The Organization of the Islamic Conference, the largest voting bloc at the United Nations, has succeeded in pushing through the UN a resolution condemning the “defamation of religions.” That’s “religions,” not “religion” – yet according to Cybercast News Service, “although the resolution refers to defamation of ‘religions,’ Islam is the only religion named in the text, which also takes a swipe at counter-terrorism security measures.” The OIC has been pushing hard for such a measure ever since cartoons of the Islamic prophet Muhammad appeared in the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten late in 2005.
The resolution denounces “laws that stigmatize groups of people belonging to certain religions and faiths under a variety of pretexts relating to security and illegal immigration.” Muslims, it says, have suffered from “ethnic and religious profiling...in the aftermath of the tragic events of 11 September 2001.” This is the fault, in part, of “the negative projection of Islam in the media.” The UN voices its “deep concern that Islam is frequently and wrongly associated with human rights violations and terrorism.”
Such statements betray the assumption that any association of Islam with violence and terrorism is entirely the fault of non-Muslims. The fact that Muslims themselves routinely commit violent acts and justify them with reference to Islamic teachings is a fact we are not supposed to notice -- and indeed, if the sponsors of this resolution had their way, we would not be allowed to notice.
This UN resolution is part of an ongoing effort. Several weeks ago, the OIC’s secretary-general, a Turkish historian named Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, was one of the speakers at the International Islamophobia Conference held in Istanbul. Ihsanoglu, according to CNS, denounced freedom of speech “as a cover in the West to promote anti-Islam sentiment.”
Some of the world’s leading lights on Islam, both Muslim and non-Muslim, also spoke at the conference: Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey's Prime Minister and advocate of political Islam; Iqbal Sacranie of the CAIR-like Muslim Council of Britain; Saudi-funded academic John Esposito of Georgetown University; Karen Armstrong, the renowned dhimmi author; Louay Safi of the unindicted co-conspirator ISNA; Lord Nazim Ahmed, the British Muslim peer; Professor Norman Finkelstein, late of DePaul; the notoriously slick “Muslim Martin Luther” Tariq Ramadan, who is not allowed into the U.S.; the American neo-Nazi William Baker, who has addressed Muslim audiences in the U.S.; and many, many others.
Surprise of surprises, these assembled dignitaries discovered that “Islamophobia” is a serious, serious problem, that must be addressed at the government level. Of course, attacks on innocent civilians are never justified. Louts, thugs and vigilantes have no excuse, and anyone who targets random Muslims and commits violence against them deserves to be punished to the full extent of the law. Unfortunately, however, it doesn’t seem to have occurred to Ihsanoglu or anyone else at this Conference that Muslims might done anything to provoke this rise in “Islamophobia,” if there has been such a rise, or that they can do anything themselves to eradicate it. No one seems to have realized how easy it would be to stamp out “Islamophobia” once and for all. Yet it could be done in a trice. If Muslims really wanted to end “Islamophobia” and the “defamation of religions” instantaneously, here’s how they can do it:
1. Focus their indignation on Muslims committing violent acts in the name of Islam, not on non-Muslims reporting on those acts.
2. Renounce definitively not just “terrorism,” as many Islamic groups in the U.S. and elsewhere have done many times in the past, but any intention to replace the U.S. Constitution (or the constitutions of any non-Muslim state) with Sharia even by peaceful means.
3. Teach Muslims the imperative of coexisting peacefully as equals with non-Muslims on an indefinite basis.
4. Begin comprehensive international programs in mosques all over the world to teach against the ideas of violent jihad and Islamic supremacism.
5. Actively work with Western law enforcement officials to identify and apprehend jihadists within Western Muslim communities.
If Muslims did those five things, voila! There will be no more “defamation” of Islam. But instead, this UN resolution is just the latest example of the evasion of responsibility and finger-pointing that we have seen from Islamic groups since 9/11 and before that. If a Muslim commits an act of violence and justifies it by reference to Islamic texts and teachings, it’s the fault of non-Muslims – either because they oppress Muslims, or because they dare to take note of the connection the perpetrator made between Islam and his act of violence.
This evasion and denial should end. Government and law enforcement officials in the West should make sure it ends, by demanding that Islamic groups in the West be transparent and cooperative with anti-terror efforts. But this UN resolution only emphasizes that the movement is all in the other direction. We may only hope that this latest iteration of the Islamic jihad can be defeated before it becomes a crime to do so.