Saturday, November 15, 2008

UN appoints Saudi Arabia to lead on religious tolerance

As if further proof were needed of the ineptitude, hypocrisy and perverse morality of the United Nations, their conference on religious tolerance was presided over by none other than Saudi Arabia.

This is the Islamic kingdom that tortures ‘apostates’ and executes those who convert from Islam; the Islamic kingdom that bans all Bibles and demands that visitors display no symbols of other faiths; the Islamic kingdom that forbids the public practice of other religious faiths; the Islamic kingdom which has essentially no separation between religion and government; the Islamic kingdom whose citizens enjoy little religious freedom; the Islamic kingdom which bans the celebration of all religious festivals except Eid Al-Fitr and Eid Al-Adha; the Islamic kingdom which itself denies ‘the right to practice one's religion’ and falls foul of the principles of religious freedom enshrined in the UN Charter.

This is the kingdom which even limits the practice of Islam to that of a school of the Sunni branch of Islam as interpreted by Muhammad ibn Abd al Wahhab, the godfather of Wahhabism which advocates a return to the practices of the first three generations of Islamic history. This, of course, was Islam at its most enlightened, tolerant and benevolent.

A nation that oppresses its religious minorities cannot have the moral authority to lead a conference which purports to be concerned with religious tolerance. The Islamic kingdom does not manifest any and is therefore not qualified to preside over the dialogue. In fact, one Saudi national who serves as director of the Washington-based Institute for Gulf Affairs is of the opinion that Saudi Arabia is ‘the world headquarters of religious oppression and xenophobia’.

Notwithstanding this inconvenient reality, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said of the inter-faith meeting: “The values it aims to promote are common to all the world's religions and can help us fight extremism, prejudice and hatred."

And he has the support of the General Assembly President Miguel d'Escoto, a (former) Roman Catholic priest from Nicaragua who is co-chairman of the conference. He said: “We're not here to talk about religion... We're here to talk about tapping our innermost values and putting them at the service of the world's neediest people.”


A UN conference on religious tolerance which will not talk about religion and which is presided over by one of the world’s most intolerant nations.

The United Nations is morally bankrupt. It may never have been conceived as an organisation of saints, but one might expect admission to a community of sinners to at least be predicated upon the notion of practising what one preaches, and honouring those who are faithful to its aims and objectives.


Blogger Stop Common Purpose said...

Perhaps they have Islam lined-up as the New Global Religion.

15 November 2008 at 10:58  
Anonymous oiznop said...

On December 18 last year the UN General Assembly adopted a raft of resolutions recommended by its Third Committee (Social, Humanitarian and Cultural). They included “combating defamation of religions”.

Draft resolution VI on Combating defamation of religions (document A/C.3/62/L.35), approved as orally revised by a recorded vote of 95 in favour to 52 against, with 30 abstentions, on 20 November, would have the Assembly express deep concern about the negative stereotyping of religions and manifestations of intolerance and discrimination in matters of religion or belief, still in evidence in some regions of the world. The Assembly would emphasize that everyone has the right to freedom of expression, which should be exercised with responsibility and may therefore be subject to limitations, according to law and necessary for respect of the rights or reputations of others; protection of national security or of public order, public health or morals; and respect for religions and beliefs.

This was adopted with 108 in favour and 51 against:

In favour: Afghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Brunei Darussalam, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, China, Comoros, Congo, Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire, Cuba, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Egypt, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Fiji, Gabon, Gambia, Grenada, Guinea, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Jamaica, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nicaragua, Niger, Oman, Pakistan, Philippines, Qatar, Russian Federation, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Sao Tome and Principe, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Somalia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Syria, Tajikistan, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Against: Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Marshall Islands, Micronesia (Federated States of), Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Palau, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Romania, Samoa, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States.

Basically, the free and democratic world opposed the resolution.

The only religion actually mentioned in the document is Islam, of course. Here’s para 9:

Stresses the need to effectively combat defamation of all religions
and incitement to religious hatred, against Islam and Muslims in particular;

15 November 2008 at 11:18  
Anonymous Preacher said...

Really Your Grace, jokes like this are bad eough on April 1st, or to quote a famous sportsman "You cannot be serious" are they mad or just plain DUMB? All it needs now after yesterdays blog is for HRH to be adopted by the Saudi royal family as a spokesman on Sharia law.

15 November 2008 at 11:21  
Anonymous Jacob said...

nice article

15 November 2008 at 12:10  
Anonymous the recusant said...

Not that I mind Your Grace having the occasional Pop at the RCC, indeed I expect it, but in this I feel you could be a little more ‘honest’ in your reporting.

You say “President Miguel d'Escoto, a Roman Catholic priest from Nicaragua”.

On a visit to Nicaragua in 1983, John Paul II publicly rebuked Fr. Miguel d'Escoto (and two other priests) for joining the Sandinista government as foreign minister. Miguel d'Escoto ignored the Pope's order to quit the government and was defrocked.

Note ‘publicly’, this is almost unheard of, especially by a Pope to a Priest however John Paul II considered liberation theology akin to Marxism, and having experienced it first hand under the communists in Poland, was in no mood to suffer it from his own, nor would he succumb to promoting Marxism by the back door. He was not adverse to close institutions that taught liberation theology and remove or rebuke the movement's activists, such as d'Escoto

John Paul II considered that to make the church into a secular political institution and to see salvation solely as the achievement of social justice was to rob faith in Jesus of its power to transform every life. The image of Jesus as a political revolutionary was inconsistent with the Bible and the Church's teachings.

I’m sure Your Grace would be sympathetic to the rational behind the actions of JPII, being as they are so close to sentiments previously espoused by Cranmer. Perhaps Your Grace would correct his copy to include ‘defrocked’ and see President Miguel d'Escoto in a different light.

15 November 2008 at 12:24  
Anonymous Yokel said...

In the same way that the One World Religion is unlikely to be the Roman Catholicism (as was feared by some a generation ago), so I do not think it will be Islam alone. Instead I think it will cherry pick elements from both (ecumenical "common ground") and include a nod to some of the Eastern religions as well. There may even be some, such as the ArchDruid of Canterbury who will attempt to take their "mainstream" protestant congregations into it as well. For broad is the path ...

Of course, the narrow path, believing the Bible (Massoretic and Received texts ie the KJV) to be the sole Word of the One True God will be a criminal offence by this stage.

15 November 2008 at 13:22  
Blogger ultramontane grumpy old catholic said...

What next? Robert Mugabe to chair a committee on Human Rights?

And by the way, Mugabe is a Roman Catholic, which should give your Grace some extra ammunition...

15 November 2008 at 15:19  
Blogger Wrinkled Weasel said...

Did you see that? A flock of pigs just flew over Weasel Hall.

I have real difficulty in getting my head around the idea that Saudi can host a conference on religious tolerance.

Islam has become a perversion of anything it may have been. As far as I can see, it will become the default world religion, and not only that, all others will be subjugated in the name of harmony and peace.

Antichrist anybody?

15 November 2008 at 16:37  
Anonymous len said...

This would be a joke, if it were not for my brothers and sisters in Christ being slaughtered for their belief!

15 November 2008 at 18:52  
Blogger Lorne said...

I thought the outcome was quite positive.

All three religions of the descendants of Abraham contain much that would now be considered 'hate literature' (Leviticus 20:10 Deuteronomy 13:5 Exodus 21:16 Exodus 21:17 for example).

My hart was warmed to see such widespread agreement that these passages can no longer be used as an excuse for inappropriate behavior.

It's disappointing that rather than looking at what is possible, you focus on your own hate and intolerance.

15 November 2008 at 22:14  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

'Hate and intolerance' - your phrase has the same hissing quality as 'racist'. I guess you know most about what the words mean, Lorne.

The closest I ever came to your standards involved refusing to eat rice pudding.

Mind you - I'm equally incapable of swallowing paganism: even if it is the New World Order.

So hiss away.

16 November 2008 at 10:26  
Blogger Cranmer said...

Mr Recusant,

His Grace has compromised with 'former'.

Ms Lorne,

You appear to be reading words other than those written by His Grace. This blog is reserved for the intelligent, discerning and erudite, or at least those who can spell 'heart'.

16 November 2008 at 10:33  
Anonymous Rebel Saint said...

Can I recommend the excellent to your readers.

Sadly, you will discover such "lunatics in charge of the asylum" behaviour is not uncommon.

17 November 2008 at 10:05  
Anonymous Job's tempter said...

Absolutely no difference between Saudi Arabia now and Christendom 700 years ago. It is only 300 years of liberal secular thought in the West which have transformed Christianity into a semi-civilised ideology. Islam will catch up

17 November 2008 at 16:37  
Anonymous len said...

Dream on!

17 November 2008 at 19:40  

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