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September 26, 2016

Interfaith Dialogue in Practice

King Abdullah II of Jordan plays a key role in Alliance of Civilizations’ and related interfaith dialogue initiatives. These initiatives have a global reach.  They come with a heavy price for it involves “finding the balance between free speech and religious freedom”.   In practice, free speech is always sacrificed.  This recent headline perfectly illustrates this balance. 

The Jordanian government clearly had no interest in protecting this man and it’s subsequent condemnation of the killing rings hollow.

The fact that this writer’s free speech is criminalized perfectly illustrates what free nations should come to expect as the United Nations’ governmental structures attempt to reconcile Islam with the West through its Alliance of Civilizations and related social cohesion initiatives.   President Obama joined the United States to the initiative in 2009.  The AoC initiative is a key component of the U.S. global counter-terrorism strategy.

Note that Mr. Hattar was charged with inciting sectarian strife and insulting Islam.  In 2005, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan said during the launch of the Alliance of Civilizations initiative that no one should have the right to criticize Islam.   The UN Human Rights Council promptly introduced the Defamation of Religion resolution intended to criminalize such free speech.  Western nations rejected that proposal then and every time it was subsequently re-introduced.  The Council changed strategy and reintroduced the resolution, this time on steroids, with a different name:  Resolution 16/18.  The face given the Resolution is the Istanbul Process.  The Process was launched by the Organization of Islamic Co-operation (OIC) for the Islamic world, Hillary Clinton for the U.S., and High Representative Catherine Ashton for the European Union.

This is what is envisioned for the West as penned by the OIC:  “The OIC has always upheld its unwavering commitment to freedom of expression but has never held back in expressing caution and concern of its misuse and abuse.  Like all other rights, the right of freedom of expression is not absolute and that cannot be exploited to infringe on the rights of others or to incite violence and hatred to endanger human lives by engaging in blatant insult, denigration and mockery of the deep seated religious beliefs and symbols and personalities sacred to religions and their followers.”  (See Fifth OIC Observatory Report on Islamophobia)

“Any depiction of God is prohibited in Islam” and could “incite” violence.

So while the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the burning of a flag is an expression of free speech, we have yet to see whether a new Court shall follow the recommendations of the OIC and Hillary Clinton that the burning of Koran is not protected speech.  I personally view actions as disgusting.  Nevertheless, relinquishing our free speech rights to accommodate Islamic law or those who are thin skinned does not serve the best interests of the western world.