When fascism comes to America, it will be waving a “Co-Exist” bumper sticker and telling you to “be nice.”
Which is more disturbing: the notion that the administration is overrun with gullible idealists lost in politically correct fantasies, or that they know exactly what they are doing? Either way, the outcome threatens to be disastrous.
While the Organization Formerly Known as the Organization of the Islamic Conference, long committed to crushing free speech, suffered a setback in achieving an international ban on “religious defamation” (or defamation for me, but not for thee) in March, the Obama administration has gone in hook, line, and sinker for the OIC’s game.
Hillary Clinton announced her intentions to coordinate a meeting on religious “defamation” and “stereotyping” in July. At a meeting she co-chaired with the OIC’s secretary-general Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, the OIC, US, and EU agreed to “take concrete steps” to combat “intolerance” and “negative stereotyping.” The measure is supposedly taken in the name of all religions, but would be used as a club by the OIC with which to beat other nations into submission against criticism of Islam. But Clinton also said in mid-July that she believes the US and OIC can come to an agreement on “tolerance.”
The White House is now gearing up for the next round. Even if the OIC does not get exactly what it wants just yet, it will have moved the ball down the field toward the goal line by having its agenda dignified with a response other than “No. We’re on to you, and we refuse to play along.” “Obama Administration Welcoming Islamic Group to Washington for Discussion on “˜Tolerance”,” by Patrick Goodenough for CNSNews, December 9:
(CNSNews.com) — The Obama administration says a meeting in Washington next week seeks to make progress in combating religious intolerance, but critics say the U.S. is pandering to an ideological agenda aimed at restricting speech critical of Islam.
According to the State Department the aim is to find ways to combat religious hate without compromising freedom of expression. Detractors are skeptical that this can be done, and they suspect that free speech will end up the loser.
Among those criticizing the event are GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich, the Traditional Values Coalition, and scholars at the Hudson Institute’s Center for Religious Freedom.
The State Department-hosted meeting is the latest step in a process stemming from a resolution on “combating intolerance based on religion,” adopted by consensus at the U.N. Human Rights Council (HRC) last March.
The move marked the first time in more than a decade that the U.N.”s top human rights body did not pass an annual “defamation of religion” resolution, sponsored by the bloc of Islamic states, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).
Many rights advocacy groups regard the OIC campaign as an attempt to outlaw valid discussion of Islamic teachings — to extend to democratic societies the type of blasphemy provisions enforced in some Islamic states.
The new resolution, known as “resolution 16/18,” called on countries to combat “intolerance, negative stereotyping and stigmatization” based on religion, without seeking to criminalize speech — except in cases of “incitement to imminent violence.”
The administration characterized it as a significant breakthrough: “[T]he Council took an important step away from the deeply problematic concept of defamation of religion by adopting a constructive new resolution that promotes tolerance for all religious beliefs, promotes education and dialogue and is consistent with U.S. laws and universal values.”
Some human rights and religious freedom advocacy groups opposed to the “religious defamation” drive also praised the development.
Others were skeptical, noting that the OIC had watched its defamation resolutions receive less and less support each year and may view resolution 16/18 as an alternative route towards achieving the same end.
OIC leaders themselves did not help to allay these suspicions, stressing that the Islamic bloc had not abandoned its agenda of “protecting” Islam and insisting that the “religious defamation” campaign was not dead.
On the sidelines of a first meeting held to advance resolution 16/18, in Istanbul last July, Pakistan’s U.N. ambassador Zamir Akram said that the OIC would not compromise on three things — anything said or done against the Qur’an, anything said or done against Mohammed, and discrimination against the Muslim community. (Akram represents a government overseeing some of the Islamic world’s most controversial blasphemy laws, where “blaspheming” the Qur’an or Mohammed carries the death penalty.)
At that Istanbul meeting, co-chairs Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and OIC Secretary-General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu issued a statement urging countries “to take effective measures, as set forth in Resolution 16/18, consistent with their obligations under international human rights law, to address and combat intolerance, discrimination, and violence based on religion or belief.”
Next week’s gathering in Washington is a follow-up to the one in Istanbul, and it aims at “implementation.”
From the OIC”s viewpoint, resolution 16/18 is clearly part of the defamation campaign: “Washington plans to host a meeting on resolution opposing defamation of religions,” the OIC”s official news agency reported last August.
Ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom Suzan Johnson Cook says the meeting will bring together international organizations, including the OIC, European Union, Arab League and African Union, as well as law enforcement and justice officials representing some 30 foreign governments.
The meeting will “discuss best practices for two of the recommended actions from resolution 16/18: engagement with members of minority religious communities and enforcement of laws that prohibit acts of discrimination on the basis of religion or belief,” she said.
The State Department would afterwards submit a report on “best practices identified during these sessions” to the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights and for public distribution….