Sharia Rights or Human Rights: The Case of Meriam Ibrahim

hj-450x253Front Page, by Amani Gayed:

The Sudanese Criminal Court’s death sentence upon a 27-year-old pregnant woman, Meriam Ibrahim, who was found guilty of leaving Islam, has gained very wide publicity. Her plight has attracted the strongest condemnation from the world’s top politicians, and hundreds of thousands of people around the world have signed petitions for her release.

It is striking that those condemning Meriam Ibrahim’s death sentence are demanding her release, but they are not demanding the abolition of the legal code that found her guilty of apostasy and adultery in the first place.

The Sudanese Government – not unlike many Western governments, who are permitting Sharia principles and Sharia courts to become entrenched within their legal systems – is simultaneously endorsing two approaches to human rights, the one contradicting the other: Islamic Sharia Law and the Universal Declaration of Human rights.

The Sudanese Government – like other Islamic governments, Islamic communities in the West, and many Islamic non-governmental organizations – have been given a free pass to move freely between the two opposing sets of rights, according to whatever suits them best.

Who’s confused?

Sudan is an Islamic State, which has embedded Islamic Sharia Laws in its legal framework. At the same time, Sudan is a signatory of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. These two sets of rights are fundamentally opposed to each other in the way they view and understand rights and freedoms.

In response to the overwhelming media coverage of Meriam’s case, a Sudanese official at the Sudanese embassy in London reassured the BBC that Sudan is committed and will comply with its commitment to protect freedom of religion. Of course he was referring to principals of human rights as understood and accepted in the West.

Back in Sudan it was another story. Meriam was sentenced to death by a Sudanese Criminal Court which found her guilty of apostasy from Islam under article 126 of the 1991 Sudanese Criminal Law Act. This reads:

126 (1) Every Muslim who advocates the renunciation of the creed of     Islam, or who publicly declares his renouncement thereof by an express   statement or conclusive act, shall be deemed to commit the offense of     apostasy.

‪(2) Whoever commits apostasy shall be given a chance to repent     during a period to be determined by the court; if he persists in his     apostasy, and is not a recent convert to Islam, he shall be punished     with death.

‪(3) The penalty provided for apostasy shall be remitted whenever the apostate recants apostasy before execution.

According to Sharia law, and contrary to the principles of the UDHR, Meriam has no choice but to be a Muslim, because Sharia law mandates that every child born to a Muslim parent is a Muslim. A child must follow Islam if one of his/her parents is a Muslim or converts to Islam, because, according to Sharia Law, Islam is the superior religion over all other religions. In Meriam’s case she was born to a Muslim father, so, according to Sudanese Islamic Law, she cannot choose to become a Christian, despite what the Universal Declaration of Human Rights says.

The same court, using the same Act, also found Meriam guilty of the offence of adultery under article 145b, and sentenced her to a flogging under article 146b, which states:

Article (145): Adultery

1. There shall be deemed to commit the offence of adultery:

(a) Every man who has intercourse with a woman without a legitimate marriage;

(b) Every woman who allows a man to have intercourse with her without a legitimate marriage.

2. Intercourse is deemed to be completed when the whole head of the penis, or its equivalent, enters inside the vagina.

3. A marriage is not legitimate when its legitimacy is not determined and settled [by Islamic jurists].

Article (146)

1. Whoever commits the offence of adultery shall be sentenced to:

(a) Death by stoning when legitimately married;

(b) 100 lashes when not legitimately married.

The Sudanese official in the Sudanese embassy in London would have been fully aware of Sudanese Criminal Law, under which Meriam was found guilty of apostasy and adultery, but he chose to play the Universal Declaration of Human Rights card in an attempt to reduce tensions with the West.

“Moderate” Sharia Laws?

The Western governments that allow Sharia principles (Islamic finance, Islamic schools, halal certified food, Islam-compliant inheritance, Islam-compliant marriage) are displaying harmful ignorance. Sharia Law is a single legal code which determines crimes, offences, punishments, finance, halal and haram, and so on. The fundamental principles which determine the value and the rights of women in Sharia Law in matters of inheritance, marriage, finance, and education are the same principles which determine her rights in respect of apostasy and adultery.

The London Sudanese embassy official thought to cause confusion by referring to Western understandings of human rights. Western leaders have themselves embraced and partnered with such confusion by condemning the death and flogging of an adulterer apostate in Sudan, while at the same time accepting principles of sharia law into their countries’ legal systems. They should have known better, for whether the issue is Islamic finance, halal food, inheritance issues, apostasy, or adultery, Islamic schools in the UK, USA, Australia, France, or Germany can only teach the same fundamental principles which brought a 27-year-old mother of two to death row and earned her a flogging, for the ‘crimes’ of leaving Islam and marrying a Christian man.

Islamic Sharia law follows a set of values which do not change. The Sharia legal texts that the Sudanese criminal court judge consulted are sold in Islamic bookstores all over the Western world. The same principles that brought Meriam to death row are taught to Western Muslim children in Islamic schools all over the Western world.

To the Western leaders I say this: Millions of Muslims came to the West seeking refuge in genuine principles of human rights. They were seeking freedom and justice. Please do not hand them back to the oppression of the Islamic Sharia!

Amani Gayed practiced law in Sudan, and is now based in Sydney, Australia.

Islam and Human Rights

militants1n-3-web-450x343 (1)by :

Recently, I met a Syrian Salafist while speaking to Leaders of Democracy Fellows about Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Islam and human rights violations in Syria.

The individual who lives in Syria, and who seems to sympathize with Jubhat Al- Nusrah (Al-Nusrah Front) drew several distinctions between Islamic objectives of the global Jihad movement, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, and Jubhat Al-Nusrah.

The argument was that these powerful movements in Syria and beyond attempt to create an Islamic state anchored in Shari’a law, the teachings of Islam, Muhammad, and Allah. But the difference between Jubhat Al-Nusrah and ISIL, according to the person, was that the mission of the Jubhat Al-Nusrah aims at only establishing Islamic social order and an Islamic state in Syria. Whether this mission spreads to other countries is not a part of their objectives, though other countries can adopt this political Islamic platform if they desire.

On the other hand, the objectives and mission of ISIL is a return to the Caliphate system and establishment of an Islamic state throughout the region. In other words, creating an Islamic state and Shari’a law-based government in Syria or in Iraq is not sufficient and will not fulfill the desire of God, Muhammad, and Islamic teachings.

Currently, we can contend that Syrian oppositional groups are functionally dominated by Jihadists from around the world, other Islamist groups, and external groups attempting to create an Islamic order and pursue their own ideological goals.

Regarding these Islamic movements, my major question is on where human rights stand for them, regardless of the minor or significant differences between these Islamist oppositional groups?

Recently, a seven-year-old boy died because fighters believed him to be an apostate. According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a 15-year-old Syrian boy was also killed in the northern city of Aleppo in front of his parents because the Islamist groups believed what the boy said was heretical.

Some of the proponents of Islam and Islamic laws would point out that the ideology and religion of Islam sit at the heart of human rights standards and are totally compatible with the modern notion of human rights.

But when I delve into the issue, and going into the nuances and details of the question, they seem to dodge answering. How can Islam be compatible with a modern notion of human rights and gender equality, when social and legal laws of Allah’s words in Quran, depict women as inferior to men in every aspect?

Article three of the universal declaration of human rights, states that ” Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person”. But in Islamic countries, a person who rejects and abandons Islam has no right to life. According to Islam, unbelievers commit the gravest sin in Islam.

While article four of the universal declaration of human rights says “one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms”, slavery is officially recognized and accepted in Quran.

Article five states that “No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.” Cases of stoning, lashings, and other violent acts, are rampant in Islamic countries.

How can Islam be compatible with human rights when, according to Muslims and the Quran, Allah specifically states in the Quran that a woman’s testimony in a court of law is considered half the value to that of a man?

Read more at Front Page

 

Victims of Sharia on International #HumanRightsDay

VOSAN7-23010 December 2013, Basel, Switzerland: Today – on United Nations Human Rights Day 2013 – the International Civil Liberties Alliance (ICLA) launched a new program: Victims of Sharia Action Network.  The program will highlight the problem of sharia-inspired human rights abuses around to world to mobilize public opinion and action on behalf of the victims of sharia.

Program Director Chris Knowles said:

“Victims of sharia have suffered in silence for long enough.  The International Civil Liberties Alliance will give them a voice . The legal, political and frequently barbaric doctrines of Sharia result in human rights abuses and flagrant disregard for civil liberties in violation of international norms and national legal codes. ”

ICLA now has a form on its website to enable victims of sharia, their family members, lawyers, or community activists to submit details of specific sharia-based human rights abuses.  This form may be accessed at http://www.libertiesalliance.org/victims-sharia-action-network/vosan/.

For many years the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has been trying to extend the reach of sharia by demanding a global blasphemy law.  At the same time terms such as “Islamophobia” have been put into circulation to blame the victims of sharia abuse rather than its perpetrators. Meanwhile, within OIC countries like Pakistan, sharia is being used as an instrument to terrorize religious minorities.  VOSAN will take a two-pronged approach.  The program will expose and confront human rights abuses caused by sharia within Muslim-majority OIC member countries, as well as abuses of civil liberties and human rights caused by accommodation to sharia doctrine in Western democracies.

VOSAN will focus public attention on cases of sharia-based doctrinal violations of human rights and norms of civil liberties, including: undermining freedom of expression, institutionalizing inequality before the law, encouraging cruel and unusual punishments, providing justification for gender-based inequality, promoting homophobia, persecuting apostates, and inciting the expansion of this systematic discrimination and violence to all countries, Muslim and non-Muslim alike.

In 2014, Victims of Sharia Action Network will expose, confront and advocate against sharia abuses, always with a focus on specific cases to engage public interest and advocacy:

• Highlighting specific sharia-related human rights abuses and engaging in public education on representative cases, generating “Top Ten” lists for priority public action;

• Opposing the enforcement of Islamic blasphemy laws to Muslims and non-Muslims alike.

• Campaigning for an end to sharia-based human rights abuses in OIC member states and other countries with a significant Islamic population.

• Raising the issue of sharia abuses of human rights and denial of civil liberties in international forums such as the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, and the European Parliament.

• Encouraging Muslim reformers to partner with the VOSAN programme on specific cases, to free sharia’s victims.

• Lobbying national governments to make combatting sharia human rights abuses a priority of their foreign policy.

• Supporting the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by campaigning for the non-recognition of the Cairo Declaration of Human Rights in Islam on the grounds that it withholds basic human rights from both Muslims and non-Muslims alike.

VOSA is an implementation of the Brussels Declaration launched by ICLA in the European Parliament in July 2012.  The Brussels Declaration http://www.libertiesalliance.org/brusselsconference/2012-brussels-declaration/ aims to preserve free speech, civil liberties, human rights and democracy, against all efforts to injure and usurp those universal principles.

More information may be found at: http://www.libertiesalliance.org/victims-sharia-action-network/vosan/

An Interview with Ibn Warraq on his book “Why the West is Best”

With all that has been written recently on the progressive/Islamist assault on Western Civilization I thought it would be good to re-post this.

ibn_warraq (1)By Jamie Glazov On December 16, 2011:

Frontpage Interview’s guest today is Ibn Warraq, an Islamic scholar and a leading figure in Qur’anic criticism. He is a Senior Research Fellow at the Westminster Institute, VA. He has addressed distinguished governing bodies all over the world, including the United Nations in Geneva, and Members of the Dutch Parliament, at The Hague.

In 2007, Mr. Warraq completed a critical study of the thought of Edward Said, Defending the West. Paul Berman, author of Terror and Liberalism, described the book as “a glorious work of scholarship, and it is going to contribute mightily to modernizing the way we think about Western civilization and the rest of the world”.

Mr. Warraq was goaded into writing his first book, Why I am Not a Muslim (1995), when he felt personally threatened by the infamous fatwa pronounced on Salman Rushdie for his book that satirized Islam, its founder Muhammad, and his family. He felt that only a ferocious polemic against Islam as a totalitarian system would wake up Western intellectuals to the dangers that the Iranian theocratic regime posed to our own freedoms in the West. Since this passionate attack on Islam, Mr. Warraq has edited, with long introductions, a series of more scholarly works on the origins of the Koran, and the rise of Islam, works such as The Origins of the Koran, 1998,  The Quest for the Historical Muhammad, 2000, What the Koran Really Says, 2002, and the recent Which Koran?,2011.

images-39Ibn Warraq’s new book, Why the West is Best: A Muslim Apostate’s Defense of Liberal Democracy (Encounter Books, December 2011) carries on the defense of the West started in Defending the West. He defines, describes, and defends Western values, strengths and freedoms far too often taken for granted. This book also tackles the taboo subjects of racism in Asian culture, Arab slavery, and Islamic Imperialism. It begins with a homage to New York City, as a metaphor for all we hold dear in Western culture — pluralism, individualism, freedom of expression and thought, the complete freedom to pursue life, liberty and happiness unhampered by totalitarian regimes, and theocratic doctrines.

FP: Ibn Warraq, welcome to Frontpage Interview.

Let’s start with this question:

What does this book do that is unprecedented?

Warraq: First, thank you for inviting me to Front Page; it has been a while since we talked.

I do not think there are many books on the market that are unashamedly pro-Western, defending, without apologies, Western values, and talk without reserve of the superiority of Western Civilization, and which take on such taboo subjects as Asian racism, Arab anti-Semitism, Islamic Imperialism, the role of Islam and the Arabs in the Slave Trade, the complicity of Black Africans in the enslavement, and later selling of fellow Africans to Arabs, Persians, Indians and Europeans. There also cannot be any books on the market that defend Western Civilization that begin with a walk down Tin Pan Alley in New York City.

FP: What qualities of Western societies make them superior to those societies that have not adopted Western values?

Warraq: The self-evident superiority of the West stems from certain principles inherited, and further developed and refined over two millennia, from Athens, Rome and Jerusalem. We can, perhaps, subsume these principles under the abstract terms rationalism, universalism, and self-criticism, and then unfurl them in the following more substantial manner. Under rationalism, one would include the notions of truth, objective knowledge, and intellectual curiosity. Under universalism, I would include the idea of the unity of mankind, openness to “the Other” (an unfortunate phrase borrowed from recent anti-Western polemics), other ideas, other customs, other people; and finally under self-criticism the willingness to submit all of the West’s traditions to rational scrutiny. Under curiosity, I include all those examples of disinterested study. Other great ideas of the West which further help define its character and explain its success are: the separation of church and state, the rule of law, equality before the law, freedom of conscience and expression, human rights — in short, liberty and individual dignity which must never be sacrificed for some spurious collective, totalitarian goal.

Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness: this triptych succinctly defines the attractiveness and superiority of Western civilization. In the West we are free to think what we want, to read what we want, to practice our religion, to live as we choose. Liberty is codified in human rights, a magnificent Western creation but also, I believe, a universal good. Human rights transcend local or ethnocentric values, conferring equal dignity and value on all humanity regardless of sex, ethnicity, sexual preference, or religion. At the same time, it is in the West that human rights are most respected. It is the West that has liberated women, racial minorities, religious minorities, and gays and lesbians, recognizing and defending their rights. The notions of freedom and human rights were present at the dawn of Western civilization, as ideals at least, but have gradually come to fruition through supreme acts of self-criticism. Because of its exceptional capacity for self-criticism, the West took the initiative in abolishing slavery; the calls for abolition did not resonate even in black Africa, where rival African tribes took black prisoners to be sold as slaves in the West.

Today, many non-Western cultures follow customs and practices that are clear violations of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948). In many countries, especially Islamic ones, you are not free to read what you want. Under Sharia, or Islamic law, women are not free to marry whom they wish, and their rights of inheritance are circumscribed. Sharia, derived from the Koran and the practice and sayings of Muhammad, prescribes barbaric punishments such as stoning to death for adultery. It calls for homosexuals and apostates to be executed. In Saudi Arabia, among other countries, Muslims are not free to convert to Christianity, and Christians are not free to practice their faith. The Koran is not a rights-respecting document.

FP: What in your mind are the greatest achievements of the West?

Warraq: Not only is the West so successful economically, but it leads the world scientifically, and culturally (one only has to look at the list of Nobel Prize winners in science, and literature to gauge the overwhelming triumph of the West in these domains; or at the influence of the Western arts on the rest of the world- both High Culture and Popular entertainment, from Classical music to cinema).

The great ideas of the West—rationalism, self-criticism, the disinterested search for truth, the separation of church and state, the rule of law, equality before the law, freedom of conscience, thought, and expression, human rights, and liberal democracy- quite an achievement, surely, for any civilization-—remain the best, and perhaps the only, means for all people, no matter of what race or creed, to reach their full potential and live in freedom.

Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness: defines succinctly the attractiveness and superiority of Western civilization. We are free, in the West, to choose; we have real choice to pursue our own desires; we are free to set the goals and contents of our own lives; the West is made up of individuals who are free to decide what meaning to give to their lives-in short the glory of the West is that life is an open book,[1] while under Islam, life is a closed book, everything has been decided for you: God and the Holy Law set limits on the possible agenda of your life. In many non-Western countries especially Islamic ones, we are not free to read what we want; in Saudi Arabia, Muslims are not free to convert to Christianity, and Christians are not free to practice their faith — all clear violations of article 18 of the Universal Declaration.

This desire for knowledge, no matter where it leads, inherited from the Greeks, has led to another institution that is unequalled-or very rarely equaled- outside the West: the University. Here the outside world recognizes this superiority; it comes to the West to learn not only about the sciences developed in the West in the last five hundred years — in all departments of Physics, Biology and Chemistry — but also of their own culture. They come to the West to learn of the Eastern civilizations and languages. Easterners come to Oxford, Cambridge, or Harvard and Yale, the Sorbonne or Heidelberg to receive their doctorates, because they confer prestige unrivalled by similar doctorates from Third World countries.

A culture that gave the world the spiritual creations of the Classical Music of Mozart, Beethoven, Wagner and Schubert, the paintings of Michelangelo, and Raphael, Da Vinci and Rembrandt, does not need lessons from societies whose idea of spirituality is a heaven peopled with female virgins for the use of men, whose idea of heaven resembles a cosmic brothel. The West has given the world the symphony, and the novel.

To paraphrase Alan Kors[2], instead of the rigid, inhuman caste system of India, we have unparalleled social mobility in the West. Western society is a society of ever richer, more varied, more productive, more self-defined, and more satisfying lives; it is a society of boundless private charity; it is a society that broke, on behalf of merit, the seemingly eternal chains of station by birth. The West has given us the liberal miracle of individual rights, individual responsibility, merit, and human satisfaction.

FP: How do you define the West in your book?

Warraq: I define the West through its values of liberty, and rationalism, and then look at their historical origins. The origins of the modern West are often seen in the Enlightenment of the seventeenth and eighteenth century, but the roots of the Enlightenment can be found in habits of mind cultivated in Athens, Rome, and Jerusalem, and the institutions that grew from them. The Greeks gave us the city and the notion of citizenship, the ideals of democracy and liberty, rationalism and science, philosophy and history. The Romans systematized the law, defined private property, and emphasized individual responsibility. Judeo-Christianity added a sense of conscience and charity, tempering justice with forgiveness, and the concept of linear rather than cyclical time, which allowed the possibility of progress. The Middle Ages brought a deeper synthesis of Athens and Rome with Jerusalem, laying the foundations for the scientific revolution, the industrial revolution, the Enlightenment, and pluralistic liberal democracy.

FP: How is New York City a metaphor for the greatness of the West?

Warraq: In New York, I show the principles of the United States Constitution being applied in a real, vibrant place. I give the term “Western civilization” a physical context in the very concrete of the city. The details of New York’s streets and structures create a believable, breathing image of Western civilization, just as Dickens created believable, breathing characters. See this building, I say—it’s an example of beautiful architecture, one of the glories of New York, and as integral to Western civilization as the works of Shakespeare. See that building—it’s the New York Public Library. Inside the Beaux Arts masterpiece is an institution that embodies key aspects of Western civilization: philanthropy, education, the love of knowledge, the preservation of all the best that has been written and published. Each time you admire the façade of the New York Public Library, you are paying homage to Western civilization. Each time you consult a book in the magnificent Main Reading Room, you are participating in the maintenance of Western civilization. By working and living in New York, you are breathing Western civilization, continuously reminded of its benefits and its values.

Describing a New York street that became known as Tin Pan Alley and the area known as Broadway led me into the Great American Songbook, created by composers and lyricists who were born and lived and worked in that great city. Discussions of Western civilization are too often confined to works of high art that reflect a relatively narrow element of public taste and experience. I maintain that Western popular culture at its best is worthy of respect and should be cherished as much as the operas of Wagner. The work of composers like George Gershwin, born and bred in New York, embodies Western ideals over and above the aesthetic principles of the music itself. I could have written at length about various artists associated with the metropolis—Fred Astaire, P. G. Wodehouse, George Kaufman, the Marx Brothers (born in the Yorkville section of the Upper East Side)—and their contributions to Western popular culture, with creations that are witty, graceful, inspired, and at times touched with genius.

New York, like life, is its own excuse. Nonetheless, no other city in the West—or indeed, in the world—so well exemplifies the inexhaustible possibilities of a modern metropolis, where the inven­tive and enterprising put into practice the many freedoms guaranteed under the U.S. Constitution. The implausible, well-nigh-miraculous functioning anarchy that we know as New York is adorned with every excellence of Western art. It is a city of manifold suggestions, which ministers to every ambition, engenders a thousand talents, nurtures ingenuity and experimentation.

FP: What changed within Western societies that allowed them to so dramatically outperform other societies over the past 500 years, when that wasn’t the case beforehand?

Warraq: What has made the West successful economically while so many countries in other parts of the world fail to provide adequate food and shelter for their citizens?  The short answer is the Scientific Revolution of the Seventeenth Century, and the Industrial Revolution of the Eighteenth Century, both depended on European Culture, Economic and Political Freedom, that is the institutions and habits of mind developed over two millennia.

Thus we can no longer defend the notion that Western prosperity is founded on the exploitation of poor people in the Third World. The rich countries are rich because of their practices at home, and because of their readiness to adopt and adapt new things, such as Chinese inventions or New World crops. Jared Diamond concluded that the “proximate factors” in Europe’s ascendance were “its development of a merchant class, capitalism, and patent protec­tion for inventions, its failure to develop absolute despots and crushing taxation, and its Greco-Judeo-Christian tradition of empirical inquiry.” Ironically, given Diamond’s otherwise anti-Western animus, some readers disparaged this view as ethnocentric, or as “utterly conventional Eurocentric history,” in James M. Blaut’s words. But Diamond, in fact, was pointing to some key ingredients of Western success; and behind those proximate factors were culture, ideas, and attitudes.

********

Sharia is totally incompatible with Western liberal democracy and with human rights in general, because it is a totalitarian con­struct designed to control every aspect of the life of Muslims and even non-Muslims. It discriminates against women in many ways: their testimony in court is worth half of a man’s testimony (Surah II.282); they inherit half what men do (IV.11); they may be beaten by men (IV.34); they may not marry non-Muslims (II.221). Sharia pre­scribes amputation of hands for theft (V.38), crucifixion for spreading disorder (V.33), stoning to death for adultery (Reliance of the Traveler, p. 610), execution of homosexuals and apostates (XXVI.165–66; Reliance, pp. 109 and 665). In other words, Muslims want to rein­troduce practices that we in the West long ago deemed barbaric.

Moreover, Islamic law is considered infallible and immutable. In contrast to the fixed edicts of Sharia, Western law is bound up with the realities of human life and conflict. It allows the flexibility of making new law to accommodate changing circumstances, within a framework of fundamental principles. The Western constitutions and systems of law are magnificent creations; are we really prepared to jettison them in the name of multiculturalism and globalization?

Most troubling are the efforts to enforce Islamic laws against “blasphemy” throughout the world. The Organization of Islamic Cooperation is taking steps toward outlawing “defamation of reli­gion” (i.e. Islam) worldwide, and these efforts have, in effect, been abetted by Western governments under the guise of suppressing “hate speech.” As Islamic countries consolidate their hold on the UN Human Rights Council and demand national laws to suppress criticism of Islam, how long will it be before Western legislation for­bids research into the origins of the Koran or early Islamic history?

FP: Why does the Left in the West not stand up against Sharia? And why do you think the West has lost all self-confidence in its own values and is unable and unwilling to defend its own civilization?

Warraq: I think these two questions, and their answers, are related. One of the reasons why Westerners feel so shy about defending Western civilization was well-described by James Burnham, “When the Western liberal’s feeing of guilt and his associated feeling of moral vulnerability before the sorrows and demands of the wretched become obsessive, he often develops a generalized hatred of Western civilization and his own country as a part of the West….The guilt of the liberal is insatiable. He deserves, by his own judgment, to be kicked, slapped and spat on for his infinite crimes”

First there has been the influence of intellectuals and academics who have undermined the confidence of the West in its own values and strengths. For more than sixty years schools and universities in the West have inculcated three generations of the young with moral relativism leaving them incapable of passing moral or cross-cultural judgments, and unwilling to defend those values. Post-modernism and multiculturalism have completed the destruction of the West’s self-assurance.

Another reason was the intellectual terrorism of left-wing ideologues such as Edward Said, and his highly influential book, Orientalism, that bludgeoned Western intellectuals into silence. Post–World War II Western intellectuals and leftists were consumed by guilt for the West’s colonial past and continuing colonialist present, and they wholeheartedly embraced any theory or ideology that voiced or at least seemed to voice the putatively thwarted aspirations of the peoples of the third world. Orientalism came at the precise time when anti-Western rhetoric was at its most shrill and was already being taught at Western universities, and when third-worldism was at its most popular. Jean-Paul Sartre preached that all white men were complicit in the exploitation of the third world, and that violence against Westerners was a legitimate means for colonized men to re-acquire their manhood. Said went further: “It is therefore correct that every European, in what he could say about the Orient, was consequently a racist, an imperialist, and almost totally ethnocentric” (p. 204). Not only, for Said, is every European a racist, but he must necessarily be so.

As I have argued, Western civilization has been more willing to criticize itself than any other major culture. These self-administered admonishments are a far cry from Said’s savage strictures, and yet they found a new generation ready to take them to heart. Berating and blaming the West, a fashionable game in the 1960s and 1970s that impressionable youth took seriously, had the results we now see when the same generation appears unwilling to defend the West against the greatest threat that it has faced since the Nazis.

When shown that Said is indeed a fraud, his friends and supporters in academia sidestep the criticisms and evidence, and pretend, as did several reviewers of Robert Irwin’s book on Said, that Said may indeed have got the “footling details” wrong but he was, nonetheless, onto a higher truth. Said’s influence, thus, was a result of a conjunction of several intellectual and political trends: post-French Algeria and post-Vietnam tiers mondisme (third-worldism); the politicization of increasingly postmodernist English departments that had argued away the very idea of truth, objective truth; and the influence of Foucault. In effect Said played on each of these confidence tricks to create a master fraud that bound American academics and Middle East tyrants in unstated bonds of anti- American complicity.

FP: This is a toxic combination with Islam’s supreme confidence and agenda to exploit the West’s moral weakness and cultural confusion. Your comment?

Warraq: The West must wake up to the nature of the enemy. Islam is supremely confident in its values, and, of course, convinced that these values are blessed by God, and it is the God-given duty of every Muslim to spread Islam, until it covers the entire world. This is not right-wing paranoia of Western extremists but self-confessed principles everywhere openly proclaimed by the Muslims themselves. Only the Left refuses to recognize it, and is scandalously complicit in helping Islam take over the Western world. It is no less than civilizational suicide. It is perhaps already too late as, on December 13, 2011, the White House invited the OIC within its doors to plan how best to destroy the West from within.

Read more at Front Page

 

Petition – 2012 Brussels Declaration

Click —> JOIN THE BRUSSELS PROCESS BY SIGNING THIS PETITION

To Preserve Free Speech, Civil Liberties, Human Rights and Democracy, against all efforts to injure and usurp those universal principles, we call upon leaders in all nations to support this 2012 Brussels Declaration to Safeguard Individual Liberties and Human Rights:

Reasserting that Human rights and liberties are universal, individual, equal, inalienable, and self-evident irrespective of philosophical, cultural or religious considerations, as a matter of long-held principle;

Considering that any honest defender of Democracy has the right and the duty to uphold and defend free speech, civil liberties and human rights;

Affirming the irrefutable fact that sharia law as articulated and applied is incompatible with and destructive to free speech, civil liberties and human rights and as such is incompatible with the fundamental principles of democracy (as stated in the 13 Feb 2003 judgment of the ECHR);

Acknowledging that the declaration known as “Cairo Declaration of Human Right in Islam” also commonly referred to as the “Cairo Declaration” curtails all human rights under sharia law and sharia normative behaviour restrictions (CDHRI Articles 22, 23, 24)on the pretense that  “All human beings form one family whose members are united by their subordination to Allah”(CDHRI Article 1);

Observing that the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), being the creator of Cairo Declaration and its current main proponent has, by its  continuous and single-minded activity, proven to be the principal international politico-religious organization working to restrict free speech, civil liberties and human rights and to enforce sharia  in the world;

Asserting that any official endorsement or promotion of the Cairo Declaration or any cooperation with OIC that leads, by the test of consequences, to more enforcement of sharia anywhere in the world identifies its perpetrator as an active opponent of Democracy, freedom of speech, civil liberties and human rights;

Noting that such an identification renders illegitimate  any attempt by the perpetrator to discuss or negotiate matters involving freedom of speech, civil liberties and human rights in any local, national or international forums;

The signatories solemnly require of their governments and civil society:

1)      To commence a process, to be known as the Brussels Process, to implement the content of this declaration through education and policy initiatives at all levels of government and sectors of civil society, in order to safeguard the future liberties and rights of our nations and our children, so that all members of the human family may prosper as free individuals.

2)      To decline any invitation to participate in any local, national or international forum to discuss civil liberties, free speech or human rights, if the organizers – individual persons or organizations – are known proponents of the Cairo Declaration or societal sharia enforcement unless the negotiated or discussed topic  is a transition of their codification and implementation of human rights to the UNDHR definitions and away from the Cairo Declaration definitions.

3)      To protest against any kind of participation in a local, national or international meeting dedicated to civil liberties, free speech or human rights’ discussions or negotiations by any known proponents of the Cairo Declaration or societal sharia enforcements, unless they are only attending in an observational capacity or negotiating their entry in the Brussels Process.

4)      To initiate a thorough inquiry before any bilateral or multilateral cooperation about civil liberties, free speech or human rights related matters, in order to clearly identify any participants who are proponents for the Cairo Declaration or sharia law, or who have cooperated or collaborated with the OIC or its associated organizations.

5)      To reject and forbid any public funding for promotion of the Cairo Declaration or of any sharia societal implementation and enforcement, because such promotions are a direct attack against our most fundamental democratic principles and human rights.

6)      To stop any cooperation with all known proponents of the Cairo Declaration at a national or international level, when that cooperation has as its aim or result, a restriction of civil liberties, free speech or human rights in a democratic country, until those proponents repudiate the Cairo Declaration.

7)      To extend cooperation and support in all forums to former proponents of the Cairo Declaration who repudiate the suppression by the OIC and sharia law of civil liberties, free speech and human rights, and who assert that human rights and liberties are universal, individual, equal, inalienable, and self-evident irrespective of philosophical, cultural or religious considerations.

8)      To engage with civil society and official organizations that work to safeguard  individual liberties from suppression by shariah law, especially those located in nations that are signatories of the Cairo Declaration or members of the OIC, to encourage dialogue, education and understanding on individual liberties and human rights, as these terms have been historically understood before the Cairo Declaration.

The Death Throes of Free Speech in Europe

Below is the prepared text for the speech given by Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff on July 9, 2012 at the Brussels Conference.

I appear here before you in the city of Brussels in the year 2012, almost five years after I appeared in the same place, and for the same purpose.

Brussels is the “capital of Europe”, and by all rights should be an enlightened city in the heart of an enlightened continent.

Yet this is not so. The unaccountable bureaucracy of the European Union is now widely considered to be a “soft” totalitarian regime — and getting harder all the time.

This should not have been possible. Our basic freedoms have long been guaranteed — first by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as passed by the United Nations in 1948, and then buttressed by the Council of Europe in 1950 through the European Convention of Human Rights, which was later affirmed by the European Union. Our individual countries have additionally codified the same basic rights in their own constitutions.

These rights include the freedom of individual conscience, the right to assemble peaceably, and the right to practice our religion freely, or to have no religion at all. And, perhaps most importantly of all, they include the right to voice our opinions freely and to publish them without hindrance.

Yet freedom of speech is under attack today all across Europe. I have experienced the full brunt of it in my own country, Austria — I was prosecuted, convicted, and fined for telling the simple truth about the prophet of Islam.

Today, in 21st century Western Europe, our right to free speech is being shut down quietly and systematically with an effectiveness that the commissars in the old Soviet Union could only dream of.

These legal provisions making all of this possible are detailed in the EU’s public documents, and they enjoy the full force of law in all EU member states as of midnight tonight. The nations of Western Europe have obediently complied with the EU’s “Framework Decision”, and have enacted laws criminalizing speech that offends Muslims.

The death throes of free speech in Europe have already begun.

In the fall of 2009 I was made aware that “hate speech” charges might be filed against me — I had “denigrated religious teachings” by giving one of my public lectures on Islam.

The possibility of my prosecution was not communicated to me directly, but through articles in the press. The evidence used against me was a transcript of a tape of my lecture, provided to the court by the same socialist newspaper. It included words that were not spoken by me, and words that were not spoken in public, which therefore were not a violation of the law.

But my case was not really about the law. It was a political trial, and like the trials of Geert Wilders and Jussi Halla-aho, it was intended to silence someone who speaks out against the barbaric nature of sharia law.

Above all else, it was intended to discourage anyone who might consider following in my footsteps. The oligarchs who rule Europe are determined to prevent any frank discussion among their citizens about Islam and its legal doctrines.

These are the methods of a totalitarian state.

They are more successful than those of the Nazis and the Fascists and the Communists because they are accomplished quietly and peacefully, with no need for concentration camps or gulags or mass graves or the shot in the back of the neck in the middle of the night.

We are systematically being silenced.

We Europeans desperately need our own version of the First Amendment. We need leaders who are wise and courageous enough to compose and implement legal instruments that affirm the same fundamental rights that are guaranteed to all citizens by the United States Constitution.

We must decide to reclaim our continent and our nations. We will take our countries back from those thieves who sneaked them away from us while were lulled into somnolence by our wealth and our pleasant diversions.

If we lose our freedom of speech, then we are lost forever.

I am not a victim. I intend to stand up for what is right. I will defend what needs to be defended. Above everything else, I will exercise my God-given right to speak freely about what is happening. Freedom of speech is the single most important freedom we possess.

This is our time. This cup will not pass from us.

I am reminded of a passage in J.R.R. Tolkien’s famous trilogy, The Lord of the Rings.

It is an exchange between Frodo the hobbit and Gandalf the wizard, and it concerns the perilous quest on which Frodo and his friends have been sent.

Frodo says: “I wish it need not have happened in my time.”

Gandalf responds: “So do I, and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”

It is time for us to decide what to do with the time that is given us.

How many examples have to be set before the rest of the European population understands the new rules, and is cowed into submission?

And we must remember to whom our children will be submitting in the end. They will be submitting to our successors in Europe. They will be submitting to our replacements.

We must remember that the word for submission in Arabic is Islam.

When there are enough Muslims living in Europe — and it doesn’t have to be a majority of the population, just somewhere around fifteen or twenty percent — we will be living under Islamic law, and not the laws that presently govern us.

We will no longer enjoy what constitutional rights remain to us now. Our rights will be completely prescribed and delimited by sharia. Women will become the virtual chattel of men. Christians and Jews will be driven out or forced to convert to Islam. Atheists and homosexuals will be killed.

The European Union would consider these words to be “hate speech”. Under the Framework Decision, they are classified as “racism and xenophobia”, and we can be prosecuted for saying them.

But they are in fact the simple truth.

Read the rest at ICLA

The Alice In Wonderland World Where Sharia and Human Rights Are Compatible

By  at Liberties Alliance:

It seems that the push towards sharia is continuing in the United Kingdom.  A meme is being put forward by UK barrister Sadakat Kadri that sharia and human rights are compatible.  The Guardian reports:

“A leading barrister has called for the UK to become more sharia-literate, while arguing that Islamic law can be compatible with the toughest human rights legislation.” (Guardian, 16 January 2012)

This is not really the case if the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) is used as the yardstick, otherwise why would the Islamic alternative to the UDHR, the ‘Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam’, have been necessary?  This latter document does not really protect human rights, but only gives people ‘…freedom and right to a dignified life in accordance with the Islamic Shari’ah’ (bold added by the author for emphasis).  The highlighted text above is a very big get out clause when it comes to real human rights, and this proviso is used throughout the document to nullify any real human rights provisions that may exist in the document to misinform and mislead the gullible.

Articles 24 and 25 of the Cairo Declaration, to make the philosophy behind it clear and to cut through the circumlocution and doublespeak inherent in many of the preceding articles, makes it crystal clear that the purpose of the document is not to protect human rights but to, with a nod and a wink to those who want a worldwide Caliphate, attempt to institute sharia globally.

 ARTICLE 24: “All the rights and freedoms stipulated in this Declaration are subject to the Islamic Shari’ah

ARTICLE 25: “The Islamic Shari’ah is the only source of reference for the explanation or clarification of the articles in this Declaration.”

(bold added by the author for emphasis)

Go to Liberties Alliance for the rest of the article