Just for the sake of argument, pretend that you have no opinion about Islam or the mass immigration of Muslims into the countries of the West. Imagine that all the information about it is available to you, but that you have drawn no conclusions.
Now, after looking at the situation, would you conclude that virtually all the problems faced by the world’s Muslims were caused by Western Islamophobia?
Not by endemic ignorance, poverty, disease, internal political oppression, and fratricidal violence, but by Islamophobia?
But that’s what the Organization of the Islamic Conference has concluded after a two-day conference in Kuala Lumpur. My original intention was to post a short excerpt from this report, but there is so much in it worth noting that I’m going to paste most of the text below and intersperse it with comments.
Here’s what Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, the Secretary General of the OIC, has to say, according to the OIC website:
Statement by OIC Secretary General at the Third International Conference on the Muslim World and the West: “Bridging the Gap: From Definition to Action”
The theme of this conference is to move forward from “definition to action” in the efforts to bridge the gap between the West and the Muslim World.
The west has allowed the gap to widen by not taking some timely courageous steps. The Palestine question is perhaps the most glaring example. 60 years have elapsed, and the resolution of the Palestine question still remains on the negotiating table. Many peace initiatives taken by various stakeholders failed make progress because the west remained indifferent to Israeli intransigence to carry on with its illegal occupation of Palestine and Arab territories, building new settlements in the occupied territories and deny the Palestinians of their inalienable right to statehood. The situation in Iraq, Lebanon and Afghanistan are just some other examples which have contributed to the gap between the Muslim and the Western World.
First of all, notice that the single significant problem for the entire Muslim world is Palestine. All the other issues are afterthoughts. Never mind the fact that Iran and Iraq killed a million of each other with no help whatsoever from any Jews or Crusaders. Never mind the fact that Muslims were mired in poverty and ignorance for centuries before the naqba, and that untold millions of them have been slaughtered by other Muslims over petty doctrinal differences.
It’s still all Israel’s fault.
In my estimation, the first and foremost action for us would be to determine our priorities and to bring focus of the international community to the core of the issue, which is accepting the reality of the peaceful coexistence in diversity. The bridge that we envisage must be laid on strong foundations of a committed political will not only to talk, but also to listen and to agree on a solution. In this task, all the stakeholders would have to come out of the confines of preconceived mind sets and to interact constructively and frankly towards a set target.
OK, I’m ready for “peaceful coexistence in diversity”? Where can we find this?
Saudi Arabia? Well, it’s peaceful there, but not much diversity, at least in the field of permissible religious worship.
Let’s look at the UK instead. Plenty of diversity, especially of Muslims. And there’s “peace”, in the sense that the UK hasn’t declared war on anyone recently. A lot of rape, assault, muggings, robbery, murder, drug-dealing, and gang wars…
Oh, and a lot of Muslims. Did I mention that?
We must have the strength to take a hard look at ourselves to determine our strengths and accept our weaknesses. At the same time we must not stoop low to judge the other as a lesser partner, nor should we try to impinge on the values and beliefs that may not conform to those of our own. We must demonstrate our courage and determination to isolate those who pose impediments in the way of our efforts of bridging the gap.
What weaknesses? Besides not having nuclear bombs for every Muslim state, what weaknesses do you acknowledge?
And now comes the call to reclaim al-Andalus and the European portions of the Ottoman Empire:
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I wish to call your attention to the historical truth that Muslims as a community were never aliens in the West. The expanded European Union of today has in its folds millions of indigenous Muslims who constitute a considerable principal demographic, intellectual and cultural component of Europe dating from the 8th and the 15th centuries.
No mention of how the Muslims became a considerable principal demographic, intellectual and cultural component of Europe. Nothing about the churches that were razed, the cities put to the torch, or the millions of people slaughtered or enslaved.
And then there’s the wealth of learning and culture that Islam stole from the Jews, the Hindus, the Persians, and the Christians and somehow “enriched” us with:
The eight hundred years of Muslim culture in Spain and in other parts of Europe have enriched Western culture and made vital contribution in many fields of human endeavor — in science, astronomy, mathematics, algebra (itself an Arabic word), law, history, medicine, pharmacology, optics, agriculture, architecture, theology, music, etc. When we consider the geographic dimension and demographic reality, we find that Europe’s boundaries from the 14th to the 21st century include parts of the Muslim world, particularly in its Southern and Eastern regions. Demographically, many Muslims in Europe such as Albanians, Bosnians, Pomaks, Torbich, Romans [sic — what “Roman” Muslims? Does he mean the Rom? They are hardly Muslims. — BB], and the Turks etc. are actually ethnicities of indigenous European origin.
And the chilling finale:
Besides, the millions of Muslims who have emigrated to Europe, the US and other Western countries over the past decades and who have become an integral component of Western societies, are proud of their Western identity. Then why this gap that should have never been allowed to be created in the first place.
In other words: The Europeans should never have been allowed to secede from the Ummah.
Now a little bragging is in order:
The OIC today is the second largest international organization outside the United Nations.
Indeed it is. More to the point, the OIC votes as a bloc, and has thus gained effective control of the UN General Assembly.
We can justly take pride that our Organization has been a pioneer in bringing the concept of Dialogue among Civilizations into the agenda of the international relations as early as 1998 at the UN General Assembly. Since then, we have remained firm and committed in our outreach to the West for meaningful dialogue among civilizations.
But what is meant by “dialogue” here? To Islam, “dialogue” means that Muslims tell the infidel what to do, and the infidel obeys, if he knows what’s good for him. When the infidel talks back, that’s Islamophobia.
In all our interactions, I have made it clear that the Muslim World should not be perceived as an adversary but a partner in peace. We underscored the point that our objective was not to preach but to communicate; to understand and to be understood. We emphasized that the commonalities between Islam and the Christian traditions and culture of the West far outweigh the differences and that these commonalities are the foundations that will hold us together and not set us apart. In this I have on several occasions called for a historical reconciliation between the Muslims and the Christians similar to what has been achieved between Christianity and Judaism. I firmly believe that this is an achievable target and would go a long way in bridging the gap between the two worlds that we are speaking about. Is the West necessarily Christian? It is not, because Europe is also home of Islam, therefore, we should mention it as a Judeo-Christian-Islamic continent.
So here’s the logic: because Muslims took parts of Europe by the sword over the course of seven centuries, Europe remains somehow Islamic, even after expelling the invaders.
But even though the Arabian Peninsula was conquered and occupied by Christians at various times, is any of it considered to be Christian? No?
Funny about that.
In fact, the presence on the edge of Arab territory of a tiny sliver of land occupied by non-Muslims has kept the entire Muslim world in paroxysms of violent indignation for sixty years. No talk is ever heard of a “Judeo-Christian-Islamic” Middle East.
No, the historical reconciliation runs in one direction only: we reconcile to them what historically was theirs, while they get to keep everything they’ve got now.
Nice deal they’ve worked out there.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
But now we get to the meat of the speech: Islamophobia.
I would be remiss if I do not devote a part of my discourse on the scourge of Islamophobia as it is perhaps the biggest impediment that is keeping alive the gap between the West and the Muslim World. A marginal group of individuals and organizations are actively involved in targeting Muslims and Islam in a campaign of hate and discrimination.
Obviously, we’re part of the “marginal group” described in that last sentence.
Of late, this trend is on the rise. I do not have to relate to this august body of the innumerable incidents where Muslims have come under attack of hate and prejudice and made to suffer discriminatory treatment. The hate mongers have resorted to incite passion and unrest by inflammatory and incendiary remarks and publications against symbols that are sacred to Muslims. The most recent incidents in the campaign of Islamophobia are the reprinting of the cartoons and the film Fitna denigrating Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and the Holy Quran.
Notice that the only incidents that Mr. Ihsanoglu can cite involve speech and other forms of expression — cartoons, movies, books, etc. He doesn’t cite violence against Muslims because hardly any of it exists.
And what about the more than 11,000 violent terrorist acts committed in the name of Islam since September 11th, 2001? A trifle! A negligible irritation at most, hardly worth noticing!
This is not to say that I am absolving those few in the Muslim world who are involved in preaching intolerance.
Ah yes, the few, the proud, the intolerant. Anybody want to take a head count?
But the technological advancement and the ownership of the media being almost entirely in Western possession, make this unholy competition almost totally lopsided. I believe that the media can be a dominant and effective partner in the bridging process by rejecting the proponents of hatred and intolerance totally. Such reality is well documented in the OIC Observatory Report on Islamophobia that was circulated in the present conference.
And this is the biggest joke of all: the idea that the Western media are primarily responsible for fostering and spreading Islamophobia. Obviously the man has never looked at Swedish television, where the immigrant status of any violent criminal is never specified. Or visited Britain, where one can be arrested for simply mentioning in public a negative feeling about a Pakistani. Or been to Canada, where it is a hate crime for a non-Muslim to read certain verses from the Koran. Or looked at the latest Hollywood productions, in which Islamic terrorists simply don’t exist, despite the fact that in the real world 99% of violent terrorist acts are perpetrated in the name of Allah.
And the media are the cause of Islamophobia?
Just think how Islamophobic the people of the West would be if the media didn’t push so hard in the opposite direction.
We are encouraged to see however, that an awareness of the dangers of Islamophobia is gradually setting in the West. The condemnation by many Western leaders and governments of Islamophobic acts such as the Fitna are positive confidence building measures that lead us to believe that all is not lost and that the gap can be closed in time. But mere condemnation or distancing from the acts of the perpetrators of Islamophobia will not resolve the issue as long as they remain free to carry on with their campaign of incitement and provocation on the plea of freedom of expression. [emphasis added]
“As long as they remain free…”
Obviously, the intention of the OIC is to do everything within its power to make sure that the citizens of the Western democracies do not remain free.
The Islamic countries have made it clear what they are trying to do, and Mr. Ihsanoglu lays out the blueprint for how it will be done. Needless to say, the vectors for the illiberal infection of the West will be 21st century equivalent of the smallpox-ridden blanket: the United Nations and various other unaccountable international bodies.
We at the OIC have tabled several resolutions at the Human Rights Council in Geneva and at the UN General Assembly calling for coordinated actions to be taken through various means in order to prevent intolerance, discrimination, prejudice and hatred on the grounds of religion and defamation of religions and to promote and ensure respect of all religions. These resolutions were adopted by a significant number of votes. However, these could not obtain consensus since, the West has been reticent in giving their full support. Based on the OIC’s approach to engage with our partners in the West, we are busy working out to reach an agreed language that address our concerns. We believe that adoption of such a resolution along with strict implementation of other existing international instruments including the International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights and national legislations against incitement of hatred on religious grounds would be an effective deterrent against the proponents of religious hatred.
The poisonous mixture of corrupt impenetrable bureaucracy with high-minded do-gooders is what makes it possible for the OIC to do its ugly work among us. Our civil liberties would not be at risk if our leaders hadn’t effectively ceded authority to international bodies over which we have no control.
Mr. Ihsanoglu has a ten-point program that he proposes in order to meet the OIC’s ambitious goals. I include the entire list, with my exegeses interspersed in italics:
To help in bridging the gap separating the Muslim world and the West, I would like to propose the following:
||An open and critical dialogue between stakeholders in the West and the Muslim world including political leaders with strong commitment, to address the root causes of misunderstandings and conflicts and to come up with a realistic approach towards reaching a Historical Reconciliation Pact between Islam and Christianity is necessary.
“Critical dialogue” about Islam is already a working definition of Islamophobia. Obviously, a critical monologue is what he’s really talking about.
||Western Governments should not be shy in publicly condemning Islamophobic incidents and thus restore the confidence of the Muslim world.
This means that everyone must follow Norway’s example after the Motoon Crisis erupted: publicly apologize and abase yourselves over any perceived offense against the Prophet, and include massive financial aid as evidence of your good faith.
||Quality and fair education based on shared values and principles of peace, human rights, tolerance etc should be promoted. This may involve parents, teachers, educationists and communities. The above elements should be taken into consideration in the revision of the curricula and the text books.
In other words: your schoolbooks, even with all their Islam-is-peace revisions, still do not contain enough taqiyya. From now on we will write them for you.
||To this end, national legislation and international normative standards or instruments should also be promoted to guard against the defamation of other’s values and faiths particularly in school curricula.
While we’re at it, we’ll give you the template for the new laws that we require your legislatures to pass.
||International and regional organizations should identify, document and analyze best practice approaches at various levels in support of dialogue among cultures and civilization.
The NGOs will write the new rules!
||Communication and media have to play their role in order to avoid parochialism and contribute to the creation of conditions for intercultural dialogue. Discussions may be conducted among media professionals about the ethics and professional standards. Moreover, joint projects of broadcasts, newspapers, magazines and websites by journalist from different cultural backgrounds should be encouraged.
Time to institute censorship. All media outlets will consult with special boards of Muslim advisors to make sure that their productions are free of Islamophobic content.
||The OIC and the Western Groups at the UN offices in Geneva and New Work [sic] should work towards a consensus resolution on Combating Discrimination against Muslims and incitement of hatred and violence based on faith.
From now on, there will be quotas for Muslims in all fields, and anyone who publicly objects will be arrested.
||The dialogue on tolerance and peaceful cohabitation among diverse faiths has to be taken to the grassroots and the ordinary people.
We insist that you institute a system of block wardens, emulating the successful example of Cuba.
||Efforts should be made to reduce the digital divide between the two worlds and invest on development of human resources.
You will buy our computers for us. We have better things to do with our oil money.
||Youths should be involved actively in bridging the Muslim-West divide.
Ah, those rowdy, high-spirited youths! Bridging the divide between Muslims and the West with petrol bombs in the banlieues of Paris, with knives in Greater London, with iron bars in Slotervaart, and with their own manly equipment among the “schoolgirls of Swedish background” in Gothenburg.
As Mark Steyn likes to say, the future belongs to those who show up for it.
Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu and the Organization of the Islamic Conference are counting on the youths of Islam to show up for their Islamophobia-free future. They’re also counting on the West to sit this one out.
To date their methods have worked fairly well, so they may yet succeed. But if they do, none of us can say that we didn’t know what was coming.
The plan is all there, laid out in black and white for anyone to read.
Hat tip: TB.