Historian David Littman is a representative to the United Nations (Geneva) of the Association for World Education. He has spent years tracking the rise of Islamic influence at the UN. According to him, “In recent years, representatives of some Muslim states have demanded, and often received, special treatment at the United Nations.” “As a result, non-diplomatic terms such as ‘blasphemy’ and ‘defamation of Islam’ have seeped into the United Nations system, leading to a situation in which non-Muslim governments accept certain rules of conduct in conformity with Islamic law (the Shari’a) and acquiesce to a self-imposed silence regarding topics touching on Islam.”
On August 5, 1990, the 19th Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers adopted the Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam. According to the official English version, “All the rights and freedoms stipulated in this Declaration are subject to the Islamic Shari’a.” The CDHRI has since then become “a quotable source at the United Nations.”
David Littman warns that “The new rules of conduct being imposed by the OIC [the Organization of the Islamic Conference], and acceded to by other states, give those who claim to represent Islam an exceptional status at the United Nations that has no legal basis and no precedent.” “Will a prohibition of discussion about certain political aspects of Islam become generally accepted at the United Nations and beyond, contradicting ‘the right to freedom of opinion and expression’ promised by Article XIX of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights? Unless farsighted states, both Muslim and non-Muslim, make it their business to assert and reassert the need for freedom of speech, this precious liberty is at risk of being eroded throughout the system of international organizations.”
Fifty-seven Muslim governments are pressing to include a “ban on the mocking of religions” in a new U.N. human rights body by pushing a resolution under the agenda item “Racism” condemning what they called the “Defamation of Islam.” In a clear reference to the Muhammad cartoons controversy, the proposal stated that “defamation of religions and prophets is inconsistent with the right to freedom of expression.”
The United Nations High Commissioner on Human Rights Louise Arbour involved herself in the discussion during the tensions caused by the Danish cartoons. In a letter to the 56 member countries of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), she stated: “I understand your concerns and would like to emphasize that I regret any statement or act that could express a lack of respect for other people’s religion.” In a complaint to the High Commissioner, the 56 Islamic governments asked Louise Arbour to raise the matter with the Danish government “to help contain this encroachment on Islam, so the situation won’t get out of control.” Two UN experts, on religious freedom and on racism and xenophobia, were said to be working on the case.
Danish toy maker Lego was later upset with the United Nations, after the Office of the UN High Commissioner on Human Rights published an “anti-discrimination” poster that used a Lego building block as an illustration of racism. At the same time, David Littman documents the relative UN inaction regarding hateful material used in public schools in Islamic countries. An example is an extract from a book approved by al-Azhar University in Cairo, Egypt, widely viewed as maybe the most important centre of learning for a billion Sunni Muslims. Pious justifications are offered to Egyptian Grade 11 students concerning the reasons for beheading infidels:
“When you meet them in order to fight [them], do not be seized by compassion [toward them], but strike the[ir] necks powerfully […] Striking the neck means fighting, because killing a person is often done by striking off his head […] This expression contains a harshness and emphasis that are not found in the word ‘kill’, because it describes killing in the ugliest manner, ‘i.e. cutting the neck and making the organ – the head of the body – fly off [the body]’.”
This is now commonplace in Iraq, where more than one hundred foreign hostages have been ritually beheaded. It is also used by Muslim Jihadists against, among others, teachers in the troubled southern provinces of Thailand, since they are viewed as infidel representatives of the predominantly Buddhist state. As scholar Andrew Bostom demonstrates, the Islamic practice of beheading originates from Islamic core teachings, such as the Koran sura 47, verse 4, which says: “When you encounter those [infidels] who deny [the Truth=Islam] then strike [their] necks.” Muhammad and his followers also beheaded some 600 to 900 men from the Jewish tribe of Banu Qurayza outside of Medina, enslaving their women and children.
While Islamic nations are trying to get the UN to outlaw criticism of Islam on an international basis, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan assures Americans that the plan of leaving the UN in charge of the Internet is nothing to worry about, it is only to make the Internet more efficient. “One mistaken notion is that the United Nations wants to ‘take over,’ police or otherwise control the Internet. Nothing could be farther from the truth. The United Nations wants only to ensure the Internet’s global reach,” according to Annan.
Even as they were passing six resolutions condemning Israel, the United Nations General Assembly failed to define terrorism because the Organization of the Islamic Conference demanded exceptions for terror gangs like Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and the head-hacking Al Qaeda holy warriors in Iraq. Still, Secretary General Kofi Annan praised the OIC, an organization consisting of some of the world’s worst human rights abusers, stating that “Over the years, and especially the past decade, the United Nations and the Organization of the Islamic Conference have worked to promote tolerance, equality, development and the peaceful resolution of conflict.”
In contrast, Kofi Annan’s deputy assailed the United States for withholding support from the United Nations, encouraging its harshest detractors. Mr Malloch Brown said that although the United States was constructively engaged with the United Nations in many areas, the American public was shielded from knowledge of that by Washington’s tolerance of what he called “too much unchecked U.N.-bashing and stereotyping.” “Much of the public discourse that reaches the U.S. heartland has been largely abandoned to its loudest detractors such as Fox News,” he said. UN Ambassador from the United States John Bolton strongly rebuked the remarks, calling the speech by Annan’s deputy a “very grave mistake.”
Leaders of the Islamic Republic of Iran have repeatedly called for the annihilation of fellow UN member Israel. Announcing the advancement of the Iranian nuclear program, Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad reiterated Iran’s goal of “wiping Israel off the map.” The day before, the UN’s Disarmament Commission, the organization that is supposed to prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons, elected Iran’s Mehdi Danesh-Yazdi as one of its three vice-chairs. Iran denounced the election of Israel to that same commission, calling the Jewish state a threat to peace in
the Middle East.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said no UN Security Council resolution could make Iran give up its nuclear program. “The Iranian nation “won’t give a damn about such useless resolutions” he said, hours before an expected finding that Tehran has failed to meet a Security Council deadline to suspend uranium enrichment. The Islamic Republic of Iran has murdered tens of thousands of its own citizens and is the source of grotesque human rights abuses. It is also the long-time sponsor of Islamic terrorist organizations abroad and has openly threatened to wipe out another country with nuclear weapons. Despite all of this, the country is still a full member of the United Nations, technically treated the same was as Switzerland.
The old UN Human Rights Commission was a body so discredited that it was eventually disbanded. UN critic Anne Bayefsky warned, however, that the new design “promises an institution more contemptible than its predecessor.” The election of some of the world’s worst violators of free expression – Algeria, Bangladesh, Nigeria, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia – to be members of the UN’s new Human Rights Council was called a “scandal” by organization Reporters Without Borders:
“There is no difference between the composition of the former Human Rights Commission – whose work was unanimously condemned by NGOs, and by many countries as well – and that of the new council,” Reporters Without Borders said. “They have taken the same countries and started over. What is more, seven of these 10 countries have been elected for three-year terms, the longest envisaged under the council's rules, terms that can be renewed once. So the reforms adopted by the United Nations are clearly insufficient. The UN will not guarantee respect for human rights in the world in the future any more than it has in the past.”
British Prime Minister Tony Blair wants to reform the UN. He states that “it is time the world’s governments faced up to the fact that the world bodies founded in the aftermath of World War II have become moribund and ineffective. Whereas 60 years ago the world was divided into nation states that could operate more or less independently of each other, now international leaders are confronting an ever diminishing world brought intimately together by globalization, a technological revolution that has led to revolutionary approaches to labor employment, and greater economic interdependence between states.” “Yet the world bodies have not kept up with the economic and social progress of the last 60 years.”
Mr. Blair has said he believes that world bodies like the United Nations have not only an important but a leading part still to play in extending freedom to the whole world. But if the United Nations is to take up this task, it must reform itself so that it becomes a body that inspires respect from the world because of the wisdom of its leadership. Mr. Blair will demand that Mr. Annan be replaced by a strong successor as Secretary General, who should be granted greater independence from the General Assembly in intervening in world crises.
Still, the question remains whether the UN is simply so fundamentally flawed that it is beyond repair. Given the Islamic infiltration of the organization, granting more power to it probably isn’t a very good idea.
Hugh Fitzgerald of website Jihad Watch compares the UN to its failed predecessor, the League of Nations: “The League of Nations was not a mess in the 1920s. It became a mess when, in the 1930s, it could not handle Mussolini or Hitler, and failed. The U.N. was not originally a mess when founded, with such tutelary spirits as Rene Cassin and Eleanor Roosevelt. It became a mess sometime when more and more ‘countries’ that were primitive despotisms became members.” “Only a fool nowadays would use a phrase such as ‘international community,’ which attempts to treat Syria and Iceland as the same kind of members, or Costa Rica and Saudi Arabia, as similarly situated and behaving. There are no ‘united’ nations.”
He also points out the Palestinian fetish and the ridiculous amount of time spent at the UN on denouncing one single country, Israel. “How is it that the behavior of tiny Israel has become the Central Question of the Age, while the Jihad is pursued in Indonesia, Bangladesh, Pakistan, the Philippines, Kashmir, the Sudan, the Balkans, Central Asia, West Africa, everywhere, without a single resolution denouncing [it]?” This monomaniacal attention to Israel means that there is far less attention paid to other issues:
“A sensible policy requires that the American government every day make efforts to promote among Infidel countries and peoples an understanding of how the UN has been infiltrated, and essentially commandeered, by the forces of Islam: the Islamintern, it might be called. And then to minimize the power, the respect, and the legitimacy still accorded to the UN, this most corrupt and corrupting of institutions. And finally, it must seek not to do the impossible – to truly reform this organization – but to treat it as it should be treated: as hopeless, useless, and irrelevant as was the League of Nations when confronted with the Nazi-Fascist attacks in Spain, Mussolini’s invasion of Abyssinia, and Nazi Germany’s annexation of the Saarland and re-militarization of the Rhineland.”
Fitzgerald thinks that “Unlike the League of Nations, it will not be closed down. But it should be ignored or mocked.” For once, I am not sure I totally agree with Hugh Fitzgerald, a man I otherwise hold in very high esteem. There are those who argue that the UN is useless, that it costs billions of dollars to maintain, without any proof that this helps to ensure world peace. I disagree. I think the UN can be quite useful. To our enemies, that is. It is easy to say that we should remain members of the UN and just “ignore” it, but I’m afraid this won’t work out. There will always be people within the West who take the UN seriously, and in reality, some of its resolutions will
influence our domestic policies.
Roger Scruton points out that the UN granted to the Soviet Union “the kind of legitimacy that it could never have acquired through the conduct of its leadership.” “The Soviet Union used the U.N. and its ancillary institutions as a front. It supported the capture of the United Nations Association (an independent nonprofit organization which was founded to rally support for the international idea) by the peaceniks and encouraged the transformation of UNESCO into an instrument of leftist and anti-Western propaganda.” Soviet Communists recognized the UN “only as a way to neutralize Western defenses.”
Some would argue that Islamic countries are copying this strategy now. As Scruton states, there is another, more dangerous effect of the UN institutions, and one that is insufficiently pondered by Western politicians:
“Both the U.N. and many of its ancillary and subordinate institutions have legislative powers. They can use the original force of the Charter to bind national legislatures to measures that may be profoundly against the national interest. These measures will often be a huge burden to law-abiding states but no burden at all to dictatorships. Yet the dictatorships have as much right to press for them as the law-abiding states. In effect, the lawless have acquired, through the U.N., the power to bind the law-abiding in chains that they themselves escape.”
“One pertinent example is the U.N. Convention on refugees and asylum, ratified in 1951, which obliges every signatory to offer asylum to those fleeing from persecution. This means that Western states, which are bound by their own laws, are forced to admit hundreds of thousands of unwanted immigrants every year, simply because well-briefed lawyers invoke the convention on asylum on their behalf. Most of these immigrants stay even when their claims to asylum are exposed as bogus. The result, in Europe, is a demographic crisis that threatens to rock the foundations of domestic policy.”
To use my own country, Norway, as an example, some UN Conventions are directly incorporated into Norwegian law. This can have serious practical consequences. UN representatives have, for instance, criticized Norwegian anti-racism laws for not being strict enough. And the Norwegian Minister of Justice responded by saying the Norway would work to get more in line with UN recommendations. When we know that Islamic countries in the UN are working hard to get “Islamophobia,” meaning basically anything remotely critical of Islam, to be accepted as a form of “racism,” it becomes extremely dangerous to allow UN authorities to influence domestic policies on such critical issues. Recommendations from the UN High Commissioner for Refugees have also been used to influence Norwegian immigration policies. Admittedly, Norway is one of the more naïve, if not plain stupid countries of the world, but this still illustrates a genuine problem common to all Western nations.
There is usually a close correlation between those in the West who champion Multiculturalism and those who champion the United Nations as in important tool of international affairs. We have an internal enemy that is post-democratic or even post-Western. They believe in Multiculturalism at home, transnational organizations, “international law” and the United Nations abroad. They are weakening Western civilization from within.
Multiculturalism essentially means that all countries should become just like the UN, with hosts of cultures living together on equal terms and without any core culture. Multiculturalism states that all cultures are equally worthy or respect. The basic principle of the UN is that all nations are equally worthy of membership. Which means that the Sudan, Saudi Arabia and the Islamic Republic of Iran should be accepted on equal terms with, say, New Zealand. This is obviously ridiculous. Not all countries are worthy or respect, just as not all cultures are worthy of respect. It is an insult to human dignity that peaceful, democratic states should be treated the same way as terror sponsoring states that oppress their own population.
Our external enemy is the Islamic world. Our internal and our external enemies converge at the UN. Islamic countries want to use the UN as a tool to influence Western and infidel policies, bogging us down with regulations that make it more difficult to avoid being demographically overwhelmed by Muslim immigrants, placing obstacles in the way of stopping terrorist supporters in our countries and from dealing with nations supporting terrorism and Jihadist activities. Meanwhile, Islamic countries will ignore any “human rights” resolutions and will continue with impunity their oppression of Hindus, Christians or other non-Muslims in their own lands. All cultures are equal, but some are more equal than others. There can be no United Nations with Canada and Syria since these countries have absolutely nothing in common.
By discrediting or withdrawing from the UN, we will thus weaken both our external and our internal enemies. It would be more difficult for Islamic countries to influence infidel policies, and it would deal an ideological blow to Multiculturalists and transnational progressives, since the UN is the ultimate symbol of their world view of and a cornerstone of their ideology. It is easier to oppose Multiculturalism on a national scale if we first oppose it on an international scale.
So yes, I agree with Hugh Fitzgerald that we should starve the United Nations for funds, we should ridicule it at any given opportunity and we should de-legitimize it as much as possible. But I’m not sure whether this is enough in the long run. At some point, I think we need to pull the plug on the entire organization, make a clean break and withdraw from it.
Which brings us to the next question: How should international affairs be managed in this post-UN world?
As website EYE on the UN points out, “at the foundation of the UN in 1945, democracy dominated the character of the majority of member states, despite pockets of instability. Nevertheless, democracy was not made a pre-condition for membership in the UN. Sixty years later, the majority of UN members are not full-fledged democracies. The consequences for UN operations and outcomes are profound.”
The number of UN member states that are full-fledged democracies or “fully free” according to Freedom House is 88. The total number of UN member states is 191, which means that less than half of UN member states are full-fledged democracies. Any workable organization needs to be united around something that the member states actually have in common.
We could create a Democratic Union, where only democratic states could become members. This would automatically exclude pretty much all of the Islamic world, which would by itself be a great step forward. However, there is always the possibility that such an organization could become too much like the United Nations or the League of Nations, and become just as impotent and inefficient as its predecessors.
Some would argue that we need an organization for the entire world to “engage” the non-democratic states and spread democracy through interaction with them. This is a naïve view of world politics. There is little evidence that the UN has contributed to “spreading democracy.” On the contrary, it could have the dangerous effect of giving influence over democracies to the world’s worst regimes. Besides, if we want organizations that span the entire world, we already have non-political organizations for this. I don’t mind playing volleyball against Egypt or football against Saudi Arabia, I just don’t want either of them to have any political influence over my country.
Another possibility is an expansion of NATO. Jose Maria Aznar, former Prime Minister of Spain, has argued along these lines. Although not saying that we should dump the UN, he has advocated strengthening and renewing NATO:
“The main purpose of NATO should remain to collectively preserve our democracies. The new mission should be clear: to combat jihadism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.” “I don’t believe in appeasement against terrorism. I don’t believe in negotiation with terrorism. I believe in the necessity to fight against terrorists. It is a very serious mistake to negotiate with terrorism. Terrorists should be frightened and defeated, and this is possible. No other policy exists for me.”
“If defending our own values against the radical Islamists is the future of NATO, we must change the way the Alliance is conceived geographically and open its doors to those nations that share our values, that defend them on the ground, and that are willing to join in the fight against jihadism. Thus, NATO should invite Japan, Australia, and Israel to become full members.” “For me, Israel is a vital part of the Western world.”
Expanding NATO geographically to Japan could be a good idea. I have earlier stated that we have probably arrived at the end of the Western world order, meaning that no one civilization will alone be able to manage world affairs in the 21st century, the way the West did for some time. What the West should do is to enter into strategic alliances with non-Western states that share some of our political ideals and goals. We might consider some other Asian nations besides Japan. India, for instance. Maybe the UN is one holy cow the Hindus of India would be willing to slaughter. The greatest flaw with India as a potential ally is its huge Islamic fifth column.
Still, there are problems with this option, too. There are those who think NATO is just a relic from the Cold War. NATO countries would theoretically be bound together by culture. In practice, this is made difficult by the existence of the European Union, which is by many viewed as a vehicle for countering the United States. The EU also serves as an instrument for our internal enemy of Multiculturalism and transnational post-democrats, as well as a bridgehead for our external enemy, Islam. Maybe we need to get rid of the EU, too, for NATO to function properly.
Besides, NATO hasn’t always worked that well in practice, either. The attacks on the embassies of NATO member Denmark following the Muhammad cartoons didn’t trigger any response from NATO, although it was pretty close to an act of war. The Western world did not rally around Denmark, nor did NATO declare that these attacks on one member state would be viewed as an attack on all member states. This inaction confronted with physical attacks by Islamic thug states such as Iran and Syria was a shameful act of appeasement that is going to cost us dearly.
Kosovo, which has become a hotbed of international crime and Jihadist activities, could soon become an independent state, courtesy of NATO. Western powers bombed the Christian Serbs to pave for ethnic cleansing and the burning of churches and monasteries, all under the auspices of NATO soldiers. NATO thus directly established a Muslim state in Europe, but did nothing when the Islamic world launched a frontal assault in Western core values such as freedom of speech. We shouldn’t kid ourselves into believing that this has gone unnoticed in the Islamic world.
Another issue with both the Democratic Union and the expanded NATO options is what to do with Russia and China. Russia under Putin is hardly a model democracy, and China under the Communist Party certainly isn’t. But both countries are simply too important to ignore in international affairs. China in particular is probably, next to the Islamic world, our greatest challenge in the future. There is, however, a big difference. The Islamic world always has been our enemy and always will be. China does not have to be our enemy, although our relations will be complicated because of her size and her own Great Power ambitions.
Neither Russia nor China would be happy about the loss of their vetos on the UN Security Council. We will need some understanding with and some mechanism for consultations with both of them. It is nice to talk about lofty ideals about democracy and human rights, but in the real world, we still need a good dose of Machiavellian realpolitik as well. Perhaps, instead of any new and formalized organization, the most important countries will simply form ad hoc alliances to deal with issues as they arise.
I do not have all the answers to how such a post-UN world will be like. The most important principle at this point is to isolate and contain the Islamic world. We simply cannot allow our enemies to have direct influence over our policies, which they partly do have through the UN.
Is it unrealistic to talk about the collapse of the EU and the UN? I don’t know. The UN was created in the aftermath of WW2. It survived the Cold War, but now we are rapidly entering into a new world war. My bet is that we will see huge changes in world affairs in the near future, at least as large as those which laid the foundations for the UN to begin with.
Whatever usefulness the UN may have had was lost decades ago. It is today of little use to us, but of significant use to our enemies. The time has come to say farewell to the United Nations.