OIC Secretary General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu: “Blasphemy, Blasphemy Mucho” *(apologies to Andrea Bocelli)
Bat Ye’or has appositely characterized Geert Wilder’s recent acquittal as a “Copernican revolution,” achieved by a solitary “unarmed man, constantly threatened by death and whose only defense was his courageous and unbending commitment to say the truth.”
It is a bitter irony that on the same day Bat Ye’or’s essay was published a pathognomonic communiqué was released by foreign ministers of the Islamintern–the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC)–whose member states were meeting in Astana, Kazakhstan.
The communiqué claimed “a number of Dutch politicians” had insulted Islam and its prophet Muhammad, accusing them of the invented “crime” of “Islamophobia.”
Turkish OIC Secretary General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu issued a separate statement condemning–and threatening Dutch Parliamentarian Geert Wilders:
Wilders has taken a dangerous path, endangering the peace and harmony of civilizations by spreading hate against Islam and Muslims in his own country as well as in other European countries. Insult to Islam and to the honored Prophet of Islam, Hazrat Muhammad (PBUH), has reached a stage that can no longer be tolerated under any pretext, including freedom of speech.
Demonstrating once again that Wilders is a politician of rare courage, he has now challenged his own Dutch Prime Minister, and the Minister of Foreign Affairs to respond appropriately to the statements of the OIC, and Ihsanoglu:
1) Have you seen the intimidating statement of the OIC Secretary General, Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, about me and the OIC report “Fourth OIC observatory report on islamophobia” about statements made by various Dutch politicians?
2) Do you agree that the OIC has vastly overstepped the boundaries with these intimidating statements and do you agree with me that a Dutch politician should have the right to criticise Islam and multiculturalism in a public debate, as was confirmed during my political trial by the court decision of June 23rd?
3) Are you prepared to explain to the OIC member countries that criticism of Islam and freedom of speech are essential in a democratic society under the rule of law? If not, why not?
4) Do you share the opinion that criticism, such as that of an organization like the OIC, is hypocrite and despicable given that the OIC in article 24 of its own Cairo Declaration on Human Rights explicitly states that all rights and freedoms are subject to Islamic Shari’ah law? If not, why not?
5) Are you prepared in the short term to distance yourself publicly in strong wordings of this report and of the intimidating statement of the OIC secretary general? If not, why not?
6) Will you make it clear once and for all to the OIC that the Netherlands will not accept to be lectured by an institution such as the OIC which makes human rights subject to the barbaric Shari’ah, and that we will not allow our fundamental freedoms and our freedom of speech to be restricted? If not, why not?
7) Are you prepared to answer these questions this week
Writing in the early 1990s, the esteemed Pakistani scholar Muhammad Asrar, whose opinion was accepted by Pakistan’s Shari’a Court, defined “blasphemy,” focusing on the Muslim prophet, as:
Reviling or insulting the Prophet (pbuh) in writing or speech; speaking profanely or contemptuously about him or his family; attacking the Prophet’s dignity and honor in an abusive manner; vilifying him or making an ugly face when his named is mentioned; showing enmity or hatred towards him, his family, his companions, and the Muslims; accusing, or slandering the Prophet and his family, including spreading evil reports about him or his family; defaming the Prophet; refusing the Prophet’s jurisdiction or judgment in any manner; rejecting the Sunnah; showing disrespect, contempt for or rejection of the rights of Allah and His Prophet or rebelling against Allah and His Prophet.
And in accord with classical Islamic jurisprudence, for example, The Risala of al-Qayrawani (d. 996)–a jurist in mythically “tolerant” Muslim Spain–Madani argues that anyone who defames Muhammad–Muslim or non-Muslim–must be put to death. Dr. Patrick Sookhdeo has documented how this orthodox Islamic doctrine -incorporated into the Pakistani legal code (Section 295-C, “defiling the name of Muhammad”)–has wreaked havoc, particularly among Pakistan’s small Christian minority community:
…the blasphemy law is felt to be a sword of Damocles and has developed a huge symbolic significance which contributes substantially to the atmosphere of intimidation of Christians. The detrimental effect of the law…is most dramatically illustrated by the incident at Shanti Nagar in February 1997 in which tens of thousands of rioting Muslims destroyed hundreds of Christian homes, and other Christian property, following an accusation of blasphemy. Furthermore the blasphemy has engendered a wave of private violence. Equating blasphemy with apostasy and influenced by the tradition of direct violent action and self-help which goes back to the earliest times of Islam, some Muslims feel they are entitled to enforce the death penalty themselves.
Secretary General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu and his OIC foreign ministry colleagues–spearheaded by OIC stalwart, Pakistan–want to impose this same Sharia-based system, antithetical to the US Bill of Rights, on all of humanity, including the 4/5 of world’s population that is non-Muslim. This irredentist OIC mindset remains unchanged from what Beaumarchais described in the Marriage of Figaro freedom of speech monologue in Act V, Scene 3, at the close of the 18th century, more than two centuries ago:
I cobble together a verse comedy about the customs of the harem, assuming that, as a Spanish writer, I can say what I like about Mohammed without drawing hostile fire. Next thing, some envoy from God knows where turns up and complains that in my play I have offended the Ottoman empire, Persia, a large slice of the Indian peninsula, the whole of Egypt, and the kingdoms of Barca [Ethiopia], Tripoli, Tunisia, Algeria, and Morocco. And so my play sinks without trace, all to placate a bunch of Muslim princes, not one of whom, as far as I know, can read but who beat the living daylights out of us and say we are “Christian dogs.” Since they can’t stop a man thinking, they take it out on his hide instead.
Canon W.H. T. Gairdner (d. 1928), was a renowned scholar of Sufism, and great Arabic linguist who resided in Egypt for the last three decades of his life. Regarding Muhammad’s biography as characterized in the pious Muslim sources, Gairdner noted:
As incidents in the life of an Arab conqueror, the tales of raiding, private assassinations and public executions, perpetual enlargements of the harem, and so forth, might be historically explicable and therefore pardonable but it is another matter that they should be taken as a setting forth of the moral ideal for all time.
And in an age where jihadism is run amok, why not ridicule one of its primary sources, i.e., the sacralized violence of Muhammad himself, this “Ecce Homo Arabicus“?
Wilders’ Islamo-realistic free speech has provided a healthy dose of long overdue criticism of the direct nexus between Muhammad’s actions, and jihadism, which may prove therapeutic for the cowering West. Hope springs eternal.