ISESCO, an arm of the 56-nation Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), called on the U.N. “to issue an international law criminalizing all forms of offense against religions under any circumstances.”
Of course they say ‘religions’ but we know they only mean Islam.
CNS NEWS Following the uproar over the threatened burning of the Quran by a small Florida church, a leading international Islamic body said Thursday that the United Nations should outlaw “all forms of offense against religions.”
“The Florida Dove World Outreach Center Church’s plan to burn copies of the Holy Quran on September 11 … requires immediate action to outlaw all acts of defamation of religions and religious sanctities,” the Morocco-based Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO) said in a communique.
“It is a blot on humanity that such discriminatory attack against Islam and Islamic holy sites is continuing in the absence of deterrent legal measures, local and international.”
ISESCO’s call was an expected opening salvo in a fresh push by the OIC to use both the Quran-burning threat and the Manhattan mosque dispute to move forward its decade-old campaign to get the U.N. to outlaw what it calls “religious defamation” worldwide.
The OIC argues that legal deterrents are necessary in the light of instances of “Islamophobia” which it says have increased significantly since 9/11. OIC publications use the label “Islamophobia” to cover a range of incidents and trends, from anti-Muslim graffiti to criticism of human rights abuses in Islamic states to counter-terrorism profiling.
Although it has succeeded in getting the U.N. General Assembly and Human Rights Council to pass annual “religious defamation” resolutions the OIC’s drive has been losing ground – in terms of the size of the vote – amid growing public awareness and opposition by religious freedom, freedom of expression and other advocacy groups.
Critics say outlawing “religious defamation” would silence legitimate criticism of Islamic teachings and authorities, make life even more difficult for non-Muslim minorities, and amount to enforcing blasphemy-type laws similar to those in place in some of the OIC’s most activist member states, such as Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.
The declining support for its resolution campaign has prompted the OIC to pursue a parallel strategy – to have an existing global anti-racism measure, the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD), amended to incorporate religion.
An editorial published by the Saudi daily Arab News Thursday expressed surprise that the U.S. authorities had no legal means of stopping the Quran-burning event because those behind it claimed to be “exercising their right to freedom of expression.”