Written by Daniel Huff and Aaron Eitan Meyer
The Legal Project
On December 23-24, 2009, the Organization of the Islamic Conference ("OIC") and the League of Arab States held a joint high level conference in Cairo to develop a strategy for addressing 'Islamophobia.' As the conference proceeded, the OIC issued two press releases exclusively in Arabic.
The first release's headline alone warrants scrutiny.
It translates as "The Organization of the Islamic Conference and the League of Arab States discuss ways to address Islamophobia."
The title does not use an Arabic term for 'Islamophobia,' but instead uses 'al-islamufobia,' "Ø§Ù„Ø¥Ø³Ù„Ø§Ù…ÙˆÙÙˆØ¨ÙŠØ§" which is merely a transliteration.
The release goes on to quote OIC Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs Abdullah Abdul Rahman criticizing the conflation of terrorism and Islam in "the West and America." Previously, the OIC had not referred to America and the West as distinct entities.
A second press release issued on December 24th indicates that Abdul Rahman's phraseology was calculated rather than stylistic.
The headline there translates as "A joint committee of the Organization of Islamic Conference and the League of Arab States developed a plan to correct the image of Arabs and Muslims in America."
The singling out of America continues in the body of the release, which reports that the OIC and League of Arab States agreed in principle to an action plan to 'correct' the image of Arabs and Muslims, specifically in the 'American arena.'
What specific actions will result from the Cairo conference remains to be seen, but it is striking that the OIC and Arab League chose to announce the outcome of their strategy session in Arabic only. The likely conclusion is that the OIC has singled out Americans for reeducation, but would prefer that they remain ignorant as it carries out its plans.
The Middle East Forum has established the Legal Project to protect researchers and analysts who work on the topics of terrorism, terrorist funding, and radical Islam from lawsuits designed to silence their exercise of free speech.