Posted by nocomme1 on 26 June, 2008 at 8:12 am. 4 comments already!

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The United Nations, providing yet another reason why it is an utterly execrable institution that serves the interests of undemocratic, retrograde forces has banned criticism of Islam during debates in the UN Human Rights Council.

GENEVA: Muslim countries have won a battle to prevent Islam from being criticised during debates by the UN Human Rights Council. Religions deserve special protection because any debate about faith is bound to be “very complex, very sensitive and very intense”, council President Doru-Romulus Costea said Wednesday.

Scholars: Only religious scholars should be allowed to discuss matters of faith, he told journalists in Geneva.

While Costea’s ban applies to all religions, it was prompted by Muslim countries complaining about references to Islam.

Costea issued his “presidential ruling” on Monday during the eighth meeting of the council’s 47 members, which do not include the United States. The ruling will not affect findings by the council’s experts, just its chamber debates.

Muslims have found a very effective method in which to prevent criticism: Since many Muslim countries are, to one degree or another guided by Sharia law, any criticism of such a nation’s human rights violations allowed by their laws would be a criticism of Muslim based Sharia – therefore any criticism of their violations would be a criticism of Islam. Since Islam isn’t just a religion but a legal system as well it is very easy to conflate Islam and Islamic nations .

The ban came after a heated session on Monday, when the representative of the Association for World Education (AWE), in a joint statement with the International Humanist and Ethical Union, denounced female genital mutilation, the penalty of stoning for adultery and child marriage as sanctioned by Islamic law. Egypt, Pakistan and Iran angrily protested, interrupting the AWE speaker, David Littman, with no less than 16 points of order, and succeeding in getting the Council’s proceedings suspended for over half an hour. In the course of this contentious discussion, the representatives from the Islamic countries made numerous revealing statements – statements that are well worth examining as Islamic nations and organizations call with increasing insistence for restrictions on free speech in the West.

Imran Ahmed Siddiqui, the representative from Pakistan, echoed the ever-echoing refrain of all Islamic apologists in the West, when he complained that Littman’s initiative on genital mutilation, stoning and child marriage amounted to an “out-of-context, selective discussion on the Sharia law.” He asked that Littman not be allowed to speak: “I would therefore request the president to exercise his judgment and authority and request the speaker not to touch issues which have already been debarred from discussion in this Council.” The representative from Slovenia then protested mildly against this attempt to silence Littman: “Any NGO representative,” he reminded Siddiqui, “has the right to make a statement within the merits of the agenda item under discussion. We see the statement being made pertaining within the purview of the agenda item and we don’t see grounds for any restricting censorship in that respect.”

The representative from Egypt thereupon responded: “I would humbly and kindly ask my colleague from Slovenia to reconsider.” He warned: “We will not take this lightly….This is not about NGOs and their participation in the Council. This is about the Sharia law.” Pakistan’s Siddiqui added: “I would like to state again that this is not the forum to discuss religious sensitivity.” Why not? Again sounding notes that are increasingly familiar in any discussion of the elements of Islam that jihadists and Sharia supremacists use to justify oppression, Siddiqui explained: “It will amount to spreading hatred against certain members of the Council. I mean, it has happened before also that selective discussions were raised in the Council to demonize a particular group.” He addressed Costea: “So we would again request you to please use your authority to bar any such discussion again, at the Council.”

After more discussion, a recess, and another warning from the representative from Egypt, Littman was finally allowed to proceed. After noting that “almost 90% of the female population in the north of Sudan undergo FGM which, in many cases, is practiced in its most extreme form known as infibulation,” Littman declared: “We believe that only a fatwa from Al-Azhar Grand Sheikh Sayyed Tantawi – replacing the ambiguous fatwas of 1949, 1951 and 1981 – will change this barbaric, criminal practice, which is now growing even in Europe.”

At this point Egypt interrupted, complaining that “this is an attempt to raise a bad traditional practice to Islam. Sheikh Al-Azhar [Sayyed Tantawi] is the president of the largest and the biggest and the oldest Islamic university in the world.” He exclaimed: “My point is that Islam will not be crucified in this Council. That’s why we are challenging this ruling” – that is, Costea’s decision to allow Littman to deliver his address.

Instead of standing up for human rights, which this being the Human Rights Council one would think he might Costea caved, thereby removing from discussion many of the horrors committed by Muslims against woman (as well as assorted other atrocities) from even being discussed.

It is time to leave the useless and noxious UN.

Cross-Posted at Because I’m Right

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