Thursday, July 23, 2009

Muslim governments and human rights

Egyptian liberal Magdi Khalil analyzes here the strategy of Muslim governments aimed at reducing the overall level of international human rights standards, while restricting any criticism of Islam or of their policies.

He recounts how Muslim members of the UN's Human Rights Council, which control 26 of the 53 votes on the Council, consistently "use a strategy of obfuscation and blackmail to prevent the rest of the world from discussing problems rampant in Islamic states." (Thanks to MEMRI.)

All Muslim governments belong to the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) which, like the EU, seeks to have its members vote as a bloc in international organizations like the UN. Increasingly, the OIC is succeeding in this goal, particularly when it involves human rights standards or anything that can be construed as criticizing Islam.

Who is damaged by this: anyone at risk of having his/her human rights violated; Western governments bullied or snookered into lowering their standards; and Muslim governments seeking to provide better protection for their citizens.

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