Islamic Countries Reject Monitor for Discrimination Against Women
During the Annual Full-day Meeting on Women's Human Rights held last week at
the Human Rights Council, the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC)
and member states expressed their opposition to the idea of setting up a new
Special Rapporteur who would monitor laws that discriminate against women.
According to the High Commissioner for Human Rights, the establishment of
this new mechanism has been under consideration since 2005 and is supported
by both the Secretary-General and the Office of the High Commissioner for
Human Rights (OHCHR). Active OIC opposition - common on all human rights
fronts at the UN - introduces a major impediment to realizing this idea for
the better protection of women's rights.
Pakistan, speaking on behalf of the Organization of the Islamic Conference
(OIC), "disagreed" with the proposal because "The solitary focus of this
mandate would lead to more polemics that surround contemporary discussions
on issues such as universality versus respect of cultural, legal and
religious diversities. It would also lead to further polarization in the
system as it may be perceived as against certain regional and religious
groups. The OIC believes that the international community needs to be
afforded ample time and opportunity with full respect to cultural diversity
and better coordination of existing standards to graduate to
Egypt "did not favor" this idea..."It will lead to unnecessary duplication
and waste of resources. No single individual would be able to follow laws on
all countries and have knowledge of different legal systems in the various
parts of the world, let alone apply common yardstick to evaluate them. This
might lead to polarization and politicization because some groups might feel
Algeria argued that, "we shouldn't lose sight of the importance of taking
into account national and regional special characteristics and historical
and religious diversity. We must insure there is no proliferation of
mechanisms on the subject."
At the end of the debate, Iran suggested a "remedy" for violence against
women: "National and regional particularities as well as various cultural
historical and cultural background should be taken into account in an
appropriate manner. I would like to emphasize the role of chastity on
strengthening crime prevention to eliminate violence against women and girl
Why the opposition to close monitoring of laws that discriminate against
In Pakistan rape is frequent, prosecutions are rare and there is no specific
legislation prohibiting domestic violence.
In Egypt, spousal rape is not illegal and the law does not prohibit domestic
violence or spousal abuse. The law requires any kind of assault victim to
produce multiple eyewitnesses, a difficult condition for a domestic abuse
victim to meet. The law does not specifically address honor crimes.
In Algeria, spousal rape is not illegal and the penal code [which is
applicable in domestic violence cases] states that a person must be
incapacitated for 15 days or more and present a doctor's note certifying the
injuries before filing charges for battery.
In Iran, the constitution bars women from becoming president or serving as
supreme leader or as certain types of judges. Adultery is a capital offense
punishable by stoning. Spousal rape is not illegal and domestic violence is
not specifically prohibited by law.
Comment on this item
by Soeren Kern
"There is no territory more occupied than the body of a Palestinian woman, or a strip... severed by the violent imposition of the superstitions of Allah and the followers of Mohammed. We had better not even mention the situation of Palestinian homosexuals. This selective outrage by top progressives when it involves Israel is indeed anti-Semitism." — Alberto Moyano, Spanish newspaper editor.
"It is possible legitimately to criticize Israel. But it smells fishy when all of the blame is attributed to Israel, without even mentioning the small detail that a terrorist and jihadist group that rules Gaza has infringed on every conceivable humanitarian principle, by using civilians as human shields, and launching missiles from apartment blocks, while their leaders are living comfortable in Qatar, guests of a sheik." — Ángel Mas, Spanish analyst.
There has been virtually no public outcry whatsoever in Spain over the deaths of more than 160,000 people during three years of fighting in Syria; the decimation of ancient Christian communities at the hands of Islamists in Iraq; the kidnapping of 300 girls by Islamists in Nigeria; or the downing of a civilian passenger plane in Ukraine.
"The most anti-Semitic people are supposedly the most educated and well-informed." — Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs report on anti-Semitism in Spain.
by Alan M. Dershowitz
by Khaled Abu Toameh
There is growing concern in Ramallah, Cairo, Riyadh and Dubai that the U.S. Administration is working to prevent the collapse of Hamas.
"The Americans mistakenly think that moderate political Islam, which is represented by the Muslim Brotherhood, will be able to combat radical Islam. The Americans are trying to bring the Muslim Brotherhood back to the region." — Palestinian official, Ramallah.
The Iranians, with whom the U.S. is now negotiating on nuclear weapons -- amid fears in the Middle East that the U.S. will capitulate to Tehran's demands if it has not effectively capitulated to them already -- have now joined Qatar and Turkey in opposing any attempt to confiscate Hamas's weapons.
The Paris conference was actually a spit in the face to the anti-Hamas forces in the Arab world. By failing to invite the Palestinian Authority to the conference, Kerry indicated that he does not see any role for Abbas and his loyalists in a post-Hamas Gaza Strip.
by Amir Taheri
According to Küntzel, German leaders have at least two other reasons for helping Iran defy the United States. The first is German resentment of defeat in the Second World War followed by foreign occupation, led by the US. The second reason is that Iran is one of the few, if not the only country, where Germans have never been looked at as "war criminals" because of Hitler.
by Malcolm Lowe
Go to Nazareth and you can easily find the mini-mosque. It displays a large poster of Koran quotations denigrating Christianity and urging Christians to convert to Islam.
Overlooked is a fundamental difference between the two regimes. Israel is a state governed by the rule of law. The Palestinian Authority, like most other states in the region, is a personal dictatorship. Arafat started the fashion of simply disregarding the laws.
What is needed in Israel is a central policy unit with the brief of developing long-term policies both to integrate Israeli Christians and to engage with the great variety of Christians in foreign countries.