A statement released on October 28th by the office of the High Representative for the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC) claimed that the republishing in France of satirical caricatures depicting Prophet Muhammed was responsible for provoking “acts of violence against innocent civilians who were attacked for their sheer religion, belief or ethnicity.” The UNAOC statement went on to say that “insulting religions and sacred religious symbols provokes hatred and violent extremism leading to polarization and fragmentation of the society.” This statement, which UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has endorsed, was issued 12 days after a jihadist beheaded a French teacher, Samuel Paty, who had shown his students the Muhammed caricatures. It’s no coincidence that Islamist Turkey is the UNAOC’s largest donor.
French President Emmanuel Macron correctly called the brutal killing an “Islamist terrorist attack.” More recently, another jihadist stabbed two women and a man to death at the Notre-Dame Basilica in Nice, which once again Macron linked to Islamist terrorism. Macron upheld one of Western civilization’s most important values by defending free speech against extremist violence from whatever source. “Samuel Paty … became the face of the Republic, of our will to shatter terrorists, to (do away with) Islamists, to live like a community of free citizens in our country,” Macron said. “We will continue.” Macron added that “Samuel Paty was the victim of a conspiracy of stupidity, hate, lies … hate of the other … hate of what we profoundly are.”
The Muslim world was enraged at Macron’s defense of the right of free speech. The anger spilled over into the streets and led to calls for the boycott of French goods. The so-called human rights body of the Organization for Islamic Cooperation (OIC) condemned the “remarks of French politicians encouraging publishing blasphemous caricatures under the guise of a distorted version of the right to freedom of expression which manifestly prohibits incitement to hatred, discrimination and respect for rights of others protected under International Human Rights Law.”
Islamic jihadists demand that the West embrace Islamic law prohibiting “defamation” of Islam. Some Islamists have justified the beheading of Samuel Paty as righteous punishment for insulting their prophet or have called it just a pretext for hate speech against Islam. It is such jihadists as these who are inciting hatred and violence, not a teacher who was simply trying to teach his students about the value of free speech.
Exercising the right to criticize any religion or satirize its beliefs does not prevent Muslims from exercising their right to freely worship their faith and to honor Islam’s prophet. Criticizing or satirizing a religion or its symbols is not religious persecution. However, the United Nations, much less the OIC with which the UN is a strategic partner, does not see the difference. The world’s leading globalist organization would subordinate the fundamental right of free speech in the service of avoiding any critical expression that adherents of Islam find “insulting and deeply offensive.” This attitude gives cover for Islamists to cower people into silence through intimidation. Islamic terror in the West is again on the march, as seen not only in France but also in Vienna in recent days with the killing of at least four people.
Real religious persecution of Christians and Jews occurs regularly in the very same Muslim countries that are protesting “defamation” of their religion. Meanwhile, Chinese President Xi Jinping has escaped any meaningful criticism from the UN and the OIC as he relentlessly carries out his vow to ‘Sinicise’ religion in his country.
Under Xi’s direction, the Chinese regime is purging from Chinese society any religious beliefs that deviate from official Chinese Communist Party doctrine. Yet UN leaders have rarely called out the Chinese regime for real religious persecution and for repressing religious minorities in China, who simply seek to freely worship their faith. Instead, the UN bureaucracy would rather focus on so-called “hate speech” in the West.
The Chinese regime, for example, strictly governs which Christian churches are permitted to operate. Unauthorized churches have been closed. Christian pastors deemed “subversive” have been detained. Chinese church pastor Huang Xiaoning, who has been persecuted by Chinese authorities and shut out of his own church, said: “In substance, the theories of Christianity and Communism are at great odds with each other, so persecution against Christianity is a given.”
The Chinese regime has gone after other religious minorities as well. “Whether it’s the Dalai Lama or the Pope, or it’s the head of Falun Gong [a spiritual group], the state won’t tolerate it,” explained professor Dru Gladney, an expert in China’s ethnic minority groups.
Uighurs and other Muslims in China have been subjected to prolonged detention, surveillance, political indoctrination, systematic torture, and forced labor. French President Macron is one of several Western leaders who have raised concerns about the Chinese regime’s abuses against China’s Muslim Uighur minority. Macron did so during a meeting he held last summer with China’s State Councillor and Foreign Minister. But the Muslim world has been largely silent regarding such real abuses against people of their own faith. Instead, they have gone after Macron for hurting their feelings. Turkey’s Islamist President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who fancies himself as a major leader of the Muslim world, said Macron was being intolerant and needs “mental checks.”
Erdogan is a self-righteous hypocrite who should have his own head checked for delusions of grandeur. While Macron has confronted China about its treatment of Muslim Uighurs, Erdogan has sold out the Uighurs who have sought refuge in Turkey. Erdogan has been helping the Chinese regime to repatriate Uighur Muslims back to China. Turkish policemen reportedly arrested a refugee for speaking out against China’s treatment of Uighurs. While Erdogan had criticized China’s treatment of Uighurs in the past, the Chinese regime has evidently bought his betrayal of Muslim Uighurs with economic assistance.
The Organization of Islamic Cooperation has not only turned a deaf ear to the suffering of the Uighurs. It abandoned them to curry favor with the Chinese regime, with which it has developed a close relationship. Just last year the Council of Foreign Ministers under the Organization of Islamic Cooperation adopted a resolution commending “the efforts of the People’s Republic of China in providing care to its Muslim citizens.”
China has effectively used its “Belt and Road” global infrastructure initiative as a means to buy support from the beneficiary countries for the Chinese regime’s anti-human rights agenda. The Chinese regime has also used its increasing contributions to various UN bodies to keep the UN bureaucracy on its side, all the way up to UN Secretary General Guterres.
Satiric cartoons draw OIC’s harsh condemnation, but never mind about the abusive Chinese regime’s mass persecution of Muslims. It is obvious that the OIC, Erdogan and the United Nations bureaucracy do not want to ruffle the feathers of the Chinese Communist leadership.