Tuesday, January 03, 2012

You May No Longer Blaspheme About Religions That Would Stone You To Death For Blaspheming

The world has gone mad, it really has, Abigail Esman tries to make some sense out of it.

Whatever happened to, I don't agree with what you say, but I don't deny you the right to say it?


Could You Be A Criminal? US Supports UN Anti-Free Speech Measure
Abigail R. Esman
30/12/2011

While you were out scavenging the Wal-Mart super sales or trying on trinkets at Tiffany and Cartier, your government has been quietly wrapping up a Christmas gift of its own: adoption of UN resolution 16/18. An initiative of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (formerly Organization of Islamic Conferences), the confederacy of 56 Islamic states, Resolution 16/18 seeks to limit speech that is viewed as “discriminatory” or which involves the “defamation of religion” – specifically that which can be viewed as “incitement to imminent violence.”

Whatever that means.




Initially proposed in response to alleged discrimination against Muslims in the aftermath of 9/11 and in an effort to clamp down on anti-Muslim attacks in non-Muslim countries, Resolution 16/18 has been through a number of revisions over the years in order to make it palatable to American representatives concerned about U.S. Constitutional guarantees of free speech. Previous versions of the Resolution, which sought to criminalize blasphemous speech and the “defamation of religion,” were regularly rejected by the American delegation and by the US State Department, which insisted that limitations on speech – even speech deemed to be racist or blasphemous – were at odds with the Constitution. But this latest version, which includes the “incitement to imminent violence” phrase – that is, which criminalizes speech which incites violence against others on the basis of religion, race, or national origin – has succeeded in winning US approval –despite the fact that it (indirectly) places limitations as well on speech considered “blasphemous.”

What’s worse, the measure codifies into the UN agenda support for the very notion democracies now wrestle with, and which threatens to destroy the very fabric of our culture: tolerance of the intolerant, or rather, the question of whether a tolerant society must also tolerate ways of life that are intolerant – that oppress women, say, or advocate violence against homosexuals, or force strangers to marry against their will. It is, in fact, this very concept that the OIC has long pressured Western governments to adopt in other ways, and that those supporting the adoption of Sharia law in the west have emphasized. Yet if we fall into that trap – as it appears we are – we will have lost the very heart of who we are.



The Good, The Bad…

Those who support the new measure rightly laud its recognition of the importance of free debate. and the inclusion of new clauses that call for “speaking out against intolerance, including advocacy of religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence” and “[fostering] religious freedom and pluralism by promoting the ability of members of all religious communities to manifest their religion, and to contribute openly and on an equal footing to society.”

What opponents (rightly) find distressing are calls to adopt “measures to criminalize incitement to imminent violence based on religion or belief.”

(Additional clauses that call for countering religious profiling are also questionable, however civil rights organizations may feel about this, given the problems of Islamic terrorism in the real world. But that’s another matter.)

Oddly, Human Rights First, which previously loudly opposed the initiative for its limitation on “blasphemous speech,” is among those who now praise the newer version. In a statement, the organization opined:

Rather than imposing new restrictions on freedom of speech, which it does not, the new consensus resolution opens the door to an action-oriented approach to fighting religious intolerance. That is very consistent with the U.S. policies and practices – combat violence, discrimination and hatred without restricting freedom of speech. Resolution 16/18 urges states to train government officials to address religious tensions, to harmonize actions at local and national level, to raise awareness of negative stereotyping of persons, to promote interfaith and intercultural dialogue, to foster religious freedom and to speak out against intolerance (among other recommendations). The only limitation on speech that is in the operative part of the resolution is incitement to “imminent violence”, which is in accordance with US law.




But others are less forgiving, noting, among other things, that the resolution does nothing to prevent the continued use of anti-Jewish materials in the schools of Saudi Arabia (where the Protocols of Zion are treated as fact, thereby absolving Saudis of charges of “racism”) or the ongoing persecution of Jews and Christians in numerous Muslim countries. And yet, ironically,it was exactly those same countries who initiated the motion, as put forth in its initial drafts by the General Assembly, with expressions of concern for “cases motivated by Islamophobia, Judeophobia, and Christanophobia.”

Indeed, as M. Zuhdi Jasser, an observant American Muslim and the founder of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy, remarked in an e-mail, “Anyone who believes that Resolution 16’18 is some kind of a breakthrough is sadly being duped by the most obvious Islamist double discourse. The shift from ‘defamation’ to ‘incitement’ does nothing at all to change the basic paradigm where Islamist nations remain in the offense, continuing to put Western, free nations on the defense.” Rather, said Jasser, “We should be putting Islamist autocracies on the defense and then simply reiterate that our First Amendment principles already protect the rights of all minorities — whether Muslim or otherwise — and that the best standard of free speech is the American one. Beginning to categorize speech as ‘incitement’ is a slippery slope that could open the floodgates for any post-tragedy analysis to indict what would otherwise be free speech absurdly as incitement in some far-fetched cause-effect analysis that would depend on proving that speech causes violence.”

Exactly.



It is, indeed, galling to think that we would enter into negotiations of any kind, with anyone, about the freedom of expression that is so central to our very way of life and the core of the founding of America. Ever.

The background to all of this, unsurprisingly, is an effort on the part of Muslim countries to limit what they consider to be defamatory and blasphemous speech: criticism of Islam, say, or insulting the prophet Mohammed – which, as we’ve learned, can mean anything from drawing a cartoon or making a joke in a comedy sketch to burning a Koran. Such acts – according to some readings of the Koran and, indeed, according to law in some IOC countries – are punishable by death. Hence the riots that met the publication of the so-called “Danish cartoons,” the fatwa against Salman Rushdie, the murder of Theo van Gogh, and on and on.

… And The Deceptive

And here’s where Resolution 16/18 gets tricky.



Because who, exactly, arbitrates what is “incitement to imminent violence”? Violence by whom? If drawing a caricature of the Prophet incites violence by Islamic radicals to the tune of riots, arson, and murder, all sanctioned by the IOC itself – then drawing such a caricature (or writing a book like the Satanic Verses) will now constitute a criminal act. And that is exactly what the OIC was aiming for. It is also in direct violation of the principles of Western democracy – and the First Amendment. (Though it is crucial to note that any resolution passed by the General Assembly remains nonbinding, which makes you sort of wonder what the point of all this is, anyway.)

Moreover, since many would claim that the persecution of blasphemers is mandated by their religion, conflicts emerge between guarantees of free expression and the guarantee of freedom of religion and the practice of one’s faith. In other words: your free speech allows you to insult my prophet: my freedom of religion compels me to kill you for it.

What was that about “incitement to violence”?
Whose violence?

This is how the Organization of the Islamic Cooperation plays “Gotcha.

This is how the American government, however unwittingly, subsumes its own Constitution in deference ot the demands of the Islamic state.

It’s a dangerous game. Go to page three.


11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Fourteen thousand dead and disappeared youth in Pakistan-occupied Balochistan does not offend their sensibilities; 500,000 Muslim Darfuris killed by the Arab Janjaweed does not bother them; blowing up the Bamiyan Buddha statues is celebrated or shrugged off; 20,000 dead Syrians triggers no attack on an Iranian Embassy — but a mediocre, C-grade film on Mohammed causes mayhem and the murder of an American ambassador. Why?

Our collective hysteria is not helped when shortsighted politicians such as U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton try to appease the murdering mobs.

http://www.torontosun.com/2012/09/18/only-god-can-help-muslims-from-ourselves

Excellent article by Tarek Fatah.

Anonymous said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=Fgcd1ghag5Y

Anonymous said...

http://www.onislam.net/english/news/asia-pacific/459089-wilders-visit-leaves-australia-in-dilemma.html

Anonymous said...

http://news.ninemsn.com.au/national/8535577/placard-mother-didnt-know-what-behead-meant

In my opinion, children holding signs is disturbing parental behavior, regardless of the issue.

Other examples, the same principle.

http://bit.ly/RxGclO
http://bit.ly/NDWibd
http://bit.ly/S6BYM0
http://bit.ly/P1ZlaH

Himself said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=Fgcd1ghag5Y

Disgusting American slag.

Mornin' Chuck.

Himself said...

Wilders

Of course he must go, not to grant him a visa would mean . . .

would mean Australia pandering to the Allah Wallahs just like this wretched country did.

Himself said...

placard-mother-didnt-know-what-behead-meant

The hell she didn't.

Children holding signs IS disturbing parental behavior, regardless of the issue.

Google image - child dressed as suicide bomber

What chance do the little buggers have?

Link coming up.

Himself said...

All the vids are dead, but still read the post. Then perhaps you may want to YouTube - Assud The Bunny

http://bit.ly/NE7Jja

Anonymous said...

According to van Baalen, someone who is on the right side is the Moroccan-Dutch Mayor of Rotterdam, Ahmed Abu Taleb. "He spoke out for freedom of expression and advised Muslims to ignore the film". Van Baalen emphasised that Abu Taleb is himself a Muslim.

http://www.rnw.nl/english/article
/anti-islam-film-continues-make-waves-around-world

Himself said...

Good morning dear heart.

The magazine’s Editor in Chief said the drawings “will shock those who want to be shocked.”


Google/Google image - appeasement chamberlain

And see how far that policy got us all.

Is this any different?

Are we all destined to walk on eggshells ad infinitum, just to placate these headbangers?

Anonymous said...

@20 September 2012 11:23

Children holding signs is
also disturbing political behaviour, in my opinion. M

https://twitter.com/TheSunNewspaper/status/519400518037172225

clapped out
These Syrian children's English spelling is really good....