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This was a follow up to the earlier (February 7) panel discussion on the Istanbul Process & the OIC. The second panel was moderated by Adam Turner, the Staff Counsel for EMET. The panel itself featured Clare Lopez of the Center for Security Policy, Sam Nunberg, Director of the Legal Project at the Middle East Forum, Ann Snyder of the Legal Project, and Deborah Weiss of Vigilance, Inc. The panel discussed continuing efforts by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to push international legislation through the United Nations to condemn and eventually criminalize free speech that is critical of Islam and Islamist terrorism. The OIC has, for over a decade, introduced speech-restrictive resolutions at the UN. Last year, the OIC introduced Resolution 16/18. The Obama Administration has proven to be supportive of Resolution 16/18 and the Istanbul Process by which it is to be implemented. In March of 2011, Secretary Clinton praised the OIC efforts, and encouraged the U.S. government to use “shaming” to suppress speech perceived as critical of Islam. On July 15, 2011 a summit meeting between Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and OIC Secretary General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu in Istanbul officially launched the “Istanbul Process”. At that meeting, Mrs. Clinton committed the United States to a partnership with the OIC for the purpose of implementing the legislative results required by 16/18. From Dec. 12-14 of 2011, Ms. Clinton hosted in Washington a second meeting “to discuss” with the OIC “how to implement resolution no. 16/18 on combating defamation of religions…” and that the aim of this and further meetings was “developing a legal basis” for domestic and international laws “preventing inciting hatred resulting from the continued defamation of religions.” On December 3, 2012, the same day as this panel, the US participated in the third round of the Istanbul Process at Canada House, in London, hosted by the UK and Canada
The members of this EMET panel continue to believe that US participation in this process undermines the First Amendment.
The event was well attended, and among the crowd was famed talk show host Mark Levin.