Darkness imminent 10

It is our contention that Christianity brought a thousand years of darkness down on Europe. It extinguished the bright light of classical culture, of which Socratean doubt, the need to examine all ideas critically, was the enlightening principle. Christianity claimed a monopoly of truth, and the  totalitarian-minded Catholic Church did its utmost to suppress dissent by the cruelest means imaginable. So did Protestant churches as far as they could reach. Like Communism and all ideological orthodoxies, Christianity feared open criticism, recognizing that it’s power could not survive argument. The Enlightenment proved that to be the case; a great upwelling of doubt, criticism, exploration and discovery, it loosened the grip of theocratic tyranny, dispersed the darkness of superstition, and let Europe flower again after a long and terrible night. Science flourished once more, achieving an immense extension of knowledge and giving birth to new technologies. The might of the West is rooted in the Greco-Roman culture revived in the Enlightenment, not in a “Judeo-Christian tradition”.

Now darkness is descending again on the West. Islam, a tyranny of the mind as cruel as Christianity and even more intolerant, an ideology from the Dark Ages that forbids criticism and kills critics, is spreading rapidly through Europe and America, zealously assisted by Western governments and passionately defended by the intelligentsia of the political left – which on principle favors ideological conformity and its totalitarian enforcement.

This is from the Stonegate Institute, by Soeren Kern:

The European Union has offered to host the next meeting of the so-called Istanbul Process, an aggressive effort by Muslim countries to make it an international crime to criticize Islam.

The announcement comes less than one month after the United States hosted its own Istanbul Process conference in Washington, DC.

The Istanbul Process – its explicit aim is to enshrine in international law a global ban on all critical scrutiny of Islam and/or Islamic Sharia law – is being spearheaded by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), a bloc of 57 Muslim countries.

Based in Saudi Arabia, the OIC has long pressed the European Union and the United States to impose limits on free speech and expression about Islam.

But the OIC has now redoubled its efforts and is engaged in a determined diplomatic offensive to persuade Western democracies to implement United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC) Resolution 16/18, which calls on all countries to combat “intolerance, negative stereotyping and stigmatization of … religion and belief.” (Analysis of the OIC’s war on free speech can be found here and here.)

Resolution 16/18, which was adopted at HRC headquarters in Geneva in March 2011, is widely viewed as a significant step forward in OIC efforts to advance the international legal concept of defaming Islam.

However, the HRC resolution – as well as the OIC-sponsored Resolution 66/167, which was quietly approved by the 193-member UN General Assembly on December 19, 2011 – remains ineffectual as long as it lacks strong support in the West.

The OIC therefore scored a diplomatic coup when the Obama Administration agreed to host a three-day Istanbul Process conference in Washington, DC on December 12-14, 2011. In doing so, the United States gave the OIC the political legitimacy it has been seeking to globalize its initiative to ban criticism of Islam.

Following the Obama Administration’s lead, the European Union now wants to get in on the action by hosting the next Istanbul Process summit, tentatively scheduled for July 2012.

Up until now, the European Union has kept the OIC initiative at arms-length. But Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, Secretary-General of the OIC, says the EU’s offer to host the meeting represents a “qualitative shift in action against the phenomenon of Islamophobia,” according to the International Islamic News Agency (IINA), the OIC’s official news/propaganda organ.

According to the IINA, “The phenomenon of Islamophobia is found in the West in general, but is growing in European countries in particular and in a manner different than that in the US, which had contributed to drafting Resolution 16/18. The new European position represents the beginning of the shift from their previous reserve over the years over the attempts by the OIC to counter ‘defamation of religions’ in the Human Rights Council and the General Assembly of the United Nations. …

Europe is retreating from the Enlightenment. But not without  protest.

The OIC is especially angry over its inability to silence a growing number of democratically elected politicians in Europe who have voiced concerns over the refusal of Muslim immigrants to integrate into their host countries and the consequent establishment of parallel Islamic societies in many parts of Europe.

According to the IINA, “Ihsanoglu said that the growing role of the extreme right in politics in several European countries has become stronger than the capacity of the Organization [OIC], explaining that the extreme right, who [sic] hates Muslims, became leverage in the hands of politicians. He added that the rise of the extreme right through elections has become an issue that cannot be countered, considering the democratic way in which these extremists reach their positions. He pointed out to the referendum held in Switzerland, as an example, which resulted in suspending the construction of minarets there following a vote by the Swiss people.”

In other words, the OIC is now seeking the support of non-elected bureaucrats at the headquarters of the European Union in Brussels to enact pan-European hate speech legislation to limit by fiat what 500 million European citizens – including democratically elected politicians – can and cannot say about Islam.

To be sure, many individual European countries that lack First Amendment protections like those in the United States have already enacted hate speech laws that effectively serve as proxies for the all-encompassing blasphemy legislation the OIC is seeking to impose on the European Union as a whole.

The author lists a dozen examples of Europeans who have dared to raise their voices to criticize the barbarous ideology of Islam and defend their own culture, only to be prosecuted and punished for it under recently enacted, bad and stupid laws. Among them, Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff and Geert Wilders, whose cases we have discussed in our posts: The West on trial (December 16, 2009); Freedom versus Islam (January 20, 2010); Civilization on trial (October 11,2010); An honest confession of hypocrisy (October 23, 2010);The new heresy (January 11, 2011); Darkness descending – again (February 7, 2011); Sharia is the law in Austria (December 25, 2011); Only the gagged may speak freely (December 26/11).

Almost everywhere in Europe now, “speaking the truth about Islam is subject to swift and hefty legal penalties” as the author says.

Why should any religion be exempt from criticism? Religious ideas above all need to be criticized, being the most irrational and the most oppressive. And even more than other religions, Islam needs to be dragged into the sunlight. It is the only intolerant religion of our time –  and it is asking to be protected from intolerance!

Right now, when Islam is intent on conquering the West by all possible means including terrorism, it is especially necessary to be Islamophobic.

Americans must resist the Obama administration’s efforts to help the OIC drive our world back into darkness. At least in the United States – the great product and political embodiment of the Enlightenment – the light of liberty must be kept burning.