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Thursday, August 04, 2011

European Union, OIC, United States pledge to "combat intolerance"

In what can rightly be described as a seminal step in relations between the Muslim world and the Western world, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and the leading nations of the Western world led by the United States and the European Union agreed Saturday to take concrete steps to combat intolerance, negative stereotyping and discrimination, incitement to violence, and violence against persons based on religion or belief.


...The U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had announced the intention of the U.S. State Department to organize a coordination meeting during her participation in the meeting which she co-chaired with the OIC Secretary General, Professor Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu in Istanbul on 15 July 2011. The meeting issued a joint statement emphasizing the dire need for the implementation of resolution 16/18.


The resolution 16/18 is precisely the resolution that condemns blasphemy, that is, criticism on Islam.


Will Obama support the blasphemy resolution? It looks like that the correct answer is yes.

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24 Comments:

Blogger Epaminondas said...

Gee, and here I thought that could be construed to mean that Egyptians, Pakistanis, and Iraqis (among others) who happened to be christian could figure on going to church and not ending up as a pink mist.




NAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH

Thursday, August 04, 2011 3:48:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OIC = "Organization of Islamic Cooperation" revised from "Organization of Islamic Countries".

That slight of hand indicates to this casual observer, an overt admission that Islam prefers to be a borderless enemy . . .rather it's . OIC under it's new and improved banner is betting on resurrecting the Caliphate which will no doubt further prevent Western opponents appropriate defensive measures against global jihad.

The West fights this mortal enemy by identifying groups like 'al qaeda' as the enemy, refusing to acknowledge the doctrine which all Muslims use to justify or obfuscate their eternal jihad. As recently demonstrated with attempts to negotiate with the Taliban or the western support & empathy for the so called democracy movement of the "Arab Spring".

If the limiting identity 'al qaeda' successfully has kept Western military response at bay, imagine what the "Caliphate's" resurgence will do to limit appropriate military responses to global Islamic jihad. The West will cower under the umbrella "we can't go to war against the entire muslim world". Yet, the West seeks solace of ignorance to the doctrinal call to eternal war against dar al harb.

The OIC plays the West like a fiddle.

Thursday, August 04, 2011 4:22:00 pm  
Blogger Will said...

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances"

Hmmmm.......What about a 'super congress'?

Thursday, August 04, 2011 4:28:00 pm  
Blogger Damien Charles QC said...

What more "Caliphate" myth discussions, oh and I thought some here had at least a small knowledge base.

But then again some here follow the Eurabia-Myth so I guess it is only logical that they go for the full hype.

OK, international politics in the Islamic world 101. There are 56 Muslim nations with not one of them supporting the ideal of the reserection of a Caliphate. Though thier religious leaders talk in abstract terms about the world becoming "one", it should be pointed out that even my own spiritual leader - The Pope - does so every Sunday.

If even one country suggested such a move (even though they do not), the question would instantly arrive, in what form would a Caliphe take? A Salafi, a Wahhabi, a Maliki, etc, etc, etc. Would Shia accept a non-Shia? Is not Morocco's King Mohammed VI the "protector of the faithful" and the closest leader of direct descent? Is not Jordan's King Abdallah also? Would not the head of Al Qaeda reject them all? Would in fact any of the 56 governments give up power? Has the heads of any of the five schools of Islamic jurispudence, proclaimed a leader or such a creation?

No.

Get real people, base your arguments on facts.

For a start, the subject of this item is something completely different to the contextual-less implications by the author if the item. It is not a "blasphemy law", which in your country is unconstitional, what it asks for is that uniformed bigotry laws include religion - any, including Islam. That is why Mormons and Mitt Romney will support it as well.

Thursday, August 04, 2011 7:03:00 pm  
Blogger Damien Charles QC said...

The best thing about such a process, which I am not only full supportive but in my own small way support the processes via the Faith Initiative, is that Muslim countries who sign-aboard or involve themselves must clean up thier own act and that can only be a good thing.

Thursday, August 04, 2011 7:06:00 pm  
Blogger Claudia said...

Damien: the history of this resolution reveals that Pakistan, country which presented it, said that this was against "defamation of religion", that is, in their words, just "against any criticism of Islamic religion". And that they wanted that being implemented in all countries, whether they are Islamic or not.

That is, they want their blasphemy law for all countries (Asia Bibi, for example, does that name ring any bell for you?).

Of course, the protests throughout the world from activists, lawyers and other countries, made them add this was "against all religions", but if you read the only religion actually named is Islam.

Secondly, as you have lived so much and know so much about Islamic countries, do you know what is the Cairo Declaration (1990)? Do you think it's OK?

Thursday, August 04, 2011 7:56:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Reactions like that above w/ "caliphate myth" indicates a nerve has been struck. The struggle between Islamic sects is/was non-stop even during prior caliphs - therefore, 'myth' dismissals are bogus. Caliph or no caliph . . .dischord between sects will continue till the last sect or man remains standing. It's inherent to the nature of the Islamic beast.

Thursday, August 04, 2011 8:36:00 pm  
Blogger Damien Charles QC said...

Claudia, in reference to what you think or imagine the resolution says, this is what it does say:

"The meeting was hosted by the OIC at the OIC/IRCICA premises at the historic Yildiz Palace in Istanbul and co-chaired by the OIC Secretary-General H.E. Prof. Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu and U.S. Secretary of State H.E. Mrs. Hillary Clinton.

They called upon all relevant stakeholders throughout the world to take seriously the call for action set forth in resolution 16/18, which contributes to strengthening the foundations of tolerance and respect for religious diversity as well as enhancing the promotion and protections of human rights and fundamental freedoms around the world.

The participants, resolved to go beyond mere rhetoric, and to reaffirm their commitment to freedom of religion or belief and freedom of expressions by urging States to take effective measures, as set forth in Resolution 16/18, consistent with their obligations under international human rights law, to address and combat intolerance, discrimination, and violence based on religion or belief.

The Co-Chairs of the meeting committed to working together with other interested countries and actors on follow up and implementation of Resolution 16/18 and to conduct further events and activities to discuss and assess implementation of the Resolution.

Participants are encouraged to consider to provide updates, as part of ongoing reporting to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, on steps taken at the international level on the implementation of Resolution 16/18, building also on related measures in the other resolutions adopted by consensus on freedom of religion or belief and on the elimination of religious intolerance and discrimination.

Thursday, August 04, 2011 8:36:00 pm  
Blogger Damien Charles QC said...

Resolution adopted by the United Nations Human Rights Council 16/18

Combating intolerance, negative stereotyping and stigmatization of, and discrimination, incitement to violence and violence against, persons based on religion or belief

Reaffirming the commitment made by all States under the Charter of the United Nations to promote and encourage universal respect for and observance of all human rights and fundamental freedoms without distinction as to, inter alia, religion or belief,

Reaffirming also the obligation of States to prohibit discrimination on the basis of religion or belief and to implement measures to guarantee the equal and effective protection of the law,

Reaffirming further that the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights provides, inter alia, that everyone shall have the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion or belief, which shall include freedom to have or to adopt a religion or belief of his choice, and freedom, either individually or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in worship, observance, practice and teaching,

Reaffirming the positive role that the exercise of the right to freedom of opinion and expression and the full respect for the freedom to seek, receive and impart information can play in strengthening democracy and combating religious intolerance,

Deeply concerned about incidents of intolerance, discrimination and violence against persons based on their religion or belief in all regions of the world,

Deploring any advocacy of discrimination or violence on the basis of religion or belief,

Strongly deploring all acts of violence against persons on the basis of their religion or belief, as well as any such acts directed against their homes, businesses, properties, schools, cultural centres or places of worship,

Concerned about actions that wilfully exploit tensions or target individuals on the basis of their religion or belief,

Noting with deep concern the instances of intolerance, discrimination and acts of violence in many parts of the world, including cases motivated by discrimination against persons belonging to religious minorities, in addition to the negative projection of the followers of religions and the enforcement of measures that specifically discriminate against persons on the basis of religion or belief,
..... "

That was the point and note that it refers to "members" thus it is two - way.....

Thursday, August 04, 2011 8:36:00 pm  
Blogger Claudia said...

Yes, but this resolution must be interpreted considering the rest of the treaties these countries have signed. I imagined being a lawyer you knew that.

I insist: do you know about the Cairo Declaration?

Because considering that Declaration, this:

The participants, resolved to go beyond mere rhetoric, and to reaffirm their commitment to freedom of religion or belief and freedom of expressions by urging States to take effective measures, as set forth in Resolution 16/18, consistent with their obligations under international human rights law, to address and combat intolerance, discrimination, and violence based on religion or belief.

loses all sense.

Thursday, August 04, 2011 8:48:00 pm  
Blogger Damien Charles QC said...

Claudia, yes I have read the CDHRI and watched its creation from a jurist point of view.

If I have any comments it would be in two frameworks. The first is that it was a political attempt to remind the old "cold war" United Nations that there are more independant countries than the former Colonial powers and that Christianity was not the ruling faith of the globe. It was hijacked, as we know, by Saudia Arabia and Iran and became very political and theologically stage-managed.

The second point is that it was 1990 and the world moved on from then in many aspects.

The CDHRI is now more of a wish than a manifesto, remembering that the OIC is a lose confederation that Arab Countries consider secondary to the Arab League. It reflects the typical self-hamstringing link to theology that the dominant powers of Saudi and Iran have. Even the Arab-Spring has altered much of the perspectives.

In the end all I can say, from both a legal perspective and from my small participation in international legal affairs, is that each country ultimately is obliged by its own laws and must deal with these obligations regardless of all the various stakeholders within its society.

I do not expect hard-liners in Saudi to support the Kingdom to adhere to much of the resolution and it will not be because of the Cairo Declaration. Iran will also not and will sing and dance to make political point scoring. Most others will, because of finger-pointing, trade and other forces, make some changes in the right direction (albiet very slowly) and that is in the end, the objective.

Mind you, some countries, such as Morocco, Tunisia, Lebanon and Jordan will in fact comply or already do.

Thursday, August 04, 2011 10:03:00 pm  
Blogger Claudia said...

In the end all I can say, from both a legal perspective and from my small participation in international legal affairs, is that each country ultimately is obliged by its own laws and must deal with these obligations regardless of all the various stakeholders within its society.

The Cairo Declaration is in the end a Treaty, that is, they are obliged by it. Of course, no one denies that Saudi Arabia is not the same as Morocco, but a country where the Ulemas say that speaking about other religions is "terrorism" or where people can't change their religion and speak about it ("because they know the consequences", so they should shut up, shouldn't they?), doesn't really recognise freedom of religion or criticism against its own religious values. And that's exactly what the Cairo Declaration says: that Sharia is above any freedom recognised by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

By the way, the OIC stills operates on the basis of those ideas. They actually are the most important voting block in the UN. And in this matter (the blasphemy resolution) have voted all for it, since the first resolution presented by Pakistan. So, I guess they are not so far from the Cairo Declaration.

Thursday, August 04, 2011 10:19:00 pm  
Blogger Damien Charles QC said...

Claudia, no the CDHRI is not a treaty, it is a declaration. Neither is it binding or an obligation as it was not required to be ratified by each nation. We can add to this that most Muslim countries do not have a sharia legal system and thus could not comply unless overhauling both their constitutions and legislative processes.

I assume you know that less than half of Muslim countries have Sharia and of those that do, most are just Family Courts subject to secular Appeals Courts.

The OIC is not a singular body, it is a representative of the politics of its members at that time, just like the UNSC represents the members that sit on it and reflects those nations at that time. It would be incorrect to assume that the OIC runs on the basis of the CDHRI of 1990 and each member state will play its own part to get a unified result.

If we read the resolution you will note that it includes the "as set forth in Resolution 16/18, consistent with their obligations under international human rights law" and not the "thier" which means the target is the individual nations, not the OIC.

Claudia, the point I am making is that to base the argument on the CDHRI does not work and the basically unworkable CDHRI does not represent the individual nations. Also at a practical level the OIC does not represent or reflect each nation as well, even though it is an important institution.

Thursday, August 04, 2011 10:41:00 pm  
Blogger Damien Charles QC said...

Correction: "and not the "thier" which means " should read "and NOTE the "thier" which means ...."

Thursday, August 04, 2011 10:43:00 pm  
Blogger Always On Watch said...

the dire need for the implementation of resolution 16/18

Any connection to what Breivik did?

Friday, August 05, 2011 12:00:00 am  
Blogger Claudia said...

So, you're saying that a declaration (that contains principles of law, that are perfectly appliable too) which has been signed by the member states of the OIC, which are defined by their belonging to the Islamic religion, has nothing to do with them. And yet, it has been "Adopted and proclaimed by Organization of Islamic Conference resolution 217 A (III) of adopted on 5 August 1990, and none of them have made any reserves or stated any opposition against it, something that they would have done in case they really didn't like this declaration, that is an exception to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, deemed too much "JudeoChristian", but that recognises all human beings as equal. It was in that sense (principles of law, not withdrawing from it or showing any reserves or opposition...) that I said they were obliged by it: it's stricking that you didn't understand that way.

Anyway, apart from that really shoking idea, you maintain that this has nothing to do with them, because of the "evolution" of the Islamic world. Well, countries such as Indonesia or Turkey, which are democracies (not dictatorships as Morocco or Jordan), have shown a growth in extremist ideas, such as mistreatment of wives or hatred for Christians or Jews.

But of course, you're not going to convince me of their "magnificent" countries, where people are not considered as equal (you maintained that a convert cannot speak about his conversion to other religion, because he "knows what is going to happen to him"... what a defense of freedom of expression and freedom of conscience, hein?) and that is supported by an international declaration, which has been strickingly adopted by the OIC (so, it has been adopted by all members that belong to it). All of them also were against the Mohammed cartoons, despite their publication in Denmark and by a private newspaper, where freedom of expression exists, and against the Pope quoting Byzantine Emperor Manuel II Palailogos, when several countries, including "libertarian" Morocco, called Vatican representatives for consultation. That means they don't like other countries to criticize Islam, whether reasonably or jockingly, that is precisely what they want with this "resolution against blasphemy".

And of course, I am not going to convince you of anyhing, whatever your reasons to think that these countries are "defenders of Human Rights", that I find appaling (freedom of conscience and religion OK for Western countries, not OK for Morocco and Co.).

So, I don't think it's worth to spend more time discussing about this.

Friday, August 05, 2011 9:00:00 am  
Blogger Anhelli said...

This is how they're trying to overcome the reason for our discontent and anger, with the same weapon ;) Pity... so pity!

See ya! ;)

Friday, August 05, 2011 12:02:00 pm  
Blogger Damien Charles QC said...

Claudia,

what I am saying is that it is not binding on other nations unless they chose to implement it based on thier own individual constitutions. It was a "declaration" and you will find no clause or signature that says it is binding but you will find no clause that sets definitive dates but you will find the reference to to "aspirations" and "objectives".

As for the fluctuating levels of conservatism and radicalism, it is exactly that - it fluctuates. You would be wrong, by the way, to assume that Turkey is going the way of hard-line conservatism or even Sharia, that is more a myth and hysteria perpetuated by bloggers and other interest groups. It certainly is acknowledging the religous sensitivities of its population that has been blocked by the military over the last 90 years. Indonesia, similarly, is a large democracy and is at battle with the conservative elements, but the constitution is something else.

I am not saying anything about "magnificent", that is your words, but I will point out the realities of which you have - to be blunt - not shown at all but rather have put exagerations. Your assuming that most if not all Muslim countries are the same, that is incorrect, you assumed that the CDHRI was in fact adopted by the 56 nations, it was only done by a few and thus your argument is basically flawed and incorrect.

I strongly suggest you actually put some effort in what life is like in these countries, its actual legal structure and how it is really implemented before continuing down the track you follow. Also, try authentic sources of the above, not more blogs or those with a stake in pushing a negative view that has no basis in fact or context.

It reminds me of the other thread with a certain person's continuing misguided ascertions that most Muslim countries ban music.....

D Charles QC

ps, I personally think that there are 13 countries you could define as sh*t-holes, 21 that are either in trouble or in conflict and the other 21 are not bad and some of them very nice places to visit or do business in. Only the first 13 are anything like what most in the bloggosphere push (including here), the second group is a mixed-bag because of a million factors that are somehow forgotten (also including here) and the rest are ignored because it does not represent that view pushed.

Friday, August 05, 2011 12:47:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

«the question would instantly arrive, in what form would a Caliphe take? A Salafi, a Wahhabi, a Maliki, etc, etc, etc. Would Shia accept a non-Shia? Is not Morocco's King Mohammed VI the "protector of the faithful" and the closest leader of direct descent? Is not Jordan's King Abdallah also? Would not the head of Al Qaeda reject them all?»

the islamic wars has origins in mohammad's family mess (hashim and abd-shamns) not theologic ones.

Friday, August 05, 2011 9:27:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

*have

Friday, August 05, 2011 9:27:00 pm  
Blogger Pastorius said...

Which 13 are "shitholes"?

Saturday, August 06, 2011 1:49:00 am  
Blogger Damien Charles QC said...

Saudi Arabia
Yemen
Sudan
Somalia
Afghanistan
Pakistan
Djibouti
Mali
Libya
Algeria
Iran
Uzbekistan and
Turkmenistan.

My definition is either the government is ultra-corrupt or hard-line theologists have a major control over things.

For example, Bangladesh is poor, in certain areas hard-liners make life miserable but it is in contrast to the government which is trying hard not to. It has endemic corruption but not overtly politically corrupt as in Iran (which also has the theological issue). Thus Bangladesh is not included. Similarly Indonesia is a democracy and the hard-line problems is in conflict with the government. Syria is now in a state of chaos and the governemnt is totalitarian but life for the individual was not actually bad or run by theocrats.

Saturday, August 06, 2011 5:07:00 pm  
Blogger Pastorius said...

Yes, I see what you mean. And, I see why, according to your definition, you would not include Egypt, Syria, and Turkey, but those countries are, in my opinion, a serious problem.

Truth is, Pakistan does not, strictly, fit your definition either, but you probably include them because of the schizophrenia and resultant inconsistency of the government and military.

Saturday, August 06, 2011 5:20:00 pm  
Blogger Damien Charles QC said...

Yes that is why I included Pakistan. I would add that the inordinate influence of hard-liners and Taliban in what is now law-less areas is justification as well.

Saturday, August 06, 2011 5:24:00 pm  

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