This report from Patrick Goodenough at Townhall.com underlines the urgent need for a campaign in support of Free Expression:
"Islamic groups and governments are pressing ahead with a campaign to have international organizations take steps, including legal ones, to provide protection for their religion in the wake of the Mohammed cartoon controversy. In a drive pursued largely away from the headlines, the Organization for the Islamic Conference (OIC) is promoting the issue at the United Nations and European Union, and having some success.
The executive council of the U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) this month approved an agenda item entitled ‘respect for freedom of expression, sacred beliefs, values and religious and cultural symbols.’ Introduced by more than 30 Islamic states and the subject of considerable debate, the motion explicitly tied freedom of expression to ‘respect for cultural diversity, religious beliefs and religious symbols.’...The UNESCO move is just the latest illustration of the way the OIC and its 56 member states are using the cartoon episode to apply pressure on the West to comply with Islamic norms… In another development, it was reported last week that E.U. bureaucrats are drawing up a ‘lexicon’ of terminology to use when referring to Islam. Words like ‘Islamist’ and ‘jihad’ are under review, as is the phrase ‘Islamic terrorism.’"
WHO are the governments going along with the religious protection angle? WHY is it being organised away from public arena? WHY are the press, big blusterers on press freedom whenever their lurid personal exposes are challenged, so silent again?
The MfFE is in the process of being well reorganised. Regional groups are being sought outside London. How about globally folks?
Also - Peter (Voltaire who set up the MfFE blog) is being challenged to a debate at the Oxford Debating Society on May 3rd. With the usual hotair Ismaeel who heads up the Muslim Global Civility blog is suggesting two rooms be booked to accommodate the huge numbers 'on his side' he expects to turn up. Nicely put!
"The room booked at the moment is the Miles Room in St Peter'sCollege, which apparently seats up to 40 people. We have advised the Oxford Secular Society to book a larger room as we have a large demand from people to attend on our side . Starting time will be 7.30pm. Speaking for the MAC will be Shaykh Faiz-ul-Aqtab Siddiqi, his second has yet to be confirmed. As far as we are aware Peter Risdon will be speaking to oppose the motion'
Oh and the motion?
"The House proposes that Free Expression be regulated by the Proclamation of Global Civility"
(I wish i could tell you Peters hilarious response to this as the meeting a week ago but better not)