Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Head of Traditional Values Coalition Detained as Security Threat to Clinton

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Hillary ClintoU.S. State Department security personnel detained a conservative activist at last week’s conference to help implement a United Nations resolution that seeks to curb free speech.

Andrea Lafferty, president of the Traditional Values Coalition, was there to protest American support, via the State Department, for the implementation UN Resolution 16/18, a non-binding document that supposedly seeks to stop religious discrimination and stereotyping. Opponents say it is really an attempt to silence the foes of Islam.

According to TVC, State Department security received a phone call from someone claiming that Lafferty — whose TVC is running a campaign against Sharia law — was a possible threat to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who attended the conference. Clinton is a major supporter of UN Resolution 16/18.

So now Lafferty wants to know who claimed that she was a threat to the Cabinet Secretary.

The Resolution

Lafferty was detained and released, apparently after State Department security officials decided that the wife, mother, and conservative activist wasn’t a threat to Mrs. Clinton.

But Lafferty and her kind are a threat to the implementation of UNR 16/18, which might be one reason officials closed the three-day conference, titled the “Expert Meeting on Implementing the U.N. Human Rights Resolution 16/18,” at which she was detained.

Adopted by the UN Human Rights Council in March, the non-binding resolution condemns stereotyping and discrimination on the basis of religion, and demands that states take “effective measures” to combat the “problem.”

The Resolution expresses several “concerns” including

the continued serious instances of derogatory stereotyping, negative profiling and stigmatization of persons based on their religion or belief, as well as programmes and agendas pursued by extremist organizations and groups aimed at creating and perpetuating negative stereotypes about religious groups, in particular when condoned by Governments.... In addition, UN R 16/18 voices concern that incidents of religious intolerance, discrimination and related violence, as well as of negative stereotyping of individuals on the basis of religion or belief, continue to rise around the world, and condemns, in this context, any advocacy of religious hatred against individuals that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence, and urges States to take effective measures, as set forth in the present resolution, consistent with their obligations under international human rights law, to address and combat such incidents.

The resolution also “condemns any advocacy of religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence, whether it involves the use of print, audio-visual or electronic media or any other means.”

Thus does it call upon member states “to criminalize incitement to imminent violence based on religion or belief.”

The resolution does not explain who will determine what is “hostile” or what constitutes “incitement to violence.” TVC notes that “incitement to imminent violence” is a veiled attempt to muzzle the critics of Islam.

U.S., OIC Support

A major force behind the resolution is the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, which, as law professor Jonathan Turley noted in the Los Angeles Times, “has been pushing for years to gain international legitimacy of their domestic criminal prosecutions of anti-religious speech.”

Though the Obama administration says the resolution will not curb free speech in the United States, critics such as Turley and National Review’s Nina Shea argue that Islamic leaders have a different understanding of the resolution.

Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, secretary general of OIC, explained in a Turkish newspaper what is at stake, at least for Islam. Noting that Islam promotes “tolerance and acceptance of other religions” and “does not condone discrimination of human beings on the basis of caste, creed, colour or faith,” he claimed that “[n]o one has the right to insult another for their beliefs or to incite hatred and prejudice. That kind of behaviour is irresponsible and uncivilised.”

Though critics point out that such discrimination is what happens to religious minorities in Islamic countries, in any event, Ihsanoglu referenced the infamous cartoons about Mohammed, which enraged the Muslim world, as an example of intolerance:

The publication of offensive cartoons of the Prophet six years ago that sparked outrage across the Muslim world, the publicity around the film Fitna and the more recent Qur’an burnings represent incidents of incitement to hatred that fuel an atmosphere of dangerous mutual suspicion. Freedom of expression has to be exercised with responsibility. At the same time, violent reactions to provocations are also irresponsible and uncivilised and we condemn them unequivocally.

As Turley noted, reckoning what OIC wants from the resolution is hardly difficult: to silence the critics of Islam. The OIC, he wrote, has “long sought to elevate religious dogma over individual rights. In 1990, members adopted the Cairo Declaration, which rejected core provisions of the U.N. Universal Declaration of Human Rights and affirmed that free speech and other rights must be consistent with ‘the principles of the sharia,’ or Islamic law." He continued,

The biggest victory of the OIC came in 2009 when the Obama administration joined in condemning speech containing "negative racial and religious stereotyping" and asked states to "take effective measures" to combat incidents, including those of "religious intolerance." ...

The OIC has hit on a winning strategy to get Western countries to break away from their commitment to free speech by repackaging blasphemy as hate speech and free speech as the manifestation of "intolerance." Now, orthodoxy is to be protected in the name of pluralism — requiring their own notion of "respect and empathy and tolerance." One has to look only at the OIC member countries, however, to see their vision of empathy and tolerance, as well as their low threshold for anti-religious speech that incites people. In September, a Kuwaiti court jailed a person for tweeting a message deemed derogatory to Shiites. In Pakistan last year, a doctor was arrested for throwing out a business card of a man named Muhammad because he shared the prophet's name.

The core countries behind this effort show little tolerance or "empathy" themselves for opposing religions or viewpoints. Saudi Arabia will not allow the construction of a church in the kingdom, let alone allow public observance of other faiths. This year, the Saudi interior minister declared free speech to be an offense against God, declaring the kingdom "categorically [bans] all sorts of demonstrations, marches and sit-ins … as they contradict Islamic sharia law and the values and traditions of Saudi society." Last week, Saudi courts sentenced an Australian Muslim to be flogged 500 times and sent to jail for "insulting" Muhammad.

The effects of the campaign in the West, Turley wrote, including the persecution of Dutch politician Geert Wilders for his film “Fitna” and statements opposing the Islamization of Europe, are “alarming.”

As for Hillary Clinton and President Obama, they back the OIC. Just after the massacre in Norway that left nearly 100 dead, Clinton went to Istanbul to let the world know the U.S government backed the resolution and wants to combat “Islamophobia.”

Said Clinton, “But at the same time, we each have to work to do more to promote respect for religious differences in our own countries.” She continued,

In the United States, I will admit, there are people who still feel vulnerable or marginalized as a result of their religious beliefs. And we have seen how the incendiary actions of just a very few people, a handful in a country of nearly 300 million, can create wide ripples of intolerance. We also understand that, for 235 years, freedom of expression has been a universal right at the core of our democracy [sic]. So we are focused on promoting interfaith education and collaboration, enforcing antidiscrimination laws, protecting the rights of all people to worship as they choose, and to use some old-fashioned techniques of peer pressure and shaming, so that people don’t feel that they have the support to do what we abhor.

Lafferty Demands Information

Lafferty, now pushing the State Department to release the identity of the caller who claimed she was a security threat, notes that Clinton appears to have acted on her suggestion to apply “peer pressure and shaming” to silence critics of Islam.

According to TVC, “Lafferty was circled by several members of Secretary Clinton’s staff before being approached by a member of the security detail, demanding Lafferty follow him. When asked why she was being removed from the reception hall, the security detail announced that a phone call had identified Lafferty as a ‘security threat’ to Secretary Clinton.”

“For weeks we have been asking whether the true aims of the Organization for Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and U.N. Resolution 16/18 would be used to apply “old fashioned techniques of peer pressure and shaming” to chill and coerce those critical of the Islamist agenda,” Lafferty said. “Hillary Clinton was as good as her word.” She added,

This language —'‘incitement to imminent violence" — has been used time and time again to close events here in the United States concerning the impact of Islamic shariah law, detain law-abiding Christians elsewhere, and now even target and detain as security threats people from State Department events.

The very restriction on free speech the UN Resolution was pushing is exactly what they used against me.

I had warned previously how members of the U.S. State Department and Hillary Clinton have pointedly remarked that part of the implementation of U.N. Resolution 16/18 will be an effort to utilize "techniques of peer pressure and shaming" to silence critics of Islamic shariah. Little did I realize how quickly Clinton and her Islamist friends were set to make examples out of law-abiding Americans.

Photo of Sec. of State Hillary Clinton: AP Images

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