Sunday, March 27, 2011

UN Caves To Vicious Defamers of Islam

Last week, the United Nations Human Rights Council adopted its annual resolution concerning religious intolerance. But unlike the past resolutions, the Christian Crusaders and the perfidious Jews bullied the Council into producing a document that encourages tolerance but throws out all language concerning "defamation" of religion.

That's the first time that has happened since the halcyon days of the predecessor of the HRC, the Commission on Human Rights, first introduced defamation into the recipe back in 1999. For those twelve years, the Organization of the Islamic Conference had managed to get the two commissions to include language that encompassed both "defamation of religion" in general and Islam specifically. The only thing that remains of the former Islamic-leaning resolutions was wording that encourages nations to "adopt measures to criminalize incitement to imminent violence based on religion or belief." That sounds amazingly like America's own "clear and present danger" test.

We can only hazard intelligent guesses as to why the Mad Muslims at the Geneva meeting lost control of the Council's agenda, but there are a few recent events that may have contributed to the change. Pakistan is at the forefront of the debate. Pakistan's draconian blasphemy laws have resulted in the deaths and injuries of countless human beings, ranging from moderate Muslims to Christians, Jews and Buddhists. There was a particular emphasis on apostates. But the murder of two prominent Muslim opponents of the capital punishment provisions of Pakistan's blasphemy laws was a particular spur to reform on the Council. The mass murders and displacement of Christians in Ethiopia and Sudan haven't helped the Muslim cause either.

It appears that the support for defamation of religion resolutions in the General Assembly has eroded seriously. Since 2005, the General Assembly has adopted the Council's resolution without modification. But last year, the resolution was passed by a narrow margin of twelve votes. In 2007, the margin was 57 votes. All signs are that the General Assembly will adopt the new resolution verbatim. This would come after several years of dilution of the language of the ongoing resolutions. Each successive year, the number of references to Islam specifically have been decreased, while such neologisms such as Judeophobia and Christianophobia were added to the ever-present Islamophobia. But this resolution is a landmark in that all moral equivalencies are off the table, and no "phobias" of any kind are included.

Previous resolutions had conflated victim and perpetrator by using language that spoke of "discrimination against Muslim minorities following the events of September 11, 2001." Events? Did they mean the mass murder of 3,000 civilians of all races and creeds by Muslims flying planes into buildings? This time, the resolution is much more in line with the reality that blasphemy laws result in the deaths of political figures who are Muslims themselves. The murder of Pakistani Minorities Minister Shabhaz Bhatt and Punjab Governor Salmaan Taseer seemed to put the Council over the top. Both were assassinated for their opposition to religious blasphemy penalties, and both assassinations were followed by massive celebrations of the murders among mainstream Muslims.

A prime mover in the initiative to end blasphemy laws, Human Rights First, summed it up nicely: "This resolution is an important shift away from efforts at the UN to create an international blasphemy code." Shehrbano Taseer, the daughter of the slain Punjab Province governor, spoke for Human Rights First at the Geneva hearings on the resolution. Taseer and the religious rights group contended that ". . . states need to do more to adopt measures to combat violence and discrimination on the basis of religion or belief, as well as address religious hatred without restricting speech." That is a radical departure from the past, and the Council adopted both the words and the reasoning.

Human Rights First documented more than seventy cases in fifteen Muslim nations in which blasphemy penalties resulted in death sentences and/or lengthy prison terms and provoked attacks by murderous mobs. They were even able to cite a western example in that an Austrian writer was convicted of "denigrating the teachings of a legally-recognized religion." She had given lectures on jihad and the horrific treatment of women in Islamic lands, and said that today Mohammed would be considered a pedophile. As for the latter charge, she had merely cited a Koranic Hadith which itself stated that Mohammed consummated his marriage to his youngest wife when she was nine years old.

Giving the devil his due, President Barack Obama allowed Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to praise the new resolution. She called the resolution "a landmark achievement which must be followed by sustained commitment." The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom stated more specifically that "tragically, it took the assassination of two prominent Pakistani officials who opposed the country's draconian blasphemy laws to convince the OIC that the annual defamation of religions resolutions embolden extremists rather than bolster religious harmony."

Before we start dancing in the streets over this, we need to be reminded that the heavily American-subsidized government of Pakistan immediately announced to its population that there will be no changes whatsoever to Pakistan's blasphemy and religious defamation laws. We await the State Department's statement on that issue.




22 comments:

AndrewPrice said...

This is surprisingly good news. Strange news, but good news. I wonder what happened? Maybe this whole Middle East uprising, which is now in Syria, Jordan, Yemen, and Bahrain, as well as Morocco, Libya, Egypt and Iran, is finally having an effect?

Actually, thinking cynically, this could be an attempt by these regimes to prove to us that they aren't pro-fascist-Islam, so that we help them when they try to put down there people?

Hmm. I don't know.

LawHawkRFD said...

Andrew: About the only thing I'm sure of is that I don't trust the OIC or the UN. But it does seem to be a good sign. The Western nations are firming up, with only the US and its bowing and scraping President going the other direction. A temporary accommodation with civilization in order to bolster the Arab League is definitely a possibility. Any conclusion I could draw would be pure speculation.

AndrewPrice said...

Lawhawk, I agree. I don't trust them and I have no idea why they would do this, but I know to doubt their motives.

I'm actually seeing signs all over the place that the West is finally getting tougher, Obama excepted.

LawHawkRFD said...

Andrew: Obama doesn't understand the difference between two concepts. "Out of many, one" and "first among equals." He will continue with his waffling ways trying to get one unanimous course of action rather than be what he's supposed to be--the leader of the free world. When France and Germany have to lead either in the UN or in Libya, we know there is something seriously wrong with our President.

As for Libya itself, his mucking around with a dozen different voices claiming to speak for America proves again he doesn't know the difference between delegation of authority and surrender of authority by default. This is why you don't elect a mealy-mouthed accommodationist with no executive experience as President.

T_Rav said...

This could be good news. On the other hand, maybe not. I'm going to have to consult that troll from last week, Tolerance-lover. Wonder what he has to say about this...

Tolerance-lover said...

But, but, but, you're forgetting about all those moderate Muslims in the world who need this language to keep from getting attacked by redneck Christians! 90 percent of them would be on our side if it weren't for all the Zionists invading Palestine and kicking people off their land! Until the West stops its illegal wars of oppression and Judeo-Christian hegemony, we will never be able to come together as one people.

And no, I'm not anti-Semitic. I'm anti-Zionist, just like Helen Thomas.

LawHawkRFD said...

T_Rav: I think you scared him (or her) away.

I don't want to be too optimistic, but this is a big change at the UN. I just can't help questioning the underlying reasoning. I've seen far too many deviant acts by the General Assembly and the Commissions to impute a good motive to it. In the old days, I'd have said it was fear of (or respect for) the United States, but with Obama in charge, nobody's afraid of us, and they sure as hell don't respect us.

LawHawkRFD said...

Tolerance-lover: OK, we get it. You're either attempting humor or simply nuts. I tend to lean toward the former, but I've heard far worse from the left.

T_Rav said...

LawHawk, I'd like to believe some of the European powers have finally seen enough of the "religion of peace" to realize they don't need to give the Arab Street any more concessions than they already have. That's what I'd like to believe. How realistic is that? Probably not very.

LawHawkRFD said...

T_Rav: We should remember that Switzerland decided enough was enough, used its inherent power to stop overdevelopment, and nixed a mega-mosque. We're still wondering if the mass murderers are going to build that mosque at Ground Zero. The Europeans have been ahead of us for awhile now. For instance, when is Obama going to declare multiculturalism a failure the way France and Germany both have?

Tolerance-lover said...

Whatever, "LawHawk." Can you show me where I'm wrong? We didn't have terrorism until a bunch of arrogant Zionists decided they should bulldoze peaceful Palestinian settlements and start Judaizing the region, and Big Brother America sanctioned this atrocity. Muslims interested in a world caliphate? Please.

LawHawkRFD said...

Tolerance-lover: Who is this "we?" Terrorism is as old as humanity, and only the means have changed. Your understanding of the history of Palestine is so far off base that I'm not going to spend the next two months trying to educate you. The "Palestinians" lived their miserable, dirt-poor existence throughout the region, and only when the European Jews moved back and with the local Jews (along with some of the more enlightened Arabs) made the desert bloom did the envy of the local Arabs turn to hatred. When the local "Palestinians" declared jihad on the Jews in 1948, the Jews didn't have a bulldozer to their name and the Arabs didn't have anything worth protecting, let alone knocking down. The Grand Mufti couldn't abide intelligent, hard-working "outsiders" making something out of his sand-kingdom and refusing to bow to his alleged authority, and the "Palestinians" have been making war on Israel ever since.

I'm not wasting any more time on discussing a topic that involves nearly seventy years of history and multiple lengthy learned treatises. When you've read something other than the latest propaganda bulletin from CAIR, say about a year from now, perhaps we can discuss this intelligently.

T_Rav said...

Ha! Now let's hear Andrew say I do a weak troll impression. I don't think so. Sorry to mislead you, LawHawk, but I couldn't help myself.

LawHawkRFD said...

T_Rav: I thought I recognized the style, but just wasn't sure. Couldn't leave it unrefuted, but couldn't waste too much time on it either. I had the delete key ready to go. LOL Well done. Andrew has a better b.s. sniffer than I do. The sad part is that a substantial number of Americans actually view the Palestinian problems in exactly that way.

T_Rav said...

LawHawk, don't sweat it. I had the misfortune to take a grad class last fall devoted to analyzing the book "Orientalism" by Edward Said. After that exercise in propaganda, I could blow smoke with the best of them if I wanted to, as far as the Middle East's concerned.

LawHawkRFD said...

T_Rav: Said was one of the worst distorters of truth about the Middle East. Worse yet, he has been the most influential. Two generations of college students have been taught that they should feel guilty for viewing barbarism from a Western perspective along with believing that the Jews "stole" the land from the "indigenous peoples." I'm glad you saw through his revisionism. Many did not.

StanH said...

And if our Islamo-fascist do slip up and murder someone, you can bet the UN will send a strongly worded letter. Though it is nice to see a bit of logic coming from the clown car that is the UN, as the great man said, “trust but verify.”

T-Rav don’t you know better than to get your elders worked up? LOL!

Tennessee Jed said...

Hawk - your comments about not trusting the U.N. or the O.I.C. tends to say it all. Yes, it is refreshing, but no, hardly a reason to dance in the street. Still, a very nice article.

T_Rav said...

Aw, come on, Stan! Can't I have a little fun before my bedtime? ;-)

LawHawk, Said's basic problem (aside from being an anti-American, anti-Israeli loon) was he was trained as a literary critic, not a historian. So when he tried to be historical, he did it by picking apart texts and making all kinds of statements about the writers that would never hold up. I remember specifically a page in "Orientalism" where he took a passage from Aeschylus celebrating Greek victory over Persia, and helpfully explained that this was evidence of the West representing the Orient and claiming to speak for it--obviously. If I was still taking the book even a little seriously--I don't remember if I was or not; reading that crap will give you brain damage--I stopped at that point.

LawHawkRFD said...

Stan: I wonder if anyone has collected the UN's multitude of strongly-worded resolutions. It would probably fill an entire library shelf while testifying to the terrible waste of trees cut down to make the worthless paper they're written on.

LawHawkRFD said...

Tennessee: I'll trust, then verify twice. LOL But as they say, every trip of a thousand miles starts with one small step.

LawHawkRFD said...

T_Rav: Another author who is out of his depth and trained in another discipline entirely is Noam Chomsky. Yet like Said, Chomsky is considered an expert authority by most college "educators." I read Said's work before he became big, and my son read him after he was the authority. We both saw through him pretty easily, but we were both trained to be skeptical of anyone that we are told to believe simply because he is so freaking brilliant. The entire deconstruction genre is built on the concept that there are no facts, only prejudiced versions of the evidence.

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