This past December the U.S. State Department hosted a three-day, closed-door international conference to discuss implementation of Resolution 16/18 with members of the OIC (Organization of Islamic Cooperation) that if passed, will criminalize the criticism of Islam. The OIC is the world’s largest Islamic Organization with 56 member states and the Palestinian Authority, and is the second largest intergovernmental agency behind the United Nations. This is composed of Kings and Heads of State as the Supreme authority of the organization. These nations typically vote as a bloc within the U.N.
By discussing the implementation of Resolution 16/18, the U.S. State Department immediately gives validity to the OIC’s position. The OIC has attempted for the past 12 years to pass resolutions that would criminalize the ‘defamation of religions’, specifically Islam. There appears to be nothing in this that mentions criticism of Christianity or Judaism. Under the resolution, even if what you say about Islam is true, if it incites Muslims to violence, you could be held criminally liable. Unlike traditional U.S. defamation laws, truth would not be considered a defense.
To read reports on this meeting click the following links for articles written by reputable sources: The Investigative Project on Terrorism and Hudson Institute. I am including an article in Forbes magazine for your information. http://www.forbes.com/sites/abigailesman/2011/12/30/could-you-be-a-criminal-us-supports-un-anti-free-speech-measure/
The next meeting to discuss the implementation of this resolution will be held this spring in Europe. Many Europeans are already limited in what they can say because of ‘hate speech’ laws in their nations. The OIC nations already restrict speech so the resolution is meant to silence critics of Islam within western nations. Even if the U.S. does not implement the resolution, if it is by Europe, we could be faced with the possibility of it becoming international law.
There are many who are speaking about the ramifications of this resolution. One leader stated: “Christians need to be concerned regarding this measure because if implemented in the way the OIC desires, it would severely limit what Americans could say regarding Islam. This would include examining the beliefs of Islam, criticizing the prophet or any of the practices within Islam (including honor killings, forced marriages, etc.) or taken to its ultimate, yet logical conclusion proclaiming that ‘Jesus Christ is the Son of God’ since that would be considered blasphemy within Islam. Elected public officials need to be made aware of this resolution and the State Department’s activities.”
The video lists the Chairmen of committees in our federal government who could hold public hearings. To contact congressional members of the House of Representatives, go to: https://writerep.house.gov/writerep/welcome.shtml To contact your U.S. Senator, go to: http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm
As responsible American citizens it is very important that we let our concerns be known to our national and state representatives. Our freedom of speech must not be compromised!