Islamophobia: “A Problematic Concept”

Mission Europa Netzwerk Karl Martell

After months of waiting, an Austrian anti-sharia activist has received an answer from his government to his request for its reaction to the Turkish prime minister’s advance interference with the Organization of Security Cooperation (OSCE) meeting in Warsaw last October.

Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff sends this introductory note to accompany the reply from the Austrian ministry of foreign affairs:

Prior to the annual Human Dimension Implementation Meeting of OSCE in Warsaw, Poland, Turkey’s prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan declared that Islamophobia needed to be recognized as a crime against humanity. He also made the following boast:

“I was able to include Islamophobia as a hate crime in the final statement of an international meeting in Warsaw.”

This prompted Harald Fiegl, a dedicated Austrian Counterjihadist and representative of Mission Europa Netzwerk Karl Martell, to write a letter to the Austrian minister of foreign affairs and ask whether the Austrian government was aware of Mr. Erdogan’s claim, and what it planned to do about this. It is not standard diplomatic practice for a prime minister to add anything to the final statement of a conference that has not yet taken place.

It took three months and many interventions in the foreign minister’s cabinet to receive an answer.

Here is the letter to Mr. Fiegl from the minister of foreign affairs, kindly translated by JLH:

Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs
Vienna, December 21, 2012
Mr. Harald Fiegl

Dear Mr. Fiegl:

Vice Chancellor and Minister for European and International Affairs, Dr. Michael Spindelegger, has requested that I reply to your communication of September 20.

I am familiar with the cited discussion and I share your view that under international law the concept “Islamophobia” is not straightforward, and is therefore a problematic concept. Proceeding from your interpretations, we may assume that “Islamophobia” (hostility to Islam per se) — without the further qualification of criminal action — does not as a rule satisfy the qualifications for crimes against humanity.


Austria is following with interest the discussion of “Islamophobia,” including at this year’s Human Dimension Implementation Meeting in Warsaw. The concluding report says: “A number of speakers addressed the issues of ‘Islamophobia.’ Concern was expressed over wide-spread demonization of Islam and Muslims, while one speaker requested that the term itself, as well as the concept of “religious hatred” should be clarified, or avoided.”

A purely political judgment on “Islamophobia” in the framework of the OSCE is quite possible in the future. It would, however, have to be preceded by a comprehensive and thorough discussion, wherein the reservations you have noted from the Austrian point of view — but also from others — would be included. Without a clear definition of the concept, no consensus about it can be reached. To that extent, “Islamophobia” will remain in the OSCE, pending further clear discussion, which will be followed very attentively by Austria.

Yours truly.
Dr. Friedrich Stift

Previous posts about the OSCE and the Counterjihad:

2009   Jul   25   A Report on the OSCE Roundtable
    Sep   30   ICLA Tackles Fundamental Freedoms at the OSCE Meeting in Warsaw
    Oct   1   The ICLA Meets the OSCE, Round 2
    Nov   5   The OSCE: Islam and Violence Against Women
        7   Proposed Charter of Muslim Understanding Under Fire At OSCE Meeting in Vienna
        7   “Hate Speech” Accusations at the OSCE Meeting
        8   What is Medica Zenica?
        10   Report on the OSCE Supplementary Human Rights Dimension Meeting
2011   Oct   28   ESW: Liveblogging In Vienna
        28   Steering Public Discourse
        28   Fallacies That Deserve Correction
        29   Towards a “Responsible” Freedom of Speech in Europe
        29   Islamophobia, Islamic Slander, and the OSCE
    Nov   10   The OSCE Fights Racism and Xenophobia in Vienna
        10   When Good Intentions Go Bad
        12   ESW: The ACT! For America Interview at OSCE
        12   OSCE: The murky waters of political correctness
        29   ACT! For America: A Report on the OSCE Meeting in Vienna
2012   Oct   2   OSCE Warsaw: Which Human Rights?
        2   OSCE Warsaw: Apostasy and Its Consequences
        2   OSCE Warsaw: ICLA Demands the Abrogation of the Cairo Declaration
        2   OSCE Warsaw: Join the Brussels Process!
        2   OSCE Warsaw: Islamophobia, Occupation and Slander
        2   OSCE Warsaw: Islam as a Political Ideology
        2   OSCE Warsaw: A Thinly Veiled Threat of Violence
        2   OSCE Warsaw: Define Your Terms!
        2   OSCE Warsaw: Bashing Islamophobia
        3   OSCE Warsaw: The Battle Has Begun
        3   OSCE Warsaw: Tolerance and Non-Discrimination II
        3   OSCE Warsaw: “Hate Crimes”
        3   OSCE Warsaw: Kamal Fahmi on Freedom of Speech
        3   OSCE Warsaw: The ICLA Side Event
        3   OSCE Warsaw: An Advocate for Hamas Representing the U.S. Government
        4   OSCE Warsaw: “Threats Have No Place Here”
        8   OSCE Warsaw: The MPAC Connection
        12   OSCE Warsaw: A Response to Salam al-Marayati
        13   OSCE Warsaw: ICLA Side Event on the Cairo Declaration
        14   OSCE Warsaw: A Major Victory for Bürgerbewegung Pax Europa
        19   OSCE Warsaw: HDIM 2012 Wrap-Up
    Nov   8   Intimidated into Silence
        9   The Methods of a Totalitarian Society
        9   ICLA Calls For International Monitors At Protests In Western Europe
        9   The Crushing of Dissent
    Dec   23   ICLA’s OSCE Mission In 2012 — Reflections

3 thoughts on “Islamophobia: “A Problematic Concept”

  1. This is news to me also. The wife of my minister, who had just been on a holiday to “Asia Minor” told me how many Christians there were in Turkey, it was something like one per cent of the population of around 120 million.

    I remember talking to a lady who went on holiday to Istanbul and saw the Hagia Sophia some years ago. She could not get over her upset at seeing the fate of one of the largest early churches of Christendom.

    Perhaps we should ban the building of mosques in Europe for those from any country which either bans churches or persecutes Christians. There wouldn’t be many mosques then would there? especially in Britain where most muslims are Pakistanis.

    As for the EU, this Marxist organisation is so violently anti-Christian that I don’t suppose it cares one jot about Turkey’s refusal to allow churches. Somebody once suggested that the EU was catholic at heart and that the ring of stars was in imitation of those around the head of the Virgin Mary. Perhaps it is a mockery of the same. But don’t forget that it is the Virgin Mary who is meant to crush the serpent that is satan. So perhaps she could land her delicate right foot right on top of the European Commission.

  2. About 100 years ago, just before WWI, Christians were about 30% of the population of Turkey, including most of the Aegean coast, sections of the Black Sea coast (mostly Greek) and the area around Lake Van (mostly Armenian). Christians have been massacred or driven out in successive waves (1915, 1922, 1955, post-1974)so that now there are only about 2,000 individuals left, less than 1%.

  3. Pingback: Flashback: The Austrian Government Considers “Islamophobia” a Problematic Concept | Gates of Vienna

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