In “International ‘Islamophobia’ Conference Promotes Sharia Agenda” at Breitbart, September 28, Andrew E. Harrod and Sam Nunberg discuss the propaganda fest I discussed here, and show how it was dedicated to finding ways to intimidate the West into shutting down all criticism of Islam and jihad:
Objective observers should be rightfully concerned by the “International Conference on Islamophobia: Law & Media” held by the Turkish government’s Directorate General of Press and Information (DGPI or BYGEM in Turkish) and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) this past September 12-13 in Istanbul’s Grand Tarabya Hotel. Conference participants substantiated all too many threats emanating from various Muslims and their allies, calling into question their respect for free speech and freedom of expression.
The conference website defined “Islamophobia” according to the Greek suffix phobia as a “groundless fear and intolerance of Islam and Muslims.” By “culminating in hate speech and attitudes towards Muslims,” this phobia is “detrimental to international peace.” There should be “recognition of Islamophobia as a hate crime and Islamophobic attitudes as human rights violations.”
In Istanbul, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip ErdoÄŸan reiterated his well-known meme (see here and here) that “Islamophobia” as a “kind of racism” is a “crime against humanity.” “No monotheistic religion,” ErdoÄŸan elaborated, “adopts, supports, permits or leads terror.”Â
“If Christianity and Judaism cannot be mentioned with terrorism,” Turkish Deputy Prime Minister BÃ¼lent ArinÃ§ seconded in his remarks, “then our noble religion Islam cannot be defamed this way either.” ArinÃ§ discerned the main cause of “Islamophobia” in the belief that “Islam and democracy are not compatible,” yet “Muslims are democrats in essence.”Â
Representing the OIC”s 57 Muslim-majority states (including “Palestine”), a fellow Turk, OIC Secretary General Dr. Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, reprised themes from the OIC”s longstanding attempts to restrict criticism of Islam. Ihsanoglu decried the “exploitation….of freedom of speech.”Â
The conference’s first session featured internationally renowned Islam scholar and regular Islamist apologist John Esposito. Esposito cited “irrational fear” being behind “anti-Sharia legislations” in the United States. Turning toward Egypt, Esposito criticized those who “think it is legitimate to overthrow a democratically elected government.”Â
Joining Esposito on the panel to compare anti-Semitism with “Islamophobia” was Norman Gary Finkelstein. The Jewish child of Holocaust survivors, Finkelstein has a long record of comparing Israel to Nazism and supporting groups such as Hezbollah while having his views of fellow Jews celebrated among anti-Semites.Â
Nathan Lean appeared at the conference as well. Pulitzer Prize-winning critic Jeffrey Taylor has criticized Lean’s recent “maladroit, bungling critique” of atheist Richard Dawkins as an “Islamophobe.” BÃªte noir among Lean’s ilk, Islam scholar Robert Spencer has likewise condemned various sloppy errors in Lean’s public correspondence. Spencer has also condemned Lean as a “stalker” for tweeting an article with pictures supposedly of Spencer’s home and family.
Actually Lean tweeted — repeatedly — a link to an article containing what he thought was my home address and a picture of my wife, in a clear attempt to intimidate me into silence, as well as to signal to his more violent friends and colleagues where he thought they could find me.
Joining Lean on a panel were American and Iranian professors Stephen Sheehi and Saied Reza Ameli. During a 2011 visit to the University of Florida, Sheehi had defined “Islamophobia” as merely being a “hatred of brown people.” Ameli, meanwhile, was a founder and leading member of the United Kingdom’s Islamic Human Rights Commission (IHRC), a “radical Islamist organization” in the assessment of Israel’s Stephen Roth Institute for the Study of Contemporary Anti-Semitism and Racism.
The self-proclaimed Turkish “Marxist academic” Ali Murat Yel and his American colleague Hatem Al Bazian were also in Istanbul. Yel has praised ErdoÄŸan’s ruling AKP party for having “paved the way for”¦a democratic society” in Turkey despite Islamist concerns. “The West,” Yel has also opined, “may come to appreciate the Muslim experience of both Andalusia and the Ottoman past in dealing with their religious minorities.” The “outspoken anti-Zionist” Bazian, meanwhile, has in the past stated notoriously genocidal Islamic hadith against the Jews.