Reuters reports that the Organization of the Islamic Cooperation (OIC) will revive long-standing attempts to make insults against religions an international criminal offense. Now the timing is perfect, but why would anyone who supports freedom of speech want to join the cause? The OIC secretary-general discreetly explained that the “deliberate, motivated and systematic abuse of this freedom” were a danger to global security and stability. Ah, the anti-blasphemhy brigade is a spinoff of the old “Support mental health or I’ll kill you” campaign. Got it.
Where does the Obama administration stand (or cower) on this issue? In the wake of the Cairo debacle last week, the Heritage Foundation reminded us that as recently as December 19, 2011, the the United States voted for and was instrumental in passing “U.N. Resolution 16/18” against “religious intolerance” — “condemning the stereotyping, negative profiling and stigmatization of people based on their religion.” Heritage’s Helle Dale explains that the resolution was the latest incarnation of the “anti-blasphemy” resolution that has been pushed by the OIC at the United Nations since 1999.
This background must supply the context to the testimony Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights Thomas Perez in a Constitution Subcommittee hearing in the House of Representatives this past July. Rep. Trent Franks questioned Perez were prompted by Neil Munro’s Daily Caller story quoting Perez as warmly embracing the proposals of Islamist advocates in a meeting at George Washington University, among them a request for “a legal declaration that U.S. citizens’ criticism of Islam constitutes racial discrimination.” Now see this.
Later in the hearing, Perez unimpressively “clarified” his position at the prodding of Rep. Jerry Nadler.
Daniel Pipes, “How dare you defame Islam?”
Michael Moynihan, “Life in the fatwa’s shadow.”
Ted Bromund, “Re: WH asks YouTube to pull anti-Islam video.”
Via Michael Totten.