Friday, June 20, 2008

Islamic Nations Want Divisive Issues on the Agenda at UN Racism Conference

Shaking my head in disbelief...

So it's okay to disparage every other religion while operating the moniker of "religion of peace;" it's okay to marginalize, discriminate, and persecute those that don't adhere to the however many pillars that belong to said religion. It's okay to advertise a placard stating that "Jesus was Mohammed's slave" in country such as Britain or France. It's also okay to project your views and beliefs onto "infidels."

But when someone or some group challenges Islam, that person is branded as "Islamophobic" or "racist." According to CNSNews.com, "Despite the controversy surrounding a United Nations conference on racism being planned for next year, Islamic governments are reaffirming their intention to press for the inclusion of such divisive issues as foreign occupation' and criticism of Islam.

Preparations for next spring's international gathering moved ahead this week, with a debate at the U.N. Human Rights Council (HRC) in Geneva. Critics raised concerns about the direction the process is taking."


Note the following, courtesy of CNSNews.com:
"The Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), a bloc of Muslim states that enjoys considerable influence in the HRC, is leading a campaign at the U.N. to have what it calls the defamation of Islam outlawed."
It's interesting, isn't it, that an organization representing a religion that persecutes minorities, non-Muslims while denying rights to women would hold sway in the United Nations, but considering the demographics and politics of said UN, it makes sense.

The crux of the

Here's the complete article:
Islamic Nations Want Divisive Issues on the Agenda at UN Racism Conference
By Patrick Goodenough
CNSNews.com International Editor
June 20, 2008

(CNSNews.com) - Despite the controversy surrounding a United Nations conference on racism being planned for next year, Islamic governments are reaffirming their intention to press for the inclusion of such divisive issues as "foreign occupation" and criticism of Islam.

Preparations for next spring's international gathering moved ahead this week, with a debate at the U.N. Human Rights Council (HRC) in Geneva. Critics raised concerns about the direction the process is taking.

Plans for the conference have been dogged by concerns that it may produce a re-run of the last major U.N. conference on racism in Durban, South Africa in 200. The Durban conference was characterized by anti-Israel rhetoric, prompting the U.S. and Israeli delegations to withdraw in protest.

The aim of the 2009 conference is to review progress made since the 2001 event in the global fight against racism, but the Israel-Palestinian issue threatens once again to feature strongly, along with the question of "Islamophobia" that has taken on increasing prominence in the years since 9/11.

Canada and Israel have indicated they will not participate in the conference, and the U.S., while stopping short of announcing a boycott, says it will not attend if the conference promises to repeat the 2001 one.

In 2001, Israel was accused of employing apartheid-like policies in its dealings with the Palestinians, while Zionism -- the foundational ideology of the Jewish state -- was itself labeled racist.

Pro-Palestinian voices continue to make those arguments, while Israel's supporters contend that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is not about race. Critics of the events in Durban also say that its skewed focus on Israel diverted attention from numerous issues of egregious racial discrimination around the globe.

The review conference will be held over five days next April in Geneva, home to a number of U.N. agencies, including the HRC. The council has been tasked to oversee the planning by a 20-country preparatory committee, chaired by Libya and including Iran, Cuba and Pakistan among its members.

In the Swiss city this week, members of the council held a debate on racism and discussed preparations for the review conference, including the drafting of an outcome document.

The envoy of two Islamic member states, Algeria and Azerbaijan, both raised the issue of foreign occupation.

Algeria's representative proposed that the outcome document should include a specific chapter on the issue of populations under foreign occupation, while Azerbaijan's envoy charged that those under foreign occupation were in most cases the victims of racism.
Although neither referred specifically to Israel, a paper drawn up in preparation for the drafting of the outcome document includes a section on "people under foreign occupation" and it cites only one case - the Palestinians.

'Racio-religious profiling in war on terror'

Another theme emerging in the preparation for the review conference is that of Islamophobia, a phenomenon some argue is a "contemporary form of racism" that should fall under the purview of the racism conference.

The Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), a bloc of Muslim states that enjoys considerable influence in the HRC, is leading a campaign at the U.N. to have what it calls the defamation of Islam outlawed.

Pakistan and Iran, both leading OIC members, raised the issue during the debate in Geneva.

Iran's delegate cited a recently-released documentary filmlinking the Koran with terrorism and extremism, calling it an example of incitement to racial and religious hatred.

Pakistan's envoy, Marghoob Saleem Butt, said in a statement that the document that will emerge from the review conference "must include space to eliminate new and emerging manifestations of racism."

"It must provide a comprehensive protection mechanism to the victims including those who had suffered the wrath of [the] war on terror in terms of racio-religious profiling and its consequential incitement to racio-religious hatred," he added.

Several non-governmental organizations taking part in the debate raised concern about the agenda of the OIC nations.

A International Humanist and Ethical Union representative, Roy Brown, raised the race factor in the conflict situation in Sudan and the plight of Dalits (lower-caste "untouchables") in India. Yet, he said, Muslims in the West were free to practice their religion. Brown wondered why there was a specific and selective focus on Islamophobia.

Hillel Neuer of U.N. Watch said there were "worrying signs" that the review conference may repeat some of the elements that plagued the 2001 gathering. He noted that the preparatory committee, at Iran's behest, had refused to accredit a Canadian Jewish NGO wanting to attend next year's conference.

Yet the same committee, Neuer said, had accredited another NGO, "whose very name - the Palestinian Grassroots Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign - brings back the hateful and divisive rhetoric of 2001."

(Iran says it objected to the inclusion of the NGO, the Canadian Council for Israel and Jewish Advocacy, because it had failed to answer a set of questions Iran had put to it. The NGO eventually withdrew its application, protesting that the deliberations had been turned into a "discriminatory procedural football.")

Also taking part in this week's debate, the World Union for Progressive Judaism's David Littman also raised the religion issue, asking why the indiscriminate killing in the name of God should not be recognized as defamation of religion.

U.N.-accredited NGOs represented by Brown and Littman have raised that issue before, appealing at the HRC and other U.N. forums for "calls to kill in the name of God or religion -- any religion" to be condemned.

In a letter last year to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the (now outgoing) U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour, they wrote, "A policy of silence on this ideology of Jihad by Muslim spiritual and secular leaders, the OIC and Arab League -- as well as the inter-national community -- implicitly condones this evil, an evil that should be condemned unequivocally by senior Muslim theologians as a 'defamation of Islam.'"

2 comments:

Tim Weaver said...

Why are theocracies even allowed at such a conference? The human rights abuses in many Islamic countries should disqualify them from attending.

What a sickening fact it is to live in a culture where mocking Christ is popular.

todd anthony said...

That's right Tim...but in effect, it really demonstrates the agenda of the United Nations: admonish certain Western countries (as well as banding together to combat said countries' policies).