How bad have things gotten? How weak the West? We shall see. Some fringe pastor burns a book and the Muslim world is set to explode.
Terry Jones burned a Qur'an. So what?
My sentiments on this subject are clear. This church's burning of the Qur'an does a grave disservice to the cause of spreading awareness about Islamic teachings and the threat that Sharia poses to our way of life.
Although I oppose this venture, this is another challenge to the U.S. to stand up for free speech and free expression. Popular speech needs no protection. As such all Americans should support the right of the church to have done this, even if they dislike what they're doing.
Qur'an-burning is a stupid idea, of course, but is protected under the laws of free speech. The burning of books is wrong in principle: the antidote to bad speech is not censorship or book-burning, but more speech. Open discussion. Give-and-take. And the truth will out. There is no justification for burning books. If free men are to be free and not live under Islamic law (sharia), then this man can do this if he wants, and his freedom and rights should be protected. Islamic supremacists should not be allowed a victory for their violent intimidation -- if these people want to burn a book, they're free to do so.
If they had burned a Bible, no one would be threatening violence against them.
The Islamic warning that this will threaten American troops is just another terror tactic. This is based on the assumption that they are fighting us because we are doing things they don't like. Actually they are fighting us because of imperatives within the Islamic faith. They will never like us unless we convert to Islam or submit to Islamic rule. If we stop doing things they dislike, where will we draw the line? How far will Sharia advance in the U.S., with Americans afraid to stop its advance for fear of offending Muslims and stirring them up to violence? The Muslim Students Association is already pushing for halal cafeterias, segregated dorms, segregated gym facilities on campus. This is incompatible with American freedom. We have to draw the line.
I will tell you this, Islamic law (sharia) cannot, must not, and will not have its way over our free speech. That is worth fighting for, worth dying for.
Pakistan's ambassador to the UN condemned "this reprehensible act" as "the work of extremists." He didn't mean, of course, any of the recent jihad attacks or plots. What he had in mind was the burning of the Qur'an in Florida, which, as you can see in this story, the OIC is exploiting to renew its jihad against the freedom of speech in the West. The OIC is bent on compelling Western states to criminalize criticism of Islam, which will criminalize any honest examination of the ways in which jihadists use the texts and teachings of Islam to recruit for jihad among peaceful Muslims, thus preempting the formulation of any effective strategy to counter that use.
"OIC to ‘send’ strong condemnation," from the Daily Mail (Pakistan), March 27:
NEW YORK – Reposing complete confidence in Ambassador Abdullah Hussain Haroon, Permanent Representative of Pakistan to the United Nations, the OIC decided that the Ambassador of Pakistan along with Ambassadors of Tajiskistan (OIC chair), Morocco (OIC Coordinator for Human Rights), Iran and Egypt would meet with the UN Secretary General to convey OIC’s strong condemnation and ask him to take the lead towards promoting inter-faith harmony.
It was decided in OIC ambassadorial meeting which convened here the other day to discuss the recent desecration of the Holy Quran in Florida last week.
The meeting approved the proposals of Ambassador Haroon and his Iranian counterpart that OIC Chair and Observer Mission will draft a strong condemnatory letter on behalf of OIC with the assistance of Pakistan and Morocco to be sent to the UN Secretary General, President UN General Assembly, High Commissioner for Human Rights (HCHR) with the request to circulate it as an official document....
Reiterating the President of Pakistan, Asif Ali Zardari's clear expression of sentiments of the people and extreme provocation and seriousness of the issue, and his call to the United Nations to take immediate action on the subject, Ambassador Haroon the first Speaker from the member states voiced strong condemnation of this sacrilegious act.
He assured that Pakistan would continue playing its active and constructive role in promoting inter-faith harmony and peaceful co-existence.
On March 22, Ambassador Haroon had written a letter to the UN Secretary General, where he drawn UN attention towards this despicable act of desecration of the Holy Quran by Wayne Sapp and Terry Jones in Florida.
He voiced Pakistan's profound regret and deep concern at the increasing acts of "Islamophobia and growing trend of intolerance and hatred towards Muslims as well as insults to their religious symbols and personalities".
The letter further said, "While this reprehensible act is the work of extremists and is evidently designed to provoke dissent and discord among communities and peoples across the world, such sacrilegious acts also go against the very concept of inter-faith harmony and threaten the multicultural fabric of the societies and the brotherhood of the United Nations".
The Ambassador urged the United Nations to play its important role in ensuring peace and harmony among peoples of the world. He said Pakistan has full confidence in the UN's leadership and hoped that it would take all steps to fight such tendencies and promote intercultural and inter-faith harmony that is basic to coexistence of mankind.
Recalling Pakistan’s initiative on Interfaith Dialogue and participation in the Alliance of Civilization, Ambassador Haroon stated that Pakistan has always stood for promoting peace and harmony among people and nations of the world.
He regretted that while OIC has always supported peace initiatives in all regions of the world including tolerant and constructive engagement during last year’s Islamophobic incidents i.e. threats to burn the Quran and opposition to construction of Islamic Center in New York, attacks on Islam, its symbols and holy personalities continue unabated.
The Ambassador proposed that the OIC group should write a letter to the UN Secretary General (UNSG) asking him to issue a strong condemnatory statement and take concrete action to protect multiculturalism and promote peace and harmony in the world....
Bat Ye'or on the OIC (Organization of Islamic Confernce):
The Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) is a religious and political organization. Close to the Muslim World League of the Muslim Brotherhood, it shares the Brotherhood's strategic and cultural vision: that of a universal religious community, the Ummah, based upon the Koran, the Sunna, and the canonical orthodoxy of shari'a. The OIC represents 56 countries and the Palestinian Authority (considered a state), the whole constituting the universal Ummah with a community of more than one billion three to six hundred million Muslims.The OIC has a unique structure among nations and human societies. The Vatican and the various churches are de facto devoid of political power, even if they take part in politics, because in Christianity, as in Judaism, the religious and political functions have to be separated. Asian religions, too, do not represent systems that bring together religion, strategy, politics, and law within a single organizational structure.Not only does the OIC enjoy unlimited power through the union and cohesion of all its bodies, but also to this it adds the infallibility conferred by religion. Bringing together 56 countries, including some of the richest in the world, it controls the lion's share of global energy resources. The European Union (EU), far from anticipating the problems caused by such a concentration of power and investing in the diversification and autonomy of energy sources since 1973, acted to weaken America internationally in order to substitute for it the U.N., the OIC's docile agent. In the hope of garnering a few crumbs of influence, the EU privileged a massive Muslim immigration into Europe, paid billions to the Mediterranean Union and Palestinian Authority, weakened the European states, undermined their unity, and wrapped itself in the flag of Palestinian justice, as though this would supply some protective system against the global jihad, which it endeavored to focus on Israel.Religion as the main aspect of the OIC emerges from its language and its targets. It seems that the OIC is restoring in the 21st century the Caliphate, the supreme controlling body for all Muslims. In their Charter (2008), Member States confirm that their union and solidarity are inspired by Islamic values. They affirm their aim to reinforce within the international arena their shared interests and the promotion of Islamic values. They commit themselves to revitalizing the pioneering role of Islam in the world, increasing the prosperity of the member states, and -- in contrast to to the European states -- to ensure the defense of their national sovereignty and territorial integrity. They proclaim their support for Palestine with al-Quds Al Sharif, the Arabized name for Jerusalem, as its capital, and exhort each other to promote human rights, basic freedoms, the state of law (shari'a), and democracy according to their constitutional and legal system -- in other words, compliance with shari'a.They also undertake to stimulate noble Muslim values, to preserve their symbols and their shared heritage, and to defend the universality of the Islamic religion -- simply put, the universal propagation of Islam (da'wa). They state that they are promoting women's rights and encourage their active participation in all walks of life, in accordance with the laws of the Member States. They agree to inculcate Muslim children with Islamic values and to support Muslim minorities and communities outside the Member States in order to preserve their dignity and their cultural and religious identity.The Charter's strategic targets seek "[t]o ensure active participation of the Member States [of the OIC] in the global political, economic and social decision-making processes to secure their common interests" (I-5) and "[t]o promote and defend unified position on issues of common interest in international forums" (1-17).Among its targets, the OIC Charter specifies the propagation, promotion, and preservation of Islamic teachings and values, the spread of Islamic culture, and the preservation of the Islamic heritage (I-11). Article I-12 promotes the protection and defense of the true image of Islam, the fight against its defamation, and the encouragement of dialogue between civilizations and religions. The other objectives deal with protecting inherent Islamic family values (I-14) and the preservation of rights, dignity, and religious and cultural identity of the Muslim communities and minorities in non-Member States (I-16). This issue points to the OIC authority over immigrants abroad and its pressure on the governments of the non-Muslim host countries through the channel of dialogue, including the Alliance of Civilizations, whose Report backs OIC programs, and interfaith and immigration networks.The OIC supports all the jihadist movements considered to be resisting "foreign occupation," including those in "occupied" Indian Kashmir, and condemns the "humiliation and oppression" of Muslims in India.The Charter stipulates that the International Islamic Court of Justice shall become the Organization's main legal body (Chap. X, Art. 14) and that "[t]he Independent Permanent Commission on Human Rights shall promote the civil, political, social and economic rights enshrined in the organization's [OIC] covenants and declarations and in universally agreed human rights instruments, in conformity with Islamic values" (Art. 15). It implies that the covenants which do not conform with Islamic values will not be followed.One can note that Sudanese President Omar al Bashir, accused (according to Western criteria of justice) of genocide committed in southern Sudan and Darfur, has not been troubled by the Islamic Court of Justice. His colleagues at the OIC do not consider him in any way a criminal and receive him with great respect, as does Turkish PM Erdogan.The Islamic Court of Justice has an international mandate and could try foreigners, both Muslims and non-Muslims (blasphemers, apostates, resisters to jihad) who have broken the laws of shari'a anywhere. Moreover, the claim by the OIC to be the guardian and protector of Muslim immigrants living in all countries that are not members of the OIC implies an extension of its jurisdiction and political influence over all the Muslims of Europe, North and South America, and the other non-Member States. This situation exacerbates the danger incurred by non-religious European Muslims, whether atheists, apostates, or free thinkers.Within its organization, the Charter presents characteristics similar to those of the EU; however, in terms of its spirit, functions, principles, and objectives, it is the EU's very antithesis. Even if it employs the language of international organizations, the meaning of the words is different by their being rooted in the conceptual world of the Koran, which contradicts the basis of secular Western thought. Thus, Article 32-2 states, "The Council of Foreign Ministers [of OIC countries] shall recommend the rules of procedures of the Islamic Summit." This implies an Islamic view and understanding on policy.Such a combined political and religious institution is at the very outer rim of Western thinking, anchored as it is in the separation between politics and religion. Even if interference between the two fields has persisted, the principle of such separation has facilitated emancipation in the intellectual and political arenas from religious authority and the development of critical thought.Present-day aspiration of the Ummah to submit to a caliphate which embodies a combined political-religious institution can only surprise the Westerner and highlight the gap that separates the two. Rooted in individualism, Europeans cultivate the search for happiness and cherish freedom of thought and of rational, scientific exploration, which are perceived as a human being's greatest privilege and finest adventure.Conversely, aspiring to the Caliphate indicates the longing for a supreme authority owing its infallibility to Allah and his human intermediary, Mohammed. According to Ibn Khaldoun, this institution placing politics at the service of worldwide, religious expansionism was created as instrument for the mandatory Islamization of mankind. Faced today with this political archaism, a divided and broken West seeks refuge in denial and grasps at the demise of tiny Israel as though at a lifebelt. Taking in water from every side, this West that abandons its own identity for multilateralism and multiculturalism and ruins its citizenry by buying security has little chance of survival.