Sunday, December 23, 2012

ICLA’s OSCE Mission In 2012 — Reflections

ICLA logo (new)
OSCE logo

Back in October and November we posted a series of articles about the actions of a team of Counterjihad activists at Human Dimension meetings of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). The efforts of these seven hard-working volunteers bore ample fruit, as can be seen in the official documents published by the OSCE after the events, notably the Consolidated Summary.

Below is Aeneas’ overview of what went on at OSCE meetings in 2012. It was originally published at at the ICLA website.

OSCE Warsaw 2012: The Team

Alain Wagner (France) is the leader of the Stop Sharia campaign and a co-founder of the International Civil Liberties Alliance (ICLA).
David Erzet (Belgium) represented the International Civil Liberties Alliance (ICLA).
Dave Petteys (USA) represented Act for America 5280 Coalition
Felix Strüning (Germany) represented the Stresemann Foundation — A Lobby for Freedom.
Henrik Ræder Clausen (Denmark) represented the International Civil Liberties Alliance (ICLA).
Liz Schmidt (Germany) represented Bürgerbewegung Pax Europa (BPE-Austria).
Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff (Austria) is a board member of Bürgerbewegung Pax Europa (BPE-Germany).

ICLA’s OSCE Mission In 2012 — Reflections
by Aeneas

The month of December is a useful time to reflect on the year that is about to pass into history. 2012 has been a year in which human rights in Western countries have suffered sustained attack. ICLA has been at the forefront of bringing such abuses to public attention. This does not make ICLA popular with the governments that are presiding over such activities. Its activists may suffer unwanted attention from those with power. However, as an organisation and as individual activists we are willing to be unpopular in the eyes of the powerful. Even if, as individuals, we have our lives turned upside down we will continue to speak out for what is right.

ICLA is keen to participate in civil society institutions and in 2012 we have continued our mission at the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). ICLA activists working tirelessly at the OSCE to ensure that important human rights issues get the attention that they deserve.

The on-going efforts of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to undermine freedom of expression has been the focus of much of our efforts. Its quest for a global blasphemy law is one of the principal threats to human rights in the world today. Since it is freedom of expression that guarantees the right to freedom of religion and not the other way around religious freedom is also in grave danger if the OIC’s ambitions are realised. The connivance of Western governments with the OIC will be something that we will need to monitor closely in 2013.

ICLA’s work at the OSCE has been done in partnership with members of a number of courageous organisations. We would like to take this opportunity to salute our colleagues at Act for America 5280 Coalition, Bürgerbewegung Pax Europa, Stresemann Foundation, and Association NONALI for the constructive working relationships that we developed at the OSCE (a list of document submissions can be found HERE). Together we drew attention to a number of important issues in relation to human rights (submitting organisation in brackets at end of each point) including:

ICLA was mentioned in the official OSCE consolidated summary of the conference that was held in Warsaw from 24 September — 5 October 2012. The consolidated summary can be found HERE, but some of the references to ICLA can be found below:

“International Civil Liberties Alliance (ICLA)

The ODIHR could therefore greatly help participating States ensure that their legislation concerning freedom of religion and belief is and remains in compliance with their commitments by:

  • Inducing state members to demand the abrogation of the Cairo Declaration, or at least to reject it, so as to prevent the duplicity of language that has appeared in the international agreements and within the OSCE;
  • Inducing state members to join the Brussels Process launched by the International Civil Liberties Alliance on July 9, 2012 in the European Parliament. The Brussels Process aims to assist governments and civil society in protecting civil liberties and freedoms, and more specifically to defend the freedom of belief against attempts to implement Sharia regulations;
  • Helping to create bi- or multilateral partnerships among OSCE members in order to optimize the implementation of the Brussels Process, to contribute to its growth and evolution and to the expansion of its field of application.” (page 86)


“International Civil Liberties Alliance

Recommendations to ODIHR:

  • To allow sincere and constructive dialogue and cooperation between state members, NGO’s and exterior participants, ICLA ask ODIHR to systematically provide a precise definition of both the expressions “Islamophobia” and “religious hatred” each time they are used in a document and, in absence of precise definitions, to adopt a by default non-receivability rule for all document containing one or both of those expressions.” (page 94)

Distributed documents submitted by ICLA can be found on page 157 of the report.

In 2013 we will continue our mission at the OSCE. Inevitably it will be a key year in which the OIC tries to close the deal for a global blasphemy law. Western governments will continue their own efforts to undermine fundamental rights and freedoms. ICLA will be there to expose such threats to freedom.

If you run an organisation that shares the values outlined in our Mission Statement then we would be thrilled to be in contact with you. Those that challenge freedom are powerful and have access to huge resources. Our work can therefore only move forward in partnership with others.

Previous posts about the OSCE and the Counterjihad:

2009 Jul 25 A Report on the OSCE Roundtable
  Sep 30 ICLA Tackles Fundamental Freedoms at the OSCE Meeting in Warsaw
  Oct 1 The ICLA Meets the OSCE, Round 2
  Nov 5 The OSCE: Islam and Violence Against Women
    7 Proposed Charter of Muslim Understanding Under Fire At OSCE Meeting in Vienna
    7 “Hate Speech” Accusations at the OSCE Meeting
    8 What is Medica Zenica?
    10 Report on the OSCE Supplementary Human Rights Dimension Meeting
2011 Oct 28 ESW: Liveblogging In Vienna
    28 Steering Public Discourse
    28 Fallacies That Deserve Correction
    29 Towards a “Responsible” Freedom of Speech in Europe
    29 Islamophobia, Islamic Slander, and the OSCE
  Nov 10 The OSCE Fights Racism and Xenophobia in Vienna
    10 When Good Intentions Go Bad
    12 ESW: The ACT! For America Interview at OSCE
    12 OSCE: The murky waters of political correctness
    29 ACT! For America: A Report on the OSCE Meeting in Vienna
2012 Oct 2 OSCE Warsaw: Which Human Rights?
    2 OSCE Warsaw: Apostasy and Its Consequences
    2 OSCE Warsaw: ICLA Demands the Abrogation of the Cairo Declaration
    2 OSCE Warsaw: Join the Brussels Process!
    2 OSCE Warsaw: Islamophobia, Occupation and Slander
    2 OSCE Warsaw: Islam as a Political Ideology
    2 OSCE Warsaw: A Thinly Veiled Threat of Violence
    2 OSCE Warsaw: Define Your Terms!
    2 OSCE Warsaw: Bashing Islamophobia
    3 OSCE Warsaw: The Battle Has Begun
    3 OSCE Warsaw: Tolerance and Non-Discrimination II
    3 OSCE Warsaw: “Hate Crimes”
    3 OSCE Warsaw: Kamal Fahmi on Freedom of Speech
    3 OSCE Warsaw: The ICLA Side Event
    3 OSCE Warsaw: An Advocate for Hamas Representing the U.S. Government
    4 OSCE Warsaw: “Threats Have No Place Here”
    8 OSCE Warsaw: The MPAC Connection
    12 OSCE Warsaw: A Response to Salam al-Marayati
    13 OSCE Warsaw: ICLA Side Event on the Cairo Declaration
    14 OSCE Warsaw: A Major Victory for Bürgerbewegung Pax Europa
    19 OSCE Warsaw: HDIM 2012 Wrap-Up
  Nov 8 Intimidated into Silence
    9 The Methods of a Totalitarian Society
    9 ICLA Calls For International Monitors At Protests In Western Europe
    9 The Crushing of Dissent


john in cheshire said...

Is ICLA an organisation that one can join?

Anonymous said...

ChristianInfidel says:

What a wonderful and important work!