OSCE Warsaw: Define Your Terms!

This is the seventh in a series of posts on this week’s OSCE “Human Dimension Implementation” meeting in Warsaw. More will be coming later this week. See the list of links at the bottom of this post for previous articles.

One of the most effective strategies employed by the Muslim Brotherhood over the last decade or so of this information war has been to insert the word “Islamophobia” into our public discourse as a catch-all term of opprobrium for anything said by infidels that Muslims dislike or fear. They have succeeded to the point where almost any public figure in the West is willing to twist himself into a halal pretzel to avoid being designated an “Islamophobe”, by Muslim and non-Muslim alike.

Participants in OSCE Human Dimension meetings refer to “Islamophobia” in their official submissions, yet the term remains completely undefined. One of the primary tasks of ICLA at this month’s meeting in Warsaw has been to force the OSCE to define its terms — or to stop using them in official publications.

ICLA logo (new)

ICLA Expresses Concern Over The Repetitive Use Of Imprecise, Confusing And Ambiguous Concepts And Words in OSCE Forums And Working Materials

(Originally posted at ICLA)

International Civil Liberties Alliance recommendation for working session 11 : Freedom of thought, conscience, religion or belief. Warsaw 2012

In the name of the International Civil liberties Alliance, I would like to express a deep concern over the repetitive use of imprecise, confusing and ambiguous concepts and words in OSCE forums and working materials. For several years some State members, NGOs and experts have repeatedly used the word “Islamophobia” and the concept of “religious hatred” even though these expressions have no precise meaning nor internationally accepted definition.

The repetitive use of meaningless or ambiguous concepts, especially if they are used as tools in negotiations in the field of Human Rights and eventually lead to their curtailing, has proven to be very unproductive and in some cases clearly damaging for individual freedoms in several state member countries.

The word “Islamophobia” has been intensively used by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and its satellite organizations in the voluntary simultaneous dual meaning of hate and prejudice against Islam as a religion or doctrine and against Muslims as a group or as individuals.

“Religious hatred” has also been intensively used by OIC and satellite organizations to ambiguously describe an antagonistic feeling against a religion or doctrine and or against religious groups and often without any reliable way to know which meaning is used.

Expressions with dual meanings cannot be used as tools in rational thinking or discourse and therefore can have no place in an international assembly such as OSCE, where serious issues are discussed.

Recommendations to ODIHR:

To allow sincere and constructive dialogue and cooperation between state members, NGOs and exterior participants, ICLA ask ODIHR to systematically provide a precise definition of both the expressions “Islamophobia” and “religious hatred” each time they are used in a document and, in absence of precise definitions, to adopt a by-default non-receivability rule for all document containing one or both of those expressions.

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