Shariah law creep at the United Na­tions

The Washington Times Weekly - - Commentary -

Free­dom of ex­pres­sion and pro­tec­tion of hu­man rights as de­fined in the U.N. Char­ter are un­der full-scale at­tack by the Or­ga­ni­za­tion of the Is­lamic Con­fer­ence (OIC), which rep­re­sents 57 Is­lamic states.

The OIC, sup­ported by those great hu­man-rights stal­warts, Rus­sia, China and Cuba, forced through an amend­ment to a res­o­lu­tion on free­dom of ex­pres­sion to the Hu­man Rights Coun­cil on March 28, 2008.

This amend­ment will in ef­fect force the U.N. spe­cial rap­por­teur on free­dom of ex­pres­sion to re­port in­stances in which the abuse of the right of free­dom of ex­pres­sion con­sti­tutes an act of racial or re­li­gious dis­crim­i­na­tion — in other words, to re­port any­one who ex­er­cises their uni­ver­sal right to raise con­cerns re­gard­ing Shariah law.

The wide­spread ri­ots and vi­o­lence fu­eled by the Is­lamic ex­trem­ists over Dan­ish car­toons de­pict­ing Muham­mad is a good ex­am­ple. Un­der the new rules, it would be the Danes who would be con­demned, not the Mus­lim ex­trem­ists who called for the car­toon­ist’s be­head­ing.

The im­pli­ca­tions are in­sid­i­ous. As an ex­am­ple, Bor­ders book­stores re­fused to carry the April-May 2006 is­sue of Free In­quiry Mag­a­zine that car­ried the con­tro­ver­sial car­toons be­cause they feared for the se­cu­rity of their stores. More re- cently, Ran­dom House can­celed a ro­man­tic novel about Muham­mad be­cause they were afraid it might pro­voke Mus­lim anger. Let’s not for­get that Shariah law re­quires women to be stoned to death for adul­tery, or peo­ple to be killed be­cause they change their re­li­gion, or young men to be hanged be­cause they are gay,

It is clear the bal­ance of power in the U.N. sys­tem has shifted dra­mat­i­cally in fa­vor of the Is­lamic states. There can no longer be any pre­tense that the Hu­man Rights Coun­cil can de­fend hu­man rights. The “moral lead­er­ship” of the United Na­tions has de­faulted from the na­tion-states that cre­ated the U.N. and that were com­mit­ted to the con­cept of equal­ity, in­di­vid­ual free­dom and the role of law, to the Is­lamic states whose goal is to pro­mote ac­cep­tance of Shariah Law and dom­i­nance of Is­lam as the only true re­li­gion. The cur­rent Hu­man Rights Coun­cil has lost its sense of di­rec­tion and should be dis­solved.

or mar­riage to be ap­proved of girls as young as 9, as in Iran.

As the 1990 Cairo Dec­la­ra­tion on Hu­man Rights demon­strates, Shariah law is in­com­pat­i­ble with democ­racy and hu­man rights in­ter­na­tional norms.

By way of back­ground, the Hu­man Rights Coun­cil was formed to re­place the old Com- mis­sion on Hu­man Rights that had be­come cor­rupt and too po­lit­i­cal in its work, ac­cord­ing to the for­mer U.N. Sec­re­tary-Gen­eral Kofi An­nan. How­ever, since its in­cep­tion in June 2006, this new coun­cil has failed to con­demn the most bla­tant ex­am­ples of hu­man-rights abuse in coun­tries like Su­dan, Byelorus- sia, Iran, Cuba, Burma, North Korea, Saudi Ara­bia and China. How­ever, it sys­tem­at­i­cally con­demns Is­rael and Is­rael alone. Un­sur­pris­ingly, the coun­cil is chaired by Cuba.

The United States has only an ob­server role on the Hu­man Rights Coun­cil, as­sert­ing the body had lost its cred­i­bil­ity with its re­peated at­tacks on Is­rael and fail­ure to con­front other rights abuses.

It is clear the bal­ance of power in the U.N. sys­tem has shifted dra­mat­i­cally in fa­vor of the Is­lamic states. There can no longer be any pre­tense that the Hu­man Rights Coun­cil can de­fend hu­man rights. The “moral lead­er­ship” of the United Na­tions has de­faulted from the na­tion-states that cre­ated the U.N. and that were com­mit­ted to the con­cept of equal­ity, in­di­vid­ual free­dom and the role of law, to the Is­lamic states whose goal is to pro­mote ac­cep­tance of Shariah Law and dom­i­nance of Is­lam as the only true re­li­gion.

The cur­rent Hu­man Rights Coun­cil has lost its sense of di­rec­tion and should be dis­solved. Fur­ther, the March 28, 2008, re­stricted res­o­lu­tion on hu­man rights should be can­celed. The High Com­mis­sioner for Hu­man Rights Ser­gio Vieira de Mello stated it best when he wrote just five months be­fore he was killed by a ter­ror­ist bomb in Bagh­dad: “Mem­ber­ship of the Com­mis­sion on Hu­man Rights must carry re­spon­si­bil­i­ties. I, there­fore, won­der whether the time has not come for the com­mis­sion it­self to de­velop a code of guide­lines for ac­cess to mem­ber­ship of the com­mis­sion. Af­ter all, the mem­bers of the Com­mis­sion in Hu­man Rights have a duty to hu­man­ity, and the mem­bers of the com­mis­sion must them­selves set the ex­am­ple of ad­her­ence to the in­ter­na­tional hu­man rights norms — in prac­tice as well as in law [. . .]”

Clearly, there is no place in any hu­man-rights guide­lines for Shariah law. A new hu­man rights or­ga­ni­za­tion should be cre­ated with a mem­ber­ship that pledges to adopt Ser­gio de Mello’s guide­lines and code of con­duct and be held ac­count­able. James Lyons, U.S. Navy re­tired ad­mi­ral, was com­man­der in chief of the U.S. Pa­cific Fleet, se­nior U.S. mil­i­tary rep­re­sen­ta­tive to the United Na­tions, and deputy chief of naval op­er­a­tions, where he was prin­ci­pal ad­viser on all Joint Chiefs of Staff mat­ters.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.