Durban III: As more and more countries drop participation, will Norway be able to table these concerns?

More and more countries are dropping out of the Durban III event because they have not received sufficient assurances the event wont be a repeat of the shameful 2001 event that turned viscously anti-Semitic.

Just like in 2009, when Ahmadinejad used the podium to deny Holocaust and claim that Israel is an unjust country, and Støre was a lone figure after the majority of Western Diplomats left the venue in protest over such rancid speech, Norway still thinks that you can achieve more from within, than by not participating.

Little anonymous me thinks differently, although that is hardly going to impress anybody. Just like the world can sit there and listen to garbage and pretend we are being sophisticated because we allow people to have an opinion, the world body can set rules that would exclude such persons to ever put their feet inside that building again. It is only a matter of a proposal and a vote. After all, in Norway, you are excluded from the good company if you harbor “wrong” thoughts, in particular after 22/7.

Dagen journalist Morten Høglund has these thoughts on Durban III and highlights the plight of people who cannot be helped due to diplomatic considerations:


Dagen 2011 09 16 Morten Høglund, Not Online

In Egypt, web logger Abdul Karemi Amer has been incarcerated for more than three years over having insulted Islam, having committed “Anti-Islamic” activity.

He is finally released after having been maltreated through a long period of time by Egyptian security forces.

In Afghanistan, journalist Pervez Kambaksh is sentenced to death over having downloaded an article on women’s rights. Kambaksh is later pardoned by President Hamid Karshai, fleeing the country.

In Pakistan, 19 years old Waleed Munawar is shot and killed during prayer time in the local Mosque in Lahore. Munawar is a student and Ahmadiyya member, an Islamic religious movement regarded infidel by most other Muslims.

Abdul, Pervez and Waleed are all of them Muslim. They are and were in different fashions victims over their countries criminalizing of religious criticism. In later years, the Organization of Islamic Countries, OIC, with aid by G 77, has attempted to collect support over a global blasphemy legislation banning criticism of religion, particularly Islam.

So far, they have had success in these undertakings; several resolutions being made in the UN General Assembly and the UN Human Rights Council condemning criticism of religion. In 2008, the special reporter on free speech was ordered by the HRC to see to not only free speech being maintained; but also to report on abuse. This has become yet a pretext for the same countries to restrict free speech, now backed by the UN’s legitimacy.

This summer, the most important report by a UN organ in a long time arrives.

The UN special human rights committee made clear free speech is a meta-right, being the foundation of all other human rights, even though it may be revolting for religious groups or individuals.

The government should note the conclusions of this report.

On September the 22nd this month, the UN shall mark the tenth anniversary of the Durban I conference in 2001; in which criticism of religion was made equal to racism, in which doors were opened to restrictions on free speech, and Israel was accused of genocide. The date of this anniversary, two months after the terrible terrorist attacks in Oslo and Utøya should be a golden opportunity for Norway to abolish the Blasphemy articles. We should also consider staying at home from this conference. In this way, the PM’s words on “more democracy, more openness” could be realized.

A number of western countries have already decided to boycott Durban III.

Instead of an anniversary, the Durban process should have been buried in the scrap heap of history.

While the OIC countries are predictable, they are aided by politicians and organizations in western countries. Attempts to make the concept of “Islamophobia” accepted with those believing there is too much free speech in society. The European Commission against racism and intolerance accused the Progressives of contributing to racism and xenophobia in 2009; like the OIC indicating free speech should be restricted to a great extent.

In Pakistan discrimination of the country’s religious and ethnic minorities is ongoing.

In Egypt, web loggers and human right activists are still being incarcerated and in Afghanistan transgressions against those defending the rights of women and girls are continuing.

The difference being those behind those transgressions having ever more UN resolutions to back themselves up with. The result is less religious diversity, less free speech, and the legitimization of transgressions against religious and ethnic minorities. This development is frightening.