In Egypt a businessman named Naguib Sawiris will soon go on trial for Tweeting a message about a cartoon of Mickey and Minnie Mouse. Mickey had a beard and Minnie wore a veil in the cartoon. A group of Islamist attorneys is reportedly suing the business leader who could actually go to jail.
One great barrier in any scenario where East meets West is freedom of speech. Countries with Muslim majorities do not permit practices a Westerner takes for granted—criticism or ridicule of the majority faith is not acceptable.
The Obama administration's political appeasement of groups like the OIC is basically creating special status for one faith.
REPRESSION OF JOURNALISTS, FREEDOM OF SPEECH
In many cases, criticism of the government isn’t acceptable either. Al Jazeera details the repression of journalists who risk their lives if they write material that goes against the status quo. The network recently pointed out the government is a key actor in repression:
Adding to the overt physical risks from a dangerous security situation and threats of kidnapping, Iraqi journalists have told Al Jazeera that they now face threats from the Iraqi government itself, led by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.
We can expect an increasing clampdown on rights as Islamists increase political power; the Obama administration appears unconcerned. The Financial Times, reporting on the Twitter case in Egypt, said:
Human rights activists, however, see the decision to try Mr. Sawiris as a bad sign. “These types of cases had stopped for many years,” said Gasser Abdel Razek, associate director of the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights, a rights group. “It is worrying to see them resurfacing again. The Islamists now have a big presence in political life and they don’t need to use the courts to settle their ideological and political battles.”
DR. PHARES’ PREDICTIONS PROVE ACCURATE
Middle East expert Dr. Walid Phares predicted such developments in his book The Coming Revolution: Struggle for Freedom in the Middle East. Phares also predicted the growing influence of Islamist regimes.
In a recent interview with Dina Gusovsky for Examiner.com, Phares said:
“Indeed a shift in geopolitics is taking place in the region where Iranian influence will expand to the Mediterranean as Iraq is defenseless and Syria's regime hasn't been brought down by the opposition or the international community. Hezbollah, from being isolated inside Lebanon, will be connected to its mother ship –i.e., the Iranian regime- via a strategic land bridge over Iraq and Syria.”
OBAMA-CLINTON APPEASEMENT POLICY
The Obama administration actually encouraged a dilution of freedom of speech. In 2009 one of President Barack Obama’s first errors involved seeking a seat on the UN Human Rights Council. He was the first US president to do so. Days before the announcement about the seat was made, the Council passed UN Resolution 7/19. That document provided special protection for one faith. Virtually no US media covered the resolution; The US Report featured an analysis.
Part of Resolution 7/19 invited a Special Rapporteur to “report on all manifestations of defamation of religions, and in particular on the serious implications of Islamophobia…”
Of course that resolution conflicts with the US Constitution. In the United States we may say what we like about any faith—consider the ongoing vitriol and ridicule hurled at the Christian faith by liberals of other faiths, especially those in media and academics.
OIC PRAISE FOR OBAMA, CLINTON AND ‘SUPERIOR’ LAW BASED ON SHARIA
Meanwhile the Obama administration had scheduled a meeting with the Organization of Islamic Cooperation in December. On January 3, Bismillahi Rahmani Rahim issued a report about the organization’s activities. Rahim noted “geopolitical developments…constitute a decisive turning point for the present and future of the Muslim Ummah.”
Rahim said the OIC’s new charter “embraces modernity and the new universal values that do not contradict with the teachings of the noble Islamic Sharia law.” He also said that law’s principles and values “are equal or superior to those of other modern day positive laws.”
Stressing “Islamic solidarity,” Rahim pointed to a verse from the Quran—Believers are indeed brothers.
UN RESOLUTION 16/18: SPECIAL TREATMENT FOR ONE FAITH
Rahim praised the UN Human Rights Council for adopting a version of the March, 2009 resolution, UN Resolution 16/18, ‘Combating Intolerance, Negative Stereotyping, Stigmatization of, and Discrimination, Incitement to Violence and Violence Against People Based on Religion and Belief.’ Res 16/18 was adopted in April, 2011, without a vote.
Rahim also praised US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Obama:
- In view of the enhanced standing of the OIC at the international level, I co-chaired with Mrs. Hilary Clinton, the US Secretary of State, a high-level ministerial meeting in Istanbul in June 2011. The meeting adopted what is now known as the Istanbul Process to continue discussion on ways to develop the said resolution 16/18 which condemns discrimination and hatred against Muslims. As part of this process, another meeting was held in December 2011 at the US Foreign Ministry at the level of experts.
- The West’s eagerness to develop its relations with the OIC was apparent in 2011. For the first time in the history of the OIC, the OIC Secretary General was received at the White House by the US President, Barack Obama.
Rahim said, “The Islamophobia Observatory at the General Secretariat continues to monitor incidents of Islamophobia on a daily basis.”
How the Clinton-Obama policy will impact personal liberties in the United States is unknown at present. The Resolution flies in the face of the Bill of Rights in the US Constitution.
There has been little or no dialog about respect for other faiths like Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism or others. Like its predecessor UN Resolution 7/19, UN Resolution 16/18 mentions no faith other than Islam. The UN Resolution quotes the OIC report at length with particular emphasis on passages aimed at protecting the Muslim faith but the UN Resolution does not point out those passages cite no other faith.
US media have not reported in depth on the implications of the Obama-Clinton foreign policy efforts. Instead, US media have largely focused on negative stories and gossip about Republican presidential candidates.
(Analysis by Kay B. Day/Jan. 10, 2012)
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