The Muslim Public Affairs Council (MAPC), a part of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood, has issued a somewhat incoherent criticism of Saudi Arabia for failing to support a proposed U.N. resolution calling on the U.N. to enact laws projecting Islam against defamation. According to an MPAC statement:
Just last week, the Shura Council of Saudi Arabia rejected a resolution that called on the United Nations to enact an international pact that forbids religions from being defamed or insulted. This resolution was brought forward primarily as a reaction to the large number of attacks on Islam as a religion by non-Muslims. Rather than embrace the resolution, the Saudi Shura Council rejected it for fear it might result in Muslims having to respect “Buddhism, Qadianism, and Baha’ism as religions”, or “facilitate establishing places of worship for them in Muslim countries.” Such reasoning is completely incompatible with the real spirit of Islam and the Quran. For a state to oppose respect for or to make it illegal to respect an idea or a religion is problematic. Dissent will then be used to criminalize people who believe something that the government opposes. The ruling of the Saudi Shura Council to oppose respect for religions will have serious consequences on freedom of speech and freedom of religion. Ironically, this action by the Shura Council is in stark constrast to Saudi King Abdullah’s call on Tuesday for increased dialogue among Muslims, Christians and Jews rooted in their belief in the same God.
U.S. media had reported that although the resolution passed by the U.N. Human Rights Council (UNHRC) referred frequently to protecting all religions, the only religion specified as being attacked was Islam, to which eight paragraphs refer. The document had been put forward by the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) and was passed 21-10 by the UNHRC which is dominated by Arab and Muslim countries. MPAC was established initially as the Political Action Committee of the Islamic Center of Southern California whose key leaders likely had their origins in the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood. Since that time, MPAC has functioned as the political lobbying arm of the U.S. Brotherhood. Unlike other U.S. Brotherhood organizations, MPAC has frequently criticized Saudi Arabia.