Do Muslims in the OSCE Region Support the Islamic State?

Below is the intervention read this morning by Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff, representing Bürgerbewegung Pax Europa at the OSCE Human Dimension Implementation Meeting, Session 14: “Fundamental freedoms II, including freedom of thought, conscience, religion or belief”.

Intervention by Bürgerbewegung Pax Europa
OSCE Human Dimension Implementation Meeting

Session 14: Fundamental Freedoms II

Warsaw, October 1, 2014

First of all, Pax Europa supports the statement made by Christian Solidarity Worldwide.

BPE is concerned about the widespread support for ISIS in Islamic communities throughout Europe and elsewhere. Fighters by the thousands have traveled to Syria and Iraq, some of whom return to our countries, their fanaticism, and loyalty to the Caliphate and not least their skills in weapons and explosives which could wreak havoc in the OSCE region. Barring these warriors from traveling to war areas of the Islamic State is one option; however, Pax Europa believes it is better to prevent them from returning, especially since they have taken up arms in another entity other than their country of nationality. Freedom of Religion should not mean the right to wage war against unbelievers, or Kuffar.

Also worrisome is the number of like-minded individuals who did not leave, and the network that must be assumed to exist within the OSCE region. This security risk must be addressed by participating States and the OSCE.

Another aspect deserving our attention is the legitimacy of the Islamic State. Denouncing it as “International Strong Ignorance Syndrome” is all very well, but it does not address the heart of the matter. If it can be shown that the Islamic State has nothing to do with Islam, we can look forward to their barbaric acts being denounced as the criminal acts they are, from all major Islamic authorities outside the Islamic State, in the OSCE region.

Pax Europa thus recommends:

  • That OSCE pS [participating states], Turkey in particular, do not only prevent their citizens from traveling to Syria, but also make efforts to prevent their return.
  • That OSCE pS demand from all organizations calling themselves ‘Islamic’ that they approve neither of the goal nor the methods of Islamic State, and that such violent behavior against Muslims and non-Muslims is contrary to Islamic teachings and tradition.
  • That OSCE pS re-categorize any Islamic organization not willing to do so as ‘political’ rather than ‘religious’, subject to scrutiny by relevant authorities and intelligence agencies for seeking to undermine democracy and human rights, or even implement Sharia law.
  • That Islamic organizations and representatives, including the distinguished Islamic delegates to the OSCE, undertake a join, comprehensive effort to prove that Islamic State is acting contrary to the teachings of Islam. Carrying proof that Islam is a peaceful and tolerant religion would have the additional benefit of disarming ‘Islamophobia’.

For links to previous articles about the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, see the OSCE Archives.

3 thoughts on “Do Muslims in the OSCE Region Support the Islamic State?

  1. The first of the four bullet points of the Pax Europa recommendations is fine (notwithstanding that it doesn’t adequately deal with the problem of stealth Muslims remaining in the OSCE participating states — but that’s a problem for another context, another time).

    The other three bullet points, however, are not entirely coherent and need a little rhetorical massaging.

    Let’s take the second one first:

    “That OSCE pS demand from all organizations calling themselves ‘Islamic’ that they approve neither of the goal nor the methods of Islamic State, and that such violent behavior against Muslims and non-Muslims is contrary to Islamic teachings and tradition.”

    Instead of demanding that they not approve of, I would put it more directly: demand that all organizations calling themselves ‘Islamic’ reject the goals and the methods of Islamic State. However, I would add that such organizations also must stipulate articulations of what those “goals” and “methods” are — and these articulations should have to pass the test of not containing any of the usual Islamic loopholes.

    As for the second part of that point — “…and that such violent behavior against Muslims and non-Muslims is contrary to Islamic teachings and tradition” — I’m not sure what value this has, since Muslim organizations and spokesmen routinely do this with specious affirmations that Robert Spencer, for example, has shown to be sorely inadequate.

    The third bullet point — “That OSCE pS re-categorize any Islamic organization not willing to do so as ‘political’ rather than ‘religious’, subject to scrutiny by relevant authorities and intelligence agencies for seeking to undermine democracy and human rights, or even implement Sharia law” — is all well and good, but it apparently leaves all the organizations who were willing to pretend to be anti-IS not subject to scrutiny.

    The last bullet point — “That Islamic organizations and representatives, including the distinguished Islamic delegates to the OSCE, undertake a join, comprehensive effort to prove that Islamic State is acting contrary to the teachings of Islam” — enshrines one little problem: it rests on an impossibility, since we know that IS is not acting contrary to the teachings of Islam, but actually in fidelity to them.

    • it rests on an impossibility, since we know that IS is not acting contrary to the teachings of Islam, but actually in fidelity to them.

      Exactly. That’s the point being made.

  2. Hesperado, with all due respect, this is an international forum where certain matters are tackled in certain ways. For tactical reasons I’ll leave it at that.

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