Open Letter to the United Nations Against Religious Apartheid
To: H.E. the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Mr. Kofi Annan;
The Coalition for the Defense of Human Rights is an umbrella coalition representing various organizations from the following communities: Arab-Christian, Armenian, Assyrian, Bahai, Buddhist, Copt, Hindu, Humanist Muslim, Ibo, Maronite, Nubian, secular intellectuals, Southern Filipino, Slavic-Christian, Southern Sudanese, Syriac, West African, and women’s groups.
We gather to demonstrate our determination to protest the treatment of religious and ethnic minorities, as well as women and moderate and secularized Muslims in Islamic lands. We are here also to cry out against the murderous ideology of radical Islamism, which, by dividing humankind into worthy Muslims and inferior “infidels” is wreaking havoc throughout the world.
In the face of growing attacks and oppression of religious and ethnic minorities in Islamic lands, we respectfully make the following two demands upon the appropriate organs of the United Nations:
1. We call upon you today to appoint a Special Rapporteur to investigate the status and conditions of non-Muslim minorities, women, and humanist, moderate Muslims in states ruled by Islamic majorities. Such a rappoteur must investigate the following conditions.
Equality Under Law: What is the status, both in law and in practice, of these groups, and of individuals belonging to these groups? Do the laws in these nations discriminate against religious minorities? Do members of these groups have the same rights to assemble, speak, publish, and associate as those in the majority? Can members of these classes be elected to governmental and representative bodies? Is there a government policy of discriminating against the hiring of members of these classes? Does the government allow or encourage radical anti-minority organizations to abuse, threaten or otherwise oppress minority populations? Do the agencies that enforce the laws represent all groups in society?
Religious rights and freedom: Do members of minority faiths have the right to practice their faiths freely? Do they have the right to proselytize? Do members of the majority faith have the right to choose another faith?
Cultural equality: Are the rights and cultures of national, religious, and ethnic minorities respected?
Teaching of hatred and contempt: What is the view of these classes promoted by the government and the general culture?
2. We call upon the United Nations to condemn the ideology of Jihad-Islamism as a form of religious apartheid, which divides humankind into exalted Muslims and inferior “infidels.”
Radical Jihad-Islamism is a supremacist, quasi-racist ideology that is now waging terrorist war worldwide against innocent men, women and children it labels “infidels.” This ideology is supporting religious wars against non-Islamist Muslims and non-Muslim infidels worldwide. It is seeking to establish Apartheid-like regimes similar to those in Afghanistan, Iran, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and Sudan, to subjugate and control “infidels.” It legitimizes and extends human rights abuses – including slavery – on a massive scale. It employs a global economic resource (oil) as a weapon against non-Muslim nations in the service of its goals. It is the duty of the United Nations, which came into being as a result of racist Nazism, to condemn and to combat any ideology which defines some part of the human race as inferior.
Radical Jihad-Islamism must be condemned as a form of cultural, racial, religious and ethnic discrimination, and the United Nations should equate it with Colonialism and Imperialism. It should condemn its teaching to any community or school and it should call for a “corrective teaching” to seek to undo the hatred that it has engendered in peoples who have been taught the ideology. Further, the U.N. should condemn all current Jihad wars and call on nations waging such wars to cease violating the rights of ethnic and religious minorities and peoples. Finally, the U.N. should intervene to protect the rights and lives of religious and ethnic minorities and non-Islamist Muslims in Afghanistan, Algeria, Egypt, Indonesia, Iraq, Iran, Lebanon, Mauritania, Nigeria, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia Sudan, and Syria.
We would like to meet with you about our concerns, and we wait with hope and prayer, your considered response.
Fr. Keith Roderick