More comments on the current Sixth Session of the Human Rights Council by David G. Littman, NGO Representative of the Association for World Education (AWE) and the World Union for Progressive Judaism (WUPJ) to the United Nations Office in Geneva:
On September 20, while delivering our third oral statement to the 6th session of the UN Council on Human Rights in Geneva, a representative of Egypt (one of the 47 Member States) raised a “˜point of order” twice in an attempt to censor our statement, delivered on behalf of the WUPJ and the AWE. His first intervention occurred soon after our reference to Iranian President Ahmadinejad. The Egyptian delegate stated that the mention of Iran (in connection with Hamas) was not relevant to the “situation in Palestine”.
His second intervention came after our quotation from the Hamas slogan (article 8 of its Charter, copied from the Charter of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood of 1928): “Allah is its target, the Prophet is its model; the Koran is its Constitution; Jihad is its path, and death for the sake of Allah is the loftiest of its wishes.” This time, Egypt objected that references to “˜religion” and to “˜Allah” were not relevant to item 7 and such declarations were “unwise”. Council President, Romanian Ambassador Toru Romulus da Costea, allowed the NGO speaker to finish his three minute statement.
Our full text is reproduced below with the 2 places indicated (*) and (**) when Egypt’s interventions occurred; they heightened general interest.
After delivering a strong criticism of President Ahmadinejad in another oral statement on September 25, we then learned from the Secretary of the Council that while criticism of a Head of State by NGOs was accepted, any mention of “Allah” should be avoided — and that was perhaps why the Egyptian delegate had made his second “˜point of order” under item 7.
This is a new development at the Council, maybe due to the persistence by Ambassador Masood Khan of Pakistan, speaking often on behalf of the Organization of the Islamic Conference. In one statement he declared: “Even terrorist acts carried out by non-State actors in the name of religion should be delinked from religion to ensure freedom of religion or belief.”
Paradoxically, many representatives of Muslim States — including Iran and Pakistan — always begin their statements with the first words of the Koran: “In the name of Allah, the Merciful, the Compassionate. Praise be to Allah”¦” As is well-known, this first surat ends with a strong criticism against –¦ those who have incurred Your wrath” and “those who have gone astray” — this implicitly refers to “the Jews” and “the Christians”.
Our understanding that mention of “Allah” by NGOs was now taboo at the Council was confirmed after the closure of the 6th session of the HRC at 6:00pm on Friday, 28 September, when we asked the Secretary for a clarification on this point. He raised his eyes, stating that “they” (the OIC) did not want a mention of the Divine Name other than by them at the beginning of a statement. This would seem to have been accepted, which would indicate another UN step on the descent to full dhimmitude.
A “˜blasphemy” accusation by the Sudanese government against the Special Rapporteur on Sudan, Gaspar Biro, occurred at the Commission on Human Rights in 1994. This was followed by the extraordinary “˜Blasphemy Affair” launched by the OIC on April 18, 1997, that resulted in the Chairman’s censorship decision 1997/125, excising a passage from the Racism Report.
[details in: http://www.intjewishlawyers.org/docenter/frames.asp?id=9259; and http://www.meforum.org/article/379 ; and several articles in The Myth of Islamic Tolerance: How Islamic Law Treats Non-Muslims (edited by Robert Spencer), Part 5 — “Human Rights and Human Wrongs at the United Nations,” pp. 305-50]
The “Defamation of Islam” campaign by the OIC began in earnest from 1999 at the Commission — led by Pakistan’s ambassador — and then, after 9/11, came the all-embracing accusation of worldwide “Islamophobia”.
It would now seem that the mention of “Allah” — even when quoted from the Charter of Hamas or from other Jihadist statements — would be considered unwise unless used as a blessing by Member States of the OIC.
One of the latest examples of this “Islamophobia” campaign by Muslim countries was pronounced on September 25 by Pakistan’s Ambassador Masood Khan, speaking on behalf of the OIC, on the HiCHR”s Report on “˜Defamation of Religions”. There was no official reaction to this very grave calumny by any State Members, but a strong letter of complaint signed by numerous NGOs — initiated by United Nations Watch on — was sent to the ambassador on September 28, the last day of the session. One paragraph of his statement is enough to show the depths of the duplicity being used.
“Accomodation of Muslims and their religious aspirations in the Western world will create space for political and social harmony. All is not dark. Enlightened communities and opinion leaders in Europe and North America are trying to steer their societies in that direction. It is, however, surprising that in many instances Holocaust survivors, instead of promoting such harmony, are campaigning against Muslim symbols in the Western world. They should be the most ardent advocates against discrimination. Islamophobia is also a crude form of Anti-Semitism.”
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Just before being called to speak under item 9 on September 25, the NGO liaison officer brought me an oral request from the Council President, who had received a copy of our statement. I was given to understand that one particular passage might cause him embarrassment if it was pronounced. He might well have been anticipating a “˜point of order” or several — and his request was very diplomatic. Having already decided that this passage had to be omitted for lack of time I readily agreed to strike out the quotation from President Ahmadinejad’s advisor that ended with the –¦.Jews are very filthy people.” (below)
Our severe criticism of the Iranian President was pronounced without any interruption. This is an example of a fair President of the Human Rights Council being wary of pressure from delegates on “Islamophobia”.
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Before we spoke, Roy W. Brown, main representative of the International Humanist and Ethical Union was able to make his strong joint statement (for IHEU/AWE/AWC/WUPJ) on “Islamophobia”, which was printed in our first report (September 21) when it wasn’t sure that he would be granted the chance to deliver it. ( http://www.iheu.org/node/2806)
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Speaking on behalf of the WUPJ and the AWE under item 7, the following oral statement was delivered by David G. Littman on September 20, and a subsequent statement by him under item 9 on September 25. They follow.
Item 7: Human Rights situation in Palestine and other occupied Arab territories
The Occupation of the Gaza region by Hamas and its Genocidal Charter
Mr President, this is a joint statement by the World Union for Progressive Judaism and the Association for World Education. Two joint written statements are available that provide fuller documentation on this matter: E/CN.4/2006/NGO/239 and A/HRC/S-1/NGO/4:
Mr President, is it not time for this Council to recognise that the most serious Palestinian problem today is the occupation of Gaza by Hamas, a recognised terrorist group backed by the Iranian regime, whose president regularly defies the UN Charter by calling for Israel to be “wiped off the map”, and using Hamas and Hizbollah for that genocidal aim. (*) The coup d”Ã©tat in Gaza and the continuous rocket attacks on Israel from Gaza should be condemned by the Council.
For nearly 20 years we have been warning of the urgent need to consider the evil implications of the Hamas Charter, a genocidal, Jihadist pamphlet. We have a copy of the original Arabic version of 18 August 1988, with an English translation, that we circulated widely to delegates in 1989, in vain. If anyone still doubts the use of the term “genocide” we would advise reading the relevant passages, especially the lethal article 7 — and articles 22 and 32 that refer at length to that infamous century-old forgery, The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion. It uses almost the identical words of Adolf Hitler. Article 13 makes it doubly clear why peace is impossible with a Hamas-led Palestine: “Initiatives, and so-called peaceful solutions and international conferences, are in contradiction to the principles of the Islamic Resistance Movement. (…) There is no solution to the Palestinian question except by Jihad. All initiatives, proposals, and International Conferences are a waste of time and vain endeavours.”
Article 8, copied from the Muslim Brotherhood’s Charter of 1928, is at the root of Jihadist ideology. It states: “Allah is its target, the Prophet is its model, the Koran its Constitution; Jihad is its path, and death for the sake of Allah is the loftiest of its wishes.” (**) The Charter quotes Hassan al-Banna — founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, as saying: “Israel will exist and continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it.”
[The Palestinian Authorit’s former Hamas Foreign Minister Mahmoud Zahar confirmed this in an interview published two months before the Hamas Gaza coup d”Ã©tat, when he stated that the 1967 UN Security Resolution 242 is unacceptable for Hamas — and any Partition Plan of Palestine too. He added: “We do not accept anything that recognizes Israel”; and he concluded: “The Koran talks about the end of the state of Israel. Only God knows the unknown.” (Arabic Int. Daily, Asharq alawsat, 13 November 2006).]
Sir, nearly 70 years ago Winston Churchill warned how appeasement had led to a reckless descent of “the staircase which leads to a dark gulf.” The inclusion of the Israel/ Palestinian issue as the only nation-specific item on the Council’s agenda (item 7), together with the three special sessions on Israel last year, are an indication that we are once again on that descent into appeasement and to “˜dhimmitude” at the United Nations.
May this session prove us wrong by its condemnation of the Hamas occupation of Gaza; of the current Palestinian civil strife; of the rocket attacks on Israel; and of “defamation of Islam” by the constant calls of Jihadists to carry out “Martyrdom” suicide killings in the name of Allah.
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Item 9: Racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance:
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad: 1948 Genocide Convention (articles III/IV)
Mr President, this is a joint statement with the Association for World Education.
We have examined the 21 page Report of the Special Rapporteur on Racism [A/HRC/6/6], but time does not permit us to stress the numerous omissions in one major field. Although he refers to “Islamophobia” and the “defamation of religions” (mainly Islam) at great length (7Â½ pages), he refers very briefly to antisemitism (1Â½ pages) and “Christianophobia” (1 page).
What is particularly striking is Mr DiÃ¨ne’s regrettable failure to address, in regard to racism, the gravest challenge to the UN system and to the whole world. A passing reference in his Â§43 merely states: “A persistent revisionism manifests itself in the traditional platforms of extreme right-wing parties and even some States, going so far as to deny the Holocaust.”
As Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad prepares to address the UN General Assembly in New York today, it should be recalled, as we have done consistently for the last two years, that his repeated statements since 26 October 2005 (first at the Tehran Conference: “The World Without Zionism”) to deny the bloodiest crime of Nazi racism — and in human history — has drawn strong rebuke at the United Nations, by the European Parliament, Governments, NGOs, and individuals. Surprisingly, no State has invoked article VIII of the Genocide Convention in regard to article III, which condemns “Direct and public incitement to commit genocide”, and clearly states, under its article IV, that anyone doing so “shall be punished, whether they are constitutionally responsible rulers, public officials, or private individuals.”
Our available written statement provides the background on this, including his early December 2005 prediction to the OIC Summit in Mecca, that: “the presence of the Zionist occupation in the heart of the Islamic region” is the major problem to the Islamic world, and that its “judicial removal (“¦) will pave the way to the appearance of Islam’s power in the successful management of global [matters].” [E/CN.4/2006/NGO/2: http://daccessdds.un.org/doc/UNDOC/GEN/G06/106/84/PDF/G0610684.pdf?OpenElement
A recent Geopolitical Affairs study of 95 Iranian text-books of all grades published in 2004, and of 20 teacher’s guides published since 2000 (just as Iran called for a UN “Dialogue of Civilizationa”), presented at the European Parliament on January 30, 2007 and documented by a 25 page article “Iran’s Global War Curriculum”, shows how Iran’s educational curriculum “prepares its students for a global war against the West in the name of Islam.” [Arnon Groiss, Geopolitical Affairs, 10/1/07, Center for Monitoring the Impact of Peace (CMIP)]
[What is odd is that even Chapter I (Purposes and Principles) article 2:4 of the 1945 UN Charter that condemns threats against Member States has been conveniently forgotten.]
[Mr President, so that there can be no doubt as to this deep-rooted Nazi-like hatred of Israel and of the Jews as a people, we have quoted in our text a revealing comment made by his advisor: “Throughout history, this religious group has inflicted the most damage on the human race, while some groups within it engaged in plotting against other nations and ethnic groups to cause cruelty, malice and wickedness. Historically, there are many accusations against the Jews. For example, it was said that they were the source for such deadly diseases as the plague and typhus. This is because Jews are very filthy people.” (Statement by Presidential Advisor Mohammad Ali Ramin, 15/6/06, Rooz (online daily). MEMRI]
Sir, we have here a 68 page documentation (2007), which we would show to you and others, if requested. It is signed by Nobel Peace Laureate Elie Wiesel and others, with the title: “Referral of Iranian President Ahmadinejad on the charge of Incitement to Commit Genocide” [Principle author: Justus Reid Wiener, published by The Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs and The International Association for Jewish Lawyers and Jurists. Jerusalem, 2007]
The timing could not be more apposite for this Human Rights Council. The time for words, for “concern” & “warnings”, is past; the time for urgent action is HERE & NOW.
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