Religious Tolerance Forum Hosted by the King of Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia initiated inter-religious meeting at the United Nations this week. King Abdullah named his initiative a “Culture of Peace Summit,” to market tolerance amongst the world’s important religions. Participants who gathered in New York on Wednesday and Thursday named for advertising mutual understanding and tolerance, by means of dialogue. Amongst these who attended are leaders from Pakistan, Lebanon, Jordan, Kuwait, Egypt, Britain, Spain and the Philippines, mentioned Enrique Yeves, spokesman for U.N. Common Assembly president Miguel D’Escoto Brockmann. President Bush joined the leaders this morning and gave a speech at the U.N Common Assembly hall.

Other participants include things like U.N. Secretary Common Ban Li-Moon and the head of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), the bloc of Muslim nations spearheading a campaign at the U.N. to outlaw the “defamation” of religion.

Critics note that though King Abdullah hosted leaders from diverse Muslim sects in Saudi Arabia, his other initiatives have taken location outdoors the kingdom. Any inter-religious meeting inside Saudi Arabia could draw opposition from conservative clerics unhappy with the presence of Christian and, specifically, Jewish religious leaders.

The underlining outcomes of this Summit are to make non-Muslims accept Islam and the shari’a law as properly as the Islamic banking method with out any recognition by Muslims to other faiths. The entire concentrate of the Summit is to endorse a U.N. Resolution of anti-blasphemy law against Islam about the globe.

In 1999, Pakistan and the Organization of the Islamic Conference introduced a measure to the U.N. Human Rights Council to spread shari’a law to the Western globe and to intimidate any individual who criticizes Islam.

The measure was amended to include things like religions other than Islam, and it has passed every single year because. In 2005, Yemen effectively brought a comparable resolution prior to the Common Assembly. The 192-nation Assembly is set to vote on it once again.

In 2007, a non-binding Resolution 62/145 says: “It notes with deep concern the intensification of the campaign of defamation of religions and the ethnic and religious profiling of Muslim minorities in the aftermath of 11 September 2001.” It also “stresses the need to have to properly combat defamation of all religions and incitement to religious hatred, against Islam and Muslims in unique.”

The resolution is genuinely made to permit nations with a dominant religion, such as Islam, to squelch any cost-free-speech rights of religious minorities, according to Bill Saunders of the Loved ones Investigation Council (FRC). “So for instance, in some Muslim nations, it is thought of blasphemy to just say what a Christian believes – simply because that is constant with what Islam teaches,” Saunders explains. “Or, to attempt to switch from Islam to Christianity, that is thought of apostasy, and in these conditions you can be punished by death.”
This also implies that, it will be ILLEGAL to practice any other religion in an Islamic nation other than Islam.

Critics say that Saudi Arabia’s policies are marked with oppression towards non-Muslims, which is in direct conflict with their try to market religious tolerance abroad. By endorsing King Abdullah’s get in touch with for “religious tolerance” critics say, the U.N. Common Assembly is “partaking” in religious oppression in Saudi Arabia.

Muslims of Egypt has been, for a extended time, persecuting Christian Coptic minority, below the auspices of the strict Islamic rule of Hosni Mubarak. The Christian minority of Iraq are getting persecuted by the Muslims, with immunity and Christian churches are bombed with explosives in Pakistan.

There is a widespread concern that the resolutions are getting made use of to justify harsh blasphemy laws in nations such as Pakistan, Egypt, Sudan and Afghanistan.

In addition, every single single constitution of the Middle East nations (except Lebanon and Turkey) has a provision stating that the laws of the land are primarily based on the Islamic shari’a.

The U.S. government mission in Geneva, told the U.N. Human Rights Council that “defamation-connected laws have been abused by governments and made use of to restrict human ideal” about the globe, and in some cases Westerners have been caught in the net.

Felice Gaer, chairman of the U.S. Commission for International Religion Freedom (USCIRF) was travelling Monday and could not be reached for comments, wrote CNS News. But a spokeswoman pointed to current remarks Gaer gave to Fox News: “We’d like to see a conference like this take location inside Saudi Arabia and the truth that it is not speaks volumes,” she mentioned. “That is accurate of the Madrid conference [in July] and accurate of the one particular at the U.N.”

Gaer voiced the view that “the conference was element of a Muslim campaign to market a religious “defamation” resolution at the Common Assembly,” mentioned CNS News on November 11, 2008.

The European Union mentioned the text proposed by Islamic nations was “one particular-sided” simply because it mainly focused on Islam. E.U. diplomats had mentioned they wanted to cease the expanding worldwide trend of applying religious anti-defamation laws to limit cost-free speech.

The European Center for Law and Justice filed a short with the U.N. Higher Commissioner for Human Rights in June 2008 warning that such anti-defamation resolutions “are in direct violation of international law regarding the rights to freedom of religion and expression.

“Saudi Arabia calling on international religious tolerance is a tiny bit like the wolf calling for a sheep convention,” responded Carl Moeller of Open Doors USA to Saudi Arabia’s hosting a forum to market interfaith dialogue.

In truth the U.N. “blasphemy resolution” has emboldened Islamic authorities and threatened Westerners:

– On Oct. three in Excellent Britain, 3 guys had been charged for plotting to kill the publisher of the novel “The Jewel of Medina,” which provides a factional account of the Prophet Muhammad and his youngster bride. reported U.S. publisher Random Home Inc., was going to release the book but stopped it from hitting shelves soon after it claimed that “credible and unrelated sources” mentioned the book could incite violence by a “smaller, radical segments.”

– A British teacher was sentenced to 15 days in jail in Sudan for offending Islam by enabling students to name the class teddy bear Muhammad in November 2007.

– In February 2007 in Egypt an Online blogger was sentenced to 4 years in prison fro writing a post that critiqued Islam.

– In 2004, Dutch filmmaker Theo Van Gogh was murdered soon after the release of his documentary about the abuse of Muslim girls.

– On November six, the Parliament of Kyrgystan adopted unanimously a new religious law targeting Christians and other religious minorities. It bans “proselytizing” and prohibits the conversion of Kyrgyz citizens to a diverse faith.

The stress to defend religions from defamation has been expanding ever because a Danish magazine published caricatures of Muhammad, provoking riots across the Islamic globe in 2006 in which dozens of persons had been killed.