NGO Statement: “Islamophobia” is Undefined

By • on October 3, 2013


The following can also be found on the OSCE website.

NGO Statement: “Islamophobia” is Undefined
OSCE Human Dimension Implementation Meeting
September 26, 2013
Working Session 6
Freedom of religion or belief

As other delegates have noted, the use of ill-defined terms can be an impediment to progress. In the worst of cases, such terms may even be exploited to effectively undermine human rights.

For example, the definition of “Islamophobia” presented at the OSCE conference in Tirana, Albania on May 22nd 2013 fails to meet reasonable standards of logic, coherence, and objectivity.

The definition fails solely due to the inclusion of the word “unfounded”. As a result, well founded fear, mistrust, or hatred of Islam does not constitute Islamophobia. Millions of non Muslims have very real reasons to fear Islam and Muslim violence, and cannot reasonably be described as “Islamophobes”.

Furthermore, any investigation into the basis for the fear of Islam is denounced as “Islamophobia”. Thus the definition of “Islamophobia” is circular, a violation of logic. The International Civil Liberties Alliance recommends that ODIHR immediately abandon any use of the term “Islamophobia”, remove it from existing official publications, and omit it from all future publications.

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