The Organization of the Islamic Conference's (OIC) recent condemnation of extremist Muslim violence would be absolutely remarkable except for one small problem - there's no reason to believe that the OIC actually meant a word of it.

On January 3, the OIC issued a statement in English condemning the attempted murder of Kurt Westergaard for creating the controversial Mohammed cartoons. Although lukewarm, it did say that the attack ran totally against the teachings and values of Islam.

That seems encouraging, but consider this. On January 8, the Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten republished six of the original 12 cartoons, alongside details of the attack on Westergaard. The OIC promptly and unequivocally condemned Aftenposten's decision in a January 10 communication, averring that the newspaper's stand against extremism would not serve any purpose other than to incite intolerance and hatred.

The crucial difference between the two statements is that, while the OIC's condemnation of Aftenposten was quickly posted to the OIC website in English, French, and Arabic, the earlier condemnation of Westergaard's attacker has yet to be posted in Arabic.

Considering the OIC's continued attempts to globally criminalize 'blasphemy,' there is no  reason to doubt its sincerity in condemning newspapers like Aftenposten. However, if the OIC were serious about condemning attacks like the one on Westergaard as anti-Islamic, it would have conveyed the message in the language its own people are most likely to read -- Arabic.

Had the OIC issued its condemnation of Westergaard's attack in Arabic, it would have been a noteworthy repudiation of intolerance directed at the OIC's own constituents. Instead, it is nothing but another sign that the OIC has no serious intention of reining in extremists; it just wants the West to think it does.

The Legal Project: http://www.legal-project.org

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