Following the release on the Internet of an antagonizing film ridiculing Islam and Prophet
Mohamed (PBUH), and the ensuing reactions by Muslims in various countries, the OIC
Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission (IPHRC) issued the following statement:
The Commission strongly condemns this abhorrent and reprehensible act that represents an
irresponsible misuse of the right to freedom of expression, the exercise of which carries with it
special duties and responsibilities under International Human Rights Law, according to Article
19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. The malicious intentions behind
this insensitive act are self-evident, given the timing of its release and content.
While it reaffirms the right to peaceful assembly and the obligation of all States to promote and
protect it, the Commission reasserts that the exercise of this right has to be carried out in
conformity with the law at all times, so as to preserve public safety and order as stipulated in
Article 21 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Accordingly, the
Commission deplores all violent reactions, particularly the repugnant killing of innocent people.
The Commission reminds that every human being has the inherent right to life and no one should
be arbitrarily deprived of this right. It also recalls that Islam teaches that the killing of one is
same as killing all people. The sanctity of human life is revered in Islam.
The Commission notes with concern that this film is not an isolated act. It comes as part of an
ongoing anti-Muslim campaign, aiming not only to hurt the feelings of Muslims around the
world, but also to distort the true image of Islam, thus giving rise to widespread manifestations of
derogatory stereotyping, negative profiling, intolerance and incitement to religious hatred and
violence. Considering that religion is one of the fundamental elements in one’s conception of life
and identity, denigration of religions for many of their followers becomes a direct assault on their
own selves. If this campaign is to continue unchecked, it would lend more ground to normalizing
the growing intolerance towards Muslims, and to legitimatizing the imposition of discriminatory
restrictive legislative and administrative measures on their right to observe their religion in many
parts of the world.
The Commission underscores that intimidation motivated by extremism, religious or otherwise,
serves to stigmatize groups and people belonging to certain religions and constitutes clear
expressions of incitement to hatred. As a result, denigration of religions may create more than
psychological barriers that impede the ability to observe, practice and manifest one's religion
freely for fear of coercion, violence or reprisal, hence impairing the enjoyment of the right to
freedom of thought, conscience and religion, a matter that might ultimately result in social
disharmony and violation of human rights. The Commission stresses in this context that apathy
and inaction vis-à-vis such provocations and discrimination cannot be justified, be they against
Islam and Muslims or any other religion and its followers.