Monday, June 9, 2008

The push to criminalize "Islamophobia"

Today's edition of the Malaysian newspaper Sin Chew Daily has an AP report on an Organization of the Islamic Conference meeting in Kuala Lumpur, at which the organization's secretary general Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu Monday demanded stronger action by Western governments against "perpetrators of Islamophobia":

"Mere condemnation or distancing from the acts of the perpetrators of Islamophobia will not resolve the issue, as long as they remain free to carry on with their campaign of incitement and provocation on the plea of freedom of expression." (Emphasis mine.)

This echoes an assertion by self-described "Muslim African-American law professor" Bernard Freamon in a February 2006 article in the University of Pittsburgh School of Law journal The Jurist that, in the wake of the furor over the Danish Muhammad caricatures, he and his fellow Muslims were "very right to vigorously condemn the publication of the cartoons and to seek to punish the editors through the criminal law process. (Again, emphasis mine.)

Ihsanoglu's call for repression is only the latest in a steady drumbeat of the same from the Muslim world. It is unpleasant to contemplate how receptive an Obama presidency might be to such demands.

Update: Baron Bodissey at Gates of Vienna has also taken notice. Many thanks for the link.

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