World Bulletin / News Desk
The world's largest Islamic body called on Tuesday for expressions of Islamophobia to be curbed by law, just as some countries restrict anti-Semitic speech or Holocaust denial.
Pakistan, speaking on behalf of the 56 countries that form the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), condemned a video made in the United States that defamed Islam and the Prophet Mohammad, igniting Muslim protests around the world this month.
"Incidents like this clearly demonstrate the urgent need on the part of states to introduce adequate protection against acts of hate crimes, hate speech, discrimination, intimidation and coercion resulting from defamation and negative stereotyping of religions, and incitement to religious hatred, as well as denigration of venerated personalities," Pakistan's ambassador Zamir Akram said in a speech to the U.N. Human Rights Council.
The Obama administration has condemned the film entitled "Innocence of Muslims" as "disgusting". But Western countries remain determined to resist changes.
Akram said the crudely made video, as well as the burning of the Koran and the publication of defamatory cartoons, amount to "deliberate attempts to discriminate, defame, denigrate and vilify Muslims and their beliefs".
Such acts constitute "flagrant incitement to violence" and are not protected by freedom of expression, Akram said. Rather, he said, Islamophobia must be acknowledged as a contemporary form of racism and be dealt with as such.
"Not to do so would be a clear example of double standards. Islamophobia has to be treated in law and practice equal to the treatment given to anti-Semitism, especially in legislations."
It was urgent to "establish an internationally acceptable threshold between freedom of expression and incitement to violence and hatred," Akram added.
DIFFERENCES OVER FREE EXPRESSION
On Monday, the United States told the Council that it considered freedom of religion inseparable from free expression, countering calls from many Islamic countries for a treaty outlawing blasphemy.
Religious dignity is best protected where there is free speech, U.S. Ambassador Eileen Chamberlain Donahoe said. "When these freedoms are restricted, we see violence, poverty, stagnation and feelings of frustration and even humiliation."
The OIC signalled last week that it would revive long-standing efforts to make insults against religions an international criminal offence.
A resolution submitted by African countries and backed by the OIC calls on states to introduce into domestic criminal law a provision ensuring that those responsible for crimes with racist or xenophobic motivation are prosecuted.
The 32 resolutions are to be voted on by the 47-member forum this week.
Greek Cyprus, speaking on behalf of the European Union in Tuesday's debate, said an existing international treaty for combating all forms of racism and intolerance was "sufficient", and the main goal should be to implement it effectively.
One of Palestine’s best-known political figures, Barghouti now leads hunger-strike waged by hundreds of jailed Palestinians
Whilst pilgrimage in these times are comfortable, pilgrims in the Ottoman period was nothing less than a three month journey with much sacrifice and one of seven traditional routes used in the journey
Muslims worldwide love and revere the Prophet Jesus. The Quran states: "Behold! The angels said: 'O Mary! God giveth thee glad tidings of a Word from Him. His name will be Jesus Christ, the son of Mary, held in honor in this world and the Hereafter and in (the company of) those nearest to God.'" (The Holy Quran, 3:45)
In other parts of the world, several muslim majority countries have been lead by both female prime ministers and female presidents. Some are even currently being lead by Muslim Women today.
The research used computer-generated models of people in prayer positions and analysed he effect on lower back pain.
As World Bulletin family, we want to wish a happy and blessed Reghaib night for every Muslim around the world.
Destruction of centuries-old Babri Mosque by Hindus remains simmering issue in India 25 years later
IHH delivers 1,250 packages of food to almost 5,000 families displaced by violence in Yemen
Learn about 10 amazing things you may not have known about the Ka’bah.
The story of Sheikh Yusuf, who went to Arabia at a tender young age never to return to his homeland, turning these far lands into his 'own Macassar', has a lot of deep wisdom
Knowing the correct time of the day for daily affairs is important and it is the inventions from Muslim scientists who have impacted current clock technologies.
Salahudin Ayyubi was a fighter who freed Jerusalem of the Crusaders, he was a living example of the tolerant, progressive, and inclusive faith which was so dear to his heart. By showing restraint and peaceful treatment, Salahuddin was upholding the central tenets of Islam such as freedom of religion and protection of non-Muslims.
There have been numerous contributions to science however the contributions of Muslim scientists and scholars has been immense, in particular for mathematics
Controversial bill proposes that men and women get equal share of inheritance
There are many Muslims over the world but very little known is about the minority Muslims of Vietname. Simone Doenvang, a Dutch convert to Islam has travelled to Asia and has related her experiences with Mvslim
Andalusian thinkers such as Abbas ibn Firnas contributed to an immense amount of rich history during their era but some of the lesser knows thinkers also provided an incredible amount of history, culture and civilizational achievements.