The human what council?

David Littman of the Association for World Education makes a joint statement with the International Humanist and Ethical Union to the UN Human Rights Council, in which they denounce the stoning to death of women accused of adultery and the marriage of girls age nine in countries where Sharia law applies. The UNHRC heartily agrees, right?

The speaker, David Littman, was interrupted by no fewer than 16 points of order and the proceedings of the Council were suspended for forty minutes when the Egyptian delegate said that “Islam will not be crucified in this Council” and attempted to force a vote on whether the speaker should be allowed to continue. On giving his ruling after the break Council President Costea said that the Council “is not prepared to discuss religious questions…Declarations must avoid judgments or evaluation about religion…I promise that next time a speaker judges a religion or a religious law or document, I will interrupt him and pass on to the next speaker”.

Oh. So any human rights abuses that have a religious element are…off limits to the UN Human Rights Council? Well. That seems rather disabling.

But read on, and it seems more than a bit disabling.

At the Islamic summit in Mecca in December 2006, the OIC decided to adopt a policy of zero tolerance against any perceived insults to Islam as part of their overall strategy of advancing the cause of Islam worldwide. The measures agreed upon included creating an “Observatory” to monitor all reports of “Islamophobia”. Muslims throughout the world were to be encouraged to report any cases of perceived Islamophobia, however trivial. Cases submitted so far, for example, have included Muslims who have received “hostile glances”.

And that Maclean’s case.

Plans were also put in place to seek changes in national and international law to provide additional “protection” for Islam. The battlegrounds were to include the European and national parliaments, and the UN, including the Human Rights Council. It was also proposed to move towards the creation of a new Charter of Human Rights in Islam, and the setting up of an Islamic Council of Human Rights to be based not on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights but on Sharia law. Fast forward 16 June 2008. The Egyptian delegate to the Human Rights Council, Amr Roshdy Hassan, saw an opportunity to wrong-foot the Council by attacking the statement by AWE/IHEU. Egypt had prepared their ground carefully, breaking protocol by arranging to receive advance copies of our statements, and finding in our statement on violence against women exactly what they were looking for.

Littman begins his statement, Egypt interrupts, Pakistan joins Egypt, Slovenia says hang on – and Egypt goes into unrehearsed unscripted bullying mode.

Mr. President, through you Sir, please Sir, I would humbly and kindly ask my colleague from Slovenia to reconsider. What we are talking now about is not about the right of NGOs to speak but about the Sharia law and whether it is admissible to discuss it in this Council. I appeal to my colleague from Slovenia not to accept any discussion of the Sharia law in this Council because it will not happen. And we will not take this lightly.

The UN Human Rights Council is apparently dominated by an alliance of thugs. Sharia is protected, and women’s rights are buried under a hail of stones. Terrific.

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