Giving hope to persecuted Christians since 1995
Select Page

A UN Vice for Islam’s Critics

ICC Note

Islamic countries, through Organization of Islamic Conference, are using United Nations forums to pass anti-blasphemy legislation. Such measure could curtail freedom of Christians to challenge the claims by Muslims about their prophets.

By Nat Hentoff

02/09/2009 Islam (FrontPage Magazine)-Geert Wilders – a film producer and also a member of parliament in the Netherlands – is facing a prison term there for “insulting” Muslims. His short film “Fitna” in 2008 juxtaposed verses from the Koran with scenes of violence committed by jihadist terrorists. The Dutch appellate court refused a free-speech defense because the insults were so egregious.

What awaits Wilders in the Netherlands may be a harbinger of what will happen if a nonbinding Dec. 18 U.N. resolution, passed by a strong majority in the General Assembly, becomes international law. The resolution urges UN members to take state action against (punish) “defamation of religion” and “incitement to religious hatred” caused by defamation.

The main force behind this resolution, which was sponsored on its behalf, is the 57 members of the Organization of the Islamic Conference. Following the combustible cartoons of Prophet Muhammad that were published in Denmark in September 2005, this organization had a key role in expanding the violent protests against those cartoons in a number of countries.

On Feb. 9, 2006, I received a copy of a letter to UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan from a longtime source of mine. He was acting against Sudan ‘s National Islamic Front government killing, raping and enslaving of black Christians and animists in southern Sudan . He was John Eibner, director of Christian Solidarity International, which was instrumental in rescuing many of those captives from slavery in the north of Sudan .

Eibner told Annan (as I reported at the time in the Feb. 14, 2006, Village Voice): “The role of the Saudi-based Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC), representing 57 Muslim states, in creating a climate for violent confrontation over the cartoons [was shown when] the OIC set the stage for anti-free speech demonstrations at its extraordinary summit in Mecca in December 2005.

“The Muslim states,” Eibner continued, “resolved – through many demonstrations – to pressure, through a program of joint Islamic action, international institutions, including the UN, to criminalize insults of Islam and its prophet. … On the 4th of February – the day the mob violence commenced – the Organization of Islamic Conference described publication of the caricatures as acts of ‘blasphemy.’ Blasphemy is punishable by death, according to Sharia law.”

Last Dec. 18, the OIC triumphed with the UN General Assembly’s passing of the nonbinding but rousing “defamation of religion” resolution on behalf of the OIC, which emphasized only Muslims and Islam by name as the forbidden targets of such “defamation.” Pressure may well continue to enshrine this resolution into international law.

The OIC had a New York Times ad on Inauguration Day, Jan. 20, “An Invitation to a New Partnership,” addressed to President Obama. The organization wrote: “Throughout the globe, Muslims hunger for a new era of peace. We firmly believe that America , with your guidance, can help foster that peace, though real peace can only be shared – never imposed.”

[Go to the Full Story]