Note: This post is of necessity long and involved, because the Organization of Islamic Cooperation does not pursue its goals in a straightforward fashion. If the OIC made all its moves in broad daylight where everyone could see what was happening, this article would not only be much shorter, it would be unnecessary.
Unraveling the knots of the OIC’s intentions requires lengthy exposition, much explaining, and laborious interpretation. The reader may be halfway or two-thirds of the way through this post before he realizes what I’m trying to do.
Bear with me: this really is going somewhere. The result will be worth your time.
In the aftermath of the Oslo massacre, the common theme in the mainstream media on both sides of the Atlantic was that “anti-Islam” websites like this one were at least partially responsible for the slaughter carried out by Anders Behring Breivik. According to the media’s logic, we “created a climate of hate” that helped legitimize the actions of the killer.
As our several of our recent posts have demonstrated, however, the opposite was in fact the case — any opposition to Islam in the West has been relentlessly delegitimized and demonized in public discourse for at least the last decade. The absolute ban on any meaningful discussion of the issues at stake prevented any normal political action, leaving the field open for a psychopathic mass-murderer to do it his way. Many ordinary people have long been silenced, since opposing Islam is often a career-killer, but why would a psychopath worry about such trivial matters?
The public standards regulating the discussion of Islam all across the West are remarkably uniform. Whether enforced formally or informally, they require the suppression of free speech in draconian ways that are not applied to speech about any other religion or group. How did this come about?
All of these rules about what may and may not be said about Islam — where did they come from?
Longtime readers already know the answer to that question: the discussion of Islam in the public forums of the West is regulated by the tenets of shariah, as described in the Koran and the Sunna of the Prophet and codified in the four principal schools of Islamic law. This application of shariah in the West accords with the repeated demands of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) as promulgated through resolutions at the United Nations. The behavior of the media, the academy, and Western political leaders closely follows the strictures against the “defamation of religions” as laid down by the OIC.
In this third installment we’ll highlight a different sort of influence:
- What created the environment in which a Norwegian mass murderer could be “weaponized” so effectively against the European Counterjihad?
- Why are our governments and our media complying with the demands of the OIC?
- How did Western Europe and the United States become such willing and diligent enforcers of shariah law?
To understand the astonishing degree to which the Organization of Islamic Cooperation has subverted the institutions of the West, it is necessary to investigate in some detail the historical and legal basis for the OIC’s demands.
Back during the Danish Mohammed cartoon crisis in 2006, Professor Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, the Secretary General of the OIC, said this [pdf]:
The angry reaction in the Muslim world… is mainly due to the premeditated and deliberate attack on the revered person of the prophet, whose holy position, message and teachings were maliciously and calculatingly sacrilege by the so called defenders of freedom.
To Prof. Ihsanoglu, the rights and freedoms we enjoy in the West are illegitimate and deserving of scorn. He and the OIC recognize a different standard, one that sets well-defined limits on freedom of speech as required by Islam. As I pointed out last week, the OIC foreign ministers recently passed a resolution [pdf] that included these clauses (italics added):
|7.||Expresses its deep concern over the frequent and erroneous association of Islam with violations of human rights and the misuse of the print and audio-visual media in propagating such misconceptions which lead to the reinforcement of prejudice and discrimination against Muslims and calls on the Member States to undertake information activities to counter these activities;|
|8.||Notes with grave concern the increasing trend of Islamophobic measures in the Western countries, stresses the responsibility of those States to ensure full respect to Islam and all divine religions and the inapplicability of using freedom of expression or press as a pretext to defame religions, and calls for refrain from imposing restrictions, in any form whatsoever, on the cultural and religious rights and freedoms of people.|
|10.||Expresses the need to pursue, as a matter of priority, a common policy aimed at preventing defamation of Islam perpetrated under the pretext and justification of the freedom of expression in particular through media and Internet.|
As is often the case with Islam, common English phrases such as “human rights” and “defamation of religion” mean something different to the Muslims of the OIC than they do to non-Muslims.
The founding document of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (now the Organization of Islamic Cooperation) is its Charter [pdf], which states in Article 15:
The Independent Permanent Commission on Human Rights shall promote the civil, political, social and economic rights enshrined in the organisation’s covenants and declarations and in universally agreed human rights instruments, in conformity with Islamic values. [emphasis added]
So what “universally agreed human rights instruments” are referenced here? Is the OIC referring the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which was passed by the United Nations soon after its founding?
Not at all. The OIC considers the UDHR inadequate and un-Islamic. To codify the human rights of Muslims, the OIC created the Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam, commonly known as the “Cairo Declaration”. It is a formal legal instrument put together by the OIC on behalf of OIC member states in 1990, and was formally served to the United Nations in 1993.
|(a)||Everyone shall have the right to express his opinion freely in such manner as would not be contrary to the principles of the Shari’ah.|
|1.||Everyone shall have the right to advocate what is right, and propagate what is good, and warn against what is wrong and evil according to the norms of Islamic Shari’ah.|
|(c)||Information is a vital necessity to society. It may not be exploited or misused in such a way as may violate sanctities and the dignity of Prophets, undermine moral and ethical Values or disintegrate, corrupt or harm society or weaken its faith.|
|(d)||It is not permitted to excite nationalistic or doctrinal hatred or to do anything that may be an incitement to any form or racial discrimination. [emphasis added]|
This is a clear statement of the doctrinal limitations imposed on free speech by Islamic law. Speech may not “violate sanctities and the dignity of Prophets”, nor may it create “doctrinal hatred”. Above all, it must “not be contrary to the principles of the Shari’ah”.
In case the reader has any doubts, Article 24 tells us “All the rights and freedoms stipulated in this Declaration are subject to the Islamic Shari’ah”, and Article 25 says, “The Islamic Shari’ah is the only source of reference for the explanation or clarification of any of the articles of this Declaration.”
Each term in Article 22 is carefully chosen to reflect a specific provision of shariah. At first glance, much of what is written there may seem innocuous to non-Muslims. However, a closer examination of Islamic law reveals meanings that are in direct conflict with the UDHR, the United States Constitution, and human rights as they are generally understood by Westerners.
Islamic law is based directly on the Koran and the hadith, but for over a thousand years it has been codified in various manuals of Islamic jurisprudence that are used in shariah courts. One of the most widely-used and respected manuals is ’Umdat al-salik wa ’uddat al-nasik, or The reliance of the traveller and tools of the worshipper. It was compiled by Ahmad ibn Naqib al-Misri in the 14th century, and is commonly referred to as Reliance of the Traveller when cited in English. My copy is the Revised Edition from 1994, edited and translated by Nuh Ha Mim Keller. This book is universally considered an authoritative source on Sunni Islamic law, since it is certified as such by Al-Azhar University in Cairo, the most respected authority on theological matters in Sunni Islam. The Keller translation is also certified as an authoritative English version by Al-Azhar, the Egyptian government, the Saudi government, and other official bodies.
According to al-Misri, defamation against Islam — slander — is considered an act of apostasy, or leaving Islam. Consulting Book O, “Justice”, in Reliance of the Traveller, we learn that the following acts constitute leaving Islam (§o8.7):
Among the things that entail apostasy from Islam… are:
[…] (4) to revile Allah or his messenger… (5) to deny the existence of Allah… (6) to be sarcastic about Allah’s name… […] (15) to hold that any of Allah’s messengers or prophets are liars, or to deny their being sent… (16) to revile the religion of Islam… […] (19) to be sarcastic about any ruling of the sacred law… (20) or to deny that Allah intended the prophet’s message… to be the religion followed by the entire world…
This is what the Cairo Declaration and the OIC are referring to when they proscribe the defamation of religion. There must be no reviling of Allah or Mohammed. The divine mission of Mohammed may not be denied. In fact, one may not even be sarcastic about the prophet.
Most importantly, these rules do not apply to Muslims only — they must be obeyed by everyone, Muslim and non-Muslim alike. Hence the OIC’s outreach to the UN, and beyond that to individual Western nations, in an attempt to impose its definition of religious defamation on the rest of the world.
The OIC considers itself to be the principal consultative council of the Ummah, which is the collective body of all believers. This is stated explicitly in its Charter:
The Islamic Summit is composed of Kings and Heads of State and Government of Member States and is the supreme authority of the Organisation.
The Islamic Summit shall deliberate, take policy decisions and provide guidance on all issues pertaining to the realization of the objectives as provided for in the Charter and consider other issues of concern to the Member States and the Ummah.
When the fifty-seven nations of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation meet, they declare openly in English that they are the Ummah. Thus the office of secretary general of the OIC — a position now held by Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu — will someday be transformed into that of the Caliph, if the OIC has its way.
This may seem like a paranoid fantasy, but the Caliph was the recognized leader of all Sunni Muslims until Kemal Ataturk abolished the institution of the Caliphate in 1924. During all 1,400 years of Islamic history, only the last eighty-seven have seen the Ummah without a Caliph. The Caliphate is a very recent memory, and looms large in the collective consciousness of all Muslims who are educated in the history and meaning of their faith.
The Caliphate, under Turkish leadership, is what the OIC is aiming for.
When the Ummah achieves its aim, and the world Caliphate is fully realized, everything that I have said here — even though it can be established to be factually true — would make me guilty of slander under Islamic law.
For which, incidentally, the prescribed penalty is death.
What does all this have to do with Anders Behring Breivik and the massacre of July 22, 2011?
Once again, to understand the connection between OIC resolutions and the aftermath of the atrocities in Norway, we must take a circuitous route and examine the OIC’s strategy as it is being applied in the West. The OIC is now halfway through a ten-year program designed to eliminate “Islamophobia” in the infidel world. To that end it established the Islamophobia Observatory, and every year the Observatory issues a report with its findings and recommendations.
The most recent of these reports is the “Fourth OIC Observatory Report on Islamophobia” [pdf], covering the period from May 2010 to April 2011. It was presented at the 38th Council of Foreign Ministers in Kazakhstan at the end of June.
On pages 32-33 we find this:
From the OIC’s perspective and a substantive standpoint, the following elements would have to be considered in evolving a future course of action:
- Consistency would be required to be maintained at two levels, namely, between the different Human Rights i.e. ensuring that there was no hierarchy among these Rights whereby one would be preferred over the others; and secondly, an equal treatment with regard to the three elements of national, racial and religious hatred — in terms of both international law and practice — would be essential; [emphasis added]
This clearly refers to the Cairo Declaration of Human Rights, as described earlier in this post. The declared desire to eliminate “hierarchy among these Rights” is disingenuous — what will happen if any of these different sets of rights contradict each other? More specifically, what will happen if any of the specified rights contradict shariah?
The answer is obvious: the Cairo Declaration takes precedence. As Article 25 states, “The Islamic Shari’ah is the only source of reference for the explanation or clarification of any of the articles of this Declaration.”
In other words, by accepting the Cairo Declaration as an equal partner among various sets of rights, non-Muslims would be implicitly affirming the precedence of shariah. There would be no “equal treatment”. A hierarchy would indeed be established, with Islam at the head, and any assertion to the contrary is deliberate deception on the part of the OIC.
The report continues:
- It appeared that the situation with regard to the Articles 19 (3) and 20 of the International Covenant on Civil and political Rights (ICCPR) could be summed up by focusing on three gaps which may be characterized by cause-effect relationships:
1. The first reflected itself in the ‘implementation void’ wherein the international law, as stipulated in ICCPR and ICERD, was rendered ineffective by the absence of enforcement mechanisms… 2. Secondly, there was an ‘interpretation void’ wherein the spirit or the essence of international instruments had not been adequately amplified for it to be translated into law and practice at the national level; 3. Thirdly, there was an ‘institutional void’ characterized by a lack of monitoring that could be best filled by reviving the Durban Review proposal of an Observatory at the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights that the OIC had been supporting;
Cutting through the bureaucratic bumf, what the OIC is saying here is that there exists no adequate enforcement mechanism for human rights as Islam understands the term, so it proposes to implement the recommendations emerging from “Durban” — a forum dominated by OIC member states.
Further down in the report we read this:
- Approaches like applying the ‘test of consequences’ were useful and would have to be explored/refined further in an objective fashion towards evolving a consensus with regard to effectively addressing the matter; and
- As regards the issue of freedom of opinion and expression, the OIC could with the views of Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Opinion and expression with regard to making “very few exceptions” but the contours of such exceptions would have to be identified. OIC believed that unfortunate and outrageous episodes like the caricatures and the burning of holy Quran merited the grant of such exceptions; [emphasis added]
This is the heart of the matter.
The Cairo Declaration insists that there must be exceptions to the right of free speech — hopefully “very few” — when defamation of Islam or the prophet is the issue. Most European countries, under the benevolent guidance of the EU, have already fallen into line on this requirement, as evidenced by the state prosecutions of Geert Wilders, Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff, Lars Hedegaard, Jussi Halla-aho, and numerous others.
The USA remains a stubborn holdout, thanks to an annoying little piece of paper known as the First Amendment of the United States Constitution. One of the primary goals of the OIC is to find a workaround for this problem, and the “test of consequences” may be the solution it has been looking for.
The idea is that the intent of the speaker and the meaning of what he says would no longer be the only issue. The judicial system would also be required to take the likely “consequences” of his speech into account when determining whether he is engaging in a form of protected expression. If he writes an article, performs a song, or draws a picture that is likely to anger a group of people and make them riot, then that is a consequence of his actions, and would justify restrictions on those particular instances of expression.
If the United States could be persuaded to adopt this test — supplementing the more familiar standard imposing a “test of content”, which covers incitement and so on — then the OIC could implement its plan and eliminate “Islamophobia” in America without ever having to amend the Constitution or change any existing laws.
As the report tells us on pages 36-37:
Reaffirming the validity of the recommendations made in the three preceding reports — as part of the strategy to combating Islamophobia and anti- Islam and Muslims tendencies and trends in the Western mind and media in particular — the Observatory would like to reiterate as well as propose the following elements:
d) Ensuring swift and effective implementation of the new approach signified by the consensual adoption of HRC Resolution 16/18, entitled “combating intolerance, negative stereotyping and stigmatization of, and discrimination, incitement to violence, and violence against persons based on religion or belief” , by, inter alia, removing the gaps in implementation and interpretation of international legal instruments and criminalizing acts of incitement to hatred and violence on religious grounds with a view to curbing the double standards and racial profiling that continue to feed religious strife detrimental to peace, security and stability. e) Constructively engaging to bridge divergent views on the limits to the right to freedom of opinion and expression, in a structured multilateral framework, and in the light of events like the burning of Quran geared towards filling the ‘interpretation void’ with regard to the interface between articles 19 (3) and 20 of the ICCPR based on emerging approaches like applying the ‘test of consequence’.
If the “test of consequences” can be slipped into American judicial precedent, the OIC will be well on the way to realizing its most important goals.
So how is the project coming along? Are Americans so deeply asleep that they will allow the OIC to sneak this one past them?
More to the point, are our leaders so stupid and/or duplicitous that they will aid and abet the Ummah in its efforts to scuttle the First Amendment?
Whether he was weaponized in advance or exploited after committing his crimes, Anders Behring Breivik helped expedite the implementation of the “test of consequences” by providing the exact consequences that the Left-Islam alliance had been looking for. A mass-murdering white right-wing extremist is just what they needed to open the door for the new judicial regime.
Consider the following excerpts from an article by Sheila Musaji that appeared in The American Muslim just after the Oslo atrocities:
Islamophobia does have consequences
by Sheila Musaji
There are many questions raised by this terrible event, and the background of this man. Among them is the question of whether or not any of the statements made by the far-right individuals and organizations that he admired and quoted could possibly bear any of the responsibility for the terrible actions of this man.
Mark Sageman a former CIA officer and consultant on terrorism, said that it would be unfair to attribute Breivik’s violence to the writers who helped shape his world view. But at the same time, he said the counterjihad writers do argue that the fundamentalist Salafi branch of Islam “is the infrastructure from which al-Qaida emerged. Well, they and their writings are the infrastructure from which Breivik emerged.”
Those who have been mentioned or quoted in Breivik’s manifesto have been very quick to attempt to distance themselves from any possible responsibility. We are anti-Jihadists, we are opposed to terrorism, we have never told anyone to use violence or terrorism as a tactic against anyone.
That may be true, however, they have indulged in a discussion about Islam and Muslims that is characterized by extreme rhetoric.
The climate they have helped to create or reinforce is one of intolerance, fear, and resentment.
We have free speech in this country, and as long as they don’t break the law, these folks can say whatever they want. That doesn’t mean that we can’t speak out against what they are saying, or that we can’t identify their speech for what it is — hateful, bigoted, evil, dangerous, Islamophobia! In fact, we are not only free to counter hate speech, but it is a moral obligation to do so.
Whether it is extremist Muslims like Al Qaeda calling for a Jihad, or extremist Christians who want to bring on Armageddon (since they’ll be “raptured” they won’t have to suffer) and are calling for a Crusade, or extremist Jews who put Israel above Judaism. There are religious extremists everywhere who are using the internet and other modern means to get their message out more widely than ever before possible. Somehow we have tone down [sic] the hate rhetoric and find a way to live together in peace.
Ms. Musaji has laid out her requirements fairly clearly — we must “tone down the hate rhetoric”. Obviously, the only way this can be accomplished is to use judicial means to limit the First Amendment rights of American citizens. But will the Obama administration go along with it?
Actually, the Obama administration was already on board with the program long before Anders Breivik chambered his first round on Utøya. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has been assiduously courting the OIC for months, and sealed the deal with the secretary general just a week before Mr. Breivik went on his murderous rampage. Below are excerpts from Mrs. Clinton’s remarks at the “Organization of the Islamic Conference High-Level Meeting on Combating Religious Intolerance” in Istanbul on July 15, 2011:
For our part, I have asked our Ambassador-at-Large for Religious Freedom, Suzan Johnson Cook, to spearhead our implementation efforts. And to build on the momentum from today’s meeting, later this year the United States intends to invite relevant experts from around the world to the first of what we hope will be a series of meetings to discuss best practices, exchange ideas, and keep us moving forward beyond the polarizing debates of the past; to build those muscles of respect and empathy and tolerance that the secretary general referenced. It is essential that we advance this new consensus and strengthen it, both at the United Nations and beyond, in order to avoid a return to the old patterns of division.
The Human Rights Council has given us a comprehensive framework [i.e. Resolution 16/18] 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. [emphasis added]
The blueprint for the implementation of the OIC’s program can be discerned from Mrs. Clinton’s carefully-chosen words. The United States will undertake “implementation efforts” providing “a comprehensive framework” to address the problem of “incendiary actions” (i.e. speech that defames Islam) that generate “wide ripples of intolerance”. Those “ripples” are the consequences for which the “incendiary actions” of the “Islamophobes” will be tested.
The Secretary of State is intelligent enough to realize that implementation of the OIC’s standards cannot be accomplished just yet. First there must be “peer pressure and shaming” — that is, people who criticize Islam must be put beyond the pale.
What we say here must be repeatedly excluded from polite discourse, stigmatized, shunned, and made unthinkable.
When that is accomplished, the legal niceties that codify the “test of consequences” will be an afterthought, a mere formal confirmation of what everyone already knows is the right thing to do.
Anders Behring Breivik provided a golden opportunity for the American media — who are more than eager to go along with Mrs. Clinton’s program — to begin the process of shaming and shunning the Counterjihad movement. Unfortunately, more Breiviks will be required before they can finish the job properly.
God help us all.
Previously in the Breivik Portfolio:
|2011||Aug||11||Part One: The American Connection|
|16||Part Two: The Chechen Connection|
Previous posts about Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu and the OIC:
Hat tip: Frontinus.