By: Jeffrey Imm
The United Nations’ Human Rights Council (UNHRC) has no problem with its members suggesting that the 9/11 attacks were an “inside job” perpetrated by the United States on itself. The human rights of America’s 9/11 victims are not a priority for UNHRC’s Richard Falk, the special rapporteur on human rights in the Palestinian territories, who engages in 9/11 conspiracy propaganda, while working for an organization headquartered in New York City funded by U.S. tax dollars. This is Richard Falk’s protected freedom of speech.
Denying the role of Jihadists in the 9/11 attacks is apparently perfectly acceptable freedom of speech for the UNHRC, but criticizing Sharia law is another story.
On June 16, 2008, UNHRC president Doru Romulus Costea announced that criticism of Sharia law will not be tolerated by the UNHRC, based on the complaints and pressure by Islamist delegates to the UNHRC. In effect, the Islamist nations represented at the UNHRC have effected a Jihad against freedom of speech at the United Nations when it comes to criticizing Sharia or Islamic supremacist (aka Islamist) theocratic ideologies that threaten the freedom and lives of innocents around the world. This again demonstrates the key imperative of control for Islamists – in this case in terms of controlling ideas, thoughts, and words of an international organization intended to promote human rights. Outgoing UNHRC Commissioner Louise Arbour subsequently raised concerns about debates on Sharia becoming “taboo” within the United Nations group, stating that it “should be, among other things, the guardian of freedom of expression.”
The UNHRC ban on debate regarding Sharia came as a result of a three minute joint statement by the Association for World Education with the International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU) to the Human Rights Council on women’s rights and the impact of Sharia law. These NGOs sought to address international issues of violence against women, specifically, the stoning of women, “honor killings” of women, and female genital mutilation, as a result of Sharia law.
The Islamic Republic of Pakistan, the Islamic Republic of Iran, and the Arab Republic of Egypt vehemently criticized this attempted NGO message, interrupting it via “16 points of order”, for an hour and 25 minutes per the IEHU. Jihad Watch provides a full transcript of the debate. The Egyptian UNHRC delegate claimed that silencing these NGOs was necessary to ensure “that Islam will not be crucified in this Council,” but the fact is that Islamist forces seek to silence any debate on Sharia at all – anywhere, any time.
Ongoing Efforts to Silence Debate on Sharia
This is not the first time that efforts have been made by such pro-Islamist Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) member nations to influence the United Nations. In my article “Jihad, Islamism, and the United Nations,” I addressed the efforts of OIC member nations to reword a UNHRC resolution on religious freedom so that it would not respect the right of individuals to change their religion, as this would be in conflict with Sharia law. The OIC continues global efforts to influence the United Nations and worldwide organization to silence any debate on Sharia by painting such debate as “Islamophobia.”
In the war of ideas, the debate over Sharia’s influence on Jihad (or “Islamist terrorism” per the 9/11 Commission Report), continues to remain under the radar for many analysts. Yet in the ongoing battles by the Taliban in Pakistan, a primary stated objective of the Taliban is enforcing Sharia law throughout the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, a sentiment that nearly 75% of Pakistanis agree with. — see http://www.terrorfreetomorrow.org/upimagestft/TFT%20Pakistan%20Poll%20Report.pdf. (I address this issue in my article “Pakistan and the Growing Threat of a Sharia Mini-State.”)
Two days after this silencing of debate on Sharia at the UNHRC, a man was sentenced to death for “blasphemy” in Pakistan by a Sharia court. This is the same Pakistan, whose government seeks to export the death penalty for “blasphemy” against Islam on a global basis that now has successfully achieved the silencing of debate on Sharia in the United Nations. Moreover, when the Danish Embassy was attacked by terrorists in Pakistan recently, the Pakistan ambassador suggested that this was deserved due to the “blasphemous” cartoons published in Danish newspapers — the Pakistan ambassador to Norway further stated to the press that “blasphemous” cartoons are “an act of terrorism.”
The challenge of Sharia’s impact on Jihad is so completely beyond the thought processes of counterterrorism analysts that Sharia is not even mentioned in the latest “terror lexicon” publications by the DHS (see: http://www.investigativeproject.org/documents/misc/126.pdf) and NCTC (see: http://www.investigativeproject.org/documents/misc/127.pdf warning government officials not to use terms like “Jihad,” “Islamist,” “caliphate,” “mujahedeen.” Yet Sharia is a fundamental component of what Western political scientists call “Islamism” or “political Islam.” The 9/11 Commission Report specifically states that “Islamist terrorism” is based on “Islamism.”
Nevertheless, as the U.S. and the United Kingdom governments seek to end dialogue on Jihad, Islamism, etc., the United Nations now seeks to end debate on Sharia. The war of ideas seems to be ending before it is even begun.
News media publications cannot be relied upon to address this vacuum in ideological debate either. Most refuse to address Islamic supremacist ideologies, including the impact of Sharia law on human rights and freedoms. The Wall Street Journal even employs specialists on Sharia law to help promote Sharia-based financial instruments.
Silence on Supremacist Ideologies Not Consistent With History or Democracy
The gross illogical nature of such an approach is seen by looking at another form of supremacist political ideology that the United States government, the United Nations, and other nations have aggressively debated and have enforced change in their governments and their people to remove.
If the issue was a racial supremacist ideology, would such objections exist?
Can one imagine the United Nations refusing to debate “white supremacism” due to fears of insulting “whites,” or refusing to debate “apartheid”?
Can one imagine the U.S. government refusing to use terms such as “white supremacism” in dealing with fighting the Ku Klux Klan, or in refusing to consider the influences of white supremacist ideology when guaranteeing civil rights for all of its citizens, and in creating laws to effectively ban white supremacist influences in schools, businesses, and public places?
Most of all, in fighting white supremacist terror groups as the Ku Klux Klan, would the FBI have consulted “non-violent” white supremacists for ideological guidance? Would the FBI and the federal government stated that it could not be involved in the “war of ideas” against white supremacism?
With the context of history, such questions are obviously absurd. That is precisely the point regarding the unwillingness to address the challenges of Islamic supremacist ideologies.
History shows that, in fact, none of this happened and that the United Nations, the U.S government, and federal U.S. law enforcement all took action against such supremacist ideologies and publicly, aggressively, debated these in a war of ideas that would change the world and the nation. For the United States, the history of such federal action against such supremacist ideologies goes back nearly 140 years.
Therefore, such deliberate silence and denial regarding Sharia and Islamic supremacist ideologies is completely inconsistent with the history of such organizations and with America’s democratic values. I will be addressing this in more detail in a future article to be entitled “Jihad and Supremacist Ideologies.”
UNHRC president Doru Romulus Costea silenced debate on Sharia due to his fears of pursuing a “slippery slope” in such discussions.
Yet it is precisely such a “slippery slope” of denial on Islamic supremacist ideologies that the world is facing in the debate over Jihad, or in the words of Osama Bin Laden “the greater state of Islam from the ocean to the ocean, Allah permitting.”
On a national and global level, the combination of denial and refusal to address the impact of Sharia and Islamic supremacist ideologies in providing an ideological basis for global Jihadist activity is truly a “slippery slope” for the safety of the entire world.
Family Security Matters Contributing Editor Jeffrey Imm is Research Director of the Counterterrorism Blog , was formerly with the FBI, and also has his own counterterrorism research web site at UnitedStatesAction.com.