U.N. Human Rights Commissioner Navanethem Pillay has agreed to consider the proposal, according to the OIC, a bloc of Islamic nations.
Friday, September 24, 2010
By Patrick Goodenough
(CNSNews.com) – The Quran-burning controversy in the United States has prompted the Islamic bloc at the United Nations to revive its call for the U.N. to set up an “international monitoring mechanism” to track incidents of “Islamophobia.”
Five years after establishing an “Islamophobia Observatory” of its own, the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) is now calling on the U.N.’s top human rights official to set up a comparable body at her Geneva office. According to the OIC, human rights commissioner Navanethem Pillay has agreed to consider the proposal.
At the U.N. Human Rights Council this week, OIC members are also seeking support for a resolution condemning Florida pastor Terry Jones’ abortive call to burn copies of the Quran on September 11.
Introduced by Pakistan on behalf of the OIC, the text condemns “the recent call by an extremist group to organize a ‘Burn a Koran Day’” and says it was among “instances of intolerance, discrimination, profiling and acts of violence against Muslims occurring in many parts of the world.”
When it comes to a vote -- before the Council’s session in Geneva ends next Friday -- the measure almost certainly will pass. The OIC controls more than one-third of the Council’s seats, and its resolutions are routinely backed by non-Muslim allies such as China, Russia, Cuba and South Africa.
Moreover, Western democracies which usually oppose OIC “Islamophobia” and “religious defamation” measures at the HRC – on freedom of expression grounds – will not likely do so in this case, having strongly condemned Jones’ threats earlier this month.
U.S. ambassador to the HRC Eileen Chamberlain Donahoe wrote to Pillay in late August, deploring Jones’ threatened action and telling her that the U.S. “supports the full use of your office and moral authority to speak out against intolerance and instances of hate speech where they occur.”