By: Aeneas Lavinium
Buried in the sand – Egypt’s credibility as an advocate of religious freedom.
Egypt has broken the OIC’s (Organisation of Islamic Cooperation’s) flagship human rights document UNHRC Resolution 16/18 that the OIC wants the whole world to embrace. In an act of supreme hypocrisy Egypt’s Government seems to be deliberately creating a discriminatory Constitution. Egypt’s Coptic Christian Pope Tawadros II recently labelled the country’s new constitution “discriminatory” (1).
Egypt is a member of the OIC, an organisation which has been trying for many years to bully and cajole the world into adopting a global blasphemy law. Its latest manoeuvre to achieve this is UNHRC Resolution 16/18, the text of which can be found on the website of the International Humanist and Ethical Union (2).
When one reads the text of Resolution 16/18 it seems like a document that any reasonable person may be inclined to support. After all, its stated purpose is:
“Combating intolerance, negative stereotyping and stigmatization of, and discrimination, incitement to violence and violence against, persons based on religion or belief” (2) (emphasis added)
Who could really object to a document with such intentions? However, the document’s real purpose is not to prevent religious discrimination but to facilitate it. This can be seen clearly in the policies and practices of the very group of countries, the OIC, that have been promoting it. The OIC’s record with regard to religious tolerance is in a word – shameful! Nowhere on Earth is religious freedom so inadequately protected.
The motive of those who came up with the resolution is therefore clear – to extend Islamic blasphemy laws to the non-Islamic world. Resolution 16/18 will allow the same sort of religious bullying and outright persecution that goes on in OIC member states. Western tyrants of course will go along with this so then can augment their own secularised blasphemy laws that are intended to stifle free speech effectively criminalise critics of Government policy.
The new Egyptian constitution is effectively an attack on the non-Muslim people of Egypt. The discrimination that it legitimises therefore demonstrates clearly that OIC member states are not interested in religious freedom as it is understood in the West. Rather the OIC only wants legal protection for what it regards as the one and only true religion – Islam. By adopting Resolution 16/18 a country is adopting sharia law. Since the OIC has not censured Egypt for its blatantly discriminatory constitution demonstrates clearly that the OIC as an organisation is not really committed to true religious freedom.
The International Civil Liberties Alliance (ICLA) calls upon His Excellency Professor Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, OIC Secretary General, to publically censure Egypt for its violation of UNHRC Resolution 16/18. Furthermore, we call upon him to mount an investigation into the whether other members of his organisation are also in violation of Resolution 16/18. The credibility of the OIC as an advocate of religious freedom is at stake. We call upon Western Government to suspend negotiations with the OIC until that organisation’s actual commitment to religious freedom can be ascertained beyond all reasonable doubt.
(2) Resolution adopted by the United Nations Human Rights Council 16/18 (International Humanist and Ethical Union)