The 57 Muslim nations in the Organization of Islamic Cooperation are angrily condemning Sweden and Denmark over the free speech laws and are asking other countries to take action against them.
In response to the Islamic call against these two nations, possible terrorist attacks are in the planning, forcing Sweden to increase border security.
The Islamic outrage primarily comes from the recent Quran burnings that have been taking place in Sweden. Burning the Quran provokes extreme emotions from the Muslim world and has demanded that Sweden punish those responsible.
The problem is both Sweden and Denmark hold deep foundational Christian-Judaic beliefs around freedom of speech.
The most disturbing thing is that there is more outrage regarding Sweden’s freedom of speech laws, including from people like the Pope, than there is at the atrocious human rights violations among the 57 members of the OIC.
Among many of the OIC nations, anyone accused of statements against Islam or the Prophet Muhammad can be prosecuted and, in some cases, executed. At BTJ we have written the epic testimony of Mariam Ibraheem, a mother of two, who was put in prison, beaten, tortured, shackled with her infant son, forced to give birth in the dirt of the prison courtyard, sentenced to 100 lashes and death by hanging for refusing to convert to Islam.
Right now, we are writing the story of Shagufta Kausar; a Pakistani Christian who was accused of texting derogatory comments about Islam and the Prophet Muhammad, even though she is illiterate and has never owned a phone.
Islamic protestors have framed this free speech law as “hate speech” and wrapped it in language that appeals to Christian culture of love and tolerance, but it is neither loving or tolerant. Advocates of the ‘anti-hate’ speech laws seek not only to outlaw burning of the Quran, but to eliminate any questioning or critique of Islam.
The truth is, most Christians might find the burning of any religious book abhorrent, but free speech is not meant to protect things that are not offensive. Non-offensive speech needs no protection. It is indeed the most abhorrent and offensive speech that needs protection.
Currently, many Muslims are using a climate of fear to change these laws. Let us pray that advocates of free speech do not bend to fear, but do what is right in the face of fear.