In Selected Opinion

by Raymond Ibrahim –

It’s official: The United Nations, following the Muslim world’s lead, has formally accepted the concept of “Islamophobia,” a move that will undoubtedly further paralyze any measures against Islamic aggression, or, in a word, jihad.

On March 15, 2022, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution to mark that date, March 15, as “the International Day to Combat Islamophobia.”

The resolution was introduced by Pakistan, and supported by 55 Muslim-majority countries of the Riyadh-based Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), which is also trying to get the UN to accept “blasphemy” laws.

There are two points worth considering here: what this bill will do; and the hypocrisy of all who support it.

For starters, the resolution will further freeze any and all frank discussions on Islam and its body of teachings, since any criticism can and will easily fall into the category of “Islamophobia”—and that, of course, is the whole point: to place Islam on a pedestal and shield it from any criticism.    Indeed, not a few international observers have made this point.

According to an EU statement:

We are concerned with the approach of addressing only one religion through a General Assembly initiative….  By using the term ‘Islamophobia’ instead of ‘anti-Muslim discrimination’ or ‘anti-Muslim hatred’, the OIC initiative focuses on protecting religion as such which is an approach that undermines the protection of the individual human rights of persons, such as the rights to freedom of opinion and expression, including the right to debate and criticise religion [emphasis added].

Similarly, the “term Islamophobia has no agreed upon definition in international law, unlike the freedom of religion or conviction,” said Nicolas de Riviere, the French permanent representative to the UN.  “But it’s this liberty [freedom of religion or conviction] that France defends [as opposed to the religion of Islam itself]… The phrase [Islamophobia] also suggests that it’s the religion itself that is protected, not the believers. Yet it’s the liberty to believe, or not believe, or the right to change religion, that we should promote.”

Citing discrimination against Hindus, Sikhs, and Buddhists, India’s permanent representative, TS Tirumurti, called on the UN to condemn “religiophobias” as opposed to singling out “Islamophobia”: “we are concerned about elevating the phobia against one religion [Islam] to the level of an international day, to the exclusion of all the others.”

It should be noted that while France and India both spoke against the resolution, neither opposed its adoption by consensus.

At any rate, the actual reason many feel that Islam should be granted special protection is that, unlike Judaism, Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism, etc., many of its teachings are problematic—killing apostates and “blasphemers,” treating women like chattel and legalizing sexual slavery, to name a few—and, therefore, not suited for the modern world. Hence the real need to silence all criticism in the guise of “protecting Muslims.”

Meanwhile, those who truly need protecting from Muslims—for instance, religious minorities—get zero recognition by the UN.  The Muslim persecution of Christians, for example, is a real phenomenon: it’s unwavering, constant, systematic and systemic, and it conforms to sharia-approved patterns—meaning its root source is Islam.  Since July 2011, I’ve been compiling a monthly series, “Muslim Persecution of Christians” (published by the Gatestone Institute), collating and summarizing the one or two dozen accounts of persecution that surface every month.  The accounts documented in every one of these now 125 reports typically fit under the same themes—including the bombing, burning or banning of churches; the rape and forced conversion of Christian women; murderous attacks on and long prison sentences for apostates, blasphemers, and evangelists; overall discrimination and exploitation; and, increasingly, the outright slaughter of Christians.  (For more on the doctrinal and historic background of this phenomenon, see this more elaborate and detailed article.)

Similarly, a study published in January 2022 found that, in 2021, “over 360 million Christians suffer[ed] high levels of persecution and discrimination for their faith.”   On average, 16 Christians were killed for their faith every single day.  During that same period, more than 5,000 churches were attacked and/or destroyed.

And the overwhelming majority of this persecution took place at the hands of Muslims.  Worse, the Muslim nations that are especially brutal and notorious in their persecution of Christians—including Afghanistan and Somalia, respectively considered the worst and third worst persecutors and murderers of Christians in the entire world—are members of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), the same group that sponsored the “Islamophobia” resolution that the UN just adopted.  Equally disgusting is that Pakistan—where not one week seems to go by without an underage Christian girl being kidnapped, raped, forced to convert and marry her abductor, with the police and courts siding with the rapists—is the nation that submitted the resolution.

Of course, this brand of hypocrisy should be familiar by now: just as one stands to be “canceled” for saying something like “all lives matter”—since the currently approved formulation is that only “black lives matter”—so now one cannot say that “all religions matter,” only Islam, the one religion that the UN has just granted a privileged position.


Raymond Ibrahim, author of the new book, Defenders of the West: The Christian Heroes Who Stood Against Islam, is a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center, a Judith Rosen Friedman Fellow at the Middle East Forum, and a Distinguished Senior Fellow at the Gatestone Institute.

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