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The Impact of Islamic Fundamentalism on Free Speech by Denis MacEoin (Gatestone Inst.)

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Jun. 19, 2016

  • The 57-member-state Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) have been working hard for years to render Islam the only religion, political system and ideology in the world that may not be questioned with impunity. They have tried — and are in many respects succeeding — to ring-fence Islam as a creed beyond criticism, while reserving for themselves the right to condemn Christians, Jews, Hindus, democrats, liberals, women and gays in often vile, even violent language. Should anyone say anything that seems to them disrespectful of their faith, he or she will at once be declared an “Islamophobe.”
  • Like almost every world leader, Obama declares, with gross inaccuracy, that “Islam is a religion of peace”. It is politically expedient to deny the very real connection to jihad violence in the Qur’an, the Traditions (ahadith), shari’a law, and the entire course of Islamic history. They do this partly for political reasons, but probably more out of fear of offending Muslims. We know only too well how angry many Muslims can become at even the lightest offence.
  • “If PEN as a free speech organization can’t defend and celebrate people who have been murdered for drawing pictures, then frankly the organization is not worth the name. … I hope nobody ever comes after them.” – Salman Rushdie, on the PEN members who objected to giving its award to Charlie Hebdo, after 12 of its staff were murdered by jihadists.
  • The OIC succeeded in winning a UN Human Rights Council resolution that makes “defamation of religion” a crime. But the OIC knows full well that only Muslims are likely to use Western laws to deny free speech about their own faith. Last year, the US Congress introduced House Resolution 569, also purportedly intended to combat hate speech. It contains an oddity: it singles out Muslims for protection three times. It does not mention any other faith community.

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