Following the lobbying efforts of the Organization of Islamic Co-operation (OIC), resolution 16/18 was agreed by the United Nations. The resolution reads as follows:
“Combating intolerance, negative stereotyping and stigmatization of, and discrimination, incitement to violence and violence against, persons based on religion or belief”
Is the OIC’s motivation with regard to defamation of religion motivated by a sincere belief in protecting religious freedom or is it a means to protect religious dogma? The plight of minority religious opinion in many OIC member states may perhaps suggest an answer to this question.
We have therefore looked at two websites that look at persecution: WikiIslam, and persecution.org. There are relevant links to each site next to the OIC member state listed. Some member states have more entries than others, there is even an indication of positive measures in a small number of states.
The following OIC states appear to have the best record of tolerance based on a quick look at the two sources and are not included in the list below: Kingdom of Bahrain, Burkina-Faso (then Upper Volta), Republic of Togo, Republic of Djibouti, Republic of Suriname, Sultanate of Oman, Republic of Gabon, Republic of The Gambia, Republic of Guyana, Republic of Guinea-Bissau, Republic of Mali, Republic of Mozambique, Republic of Cameroon, and State of Qatar.
However, the overall picture that is created of the OIC area with regard to persecution of religious minorities is disgraceful. The OIC clearly has much work to do with its a large number of its own member states before lecturing the West and the wider world about religious tolerance. If the example of many OIC countries is anything to go by then laws to prevent defamation of religion are far from positive in their effects. This is just a snapshot based on articles included at these two websites and there are some articles that do suggest positive measures in some cases.
Consider the articles that can be viewed via the following links:
Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan: WikiIslam
Republic of Albania: persecution.org
Republic of Benin: persecution.org
Republic of Sierra Leone: WikiIslam, persecution.org
Republic of Guinea: persecution.org
Kyrgyz Republic: WikiIslam
Republic of Cote D’Ivoire: persecution.org
State of Kuwait: WikiIslam
Republic of Niger: WikiIslam
It would appear that based on the amount of religious persecution that takes place in many OIC member states their rationale for the expansion of OIC norms to the rest of the world is motivated not by a commitment to religious freedom but by a desire to destroy such freedom?
None of these states should have any say whatsoever on what is permitted speech in the Western world? It is time for Western governments to end the ‘Istanbul Process’ and tell these states to stop being hypocrites. It is quite clear that many OIC member states actually need laws to allow freedom of religion. Perhaps if they are sincerely concerned about the rights of religious minorities they should really be creating laws that allow full freedom of expression with