No one supports actual religious discrimination, but the OIC is dedicated to quashing all honest discussion of jihad and Islamic supremacism under this rubric. Hence their happy reaction to this resolution. More on this story. “OIC commends resolution on religious discrimination,” from Arab News, March 26:
JEDDAH: The UN Human Rights Council unanimously adopted a new resolution on the elimination of forms of discrimination and violence based on religious beliefs.
The Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC), which represents the Islamic group at the council participated in the March 24 discussion. The United States and the European Union too were represented.
Informed sources in the OIC General Secretariat here said that the new resolution related to combating religious intolerance and negative stereotypes, stigmatization, discrimination, and incitement to violence, and violence against individuals based on religion and belief is not a substitute for an earlier resolution adopted by the UN on combating defamation of religions, which the Human Rights Council had adopted many times in the past several years.
The sources stated that the new resolution is a qualitative breakthrough because it was adopted unanimously, adding, it gives the widest margin of freedom of expression, with the rejection of discrimination and incitement and stereotypes used by the other or against the symbols of the followers of religions.
The sources emphasized that the OIC approved the new resolution from a position of strength, particularly after the adoption of the Human Rights Council resolution on defamation of religions over the past four years with a clear majority.
However, the sources stressed that the issue of acceptance of the new resolution comes as a goodwill gesture by the organization in order to reach the necessary consensus, bridge the gap, and partner with the West in addressing the anti-Islam sentiments that prevailed in some Western communities toward Muslims.
There is no discussion in this context of Islamic jihad terrorism and supremacism as having something to do with the alleged “anti-Islam sentiment” in “some Western communities.” That connection is precisely what the OIC is trying to obscure.
The new resolution came after the OIC Secretary-General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu proposed last year, a number of proposals on the possibility of reaching a common ground toward a solid platform for its adoption.
According to informed sources, the US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had invited the OIC to lead, along with both Washington and the European Union, the efforts to draft a new resolution to ensure the foundations adopted by the previous resolution, giving a wider margin of freedom of expression.
The sources confirmed at the same time that the decision regarding defamation of religions has not been abandoned.
This is the most contentious of the resolutions, because in countries with strong protections on speech and other forms of expression, the idea that a religion can have the same defamation protections as living individuals is considered an affront to individual rights.
But the OIC is dedicated to overcoming that obstacle.