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Iraq Church attack.(Photo by: AP)
The Muslim inquisition
By JEREMY RUDEN
11/21/2010
Clamping down on bashing of religion sounds like good way to stop hate crimes, discrimination; in Muslim world it’s excuse to do opposite.
Earlier this month, several thousand people took to the streets of Brussels to raise the red flag against the ongoing Muslim violence against Christians. The demonstration was triggered by a massacre in Baghdad which left at least 52 dead after the al-Qaida linked “Islamic State of Iraq” stormed a Catholic church during Sunday Mass. This appalling attack is just the tip of the iceberg of the ever-growing Muslim intolerance. It has many people worried – and rightfully so.

For years, many Muslim countries have not just looked the other way when individuals or groups sought to carry out jihad against “infidels”; they have laws on the books making it illegal to do anything even remotely inflammatory against Islam. This witch-hunt atmosphere has, of course, lead to arbitrary detentions, assaults, mob attacks and murders.

Just recently, it reached yet another zenith of malice after a Christian-Pakistani woman and mother of five was sentenced to death by hanging for allegedly speaking ill of Muhammad. She rotted in jail for 17 months before the verdict. She, her husband and lawyers have repeatedly denied any wrongdoing. They’re now filing an appeal.

The whole premise is based on the infamous blasphemy laws which have been adopted in many Muslim nations. A recent report from the Human Rights First organization cites dozens of cases in which Christians and other nonbelievers have been persecuted, jailed, maimed or executed in countries such as Iran, Pakistan, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia and Indonesia.

What many people don’t know is that since 1999, Muslim countries have been looking to legalize such laws on the international level through the UN. The initiative is called the “Defamation of Religions” resolution, and will basically make it the norm to legally discriminate against any citizen who believes in a religion different than the official one of the state. It’s due to come up for a vote again in the next few weeks.

The main driving force behind this travesty is the Organization of Islamic Conference (IOC) – an organization of more than 50 countries with a majority or large Muslim population. Proponents of the idea are using political correctness in the West to argue its merits. If an individual starts bashing on a religion, it should be the country’s right to put a clamp on that criticism. That might sound like a good way to stop hate crimes and discrimination in a democracy, but in the Muslim world it’s an excuse to do just the opposite.

Let’s make it 100% clear – the IOC is not interested in freedom of religion; it sees such freedom as dissent. We all know what happens to people living under dictatorships who dissent – exactly what’s happening right now to Christians and other minorities in parts of the Islamic world.

If by some chance this resolution passes, the human rights violations will just get worse. Most Western countries understand the threat and are opposing the concept, but it gives us all an inside look at the true nature of Muslim-Christian relations.

Many Christians see the writing on the wall and are getting out while they can. In its story on the aforementioned protest in Belgium, the Associated Press reported that the Christian population in Iraq alone has dropped by more than two-thirds in the past decade.

AREN’T WE glad to be living in Israel – the only country in the Middle East where there is true freedom of religion? All our citizens – Jewish, Muslim or Christian – can do as they please. No one is going to come in the middle of the night and arrest anyone for what he believes. No one will lynch an individual who criticizes our religious leaders. No one will lose a limb if they’re Orthodox, Conservative or Reform. And no, you won’t be sentenced to death if you use the New Testament and not the Old.

With these facts in mind, it’s hard to imagine any Christian demonizing Israel and accepting the Muslim narrative so prevalent in the world media. These are the news stories which must be disseminated to the Western world as we continue the war against the delegitimization of our country.

The writer is an independent media consultant, an adjunct lecturer at IDC Herzliya’s School of Communications, and a former producer at the Fox News Channel in New York.

Jeremy@jeremyruden.com
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