Archive for the 'Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC)' Category

The return of the Ad Hoc

On July 22, 2013, a two-week session of the controversial Ad Hoc Committee on the Collaboration of Complementary Standards commenced. The Committee, set up in accordance with Paragraph 199 of the Durban Declaration, has as its goal to identify protection gaps in the fight against racism, especially within the International Covenant for the Elimination of Racial Descrimination (ICERD). From its first session in 2008, the Committee acquired notoriety as it became the forum through which the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) was seeking to draft an international protocol against defamation, thus limiting free speech and promoting blasphemy laws.

So far, this year’s session has been pretty uneventful. The committee meetings were extremely stilted, as many delegations had nothing to say, or felt no need to further elaborate. Many afternoon or morning sessions were postponed and adjourned, due to lack of content, or officially, to give countries time to familiarize themselves with material that was not distributed until last minute, such as biographical information on upcoming speakers.

The European Union and the United States continued to be vocal critics of the committee’s work, like in the past. They both complained against attempts to bring defamation back to the agenda. The EU noted with regret that the committee’s questionnaire was not carried out in a transparent manner, that important information was only provided at late stages, and that many countries did not respond, resulting in an underrepresentation of some regions. The United States said that they saw no need for additional substantive legal instruments, because the mandate of the committee is to promote a consensus of action plans and not create new confusing international law instruments. At times, the USA also had to ask a speaker how their topic had anything to do with the question of xenophobia.

Why not make this year’s session the Committee’s last one?

“No such thing as Islamic terrorism,” delegate tells UN confab on religious sensitivities

The OIC hosted the 3rd Istanbul Process session, the product of a Western attempt to replace the Islamic group's "defamation of religion" UN campaign.

For more photos of the conference, click here.

GENEVA – Nations attacked the West for wrongly associating Islam with terrorism at a June 19-21 international conference in Geneva organized by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, part of the U.S.-Turkish led “Istanbul Process,” an intended Western-Islamic framework for détente created by a 2011 UN Human Rights Council resolution to “combat intolerance, discrimination and incitement to hatred and/or violence on the basis of religion or belief.”

The 3rd International Expert Meeting on the Follow-Up and Implementation of HRC Resolution 16/18 was held at the United Nations headquarters in Geneva. The previous meeting of the Istanbul Proces was hosted by then U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in Washington, D.C., in December 2011.

Critics say the resolution and its follow-up process have seen the U.S. legitimize the longstanding Islamic campaign at the UN to ban “defamation of religion,” only with different terminology.

A central theme of the conference was how to balance freedom of speech with freedom of religion. Many countries argued for protecting “religious sensitivities.” Indonesia stated that freedom of speech is not absolute, and that it must come with restrictions based on legitimate grounds.

Egypt said that freedom of opinion is a manifestation of social freedoms – and is therefore the mother of all rights – but that the freedom of religion must also be considered in light of basic human rights, given the fact that Articles 19 and 20 of the ICCPR impose duties and responsibilities.
Mr. Taskin Soykan, an adviser on combating intolerance and discrimination against Muslims at the OSCE, said that freedom of religion is “sacrosanct but not absolute,” and that individuals have responsibilities in exercising the right. Continue reading ‘“No such thing as Islamic terrorism,” delegate tells UN confab on religious sensitivities’

Letter from UN’s Islamic group to UNHRC President Opposing Panel on Violence Against Gays

PDF of original letter

PERMANENT MISSION OF PAKISTAN
TO THE UNITED NATIONS AND
OTHER INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS

56 me de Moillebeau
1211 Geneva 19
Tel: (4122) 7491930
Fax: (4122) 734 8085
E-mail: mission.vakistan@ties.ita.int.

Ambassador
No. Pol/S0/2012

14 February 2012

H.E. Ms. Laura Dupuy Lasserre
President of the Human Rights Council
Geneva

My dear President,

I am writing to you in my capacity as Coordinator of the OIC Group on Human Rights and Humanitarian Issues in Geneva.

2.         I wish to explain the position taken by the Member States of the OIC onResolution 17/19 and the subsequent Panel on “Discrimination and Violence based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity” scheduled to be held on 7 March 2012 during the 19’th Session of the Human rights Council.

3.         The OIC States are deeply concerned by the introduction in the Human Rights Council of controversial notions like “sexual orientation and gender identity.” The OIC countries have been consistent in their opposition to the consideration of these controversial notions in the context of human right at international fora. Continue reading ‘Letter from UN’s Islamic group to UNHRC President Opposing Panel on Violence Against Gays’

Islamic States Pledge Tolerance as Report Says They Practice Persecution

Concerns about an Islamic-sponsored “combating intolerance” initiative at the United Nations are brought into sharp relief by results of a new world survey on religious persecution.

Muslim nations make up nine out of the top ten countries where Christians face the “most severe” persecution, and 38 of the top 50, reports U.S.-based Open Doors in its 2012 World Watch List.

Topping the list is North Korea, where the Stalinist regime enforces cult worship of its leaders.

The results lay bare the sheer incongruity of the idea that the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), whose 56 member states control more than a quarter of the votes in the UN General Assembly, can be serious about promoting religious tolerance.

Yet that is what it claimed by successfully pushing for an assembly resolution titled “Combating intolerance, negative stereotyping, stigmatization, discrimination, incitement to violence and violence against persons, based on religion or belief.” The measure, which passed last month, mirrored an almost identical resolution in the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) in Geneva last March. Continue reading ‘Islamic States Pledge Tolerance as Report Says They Practice Persecution’