In Istanbul, in October 2013, the Organization of the Islamic Conference, financed by dozens of Muslim countries that themselves shamelessly persecute Jews, Christians, Buddhists, and Hindus, demanded that Western countries put an end to freedom of expression where Islam was concerned, charging that the religion had been represented too negatively as a faith that oppresses women and that proselytizes aggressively. The signatories’ intention was to make criticism of the religion of the Koran an international crime.
This demand arose at the United Nations World Conference Against Racism in Durban as early as 2001 and would be reaffirmed almost every year. UN special rapporteur for racism Doudou Diene, in a 2007 report to the organization’s Human Rights Council, decries Islamophobia as one of the “most serious forms of the defamation of religions.” In March of that year, the Human Rights Council had equated this type of defamation to racism, pure and simple, and demanded that all mockery of Islam and its religious symbols be banned. This was a double ultimatum. The first goal was to impose silence on Westerners, who were guilty of colonialism, secularism, and seeking equality between men and women. The second, even more important, aim was to forge a weapon of enforcement against liberal Muslims, who dared to criticize their faith and who called for reform of family laws and for equality between the sexes, for a right to apostatize and to convert, and for a right no longer to believe in God and not to observe Ramadan and other rites. Such renegades must face public condemnation, in this imperative, so as to block all hope of change.
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