Monday, April 25, 2005

World Turns a Blind Eye to Muslim Abuse of Women ... and Everyone Else, Too

Women's groups and human rights advocates have derided European nations for failing to address the violence and abuse directed against Muslim women living within their borders. The advocates allege that European governments deliberately overlook the foul treatment of Muslim women because of political correctness, fearing that any criticism of Muslim traditions and practices would seem like "racism."

"Western society tends to turn a blind eye to the plight of European Muslim women and girls because 'Muslim culture is different'," Roy Brown, president of the International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU), told the 53-member [United Nations Human Rights Commission].

"Yet in Europe many women find themselves subject to domestic violence, undergo forced marriages or are even killed by family members because of some belief that they have tarnished the family honour," Brown declared.

That view was echoed later by three ex-Muslims and self-described atheists -- Somali-born Dutch member of parliament Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Iranian exile rights activist Azam Kamguian and historian of Islam Ibn Warraq -- and French sociologist Caroline Fourest.

Hirsi Ali, who fled to the Netherlands in 1992 to escape an arranged marriage, told the news conference she condemned "the moral relativism in Europe whereby women from Third World countries do not enjoy the same freedoms as native European women enjoy."

Many Muslim women and girls "are forced to marry, have their genitals mutilated, are taken by their parents to their countries of origin against their wishes, sometimes even killed," she declared.

The horrible plight of women in the Muslim world has been extensively documented by various human rights groups. In recent years, many Muslim women across Europe have been the victims of "honor killings" by Muslim men who felt that they had run afoul of proper Muslim custom. The violent and occasionally public murders of such women are often greeted with enthusiastic support by other Muslims. Yet many European governments do not wish to even discuss the problem, much less take measure to deal with it among the growing Muslim immigrant communities across the continent due to politically correct orthodoxy under which only Westerners and Western culture can be the source of oppression and evil in the world and any criticism of non-Westerners and non-Western cultures must be immediately decried as "racism" or "imperialism."

"Liberal democratic governments are not interfering because they argue that that's their culture," she added.

Respecting cultural diversity is really a form of "upside-down racism," preventing immigrant women from enjoying the same freedom and protection as native European women, said Iranian activist Azam Kamguian.

While Europe pays lip service to universal human rights, it is in reality "bribing Islamic countries and Islamists to give up terrorism and then saying the rest is OK," Kamguian said.

By turning a blind eye to Islam's hostility toward homosexuality and Jews, European governments are buying "a one-way ticket to the Middle Ages," Hirsi Ali said.

A champion for Muslim immigrant women's rights in Europe, Hirsi Ali escaped a forced marriage in Somalia and fled to the Netherlands, where she became an interpreter for asylum seekers and then went into politics.

Last November, Hirsi Ali went into hiding for 10 days after she was threatened by Islamic extremists allegedly behind the slaying of filmmaker Theo van Gogh.

Hirsi Ali wrote the script for Van Gogh's movie Submission, which criticized the treatment of women under Islam and enraged some Muslims.

Conservative Muslim and radical Islamists, however, know well how to play off Western guilt and the idiotic, Western self-loathing that forms the ideological core of multi-culturalism and political correctness. They have pursued a coordinated media campaign to label any criticism of Muslim violence or barbaric cultural practices a "defamation" of Islam. The Islamists have even taken their PR campaign to the United Nations, an organization founded on the Western values of promoting peace, human rights and international law, attempting to silence the critics of Muslim violence and oppression by labeling them as "racists," a charge that can have legal consequences in Canada and certain European countries.

The United Nations Commission on Human Rights called on Tuesday for combating defamation of religions, especially Islam, and condemned discrimination against Muslims in the West's war on terrorism.

The 53-member state forum adopted a resolution, presented by Pakistan on behalf of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), deploring the intensification of a "campaign of defamation" against Muslims following the Sept. 11 attacks in the United States.


"Stereotyping of any religion as propagating violence or its association with terrorism constitutes defamation of religion. It unfortunately breeds a culture of hatred, disharmony and discrimination," Pakistan's envoy, Masood Khan, said in a speech on behalf of the OIC, which links 57 Islamic nations.

There was "a growing trend of defamation of Islam and discrimination faced by Muslims and the people of Arab descent in many parts of the world," he said, citing attacks on places of worship and religious symbols.

In a recent report, the U.N. special investigator on racism, Doudou Diene, cited examples including "Islamophobic violence" after the murder last November of Dutch film director Theo Van Gogh, and an "alarming number of expulsions of imams" in Europe.

Delegations from Cuba and China, which has been accused by rights activists of repressing its own Muslim Uighur minority, were among the countries to take the floor during the debate to back the OIC resolution.

"Islam has been the subject of very deep campaign of defamation. All you have to do is look at the films which have come out of Hollywood the last few years," said Cuba's delegate, Rodolfo Reyes Rodriguez.

Muslim terrorists kill thousands of people world-wide while enjoying the fawning support of thousands of Muslim clerics and tens of millions of ordinary Muslims, but anyone who questions the role of Islam in fomenting such violence amongst its followers is, ipso facto, a racist? Anyone who criticizes Islamic practices, such as female circumcision or public execution of homosexuals and women accused of adultery, is again, ipso facto, a racist? The intellectual legerdemain is astonishing. That Muslim nations would be so bold as to propose such a thing is alarming enough - but that a Western creation like the UN would seriously consider it with backing from the "U.N. special investigator on racism" should send chills running down the spines of every supporter of human rights and civil liberties world-wide. If this is what the United Nations has come to represent, then the time has come for the US to withdraw from it in disgust and drive its bureaucrats from American shores.

Fortunately, the proposed resolution failed when the US and European nations refused to support it. However, those "nay" votes cannot be read as a sudden defense of Western values since the US and Europe refused to back the resolution only because it was weighted to heavily in favor of Islam and didn't provide equal protection for other religions.

"This resolution is incomplete inasmuch as it fails to address the situation of all religions," Leonard Leo, a member of the U.S. delegation, said in a speech.

The Netherlands, speaking for the EU, said religious intolerance was a "matter of grave concern" within the bloc, adding that it regretted the EU had been unable to agree on a "more balanced" joint text with the OIC.

"Discrimination based on religion or belief is not confined to any one religion nor to any one part of the world," said Dutch ambassador Ian de Jong.
In short, the US refused to back the resolution, not because it stands for the right of all human beings to criticize the barbaric practices of any particular religion or be free from religious-inspired violence, but because the resolution wouldn't silence the critics of all religions. Consider this: the US voted against a bill meant to silence dissenters against Muslim oppression, a resolution that would eviscerate three centuries of Western political philosophy, a resolution that enjoyed (naturally) the enthusiastic support of China and Cuba, because it didn't go far enough. No defense of Western values was offered by the Western nations; no blunt critique of Muslim nations for tolerating, funding and protecting the very Islamists who murdered 3,000 Americans just a few miles south of the United Nations Headquarters, and have killed tens of thousands of others world-wide. No critique of Muslim culture for maintaining values and traditions inimical to democracy and the human rights the West labored for a thousand years to enshrine into law. If the Western nations cannot even argue a defense of their own values in a forum of their own creation against the forces of militant theocracy, what chance do Western values actually have? And what does that say about the men who hold office in the West?


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