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January 27, 2012
On December 15, 1791 our forefathers ratified the Bill of Rights, a set of 10 amendments to the Constitution. The Bill of Rights plays a key role in American law and government, and remains a vital symbol of the freedoms and culture of the nation. The first amendment, Freedom of Speech, Press, Religion and Petition states:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
This past December, the U.S. State Department hosted a three-day, closed-door international conference to discuss implementation of Resolution 16/18 with members of the OIC (Organization of Islamic Cooperation). If implemented, it will have a direct impact on the first amendment. If implemented, it will criminalize the criticism of Islam in America. To read reports on this meeting click the following links for articles written by reputable sources: The Investigative Project on Terrorism and Hudson Institute.
The OIC is the world’s largest Islamic Organization with 56 member states and the Palestinian Authority. The OIC is the second largest intergovernmental agency behind the United Nations. These nations typically vote as a bloc within the U.N.
By discussing the implementation of Resolution 16/18, the U.S. State Department immediately gives validity to the OIC’s position. The OIC has attempted for the past 12 years to pass resolutions that would criminalize the ‘defamation of religions’, specifically Islam. There appears to be nothing in this that mentions criticism of Christianity or Judaism. Under the resolution, even if what you say about Islam is true, if it incites Muslims to violence, you could be held criminally liable. Unlike traditional U.S. defamation laws, truth would not be considered a defense.
The next meeting to discuss the implementation of this resolution will be held this spring in Europe. Many Europeans are already limited in what they can say because of ‘hate speech’ laws in their nations. The OIC nations already restrict speech so the resolution is meant to silence critics of Islam within western nations. Even if the U.S. does not implement the resolution, if Europe implements it, we would be faced with the possibility of it becoming international law.
There are many who are speaking about the ramifications of this resolution. One leader stated:
Christians need to be concerned regarding this measure because if implemented in the way the OIC desires, it would severely limit what Americans could say regarding Islam. This would include examining the beliefs of Islam, criticizing the prophet or any of the practices within Islam (including honor killings, forced marriages, etc.) or taken to its ultimate, yet logical conclusion proclaiming that ‘Jesus Christ is the Son of God’ since that would be considered blasphemy within Islam. Elected public officials need to be made aware of this resolution and the State Department’s activities.
As believing women and men we certainly want to be in prayer about this, and as responsible American citizens let our concerns be known to our representatives. By calling the White House switchboard at 202-456-1414 and asking for your State Senator or State Representative, you can make your desire known in a matter of minutes. You can also contact your Senators by going to www.senate.gov A complete list of Senators with contact information is available. Contact your Representative by going to www.house.gov and typing in your zip code. Give your name, place of residence, and tell them you cannot support the UN resolution 16/18 as it is in violation of the First Amendment.
Representative Lamar Smith of Texas is the Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee. His number is 202-225-4236. Take a moment to call today and let him hear that you hope he will do his best to break the support that Mrs. Clinton and President Obama have given to this resolution.
Time is of the utmost importance. It is time our voice is heard in the land. U.S. support of the United Nations resolution 16/18 must be halted. If it is not, it will soon be illegal for believing to hold informational Islamic seminars in the United States. Call today!
Esther 4:14b Who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?
This is particularly appropriate given the recent events in Michigan.