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The UN's Attack On Our Freedoms By: Joseph Klein
FrontPageMagazine.com | Tuesday, April 08, 2008


Al Qaeda’s second in command, Ayman al-Zawahri, just recently declared on one of the websites al Qaeda uses to spread its propaganda that “the United Nations is an enemy of Islam and Muslims.” 

Strange that Zawahri would kick a gift horse in the mouth.  In fact, the UN is one of the best friends that Zawahri and his Islamic cohorts have today on the world stage.  It has become the enemy of Israel and of Western democratic values.  Dominated by the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC), the UN General Assembly and the Human Rights Council in particular provide political cover for virtually every crime against humanity that the Islamists commit.

The OIC’s party line is that freedom of press and speech must give way to respect for Islam by avoiding any criticism that could be considered “defamation” in the eyes of Muslims.  UN member states belonging to the Organization of Islamic Conference have managed to push resolutions through the UN General Assembly and Human Rights Council that condemn “defamation of religions.”  The only religion singled out for protection is Islam.

Late last month, the OIC formally introduced an amendment to the mandate of the Human Rights Council’s Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression, which would require the Special Rapporteur to "report on instances where the abuse of the right of freedom of expression constitutes an act of racial or religious discrimination.”  The amendment passed.  In other words, the UN’s Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression is now charged with the responsibility for policing expression that is deemed to go too far in criticizing Islam.  This turns the role of the Special Rapporteur on its head.  The proper role, of course, is not to monitor expression considered abusive by some, but to consider and monitor abusive limits on any expression.

Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has unfortunately taken up where Kofi Annan left off in kowtowing to the OIC’s party line.  This was evident in his recent condemnation of the Dutch film Fitna, which Ban called “offensively anti-Islamic.”  This controversial film juxtaposes horrific scenes of killings and destruction at the hands of the Islamic terrorists with verses from the Koran and excerpts of incendiary speeches by Islamic leaders that are used to justify such acts of terrorism.

Ban Ki-moon applauded “the efforts of the Government of the Netherlands to stop the broadcast of this film” and appealed for “calm to those understandably offended by it.”  His appeal for calm has not stopped the threats of violence against the film’s creator and against the staff of a video website that had released it.

Ban Ki-moon said that the film traffics in what he calls “hate speech” and “incitement to violence.”  Therefore, he reasoned, the “right of free expression is not at stake here.”

The best antidote to any distortions that the film may contain in portraying the violent strains of Islam as practiced today is not to ban the movie but to encourage more speech that debunks the film’s premise.  This may be a difficult task, which explains the pressure to suppress the film altogether.

The following are just a sampling of Koran verses that sanction hatred and violence against non-Muslims:

            "Kill the disbelievers wherever we find them" (Koran, 2:191)

"O ye who believe! Take not the Jews and the Christians for your friends: They are but friends to each other" (Koran 5:51)

"Shall I tell you who, in the sight of God, deserves a yet worse retribution than these? Those [the Jews] whom God has rejected and whom He has condemned, and whom He has turned into monkeys and pigs because they worshiped the powers of evil" (Koran 5:60)

"I will inspire terror into the hearts of unbelievers: you smite them above their necks and smite all their fingertips off of them" (Koran, 8:12)

"When we decide to destroy a population, we send a definite order to them who have the good things in life and yet sin. So that Allah's word is proven true against them, then we destroy them utterly" (Koran, 17:16-17)

Islamic texts teach that the Koran's more violent passages such as these supersede the peaceful passages that had been written earlier in Muhammad’s life.  Now there is no denying that the Old Testament and other non-Muslim religious tracts surely contain their own share of inflammatory language.  However, Islam has not gone through the internal re-examination and reformation that Western religions have.  The leaders and thinkers who claim to speak in the name of Judaism and Christianity today do not make a habit of interpreting their texts as literal justifications for violence against non-believers as Muslim preachers still do.

The vilest hate speech and incitements to violence in the world today appear daily in Muslim newspapers, in Muslim preachers’ sermons and in the standard curriculum used by many Islamic schools.  Yet only Westerners who write or speak negatively about Islam’s excesses can be guilty of ‘hate speech’ in the eyes of UN officials and other misguided politically correct apologists.

Respect for the bedrock freedoms of speech, press and religion lie at the very heart of the difference in worldview between Western democracies and Muslim theocratic or autocratic societies.   Freedom of religion and freedom of expression do not work at cross-purposes, as Islamists tend to argue.  To the contrary, these individual freedoms are mutually reinforcing in protecting the individual from subordination to governmental control.  Religious believers, or non-believers for that matter, have a right not to be persecuted or discriminated against on the basis of their beliefs, but religion itself like all other ideas and institutions benefits from the expression of diverse views.

As the International Freedom of Expression Exchange pointed out in its opposition to the UN Human Rights Council’s efforts to legislate the suppression of free speech, the “equality of all ideas and convictions before the law and the right to debate them freely is the keystone of democracy…freedom of expression is applicable not only to ‘information’ or ‘ideas’ that are favourably received, but also to those that may offend, shock or disturb any or all of us.”

Those who insist on strict adherence to the literal word of Islamic law define everything in terms of the individual’s complete subordination towards Allah.  What this means in practice is the surrender of any freedom to debate, criticize, mock or in any way differ from the Islamists’ fundamentalist reading of the Koran and Sharia which, in their mind, are immutable for all time and omnicompetent in all matters.  It is this primitive worldview that the United Nations is now on record yet again as protecting against the more enlightened values of individual freedom and democratic principles upon which the UN was originally founded.



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