Oh, to be Gordon Brown or Nicholas Sarkozy for a day. Or even an hour. Just long enough to fire off a brief note to Louise Arbour, explaining that the coinage of the term "Islamophobia" is an exercise in blaming the victim, and that if Muslims want to end "Islamophobia" 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," 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 do those five things, voila! "Islamophobia" will vanish. No UN program, and no action by European governments will be needed.
"U.N. rights chief sees bigotry in Europe on Islam," by Robert Evans for Reuters (thanks to all who sent this in):
GENEVA (Reuters) - United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour said on Monday that bigotry and prejudice, especially in regard to Muslims, were common in Europe and called on governments to tackle the issue.
The remarks from the former Canadian Supreme Court judge, which came in the wake of similar charges issued last week by a U.N. rights investigator, were quickly challenged by a leading global non-religious grouping.
The report by investigator Doudou Diene of Senegal documented what he called an alarming rise in intolerance, and in particular Islamophobia, in European countries, and Arbour said, "I have no reason not to share his concerns."
Europeans "are shocked at times when it is pointed out that bigotry, prejudice and stereotyping is still sometimes very present in their attitude to others," she said.
Diene's work, she declared, highlighted "a challenge for Western countries that needs to be addressed."
Roy Brown, past president of the International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU) which groups non-religious organizations around the globe said Arbour was "just plain wrong."
"The little regrettable hostility that does exist among indigenous Europeans has not arisen in a vacuum, but as a reaction to Islamic extremism -- demonization of Jews, infidels and homosexuals and contempt for Western culture," said Brown, the IHEU's representative at the U.N.'s Human Rights Council.
Diene's report said Islamophobia and equating Islam with terrorism created a climate favoring racial and religious hate.
But it also criticized Islamic states for their treatment of non-Muslim minorities and for refusing to recognize the right of people born into Islam to change their religion.
Diene pointed to the recent appearance of a cartoon in a provincial Swedish newspaper that governments of Islamic countries say offended their religion as an example of abuse of the right of free speech to sow suspicion of Muslims.
Watch out. Sharia blasphemy laws are coming.