The OIC has relentlessly pursued resolutions on restrictions on free speech for decades. So their caving on this is astounding. This is a testament to the work of vocal counter-jihadists in the West. When people began to understand that it was not about "insulting" or "offensive" speech but really about imposing the blasphemy laws under the sharia, freedom-loving peoples were not having it. Not. at. all. I believe the ummah will continue to agitate for free speech restrictions in the streets and in smoky rooms behind closed doors of the EU and other world bodies. And we see the media and political hacks already self-enforcing the sharia without these proposed resolutions. But even so, this is a major victory. Savor it.
This is fine news indeed, especially since he says he is giving up in
the face of immovable opposition from the U.S. and Europe. But with so
many recent calls for the imposition of Islamic blasphemy laws in the
West under the guise of "hate speech" laws, and with many of them coming
from Western journalists, we're not quite out of the woods yet in
regard to Islamic supremacist assaults upon the freedom of speech.
"West's free speech stand bars blasphemy ban – OIC," by Tom Heneghan for Reuters, October 15 (thanks to David):
(Reuters) – Western opposition has made it impossible for
Muslim states to obtain a ban on blasphemy, including anti-Islamic
videos and cartoons that have touched off deadly riots, the Islamic
world's top diplomat said.
Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, secretary general of the Organisation of
Islamic Cooperation (OIC), said his 57-nation body would not try again
for United Nations support to ban insults to religion, but appealed for states to apply hate-speech laws concerning Islam.
"We could not convince them," said the Turkish head
of the 57-member organisation which had tried from 1998 until 2011 to
get a United Nations-backed ban on blasphemy.
"The European countries don't vote with us, the United States doesn't vote with us."
Western countries see the publication of such images and materials as a matter of free speech….
Ihsanoglu told a conference in Istanbul at the weekend that the OIC
had failed to win a ban at the United Nations and would not revive its
long diplomatic campaign for one.
Asked about recent media reports that the OIC wanted to resume the
campaign for a blasphemy ban, he said: "I never said this and I know
this will never happen."…
Ihsanoglu's statement clarified the OIC stand at a time when Muslim
religious leaders have stepped up demands for an international blasphemy
law and politicians have accused Western states of spreading
anti-Muslim hatred under the protection of their free-speech laws.
Starting in 1998, the 57-nation OIC won majorities in U.N. rights
bodies and at the U.N. General Assembly every year for non-binding
resolutions on "combating defamation of religions" that Western states
opposed as potential threats to free speech.
But support for these texts steadily fell to just over 50 percent by
2010, because of strong Western and growing Latin American opposition,
and the OIC opted for a weaker resolution against intolerance towards
all religions last year.
That more general resolution, drawn up with the United States and the European Union, passed unanimously.
The long dispute highlighted differing views of free speech in
Western and Muslim countries. Ihsanoglu said Western states had a "strange understanding" of free speech if it could be abused to hurt and insult others….
Muslim politicians have stepped up their denunciations of Western
free speech policies following the video and cartoons lampooning Prophet
Mohammad. Muslims consider any criticism of him as highly offensive and
beyond free speech protection.
"We cannot accept insults to Islam under the guise of freedom of thought," Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan told the Istanbul conference.
"We Muslims want the same respect shown to Jewish culture, which we support," Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said.
But while editorialists and religious leaders have renewed calls for a
worldwide blasphemy ban, few national leaders have actually ended their
rhetorical reactions with that demand.
One who did at the United Nations last month was President Asif Ali
Zardari of Pakistan, whose own national blasphemy law has come under
increasing criticism at home and abroad as open to widespread abuse
against minority Christians.
Ihsanoglu, speaking at the conference on a panel with Pakistani
opposition leader Imran Khan, encouraged countries with blasphemy laws
to apply against insults to Islam, and then quickly added: "not
particularly the one in Pakistan".
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