Muslim world demands UN to declare Islamophobia as crime
05 Oct 2012 08:21 GMT
 
Abu Dhabi: The world can be a peaceful place to live only when one human being respects the sentiments of the other and allows him to freely choose his lifestyle, faith, practices and religion without being harmful for anyone. By Farhan Iqbal

Abu Dhabi: The world can be a peaceful place to live only when one human being respects the sentiments of the other and allows him to freely choose his lifestyle, faith, practices and religion without being harmful for anyone.

These views were expressed by the Islamic scholars while highlighting the importance of tolerance in the society in the aftermath of blasphemous anti-Islam film which has hurt the Muslims’ sentiments and they have strongly protested against it across the globe. They said that tolerance and respect of other religions can avoid these pitiful events.

Experts also highlighted that what really “Freedom of Expression” means. Freedom of Expression does not allow anyone to attack any religion or the holy personalities of any particular faith. If anybody does so it will certainly trigger a situation which will be uncontrollable as it has happened in the Muslim world after the releasing of anti-Islam film. During the protests against the disgusting film by some “mentally-retarded” Islamophobes, dozens of people have been killed and in Libya, US ambassador was also killed by the furious mob.

Islamic scholars clarified that making caricatures and filming of the holy personalities is completely Haram (impermissible) in Islam. And if somebody tries to make fun of the Islamic holy personalities, it is utterly unacceptable as Muslims love their Beloved Prophet Hazrat Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) more than anyone in this world even more than their parents and offspring.

They said that Muslims respect all religions and non-Muslims also respect Islam and Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) but there are certain elements disturbing the inter-faith harmony among Muslims and people of other religions. They demanded of the United Nations to create a ruling on all religions’ respect and bind respective governments to punish such miscreants. Islamophobia should be considered a crime and culprits should be dealt with stern hands.

Meanwhile, the United Nations, at the request of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), will debate, once again, the merit of blasphemy laws that could potentially criminalize religious defamation.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said last week, “We are living through a period of unease.”

“We are also seeing incidents of intolerance and hatred that are then exploited by others. Voices of moderation and calm need to make themselves heard at this time. We all need to speak up in favor of mutual respect and understanding of the values and beliefs of others,” he added.

Rev. Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite, a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, pointed out in the Washington Post that “since 1999, the 56-nation Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has sought to include the issue of religious defamation in UN Human Rights Council resolutions.”

Typically the West and human rights organizations have objected such laws on grounds that they would limit free speech. But this year, after an anti-Islam YouTube video sparked deadly riots throughout the world, the global mood is decidedly altered from previous years.

Courtney Radsch, program manager for the Global Freedom of Expression Campaign, said in the Spokesman-Review, “I expect that we’ll regress to where we were a couple of years ago.”

She then added, “Human rights are not about protecting religions; human rights are to protect humans. Who is going to be the decision-maker on deciding what blasphemy is?”

Turkish Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, said that he would address the issue when the UN General Assembly convenes in New York.

He said, “I am the prime minister of a nation, of which most are Muslims, that has declared anti-Semitism a crime against humanity.”

“But the West hasn’t recognized Islamophobia as a crime against humanity. It has encouraged it,” he concluded.


-- Al Arabiya Digital


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