OIC Blames Extremist Free Speech for Islamophobia
Soeren Kern, in "OIC Blames Free Speech for 'Islamophobia' in West" (Gatestone Institute, December 11, 2013), informs us of the OIC's goal of limiting free speech about Islam, so I decided to look at the Sixth OIC Observatory Report on Islamophobia (October 2012 - September 2013) to see for myself what it says about free expression:
[T]he worldwide provocation caused by the publication of the nefarious caricatures of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) by a Danish cartoonist in the Jyllands-Posten newspaper on September 30, 2005. This irresponsible act of abusing freedom of expression by a single individual that was among the first of many that were to follow in humiliating and negatively stereotyping Muslims, effectively contributed towards developing a culture of intolerance of Islam and Muslims in the West. (1)I'm glad that's set straight. I had erroneously imagined that the worldwide rioting of Islamists over the Muhammad cartoons bore more responsibility for the negative image of Islam. Even worse:
[T]he perpetuation of Islamophobia, both in terms of the phenomenon's momentum and outreach, is disquieting. It is particularly alarming that what had initially started as mere exploitation and abuse of freedom of expression by some extremist elements, gradually found resonance in political spheres, ultimately leading to the institutionalization of Islamophobia. (1)I had attributed the politicization of this issue to Islamist violence. How wrong I was!
[We OIC] Member States . . . strongly convey our grave concerns on growing Islamophobia to our western counterparts within the ambit of their bilateral consultations and to impress upon them that the sanctity of freedom of expression and freedom of religion cannot be allowed to be endangered by those few radical extremists who are determined to create unrest and divisions in our present day world of diversity by giving them a free hand in fomenting Islamophobia. (2)The radical extremists are not the Islamists, but those who resort to freedom of expression! I didn't know that! Here's more about those extremists who so freely express their radical views on Islam:
The outcry against these extreme radicals may be universal but little could be done to contain them as they enjoy a free hand in inciting intolerance of Islam and Muslims under the pretext of freedom of expression. (7)I hadn't realized that free expression was so dreadful -- not that the OIC or Muslims are actually against this dreadful practice in which people speak their minds:
Many distorted facts and ill conceived ideas about Islam continue to be accepted and justified despite the clear danger they represent in societies. These include the perception that Islam is linked to terror; that it is intolerant of other religious beliefs, that its values and practices are incompatible with modern democratic systems; that it favours repression of freedom of expression and undermining human rights and other misperceptions. (33)The opinion that Islam favors repression of freedom of expression is wholly wrong! Freedom of expression is fine so long as it's not used to say anything negative about Islam. For instance, you wouldn't want to resort to free expression to link Islam to violence, though you might have been allowed to link Islamism to violence if the spelling weren't so close as to make people think of Islam, so just refer to those many violent misunderstanders of the Religion of Peace as "radical extremists," "insurgents," or even "youths," depending on the context.
You wouldn't want to lose your head over something as minor as the sanctity of free expression . . .