‘Combating defamation of religions’ expressing a ‘deep concern at attempts to identify Islam with terrorism, violence and human rights violations... and the ethnic and religious profiling of Muslim minorities... in the aftermath of the tragic events of September 11’.
In favour (24): Algeria, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Cameroon, China, Cuba, Djibouti, Gabon, Indonesia, Jordan, Malaysia, Mali, Mauritius, Mexico, Morocco, Pakistan, Philippines, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, South Africa, Sri Lanka and Tunisia.
Against (14): Canada, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Guatemala, Japan, Netherlands, Poland, Republic of Korea, Romania, Switzerland, Ukraine and United Kingdom.
Abstentions (9): Argentina, Brazil, Ecuador, Ghana, India, Nigeria, Peru, Uruguay and Zambia.
The statement, endorsed by the Organization of the Islamic Conference, was opposed by members of the EU, and other non-Muslim states like Canada, South Korea, and Japan partly because of its specific emphasis on Islam and because of concerns that the statement contradicted freedom of expression rights.
One can question why we belong to the UN. It represents the values of those countries whose attitudes to freedom are the antithesis of ours.
How can we be guided on matters of human rights and religious freedom by the judgments of countries such as Algeria, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Cameroon, China, Cuba, Djibouti, Gabon, Indonesia, Jordan, Malaysia, Mali, Mauritius, Mexico, Morocco, Pakistan, Philippines, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, South Africa, Sri Lanka and Tunisia?
- In Algeria Islam is the state religion. The human rights situation is terrible with thousands killed.
- Cuba and China can’t give advice on human rights violations. Such rights have been systematically violated in both countries with tens of millions killed in China – worse perhaps than the Stalinist purges.
- In Bangladesh Islam is the state religion and minorities are persecuted.
- In Malaysia Islam is the official state religion and the operation of other religions is under the control of Muslims.
- In Saudi Arabia all Saudi citizens must be Muslims. Human rights are non-existent.
- In Sri Lanka Christians are persecuted and a war is going on with separatist Tamils.
- In Tunisia human rights are severely repressed with thousands jailed and tortured.
etc etc etc.
The countries voting against the resolution are among the materially most prosperous and, in terms of civil liberties, most decent. The countries supporting the resolution are among the worst. But the hypocrisy here is obvious. If you belonged to a religious minority where would you prefer to live – in Saudi Arabia or the UK?
When these countries cited call for mandated religious freedoms and guarantees of human rights for Muslims isn’t this the pot calling the kettle black? Why the emphasis on Islam? Why not religious freedom in their own countries including the right of any person to choose or convert to the religion they want? In many Muslim countries the crime of apostasy is punishable by death.
The implied basis for this policy? No link between Islam and terrorism? None? Zero link? Clean as a whistle, there is no link? That would surprise anyone not in a coma for the past 20 years.
Moderate thoughtful Muslims do denounce terrorism. These Muslims also denounce anti-Semitism. Indeed, in my experience, moderate, thoughtful Muslims are often more careful in putting their religious precepts into effect than religious non-Muslims. They understand that killing innocents is not the way to go - or they say that when confronted with the historical record of Islamic involvement with terrorist killing of total innocents.
But the Islam being defended at UN Conferences is not necessarily moderate. It is political Islam. The Taliban and Al Qaeda that are currently engaged in a war against the west are this is not modern Islam.
The actions of Islamic terrorist groups operating throughout the world are well known. Islamic terrorists have bombed and destroyed buildings, planes, and vehicles. Additionally, during the last 20 years, Muslim terrorists have targeted and murdered tens of thousands of males, females, adults, and children. All over the world, in Kenya, Algeria, Indonesia, Egypt, Iran, France, South America and America, etc., Muslim terrorists have attacked and murdered those they felt were a threat to their aims. No one has been spared by these treacherous people.
Not surprisingly, examination of the websites that deal with terrorism show that about one half of all terrorist groups in the world are Islamic in nature.
I cannot see the logic behind the UN vote. Why a one-sided advocacy of a case for defence of Islamic rights but not corresponding pressure for Muslim countries to reform themselves? Why the apparent hypocrisy and why membership of an organisation comprising governments that no Australian (or, indeed, civilised human being) would respect?