- (Photo: AP Images / B.K.Bangash)
The religious liberty arm of the World Evangelical Alliance strongly rebuffed a recent report that claims, among other assertions, that the source of Muslim extremism is the "defamation" of Islam.
“I would propose that the very heart of the issue is not ‘defamation’ of Islam or ‘baseless’ Islamophobia,” expressed Elizabeth Kendal of the WEA’s Religious Liberty Commission, “but the fact that the dictators of Islam are now as ever consumed and driven by 'apostaphobia!'”
“Indeed the new openness brought to the world through globalization and developments in information and communication technologies is causing the power stakeholders and religious dictators of the non-free world to be seriously gripped by apostaphobia – a well-founded fear of loss of adherents, which is manifested primarily as uncompromising repression and denial of fundamental liberties, by violent and subversive means,” she added Monday.
Kendal, who serves as the principal researcher for the WEA RLC, was writing in response to a report to the U.N. Human Rights Council (UNHRC) written by U.N. Special Rapporteur Doudou Diene, who recommended that the international human rights covenants be “reinterpreted and amended” to deal with Islamophobia.
According to Diene, the "defamation" of Islam generates dangerous Islamophobia, which leads to the repression of Muslim rights and in turn drives Muslims to extremism.
He believes that Islamophobia should be defined as ”a baseless hostility and fear vis-avis Islam, and as a result a fear of and aversion towards all Muslims or the majority of them ….”
In response, Kendal pointed out that the generalizations in Diene's report are untrue, and argued that any efforts to tie religion to race should be rejected. Diene is the U.N. special rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance.
Kendal noted that right from the beginning, the report took a bias viewpoint by only examining the democratic parties, governmental alliances, and traditionally democratic parties while staying silent on totalitarian regimes and religious dictatorships.
The partiality of the report was apparent, Kendal wrote, when Diene cited the Crusaders as an example of early Isamophobia without mentioning jihads, Dhimmitude (laws governing non-Muslims minority), and the fact that the unsuccessful Crusaders to the Holy Land were counter-insurgencies in response to imperialistic Islamic jihads.
In his report, Diene also claimed that the perpetuation of the “clash of civilizations and religions” theory was derived from the Cold-War mindset, which caused contemporary Islamophobia rather than, as Kendal pointed out, Islamic imperialism, repression and terrorism.
The U.N. special rapporteur’s report was submitted to the sixth session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) late last month after Diene was invited to report on “the manifestations of defamation of religions and in particular on the serious implications of Islamophobia on the enjoyment of all rights.”
"[Diene's] recommendation will no doubt be discussed in the next session of the UNHRC," Kendal reported in Monday’s special prayer bulletin for the RLC.
Furthermore, "[i]t is likely to elicit a resolution to draft an amendment to the UDHR and the ICCPR," she added.
In her closing remarks, Kendal gave an ominous warning, concluding that if the forces of liberty do not have the number to keep Diene’s recommendation to amend the covenants from gaining acceptance, then the “Islamization of international human rights will have begun.”