The OIC’s Double Standard

Af Jacob Mchangama, 18-01-2011

Pope Benedict XVI’s call last week for increased protection of Christians targeted by sectarian violence in the Middle East and elsewhere was met with a furious response by the Egyptian government, which complained that the pope’s comments constituted “unacceptable interference” in Egyptian affairs. The reaction of the Egyptian government is as revealing as it is hypocritical. When in 2005 the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten published a number of cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad, the Egyptian government coordinated the campaign of member states of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) to pressure the Danish government into apologizing for the cartoons and taking action against the newspaper. Egypt has also played a leading role in the OIC’s continuous efforts at the United Nations to criminalize so-called “defamation of religion,” a naked attempt to prohibit criticism of Islam and restrict freedom of expression in the name of human rights.

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