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.
For despite a common view that young Muslim women are forced to wear veils by men or their families, studies and interviews point to the opposite in Muslim minority countries where it is often the case that the women themselves choose to cover up.
S. Matthias Mende, a German entrepreneur who converted to Islam in 2008, created the app with the help of Shaikh Mohammed bin Majid Al Maktoum and Abdul Khaliq in the United Arab Emirates.
World famous Egyptian scholar Yusuf al-Qaradawi will be among the speakers, as well as Yemeni scholar Abdulwahhab ad-Daylami and the Mufti of Chechnya Salah Mejiyev.
Mina Hindholm Imam Khatib school will take on students aged 18 and up from Denmark, Norway and Sweden.
At his Friday sermon in Mecca, the imam and preacher of the Grand Mosque in Mecca, Sheikh Abdul-Rahman al-Sudais, decried "mass massacres against humanity" in Gaza, Syria and Iraq.
Finsbury Park mosque, the Ummah Welfare Trust and the Cordoba Foundation have all recieved letters saying their accounts will be closed due to 'risk appetite'.
Meanwhile, madrasas (religious schools) in Crimea are being searched for banned reading materials.
Global Deaf Muslims (GDM) is raising $480,000 to fund the project of translating the Qur’an to American Sign Language.
An ancient Islamic burial ground has provided researchers with new evidence of Muslim settlements in the Ciudad Real province.
The university asked questions regarding the students' opinion on the headscarf and whether they felt it was necessary in today's day and age.
Muslims living in the region of Uusimaa have made do with small 'Muslim section' in Lutheran church cemeteries.
Despite Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz inaugurating a Zamzam Water Project to ensure a constant supply of pure Zamzam water in 2010, criticism of the minaret plans appear to be falling on deaf ears.
The Deputy Mufti of Crimea, Esadulla Bairov, said he cannot understand why the famous 'Fortress of the Muslim' book of supplications of the Prophet Muhammad was banned.
The Historic German Shooting Federation said that only Christians were allowed to become shooting champions.
Authorities will prohibit passengers who wear veils, head scarves, a loose-fitting garment called a jilbab, clothing with the crescent moon and star, and those with long beards - from boarding buses in the northwestern city of Karamay.
Some Islamic books that have been banned include the work of popular 20th century Turkish scholar Said Nursi and the famous “Fortress of the Muslim” book of supplications of Prophet Muhammad, which was collected by ancient Muslim scholar Saeed Bin Ali Bin Wahf Al-Qahtani.