Human Rights

Inhuman Rights: Ibn Warraq and Michael Weiss on the Human Rights Council

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The HRC’s promotion of what are, in effect, blasphemy taboos is a logical extension of its internal policy. The HRC is run like an oligarchy governed by Orwellian speech codes, with any criticism of the body’s behavior immediately stifled in session. In March 2008 testimony to the HRC, for instance, Roy Brown mentioned that the Cairo Declaration of Human Rights in Islam—passed and ratified by the OIC in 1990—took sharia as its legal premise and was inimical to the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). Brown was challenging a claim made by Masood Khan, Pakistan’s UN ambassador, who had told the council, on behalf of the OIC, that the Cairo Declaration was a “complement” rather than an alternative to the Universal Declaration. Immediately, Imran Ahmed Siddiqui, the HRC delegate from Pakistan, issued a point of order, silencing Brown, and announced: “It is insulting to our faith to discuss sharia here in this forum.” The president of the council at the time, Doru Costea of Romania, ceded the point to Siddiqui.

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