In an earlier post to Vlad I placed an article by a former CSIS man making the claim that the NDP party of Canada had been bought by Islamist forces for an Islamic agenda. I believe this National Post story may provide evidence for that claim. But perhaps more importantly, Durban II represents a more sinister agenda. Antisemitism is icing as far as most of the participants and organizers are concerned. The real issue would appear to be the criminalization of criticism if Islam.
In the thin disguise of tolerance and multiculturalism Durban and its prime advocates would like it to be a forum for legilsation world wide making it a crime to say or do anything offensive to Islam. While this may seem a far fetched and unlikely goal to most people insulated in the west a quick google search for UN or EU creates laws against Blasphemy of Islam’ may turn up some shocking results. Many examples are here on vladtepesblog.com as well.
For any of those who think this is a progressive policy, I would remind them that what Muslims tend to get offended by, is anything liberal, individualist, for equality of women and minorities, and anything standing in the way of a global Islamic hegemony marked by the forced application of Sharia law.
Mike Hutchings, Reuters File PhotoThe first UN conference on racism– held in August, 2001, in Durban, South Africa, attracted anti-Israel demonstrators.
The United Nations’ second World Conference against Racism, scheduled for next April, was shaping up to be a slightly smaller, rather more subdued affair than its predecessor seven years ago: Organizers nixed plans for an accompanying NGO conference, where anti-Israel groups in 2001 distributed handouts praising Adolf Hitler and featuring caricatures reviving ancient stereotypes of hook-nosed Jews thirsting for gentile blood.
United Nations officials, denouncing the “virulent anti-Semitic behaviour” of the past event, promised no repeat of the spectacle that had tainted the inaugural conference and the UN.
But the second such conference is proving to look a lot like the first.
Last week, when the preparatory committee for “Durban 2” gathered in Geneva, where the conference was relocated to avoid a repeat of the rowdy street protests that characterized the first go-round in Durban, South Africa, members suggested the NGO conference might happen after all.
Then, wrapping up last weekend, it issued its conference draft statement — a working version of what it expects will be the outcome document of next year’s meeting. And critics of the first UN conference (properly called the World Conference on Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance) say it not only reveals the UN’s determination to rehash the same themes — featuring outsized emphasis on condemning Western nations as “Islamophobic” and singling out Israel as a “racist” and “apartheid” state — it goes further, directly threatening Western-style freedoms.
All the evidence, they say, vindicates the decision by the Canadian government to boycott Durban 2 altogether.
The Conservative government announced in January that it would not attend Durban 2, sensing from early signs — meetings scheduled on high Jewish holidays; an organizing committee chaired by Libya, Pakistan, Iran and Cuba — that the second run promised a virtual repeat of what the Prime Minister once called an “anti-Semitic and anti-Western hatefest.”
And last week’s declaration draft does revive much of the tone of Durban 1’s final communique: It describes Israel’s Zionist immigration rules (which grant automatic citizenship to Jews) as “based on racial discrimination with the aim of continuing domination of the occupied territory,” deeming the policy “a new kind of apartheid, a crime against humanity, a form of genocide and a serious threat to international peace and security.”
It accuses Israel of practising “torture,” “acts of racism” and “intimidation and denial of fundamental human rights” against Palestinians. And it calls for Jerusalem to be liberated from “foreign occupation, together with all its racial practices,” while affirming the right of Palestinians to “return to their homeland.”
Jason Kenney, Secretary of State for Multiculturalism and Canadian Identity, says the draft does not surprise him, and validates his government’s decision to steer clear of the conference. “This is clearly an effort by certain interests and certain countries to use every available organ of the United Nations to play the same tune. It’s getting tiresome,” he says.
DURBAN 2: NEW SITE, SAME DEBACLE page 2
Bernie Farber, CEO of the Canadian Jewish Congress, says, “It is everything we had thought it was going to be, and more. What it proves is that the decision reached by Prime Minister [Stephen] Harper months ago to pull out of Durban 2 was a sound one. He was very much a man ahead of his game on this.”
Different this time from Durban 1, which concluded only days before the 9/11 attacks, is the conference’s focus on what delegates perceive as worldwide, endemic “Islamophobia … and the worsening of the situation of Muslim minorities around the world” since 2001.
It labels “counterterrorism or national security” and “freedom of expression” in Western countries as “obstacles in hampering progress in the collective struggle against racism.” The draft demands “binding international standards” to “take firm action against negative stereotyping of religions and defamation of religious personalities, holy books, scriptures and symbols” and wants states to “encourage objective and balanced” portrayals of “people, events and history, especially in the media.” It wants governments to adopt laws “preventing and punishing” intolerance in “public and private life.”
“This is the new dimension of Durban 2, which in many ways makes it a greater threat than Durban 1,” says Anne Bayefsky, a York University professor and human rights lawyer who attended last week’s Geneva conference.
“It’s really setting up a war of ideas, that has rough implications, between Islamic states and everybody else…. Durban 1 was called an assault on Israel; a demonization of Israel as racist and analogous to Apartheid South Africa.” Durban 2 looks as if it will have all that, too, she says. “But in addition, Durban 2 is an assault on freedom of expression and other essential democratic rights and freedoms.”
The irony, she says, is that Asian and Middle Eastern countries pushing for tougher restrictions are often the world’s worst rights abusers. Even Mr. Farber, a vocal supporter of Canada’s own hate-speech laws, calls the draft’s speech codes “hugely troubling” as they appear to severely tilt the balance of rights; an “attempt to criminalize anything seen to be offensive.”
So far, Canada is the only nation besides Israel to shun Durban 2 (the United States and the European Union have indicated they are contemplating it; in 2001, the United States and Israel walked out of Durban 1).
Liberal and NDP parties officially backed the Conservatives’ decision at the time, but some MPs broke rank: Dominic LeBlanc, the New Brunswick MP and possible Liberal leadership contender, has said the Tories are exhibiting “a pattern of disrespect … for the multilateral process.” He did not respond to several interview requests this week.
Joe Comartin, NDP member for Windsor-Tecumseh, has said he supports a Canadian delegation at Durban 2. And the NDP this summer suggested it would reverse its support for the boycott. Mr. Comartin did not respond to several interview requests. An NDP spokesman said party leader Jack Layton was unavailable for comment, “recuperating” from the election.
DURBAN 2: NEW SITE, SAME DEBACLE
Today, Mohamed Boudjenane, CAF’s executive director, who also attended the Geneva meeting, believes nothing in the draft justifies Ottawa’s position to abandon Durban 2. He supports the planning committee’s calls for stronger laws against defaming religion. And, while aware of controversy over Israel’s especial censure, he says “certain pro-Israeli organizations” go “too far” in supporting a boycott. “We can agree or disagree with some political statements toward Israel, but if you’re not there, who will make sure that voice is there? Who will make sure to bring balance to the debate?”
But Mr. Kenney thinks Canada’s prior Durban experience proves its presence has little effect on what is essentially a predetermined consequence. “The simple answer is: been there, done that, got the T-shirt,” he says.
“Canada, under the Liberals, went to Durban 1, stayed there, tried to participate, and we failed completely to change the outcome. I think most people would agree that our presence and participation, if anything, simply legitimized the process. When you look at this stuff, who’s organizing the conference, how it’s being organized, when you look at what actually happened at Durban 1, it’s almost best to simply ignore this.”