A conference on Islamophobia sponsored by a group of Islamic countries has just concluded in Istanbul. The Secretary General of the Organization of the Islamic Conference gave the opening address on Saturday. Below is an account of his speech taken from the OIC website:
The Secretary General Addresses the Opening of the International Conference on Islamophobia, Istanbul, December 08, 2007
The Secretary General of the OIC, Prof Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu addressed the opening session of the international conference on Islamophobia opened on Saturday December 08, 2007 in Istanbul, a two day conference organized by the Union of NGOs of the Islamic World (UNIW).
In his address at the occasion, Prof. Ihsanoglu commended the UNIW for organizing the conference and informed the participants of the various endeavours of the OIC in countering Islamophobia.
Prof. Ihsanoglu mentioned that causes of Islamophobia are many and rooted in historical animosity, and currently it is the principle of freedom of expression that is being used as a cover to foment the phenomenon in the West, although many international and national legal instruments do not allow incitement to religious hatred. He also advocated the importance of moral and ethical responsibility in practicing democracy.
So Prof. Ihsanoglu considers that freedom of expression is being used as a “cover” for Islamophobia.
Well, I’ll confess to it: I’m an unabashed Islamophobe.
I know, I know — a “phobia” is an irrational fear, and there’s nothing irrational about a fear of Islam. Just ask Daniel Pearl — oh, wait a minute; that’s right: you can’t.
But until someone comes up with a better and more concise term, it will have to do: I’m using freedom of expression to cover my Islamophobia. I’m cowering behind the First Amendment in order to insult, denigrate, dishonor, and defame the Legions of the Prophet.
The goal of the OIC and the other participants in the Istanbul conference is to get that pesky ol’ First Amendment out of the way so that they can
cut the throat of put a stop to Islamophobia.
The Secretary General stressed that dialogue initiatives should propose a specific path and have a well-defined ultimate goal. He welcomed the dialogue calls from some Western countries but requested that those countries should undertake a preliminary internal or domestic dialogue among the different trends in their own societies to clarify their stands.
Presumably Prof. Ihsanoglu means that the other countries of the West should emulate the EU in their approach to the principle formerly known as “freedom of speech”. The EU, as you may recall, has put together the framework decision on combating racism and xenophobia, which lines up nicely with what the OIC is calling for:
– – – – – – – – –
Racism and xenophobia will mean belief in race colour, descent, religion or belief, national or ethnic origin as a factor determining aversion to individuals.
Certain forms of conduct outlined below committed for a racist or xenophobic purpose will be punishable as criminal offences:
- public incitement to violence or hatred;
- public insults or threats;
- public condoning of genocide or crimes against humanity as defined in the Statute of the International Criminal Court;
- public dissemination or distribution of tracts, pictures or other material containing expressions of racism and xenophobia;
- directing of a racist or xenophobic group (by “group” is meant a structured organisation consisting of at least two persons established for a specific period). [emphasis added]
This may not quite rise to the standards envisioned by the OIC, but it’s a good start. It doesn’t take a crystal ball to foresee a good working relationship between the anti-Islamophobes in Istanbul and the mandarins of the European Union.
But back to Prof. Ihsanoglu:
He expressed his firm conviction that what unites Islam and Christianity outweighs what keeps them apart based on their common beliefs and common ancestry and that it was on this premise that he had frequently called for a “Historic Reconciliation” between Islam and Christianity.
This is one of the trendiest memes of 21st-century ecumenism: the “reconciliation” between Islam and Christianity. I don’t have the time or the inclination to go into the details, but suffice it to say that the burden of compromise is intended to rest more on the shoulders of Christians than it is on Muslims.
Or, to paraphrase Mephistophilis in Doctor Faustus, the surest way to reconciliation is for Christians to repudiate the Scriptures and their Saviour Christ, stoutly abjure the Trinity, and pray devoutly to the Prince of Hell.
The OIC Secretary General also alluded to the efforts of the OIC Islamophobia Observatory and heralded the forthcoming release by the Observatory of the first ever Annual Report on Islamophobia. He invited the participating experts and NGOs to cooperate with the Observatory in order to enhance the document. He also mentioned that in addition to combating Islamophobia, humanitarian assistance and relief works was the other important field where OIC General Secretariat would like to benefit from the experience of NGOs.
I picture an “Islamophobia Observatory” as a huge astronomical installation atop Mt. Ararat or someplace similar, with telescopes directed towards the infidel world using special sensors to root out opposition to Islam wherever it may be found.
The conference, with the participation of more than 150 scientists, scholars and NGO representatives from different countries have discussed the causes and manifestations of Islamophobia as well as the ways and means of combating it.
Expect the “ways and means of combating Islamophobia” to focus primarily on the United Nations. This is part of the run-up to the next Durban atrocity coming up in 2009.
The infidels are being softened up. Watch for a full-court press in the UN in the next two years.
Hat tip: TB.