In “A Modern-day Islamist Inquisition?” at The American Thinker, December 9 (thanks to all who sent this in), Walid Phares explains much of what is wrong with the Organization of the Islamic Conference’s attempt to criminalize “defamation of Islam” — i.e., discussion by non-Muslims of the motives and goals of jihad terrorists — at the UN:
First, there is a problem about the substance of the concept. Indeed how can one define “defamation” as an aggression against faith, any faith? Where is the limit between criticizing a set of beliefs or ideas and defaming a whole religion? How can members of a religion reform their system if they cannot criticize it? Will reform become synonymous to defamation? If the very concept of “defamation” is not clarified and thoroughly defined, legislation such a sought would lead to blocking reforms and punishing reformers. As it stands at this stage the wording of “defamation of religion” — even if some are well intentioned in pushing for it — is a stark reminder of the blasphemy laws of medieval times which were behind religious persecution and the Inquisition. Defamation of religion as a concept has to be specified and accepted within the state of international consensus so that it won’t become a serious setback to human rights instead of an additional protection to it.
Read it all.