On Wednesday at the UN General Assembly, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) will seek to criminalize free speech and institute international blasphemy laws. The Organization of the Islamic Conference is a 56-state group (56 sovereign states and the Palestinian Authority) and functions as the voice for the collective Muslim World.
Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, secretary-general of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), said the international community should “come out of hiding from behind the excuse of freedom of expression”, a reference to Western arguments against a universal blasphemy law that the OIC has sought for over a decade.
At first glance, the OIC seems to be reacting to the recent Middle Eastern violence, murder and rioting resulting from an amateur film published on the internet that was unfavorable to Islam. However, a closer examination shows the OIC has been working to persuade the United States to subvert our first amendment to an agenda more inline with principles of Islam.
The current administration has taken several actions in the last four years, that indicate a sympathy for the OIC agenda. In 2009, the Obama administration co-sponsored the UN’s free speech code:
The text of the resolution provided that “the exercise of the right to freedom of expression carries with it special duties and responsibilities”–and condemned “negative racial and religious stereotyping,” and stated that the media had a special “moral and social responsibility” to develop “voluntary codes of professional ethical conduct” regarding these topics.
It may seem hard to believe that our constitutional right to free speech is in any real jeopardy. However, just this past June, Thomas Perez, who runs the DOJ civil rights office, refused to state that the the DOJ would never advance laws in the US that criminalize speech against a religion:
“Will you tell us… that this administration’s Department of Justice will never entertain or advance a proposal that criminalizes speech against any religion?” [Rep. Trent] Frank asked four times.
Perez refused to answer, saying “it is a hard question, in the sense that when you make threats against someone.” Perez then suggested he would respond to draft legislation from the committee, but again refused to answer Frank’s question about free speech rights.
At the behest of OIC-backed Muslim groups, the FBI has already removed language in FBI training manuals that was deemed “offensive.” The OIC letter was sent to John Brennan, chief counterrorism adviser to President Obama. It was also sent to Attorney General Eric Holder, Department of Homeland Security Sec. Janet Napolitano, Sec. of Defense Leon Panetta, FBI Director Robert Mueller, National Security Adviser Tom Donilon, and Deputy National Security Adviser Denis McDonough.
The FBI training manual changed. Nearly 900 pages of training that was considered offensive were deleted. Members like Congressman Allen West, Florida Republican, and Congressman Louie Gohmert, Texas Republican, were critical of the purge.
At the same time OIC is pushing for speech restraints, the World Council of Churches has “urged Pakistan to abolish its blasphemy law, which carries a possible death penalty.”