Tundra Tabloids 28 October 2011
Note: The liveblogging is now complete, no further updates.
Under the headline Confronting Intolerance and Discrimination Against Muslims in Public Discourse, OIC and other Islamist groups are trying to leverage the OSCE to gain protection against criticism of Islam and the acts of Islamist movements. Our reporter ESW is on the spot analyzing how this discrimination based on religion is to be brought about. Read on for strange assertions such as “Islamic anti-Semitism doesn’t exist”.
Download the BPE / ICLA paper submitted to OSCE here.
Statement delivered by ESW appended below.
Video of Intervention by Dr. Harald Figl appended below.
When: 28 October 2011
Organized by: Lithuanian OSCE Chairmanship, Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights
OSCE participating States recognize that manifestations of discrimination and intolerance threaten the security of individuals and may give rise to wider-scale conflict and violence that undermine international stability and security. Today, there are a broad range of commitments to combat racism, xenophobia, discrimination, and intolerance, including against Muslims, Christians, and Jews, as well as commitments related to preventing and responding to hate crimes. Despite these efforts, anti-Muslim expressions in political discourse and the media continue to be a serious matter of concern.
Mutual respect for diversity
[11:21:15 AM] I am blogging on the current speaker. Conference based on forward-looking approach. Recommendations require work of all stakeholders overcome intolerance and discrimination only if all cooperate muslim intolerance hand in hand with racism fueled by stereotypes and prejudices, identificatoin of terrorism with Islam.
Intolerant speech should be avoided
Words can do harm, finding a fair balance is hard, is freedom of expression absolute when is it necessary to restrict it? intl standards do not provide answers.
Criminalization of hate speech is a threat
[11:39:05 AM] It can impede robust debate in a robust society, OSCE stresses protection and promotion of freedom of expression. Stresses the role of education in shaping attitude of young
[11:41:42 AM] Educators must combat these stereotypes
Mr. Omer Orhun, adviser to sec gen of OIC to speak next
[11:44:01 AM] problem: intolerance etc etc. What to do to confront these instances, 2 points in field of public discourse, political rhtetoric: responsible polticians must underline the importance of correct and unbiased discourse 2. media: positive role in promoting harmony.
Expecting from responsible journalists
[11:45:45 AM] an play a negative and divisive role in projecting messages. Govts must assist creation of media self regulation.Manifestation of islamophobia in western europe and Northern america potential to fuel anti-muslim incidents and violence, explore role of media in preventing hate crimes
[11:48:03 AM] Underlining by OIC: repsect for cultural diversity, differences shoul dnot lead to discrimination, principles of tolernace lie at the center of the human rights system, closely linked to mutual repsect, which is based on equality and dignity, regard for tolerance principles.
[11:49:28 AM] Democracy are essential safegurads of tolerance and nondiscrinations Elisabeth Wolff: more and more people believe that clash of civilz is inevitable, this attitude threatens intl environment
ESW: Islamphobia: OSCE prefers intolernace and discrimiantion against muslims
[11:51:08 AM] But we need a definition, it is a contemporary form of racism. Unfounded fear against muslims and islam it is an affront to the human rights and dignity of muslims.
ESW: Unfounded fear.
[11:53:31 AM]: 1. we must address manifestations of islamophiba.
2. analyze current occurrences of stereotypes against muslims.
3. share good practices and gather set of recommendations to prevent and respond to manifestations od intolerance against muslims
Those are concrete measures (the above 3 points)
Statement delivered by Bürgerbewegung Pax Europa:
On the problematic concept of ‘anti-Muslim discourse’
I believe that everybody here, both the representatives of the participating states and of non-governmental organisations, share a common goal of upholding liberty, peaceful coexistance and respect for diversity, in line with the OSCE purpose of upholding democracy and freedom.
This meeting has been called with these objectives in mind.
However, there are in the meeting agenda some fallacies that deserve correction, or the results might end up being counterproductive to the overall objectives of the OSCE. Let me point out the more obvious ones:
- Trying to steer public discourse is at odds with the core concept of freedom of expression.
- It is not made clear in the agenda if ‘anti-Muslim discourse’ includes criticising Islam.
- Singling out Muslims for specific protection constitutes an act of discrimination itself.
- Anti-Christian anti-Jewish hate crimes are more common than anti-Muslim ones.
- National law protecting citizens’ rights apply equally well to Muslims as to others.
In brief, there is no good reason to single out Muslims as being in need of special protection, as Muslims have the same fundamental rights as any other citizen.No such discussion, however frank and honest, should be considered directed against individual adherents of a faith, and hardly an issue of concern at government level.
Attempting to resolve conflicts in society by controlling the public discourse is usually a futile approach, as we saw in Eastern Europe decades ago, and at odds with the objectives of the OSCE.
Bürgerbewegung Pax Europa discourages pursuing this strategy further.
Video: Intervention by Dr. Harald Figl
Dr. Harald Figl questions OIC about ‘Islamophobia’ and if any of the supposedly ‘many’ Islams reject even one Quranic verse:
”What are we speaking about?” – this was a good question. As a representative of Islam in Austria, considering Islam as an unchangeable, divine revelation, is OIC capable of finding a definition of ‘Islamophobia’, in the light of the term of the ‘infidel’, the unbeliever, in the sense of the Quran?
And together with the question: Is there any Islam, if there are many, which rejects even one Quranic verse?