence. None.”
Ambassador Stevens and embassy staff members were killed in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi on the eleventh anniversary of 9/11. Ambassador Stevens’ body was dragged through the streets of Benghazi by angry Muslims — the very same city that the United States and its NATO allies saved from imminent massacre at the hands of Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi.
Ambassador Stevens had said last May when he returned to Libya to serve as the U.S. ambassador:
I had the honor to serve as the U.S. envoy to the Libyan opposition during the revolution, and I was thrilled to watch the Libyan people stand up and demand their rights. Now I’m excited to return to Libya to continue the great work we’ve started, building a solid relationship between the United States and Libya, to help you, the Libyan people, achieve your goals.
Tragically, the Islamists whose lives may have been saved by Obama’s intervention into the Libyan civil war are pursuing radically anti-American goals that cost Ambassador Stevens his life.
President Obama praised Stevens as “a courageous and exemplary representative of the United States” and said that his “legacy will endure wherever human beings reach for liberty and justice.” He has pledged to bring the attackers to justice and to provide more security for our embassies. That’s fine as far as it goes. The problem is that both Obama and his State Department have denigrated the unique importance of free speech in the pantheon of American liberties in favor of protecting the sensibilities of Muslims who are offended by speech critical of their religion.
The Benghazi murders occurred during a rocket attack on the car being used to rush Ambassador Stevens and the three other Americans from a consular building stormed by Islamists allegedly upset about a film made in the United States by U.S.-based Egyptian Coptic Christians insulting the Muslim prophet Mohammad. It was this same film that sparked an attack by Islamists on the American embassy in Cairo.
Obama had not directed any remarks specifically to the 9/11 Cairo attack, which took no lives but resulted in the destruction of the American flag and its replacement with an Islamic flag on American property. Instead, his State Department’s Cairo embassy chose only to condemn the offensive film:
The Embassy of the United States in Cairo condemns the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims – as we condemn efforts to offend believers of all religions…We firmly reject the actions by those who abuse the universal right of free speech to hurt the religious beliefs of others.
Sensing a possible political embarrassment of appearing to defend the Egyptian Islamist attackers by condemning the object of their wrath, the White House at first tried to distance itself from the Cairo embassy statement. But Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, in responding to the news of the attack on the Libyan embassy, both condemned that attack and the film that sparked it. She said that the U.S. deplores any intentional effort to denigrate the religious beliefs of others but that there is never any justification for violent acts as occurred in Libya. Obama took up the same refrain when he said, as quoted at the outset of the article, that “While the United States rejects efforts to denigrate the religious beliefs of others, we must all unequivocally oppose the kind of senseless violence that took the lives of these public servants.”
Here is the problem. By including in both Obama’s and Clinton’s statements a condemnation of speech such as the offensive film that “denigrates” religious beliefs, the Obama administration is denigrating the First Amendment protection of free speech no matter how offensive it may be. This is reinforced by the fact that Obama and Clinton evidently waited for confirmation of the loss of American diplomats’ lives before addressing the violence head-on, and they still refused to link Islamism with the violence. Apparently, destroying the American flag hanging at half mast on 9/11 and replacing it with an Islamist flag associated with jihad was not worthy alone of unequivocal condemnation by either the president or the secretary of state.
This is not an inadvertent lapse. It is part of the Obama administration’s relentless campaign to deny that we are at war with Islamist jihadists. At its highest levels, the Obama administration insists on using euphemisms and general references to terrorists and extremists rather than accurate language describing the Islamist ideology we are fighting. And it has sided with the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in trying to marginalize those who dare criticize this ideology and its sources rather than defend the First Amendment.
Clinton met with OIC officials in Istanbul in July of 2011, at a conference she co-hosted, to embark on what has become known as the “Istanbul Process.” The ostensible purpose of the Istanbul Process is to work with Muslim-majority countries, the OIC and other interested nations on exploring specific steps to combat intolerance, negative stereotyping, discrimination and violence on the basis of religion or belief. This was followed up by a three-day closed door meeting hosted by the State Department last December in Washington, D.C.
In other words, behind closed doors, the Obama administration has been working with the OIC to find acceptable ways to stifle speech offensive to Muslims without going so far as outright censorship of Americans’ speech — at least not yet. Indeed, Clinton assured her OIC partners that she was perfectly on board with using “some old-fashioned techniques of peer pressure and shaming, so that people don’t feel that they have the support to do what we abhor.” Hillary is right in line with Barack Obama’s vow to the Muslim world in his June 2009 Cairo speech: “I consider it part of my responsibility as President of the United States to fight against negative stereotypes of Islam whenever they appear.”
Hence, the Obama administration’s responses to the attacks in Egypt and Libya that de-couple the violence from Islam and include condemnations of speech considered offensive to Muslims. As a result, our First Amendment right of free expression – starting with expression that the Obama administration and the Islamists “abhor” – are in jeopardy of being whittled away. The Obama administration’s willingness to use government mechanisms to apply “old-fashioned techniques of peer pressure and shaming” is already in full swing. But it may be just the beginning. We must remain vigilant against efforts by the Obama administration to pursue legal mechanisms such as hate speech laws and vigorous enforcement of very broadly interpreted anti-discrimination laws, supplementing its “shaming” campaign, to curb any speech the administration and its OIC partners think may “denigrate” Islam.
Article printed from FrontPage Magazine: http://frontpagemag.com
URL to article: http://frontpagemag.com/2012/joseph-klein/atrocity-in-libya/
(Carl) Mrs. Clinton gives up whatever principles she might ever have had to suck up to Islam.
|You’ve come a LONG WAY BABY!|
…Last July in Istanbul, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton co-chaired a “High-Level Meeting on Combating Religious Intolerance” with the Saudi-based Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). Mrs. Clinton invited the OIC to Washington for a conference to build “muscles of respect and empathy and tolerance.” That conference is scheduled for Dec. 12 through Dec. 14.
For more than 20 years, the OIC has pressed Western governments to restrict speech about Islam. Its charter commits it “to combat defamation of Islam,” and its current action plan calls for “deterrent punishments” by all states to counter purported Islamophobia.
OIC pressure on European countries to ban “negative stereotyping of Islam” has increased since the 2004 murder of Theo Van Gogh for his film “Submission” and the Danish Muhammad cartoon imbroglio of 2005. Many countries (such as France, Germany, Austria, the Netherlands, Finland, Italy and Sweden), hoping to ensure social peace, now prosecute people for “vilifying” Islam or insulting Muslims’ religious feelings.
Encouraging a more civil discourse is commendable, and First Amendment freedoms mean the U.S. won’t veer down Europe’s path anytime soon. But if the Obama administration is committed to defending constitutional rights, why is it, as the OIC’s Mr. Ihsanoglu wrote in the Turkish Weekly after the Istanbul meeting, standing “united” on speech issues with an organization trying to undercut our freedoms? Mr. Ihsanoglu celebrates this partnership even while lamenting in his op-ed that America permits “Islamophobia” under “the banner of freedom of expression.”
President Obama should put a stop to this nonsense and declare that in free societies all views and religions are subject to contradiction and critique—and the OIC must learn to tolerate that. The alternative is what the late Indonesian Muslim President Abdurrahman Wahid called “a narrow suffocating chamber of dogmatism.”