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Statement by Wiener Akademikerbund at Supplementary Human Dimension Meeting November 6, 2009

Posted by paulipoldie on November 8, 2009

Supplementary Human Dimension Meeting:

Gender equality, with a special focus on combating violence against women

5 November 2009–6 November 2009, Vienna

Wiener Akademikerbund

In cooperation with and endorsed by

International Civil Liberties Alliance, Mission Europa, Pax Europa

Regarding the basic questions of western civilization and its rule of law with special focus on the view of gender in religious communities, we recommend that participating States look into the practices of religious communities whether their views of human rights and gender equality are constitutional.

For instance:

  1. What views of women’s rights is Female Genital Mutilation based on?
  2. What does the religious ruling on headscarves tell us about men and their views?
  3. What is the definition of female gender if it is not considered a legal person or its testimony in court counts only as half of that of a man?

These fundamental questions need to be asked. In order to successfully integrate religious communities into western civilization a very basic discussion on gender matters needs to take place.

In addition, religious communities should be required to what extent their image of women fits in with western civilization.


Posted in Berichte von Konferenzen, Conference Reports | 1 Comment »

Statement by Pax Europa for ICLA at Supplementary Human Dimension Meeting November 2009

Posted by paulipoldie on November 8, 2009

Supplementary Human Dimension Meeting:

Gender equality, with a special focus on combating violence against women

5 November 2009–6 November 2009, Vienna


Buergerbewegung Pax Europa

In cooperation with and endorsed by

International Civil Liberties Alliance, Mission Europa, Wiener Akademikerbund

Countering abuse and ‘honor’ killings in immigrant/Muslim families.


Distinguished delegates,


It is a key aim of the OSCE that men and women in OSCE participating states enjoy equal opportunities in society. This includes various forms of self-determination, including the right to choose an education, the right to choose partners in marriage, and the right to change faith. These rights are taken for granted in Western societies, which has led to great freedom and mutual respect between the sexes. Equal opportunities bring out the best in everyone, and are a laudable goal.


Violence against women takes various forms and can occur in the private sphere (i.e., intimate partner abuse, family violence, underage and forced marriage, dowry-related violence and the murder of women in the name of family honor).


Unfortunately, immigration has brought with it notions of honor that are opposed to Western legal principles and ideals, in particular the notion that one can uphold family ‘honor’ by killing female members of the family for not behaving as the family desires. This is a particular problem for teenagers in immigrant families, where their families may try to force them into an undesired marriage, while the society they live in permits women to choose their partners freely.


A high profile case of this kind was the killing of 18-year Ghazala Khan in Slagelse, Denmark. As a reaction to her freely chosen marriage to Emal Khan, her family plotted for her assassination, which was executed on September 23rd 2005 by her older brother. Setting a good example, the Danish authorities persecuted her family to the full extent possible under the law, and convicted nine family members a total of 120 years in prison for this first degree murder of their family member.



A current case involves the 17-year old Rifqa Bary, currently a dependent of the state in Ohio, USA. Her family wants her to return to their guardianship. Bary’s lawyers instead are arguing that she must be declared a dependent of the state, in need of services and protection by the state – APART from her parents. She has experienced a long history of systematic violence by her father, violence that was accepted as Shariah-compliant and legitimate within her orthodox Islamic community, with the result that no one within that community protected her or helped her escape a life-threatening situation. She did manage to escape – with her life – by leaving for Florida on her own, after her parents’ mosque, the Noor Islamic Cultural Center, had notified her father that she had become an apostate from Islam, an act that by way of Islamic tradition is punishable by death. She went to live with Christian foster parents in Florida. Recently, the court in Orlando, Florida, ordered that she should be returned to Ohio custody – currently with the state – in spite of the track record of violence and risk for her life. The November 16 hearing will hear arguments from her lawyers for continuing having the state be her guardian, so she can remain in secured foster care until she turns 18. If we are to protect women from this kind of repression, courts need to understand the threat of authoritative Shariah much better as a criminal system, and in particular the use of capital punishment for apostasy.


Domestic violence represents the same problem on a lesser scale. The frequency of domestic violence in immigrant families appears to be alarmingly high, though most cases are not reported to relevant authorities. This was recently discovered in a Danish school Rådmandsgades Skole, where most of the children reported that violence was the norm in their families, and is reflected at women’s shelters, where very disproportionate numbers of immigrant/Muslim women seek refuge, seeking a life free of domestic violence. More research is needed in this area to develop better laws and institutions to protect Muslim women and children, and also protect non-Muslims who provide them sanctuary.


The use of ‘honour’ killings (which should really be termed ‘family execution’) against female family member is a tool of fear and intimidation with the purpose of keeping other women under the control of family tradition. The message of such a killing is clear: “Obey the will of the family, or risk being killed by your family.” This tradition of repression needs to be broken.


Family executions take place most frequently, though not exclusively, in Muslim families. Thus, it has been debated if this is an Islamic custom or not. While Islamic scripture at places endorse beating or starving disobedient wives, no direct endorsement of killing is found. Thus, it is reasonable to assume that the custom is not Islamic in itself, and that Islamic scholars thus are free to speak out against the custom. Ideally, the tradition should be declared downright anti-Islamic, and that anybody participating in planning or executing such killings are to be considered apostates. Alternatively, Islamic leaders have the option of accepting these killings as a true Islamic custom. That would, however, set them in direct conflict with Western legal systems, as the judicial systems, not religious leaders, are the proper authorities for convicting and meting out punishments.


ICLA therefore recommends:

  • That the frequency of domestic violence in immigrant/Muslim families be researched to ascertain the extent of the problem, and what measures can be taken to counter it.
  • That ‘honor’ killings be treated as the message crimes they are, and that all participating in planning and executing such crimes be persecuted to the full extent possible under the law.
  • That authorities in OSCE participating states take threats from family members seriously and act decisively to protect family members from abuse and the risk of ‘honor’ killings.
  • That greater efforts be taken to protect immigrant women from abuse, including allocating adequate resources to womens’ shelters, as well as safe houses at undisclosed locations.
  • That family members at risk be given the benefit of doubt, in order that the tradition of repression within families be broken, and equal rights for women become an effective fact for all, also in immigrant/Muslim families.







Additional information on this case

By Robert Spencer

Rifqa Bary is a 17-year-old girl who was raised a Muslim in Sri Lanka and then in Ohio after her parents immigrated to the United States. By Rifqa’s account, her father and mother are “radical Muslims,” and this is borne out by the fact that they bypassed several mosques closer to their home in Columbus, Ohio, in order to join the farther-away Noor Islamic Center, a mosque with anti-Semitic associations and links to the internationally renowned Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, who has endorsed the death penalty for apostates from Islam, suicide bombings, and called for genocide against Jews.


Rifqa became a Christian around 2005, but kept that fact concealed from her parents out of fear for how they might react. However, she was relatively open about her faith on a Facebook that was discovered by members of the Noor Islamic Center in 2009 and reported to her parents. Rifqa says that she then had a confrontation with her father: “In a fit of anger that I had never seen before in my life, he picked up my lap top, waved it over my head as if to strike me with it and said, ‘If you have this Jesus in your heart, you are dead to me! You are no longer my daughter.’ I continued to remain silent and then he said to me, even more angry then before, ‘I will kill you! Tell me the truth!” Then later “my mother confronted me about another Christian book she discovered that I hid in my bedroom. She had just spoken with my father was on the phone who was out of town. She was very upset, in tears, and almost grieving and told me I was going to have to be sent back to Sri Lanka to be dealt with.”


In Sri Lanka, Rifqa said, she feared she would be killed or institutionalized by Muslims carrying out the traditional death penalty for apostasy, or taking it as far as they believed they could go. So she fled. She made her way from Ohio to Florida, where she took refuge at the home of a Christian pastor and his wife, and was ultimately placed in foster care.


After that Rifqa Bary became the center of a custody battle, as her Muslim parents took their case to the Council on American-Islamic Relations and to the media in a bid to get their daughter back home. Mohamed Bary denied ever threatening his daughter, and the lack of a threat was borne out by investigators from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. However, there was a good deal of question about the reliability and lack of bias of this investigation, particularly since the FDLE’s interview with Mohamed Bary and his wife had been supervised by a representative of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, a group that has been named an unindicted co-conspirator in a Hamas terror funding case, and which has had several of its officials arrested and convicted on various terror-related charges.


Now Rifqa has been sent back to Ohio. She is in foster care, but is in imminent danger of being returned to her family. Judge Daniel Dawson in Florida had said that he would not send Rifqa back to Ohio until he received her family’s immigration documents. Mohamed Bary was in danger of being held in contempt of court for failing to produce these documents. Eventually his attorney made an agreement with Rifqa’s guardian ad litem, offering to keep Rifqa in foster care until she was 18 — which would mean she was free from the father she fears so much — in exchange for dropping questions about the immigration status. But once the contempt of court charge over the immigration issue was dropped, Mohamed Bary’s attorney reneged, leaving Rifqa back in Ohio and in imminent danger of being sent home to her family.


From there, of course, once media attention died down, it would not be difficult to have her sent back to Sri Lanka to be killed or institutionalized — and even in Ohio she would be subjected to relentless, unstinting pressure to renounce Christianity and proclaim Islam publicly.


What’s more, Rifqa, unlike thousands of children in foster care in the U.S., has been forbidden to use the phone or Internet. She has been effectively isolated from the outside world.


This is a human rights issue that should interest everyone who believes in the freedom of conscience and the freedom of religion. Although the American media has glided over the fact or denied it outright. Will this girl be exposed to mortal danger or allowed to exercise her freedom of conscience in the United States of America? Will Sharia provisions — calling for the indefinite imprisonment and isolation of the female apostate — be allowed to prevail in this country? Why is Rifqa, alone among the thousands of minors in foster care, be cut off from the outside world entirely, deprived of phone and Internet use? The phone or Internet could save her life. And saving her life seems to be what malevolent forces in the U.S. are doing their best to make impossible.




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Statement by Pax Europa at Supplementary Human Dimension Meeting November 2009

Posted by paulipoldie on November 8, 2009

Supplementary Human Dimension Meeting:

Gender equality, with a special focus on combating violence against women

5 November 2009–6 November 2009, Vienna

Buergerbewegung Pax Europa

In cooperation with and endorsed by

International Civil Liberties Alliance, Mission Europa, Wiener Akademikerbund

“Gender Equality and The Threat From Religious Law”


“The peace and welfare of the world require maximum participation of women on equal terms with men in all fields.” United Nations General Assembly resolution 34/180 of 18 December 1979


OSCE has recognized that comprehensive security in its participating states depends on “The full and equal exercise by women of their human rights [as being] essential to achiev[ing] a more peaceful, prosperous and democratic OSCE area.” In many participating gender equality is indeed a fact, even if only by law. However, much more needs to be done.


For many women, violence is a part of their daily lives. Violence can manifest itself in many forms, but it is domestic violence against women that calls for elimination. The OSCE and its Action Plan for the Promotion of Gender Equality (2004) can actively contribute to the elimination of domestic violence. Since gender quality contributes to comprehensive security, the participating states are called upon to ensure that women and men are granted equal status before the law. Unfortunately, there are more and more cases in the OSCE in which religious law is taken into consideration by both the state and the religious groups and accepted as equal to secular law. This is especially harmful for women as they are particularly discriminated against by these religious laws, practices, and courts. Permitting sharia courts to operate, like we see it happening in the United Kingdom, are by definition a violation of the principle of gender equality, due to the literalist scripture interpretation employed by these religious courts.


One case in point are the religious sharia courts in the United Kingdom, which have been sanctioned by the government. Eighty-four courts are currently operating, with more being planned. And it is in these courts that women are not treated as being equal before the law. The cases are tried according to the sharia, and not secular law, with the rulings endorsed by the British government.


The following are selected cases from the OSCE area:

“Sheikh Faiz-ul-Aqtab Siddiqi said that in a recent inheritance dispute handled by the court in Nuneaton, the estate of a Midlands man was divided between three daughters and two sons.

The judges on the panel gave the sons twice as much as the daughters, in accordance with sharia. Had the family gone to a normal British court, the daughters would have got equal amounts.

In the six cases of domestic violence, Siddiqi said the judges ordered the husbands to take anger management classes and mentoring from community elders. There was no further punishment.

In each case, the women subsequently withdrew the complaints they had lodged with the police and the police stopped their investigations.

Siddiqi said that in the domestic violence cases, the advantage was that marriages were saved and couples given a second chance.”



Four out of 10 women in Turkey are beaten by their husbands, according to the recent study entitled “Domestic Violence against Women in Turkey,” which has collected the first official statistics on this topic in Turkey. Even more disturbing, the study reveals that a significant number of abused women, almost 90 percent, do not seek help from any organization.


A woman in a studio audience stands up and, with the spotlight highlighting her covered head, announces to the crowd that her husband abuses her but that she doesn’t know how to react and still be a good Muslim. The host of this popular Turkish TV show, “Islam in Our Life,” Professor Faruk Beser, is — from his trimmed mustache to his tailored suit — the image of a modern, successful Turkish man. But as he approaches the woman, his answer is far from progressive. Looking her in the eye, Beser urges the woman to “carry this pain within you and keep living with your husband,” prescribing constant prayer over divorce, and reminding the woman of the rewards she will receive in heaven for her suffering.



Third of Turkish women report abuse: A total of 34 percent of married women participating in a survey said they were victims of domestic violence while 88.6 percent of married male respondents said they had never engaged in physical violence with their spouse.



The European Court of Human Rights, or ECHR, ruled Turkey had denied a citizen her “right to life” by failing to prevent her murder by her son-in-law and ordered it to pay damages. It was the first time the court ruled against a state for failing to protect a citizen against domestic violence, Turkish broadcasters reported. Turkey was also found to have violated the convention on human rights which prohibits torture, inhumane treatment and discrimination in Opuz vs. Turkey. It was ordered to pay 36,500 euros ($50,670) to the applicant, whose ex-husband killed her mother, according to a ruling on the ECHR’s website. “The general and discriminatory judicial passivity in Turkey created a climate that was conducive to domestic violence,” the court said in the statement. As many as half of Turkish women face violence in the home, Amnesty International has said, and dozens of women are killed in so-called “honor killings” each year.



In light of these and so many other cases of violence against women, and in acknowledging that it is the responsibility of the participating states to promote equality between women and men, Pax Europa and its allied organizations International Civil Liberties Alliance (ICLA), Mission Europa and Wiener Akademikerbund submit the following recommendations:


  • Participating States must point out to all religious groups that men and women enjoy quality before the law. In addition, participating states should punish violations according to the law.


  • Participating states should particularly focus on the following:
  1. Inheritance laws must be enforced equally for men and women.
  2. Testimony from a woman must be considered equal to that of a man.
  3. Corporal punishments inflicted from men on women must be strictly prohibited and, if prohibited by law, the law must be enforced and perpetrator be brought to justice.
  • The practice of polygamy must be punished under the law.
  • In order to make gender equality a reality, it is necessary that participating states establish the basic conditions for a minimum of economic security.


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Identity Crisis: Can European Civilization Survive?

Posted by paulipoldie on October 19, 2009

March 13 – 14, 2008, European University of Rome, Italy

by ESW

The European Freedom Alliance was established during the conference “Identity Crisis: Can European Civilization Survive?”, which was held in Rome. The Alliance is headquartered in Lausanne, Switzerland, and will develop and administer new programs and activities which advance and defend the cause of freedom and liberty in Europe. It will also administer a legal networking project and a scholarly and research institute that will conduct academic investigation into EU policies and actions.

The European Freedom Alliance is an organization which unites individuals and communities around the world who share a concern about the threats to freedom and liberty in Europe- the hub of Western civilization. The Alliance’s programs, publications, conferences and websites develop tools and strategies to counter the growing influence of ideologies and movements that threaten freedom and deny the sanctity of the personal conscience.

According to Avi Davis, the Alliance senior fellow and executive director, “Since September 11, we have witnessed an unprecedented demand in Europe and North America for minority rights and autonomy. As a result, a virtual code of silence has descended on Europe to address such issues as female genital mutilation, honor killings and the oppression of women within Muslim enclaves, for fear of offending Muslim sensitivities. Yet, the absence of any true outrage will have catastrophic consequences for the future of Western civilization and values. Such unquestioning moral relativism [was] one of the principle issues examined by the conference.”

The conference featured distinguished speakers such as Bat Ye’or, David Littman, Melanie Phillips, and Douglas Murray, among many others.

In his introductory speech, Avi Davis said, “Europe has become a continent wracked by internal contradictions. Convince of their status as avatars of genuine liberal democracy, European leaders are yet unwilling to confront or even recognize the successful rise of a supremacist ideology within their own borders; Having disavowed organized religion, Europeans nevertheless encourage– both wittingly and unwittingly– the spread of a religious dogma which challenges some of the basic liberties upon which their own civilization is founded; Eschewing any notion of value in American culture, the continent remains the United States’ most steadfast trading partner in cultural exchange, gobbling up American movies, television and music with a voraciousness that shows little sign of abating; Having enshrined welfare, health care and job tenure as universal rights, it has yet to realize that the institutional paralysis imposed by these programs will make it almost impossible for the continent to compete with the rising economies of China and India over the next fifty years.” He continued, “One has to wonder then whether Europe’s post-modern intellectual now views the Enlightenment as little more than one set of cultural prejudices, no better nor worse than any other, and inspiring no particular moral preference. Could it be that three thousand years of moral and intellectual development has exhausted itself in a miasma of doubt, intellectual inertia and self loathing? The collapse of a civilization begins when its denizens lose faith in their own future. Has that happened to Europe? If so, why has it happened and where does this leave its sister civilization in the United States? If Europe’s lamps are not yet extinguished, they are at risk of eclipse. In order to keep them lit, we require the courage and determination to ask hard questions about ourselves and the societies in which we live. Such commitment begins, in the Western enlightened tradition, with dialogue and debate.”

First Morning Panel: European conflicts and the threat to Western Civilization

Marcello Pera, an Italian politician and philosopher and former president of the Italian senate, Pera has become a leading opponent of post-modernism and cultural relativism and on this subject he resonates with religious thinkers, despite being an atheist himself. He sees European conflicts as being a threat to Western civilization. There are two risks and threats in Europe today:

  1. External: Islamic fundamentalism and terrorism

  2. Internal: Immigration and lack of integration,

all leading to a weakening of our tradition. We cannot fight without proclaiming our identity. Principles and values are the basics of our tradition. Political and intellectual Europe does not understand the risk properly. As a result, Europe responds as follows:

    • with passivity and appeasement

    • with multiculturalism

    • by concealing traditions, denying or even opposing them

    • by having a guilt complex that Europe is responsible for all the aggression and we deserve what we are currently undergoing.

Liberalism, according to Pera, means individuals are endowed with basic freedoms, self-evident truths, and personal rights. Today, though, because of democracy, we are voting on things that are non-negotiable, thereby placing doubt on these things. Democracy, equality of all people, is also weakened because doubt is cast by the government and aggressive minorities (such as feminists, gays, lesbians, etc.) on non-negotiable values. Pressure groups have become stronger. As a result, courts have become locomotives. Decisions are made in court, then parliament decides, and only then come customs, where it should be the other way around. Today, all values are equal and negotiable. Nothing is sacred. We can decide everything.

Referring to the Declaration of Independence, the Declaration of the Rights of Man, and The UN Charter on Human Rights, which guarantee that “The Republic recognizes the fundamental rights of Man”, Pera adds that today these fundamental rights are at risk.

Talking about tradition, he defended the Judeo-Christian tradition: Individuals, before belonging to a state, must be respected as humans. No one can deny the values of Judeo-Christian civilizations.

[Background information: Judeo-Christian is a term used to describe the body of concepts and values which are thought to be held in common by Judaism and adapted by Christianity, and typically considered by some (sometimes along with classical Greco-Roman civilization) a fundamental basis for Western legal codes and moral values. It implies a common set of values present in the modern Western World. The term has been criticized by some for suggesting more commonality than may actually exist. Adapted from Wikipedia]

Bat Ye’or responded by saying that Europe has entered the world of Jihad. However, we do have tools to combat this:

  • We must refuse blame

  • We must rediscover our identity

  • We must realize that there were crimes, but we are not the only ones who committed crimes.

Bat Ye’or sees the problem lying not only in the lack of faith , but also in our duty to help the young. It takes generations to fight this problem, but this is not yet clear to them. We must realize that this is their future and it is our duty to give them weapons to fight the problem.

In responding to Marcello Pera, Baroness Caroline Cox described three main conflicts in the UK today (although this is adaptable to the rest of Europe):

  1. Ideological conflict

    • There is no national identity

    • Muslims have no need to assimilate

    • If we have no vision, we perish

    • Young converts are looking for a coherent ideology = Islam

    • There is a spiritual and moral vacuum

  1. Political conflict:

    • Sharia law is already present, in its own form

    • Sharia courts present to provide for marriage

    • Rise in honor-related violence; police are compliant by sending girls who have run away back to their parents, sometimes up to ten times.

  1. Economic conflict:

    • State funding of military conflicts

    • Sharia-compliance in financial transactions

Second Morning Panel: Geo-Strategies of the Muslim World

Bat Ye’or described what she calls Soft Jihad.

Consists of propaganda, corruption, and the use of petrodollars. Soft Jihad operates through the lack of information from the media, induces feelings of guilt. While it developed in the last thirty years, it is related to strong migration with the threat of terrorist attacks when there is resistance. The OIC (Organization of Islamic Conference) does not recognize countries and thus Europe’s right to its own laws. Our governments obey all requests from OIC.

Baroness Caroline Cox added in her response that European politicans are not thinking strategically.

Muslims have an ideological agenda. They undermine confidence in our heritage. Even the BBC is now pro-Islam and anti-Christian.

They also have an economic agenda. There are large-scale investments in developing countries, which means Islam is thinking economic: jobs are created, micro-credits are provided if you convert. There is investment in schools and healthcare if you convert. Orphanages are funded in Sudan if Christian children convert.

The political agenda happens through conversion. Politicians convert and thus attract the Muslim vote.

The military agenda takes place in Sudan with the military takeover; in Nigeria with churches being burned; and in Ambon, Indonesia (sectarian violence, against Christians, in 1999).

What can we do?, asks Baroness Cox.

  • We should build brigdes where it is worth it.

  • We should think strategically.

  • We should think culturally: build schools, do training, to study Western curricula.

  • We should think economically: use Western capital to invest.

  • We should think politically: We have to strengthen politicans.

Above all: We must raise awareness!

First afternoon panel: Internal threats to European survival: Multiculturalism and the impact of cultural and moral relativism upon European identity.

Multiculturalism: A powerful force, it is the opposite of liberalism, means putting on blinds. The muliticulturalist sees himself as the enemy of racism. Multiculturalism is the guarding faith of teachers in schools and journalists and it forbids honest thinking because it preaches that we have no right to judge anyone and anything.

Douglas Murray is a British neo-conservative freelance journalist and political writer from Lewis, Scotland. He is currently the Director of the Centre for Social Cohesion, a right-wing think-tank which focuses solely on Islamic extremism in the UK. He spoke about multiculturalism being an anti-western ideology. It is opposed to the European people. Westerners are born into guilt, but everyone else is guilt-free. He believes the key issue to be freedom of speech.

Melanie Phillips, a British journalist, writes for the Daily Mail and the London Jewish Chronicle and published “Londonistan”, an analysis of the British failure to confront radical Islam.

The UK is the battleground of beliefs. Islamists are interested in strength and weaknesses and we are showing weakness. Britain was the first into the enlightenment, and it is the first out.

In her opinion, in multiculturalism all values are relative. This is the cause of the Islamists’ disdain. Multiculturalism is one of the most important weapons of the Islamists. It is illiberal and intolerant. As a result, the majority is seen as intolerant.

The effects are:

  • Children are stranded in the desert without a map. There is no culture of national self-respect. Children of immigrants are stranded between two worlds: British lifestyle and unsophisticated parents and family.

  • Multiculturalism forbids any discussion of forced marriages and cousin marriages.

  • Propaganda: the majority’s self-defense is racism. Victim and victimizer have roles reversed.

The deal is: minorities are welcome but minorites need to understand our law. The majority makes the law!

Melanie Phillips added that the mainstream media demonizes and deligitimizes Israel. She also spoke portrayal of Israel in the UK media.

Flemming Rose, the cultural editor of the Danish daily Jyllands Posten, in his speech said that tolerance was originally seen as the right to free speech. Today it is used to stifle free speech, by saying “we are intolerant if we publish cartoons.” Tolerance is not required for the one delivering, but for the one at the receiving end.

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Shocker! Pax Europa Accused Of Racism At OSCE Conference!

Posted by paulipoldie on October 2, 2009

Regular readers will be aware that I usually do not comment on anything I post here; comments can be found at the original sites. However, I was alerted to this piece below, which prompted me to reply. And swiftly at that.


hat tip aeneas

Blue stars, yellow stars

On the tables with information booklets outside the pelnary hall a leaflet appeared of the ‘Burgerbewegung Pax Europa’ (BPE). They call themselves a Human Rights organization for Freedom and Democracy. “The Citizens’ Movement Pax Europa clearly distances itself from all right-wing or left-wing extremists and all xenophobic movements” I always get suspicious when I read a disclaimer like that. Why would you put that in your flyer? There must be something in it that could perhaps make the reader think your either an extremist, a racist or both.

“The Citizens’ Movement Pax Europa is open to all those who want to join and support the association’s objectives: Democracy, rule of law, and human rights according to the ‘UN Declaration of Human Rights’ ” Apparently the UN charter doesn’t apply to migrants, ehh Muslims, ehh Turkish Muslims in Germany in particular. “About 1 million Muslims – 700.000 Turkish – have been granted German citizenship” So? You would think the BPE would be happy that so many wish to become German citizen and fulfill all requirements that come with it. No, BPE is not, they are outraged that there are some 2600 Islamic prayer houses and on top of that 163 traditional mosques “with minarets and dome” Eeeks, minarets and dome, that’s scary…. Since 34% of Germans are Protestant and another 34% Roman Catholic how many churches (with bells and tower) would there be? The migration rate of 2.19 migrants/1,000 population (2009 est.) puts Germany on place number 40 of the world migration rate, countries like the Netherlands (34) Denmark (33) and Portugal (29) above them.

The entire leaflet is riddled with so-called arguments why Muslims/Turks (being Turkish = Muslim apparently) should not be allowed to become citizen of Germany or any European country. Turkey should, as an Asian – Muslim country, never be allowed to join the EU. It also lists demands for migrants to be allowed into an European country, it all comes down to assimilate or ship out. It is rather curious, to put it mildly, to see this odious piece of racist propaganda appear during the HDIM, an event where people gather to exchange thoughts on human rights, certainly not always agreeing, but at least trying to debate issues on bases of arguments and most of the time in a respectful manner. The BPE has reversed the EU logo colors, they have a yellow background with blue stars. Folks, the EU yellow stars only have 5 points, no problem there….

I CARE News team


Pax Europa has made the effort to engage in a process – now there are people implying that it should not be bothering and should shut itself off to all other ideas.

This opinion piece is “riddled” with idiocies.  But I will address them step by step.

1. Apparently the UN charter doesn’t apply to migrants, ehh Muslims, ehh Turkish Muslims in Germany in particular.

Of course, it does. The leaflet does not, and will never, deny the fact that there is a UN Charter (I take it the author meant the UN Charter on Human Rights). Pax Europa deeply respects the Charter and will continue to do so. However, one must be aware that there is also a parallel set of human rights which is endorsed by the United Nations: The Cairo Declaration of Human Rights in Islam (1990). No such thing as “universal rights” if there is another set of human rights, is there?

Whereas the Universal declaration states

‘Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.’

CDHRI does not guarantee equal rights, but merely equal dignity: Article 6 (a) Woman is equal to man in human dignity, and has rights to enjoy as well as duties to perform; she has her own civil entity and financial independence, and the right to retain her name and lineage. (b) The husband is responsible for the support and welfare of the family.

‘All men are equal in terms of basic human dignity and basic obligations and responsibilities, without any discrimination on the basis of race, colour, language, belief, sex, religion, political affiliation, social status or other considerations.’

In particular, CDHRI has been criticised for failing to guarantee freedom of religion.

Here, I rest my case.

2. You would think the BPE would be happy that so many wish to become German citizen and fulfill all requirements that come with it.

BPE would be very happy about many becoming German citizen (sic!), if they only abide by the law. Many become German citizens without giving up their original citizenship, which makes one wonder why they bother at all. Could it be that some have other motives? No, that couldn’t be it because there are no bad and sinister asylum seekers and migrants; it the host societies’ fault that migrants are not feeling welcome. (Sarcasm off)

3. “…they are outraged that there are some 2600 Islamic prayer houses and on top of that 163 traditional mosques “with minarets and dome” Eeeks, minarets and dome, that’s scary.”

May I remind your readers of the following statement made by the current Turkish prime minister:

“Mosques are our barracks, minarets our bayonets, domes our helmets, the believers our soldiers.” Recep Tayyip Erdogan, President of Turkey, 1997.

Or perhaps this statement made by Erdogan in Cologne, Germany:

ANKARA – Turkish PM warns Germany’s leaders not to confuse assimilation with integration. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan urged Turks in Germany on Tuesday to reject assimilation, repeating comments that drew a furious response last weekend.

“I repeat… assimilation is a crime against humanity,” Erdogan said in a speech to parliament in Ankara.

Erdogan warned Germany’s leaders not to confuse assimilation with integration for the nearly three million people of Turkish origin living in the country.

“I explained over there (Germany) that they must differentiate very clearly between assimilation and integration. We can think differently from (Chancellor Angela) Merkel about this, but that is my opinion,” Erdogan said (…)

4. Turkey should, as an Asian – Muslim country, never be allowed to join the EU.

No, it should not. It does not need to join the EU. It already enjoys a privileged association status, which should suffice. See here for more information.

5. It is rather curious, to put it mildly, to see this odious piece of racist propaganda appear during the HDIM, an event where people gather to exchange thoughts on human rights, certainly not always agreeing, but at least trying to debate issues on bases of arguments and most of the time in a respectful manner.

Would you care to elaborate on the racism charge? Otherwise I will assume your are using the racism charge because you ran out of arguments and to stifle debate.

6. “… most of the time in a respectful manner…”

And would you also point out where Pax Europa and its colleagues departed from respectful manners?


Surely OSCE meetings are places where problems can be resolved rather than glossed over.  To dismiss a position via name calling does not make the world a better place because it makes people afraid to raise matters of public concern that fester as a result.

See also: http://www.libertiesalliance.org/2009/10/02/attempt-to-silence-debate-in-warsaw/

Posted in Conference Reports, Freedom of Speech/Redefreiheit, Human Rights - menschenrechte, Must Read, News | 2 Comments »

ICLA and allied organizations gather at OSCE Human Dimension Implementation Meeting in Warsaw

Posted by paulipoldie on September 30, 2009

ICLA and its allied organizations Pax Europa, Mission Europa and Wiener Akademikerbund attended today’s sessions on Fundamental Freedoms including Freedom of Thought, Conscience, Religion or Belief, as well as a follow-up to the Vienna Supplementary Human Dimension Meeting. The afternoon session included topics on Freedom of Assembly and Association and Freedom of Movement, among others.

In activities surrounding the meeting, ICLA and its allied organizations worked to contribute to the broader debate and attempted to foster understanding and mutual respect between the counterjihad and other interested parties and stakeholders in these important areas of concern. ICLA officially issued the following statement at the meeting:

Use of intimidation to curb civil liberties

Recent cases in the OSCE area

We are concerned about the increasing use of intimidation to curb the exercise of civil liberties in the OSCE area. This covers fundamental liberties such as freedom of movement, freedom of assembly and, not least, freedom of expression. Here we present recent cases on the matter, and our recommendations for political initiatives to counter this trend.

Modern, secular society was built with centuries of relevant criticism of religion, in particular by questioning religious authority. No form of intimidation can make us abandon our fundamental values of critical thinking and free speech. We expect our institutions and elected politicians to protect these, to take the relevant precautions as well as any risks involved in doing so.

Unfortunately, we are witnessing a slow but steady decline in the state of civil liberties. This decline is to a great extent due to intimidations, threats or even violence from non-state actors, aided and abetted by our police, courts and other authorities not standing up to the challenges. We need to identify the new challenges and adopt our approaches, so that we are able to counter repressive activity from non-state actors and loosely organized groups in order to preserve freedom and diversity.

Dr. Jussi Halla-aho convicted for ‘incitement to hatred’ at Finnish court

Dr.Jussi Halla-aho is a Helsinki city councilman, a linguist with a PhD in Slavic studies, and a web columnist who maintains a very popular (and controversial) blog called Scripta. He is best known for being a consistent critic of the problems created by mass immigration and multicultural policies in Finland. After his December 2008 election to the city council of Helsinki, he was accused of ‘racist writings’, due to an article he had written about the increasing number of rape cases by immigrants against Finnish women. The investigation was launched at the request of the Women’s organization of the Green Party, who filed a complaint concerning the last paragraph of text in a blog post of his, and sought the police to investigate to help determine whether the paragraph constitutes incitement to rape. This investigation was abolished on technical grouns, but later Jussi Halla-aho was convicted and fined for “breaching the sanctity of religion” and “inciting hatred against an ethnic group” due to his critical articles about Islam.


Disrupting peaceful demonstration I   Copenhagen January 10th 2009

On January 10th 2009, a legal and peaceful pro-Israel demonstration was held in the town square of Copenhagen, Denmark, in support of Israel against Hamas. Counter-demonstrators disrupted the demonstration with a siren, then assembled with shouts of “Heil Hitler”, “Kill the Jews ”, “Allah-hu Akbar” and more, accompanied by Hitler salutes. After the pro-Israel demonstration had ended, the pro-Palestine demonstration marched the square with shouts of “Khaybar Khaybar ya Yahoud, Jaish Muhammad sauf ya’ud “ (“Khaybar, Khaybar, O Jews, Muhammad’s army will return”), a reference to Muhammad’s violent assault on the Jewish settlement of Khaybar, Medina, and thus an implied threat of violence against Jews. Gülay Kocbay and Havva Kocbay participated in the counter-demonstration, using the siren and holding a speech. They were at the time members of the organisation Muslimer i Dialog (“Muslims in Dialogue”), but resigned due to the siren incident. The open display of anti-semitism was not mentioned in their resignation announcement. Danish authorities investigated the matter, but decided not to press charges of racism, citing difficulties identifying the participants.



Disrupting peaceful demonstration II   Copenhagen, August 28th 2009

In August 2009, SIOE organized a demonstration against plans for an Iranian-funded mosque in Copenhagen, Denmark, citing concerns that the mosque would be a front for the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, and that its real purpose was to enable the Iranian regime to keep track of dissidents and to radicalize Muslims in Denmark. The Danish authorities did not permit the demonstration at the desired location in Nørrebro, relegating it instead to be held in front of the Danish parliament. Here, left-wing radicals turned up in order to loudly disrupt the demonstration, and were successful in dissuading many from participating. When the SIOE organizers requested the police to call the counter-demonstration to order, the police officer cited “freedom of expression” as justification for not intervening against the disturbances.


Demonstration at Harrow mosque attacked by Muslims


Demonstration in Cologne obstructed by Antifa activits and Muslims

On 19 September 2008, an approved rally by citizens’ group Pro Köln to protest against the construction of a mosque complex to dwarf the cathedral of Cologne in Germany was brought to an abrupt end when the speaker system was pulled and the people who had managed to access the Heumarkt were besieged and surrounded by aggressive groups of black-clad Antifa activists.  Many others who had wished to join the protest were prevented from reaching the rally and blocked at railway stations, or even physically assaulted. The rally was repeated on May 9th 2009 but not allowed to take place in central Cologne.  Once again, the Pro-Köln supporters were subjected to harassment and abuse at the hands of Antifa activists and Muslims.


Wilders barred from entering the UK for ‘security reasons’

One of the most worrisome developments in the United Kingdom was the ban on entry for Dutch MP Geert Wilders, known for his short movie Fitna about Islam and terrorism. He was barred entry to the UK on grounds that his entry “would threaten community harmony and therefore public security”, even though Wilders has never advocated the use of violence or threatened anyone. On the other hand, Britain’s Muslim peer, Lord Nazir Ahmed, threatened to mobilize 10,000 Muslims to protest Wilders’ appearance and the showing of Fitna in the British Parliament. Rather than reprimanding Lord Ahmed for this act of intimidation, the British government chose to ban Wilders from entering Britain, returning him at arrival to Heathrow Airport. This constitutes not only giving in to intimidation, but is also an abuse of the law to restrict freedom of movement within the European Union.


Libel tourism as an assault on freedom of press

Libel tourism is the exploitation of poorly written libel laws in one country to silence critical voices in others. The libel laws of Great Britain have been used extensively for this purpose, due to the fact that the burden of proof in British law is reversed compared to comparable law in other countries. Under British law, an author or journalist sued for libel will have to prove his statements true in order to avoid sentence. Using this approach, persons with deep pockets can silence critical voices. Such a lawsuit was filed in a British court by Khalid Salim bin Mahfouz against American author Rachel Ehrenfeld for her 2003 book ”Funding Evil”, even though the book was never published in Britain. Ms. Ehrenfeld was convicted a fine of $225,000 and destruction of her book. As a reaction, in order to protect freedom of press in the United States, US lawmakers passed legislation making the UK law unenforceable in the United States. This protects US authors, but not others. Relevant books, such as Alms for Jihad by Burr & Collins, have been withdrawn or even remained unpublished due to the fear of libel suits. Such books can be found published Samizdat-style on the Internet. The legal problem in Britain still exists, and publishers shy away from critical titles due to the risk of expensive lawsuits. In order to protect authors and journalists, and to live up to modern standards for freedom of press, British law needs to be amended.


Oriana Fallaci sued for ‘Defaming Islam’

In 2002 in Switzerland the Islamic Center and the Somal Association of Geneva, SOS Racisme of Lausanne, along with a private citizen, sued Italian author Oriana Fallaci for the allegedly “racist” content of The Rage and The Pride. In May 2005, Adel Smith, president of the Union of Italian Muslims, launched a lawsuit against Fallaci charging that “some of the things she said in her book The Force of Reason are offensive to Islam.” Smith’s attorney cited 18 phrases, most notably a phrase that referred to Islam as “a pool that never purifies.” Consequently an Italian judge ordered Fallaci to stand trial set for June, 2006 in Bergamo on charges of “defaming Islam.” The preliminary trial began on 12 June in Bergamo and on 25 June Judge Beatrice Siccardi decided that Oriana Fallaci should indeed stand trial beginning on 18 December. Fallaci accused the judge of having disregarded the fact that Smith called for her murder and defamed Christianity.


OIC seeks to censor art exhibition in Demmark

Kurt Westergaard, the cartoonist behind the most famous of the 12 Muhammad cartoons in Danish daily Jyllands-Posten, has been living with around-the-clock police protection since a plot to assassinate him was uncovered on February 12th, 2008. This threat has not caused him to repent or apologize for his drawings, and he now proceeds to talk for the freedom of speech, and keeps drawing as well. On August 29th 2009, an exhibition of his latest drawings, including a reproduction of his famous Muhammad cartoon. The OIC spokesman said that the exhibition of the cartoon could incite hatred and intolerance and hurt the sentiments of Muslims worldwide, and wanted it removed. This, of course, is an implicit reference to the violent riots that took place in January/February 2006, a while after the original publication of the cartoons. Kurt Westergaard, who at the age of 74 states that he is too old to worry about getting killed, refused to give in to intimidation and the exhibition proceeded as planned.


More attempts to shut down ‘offensive’ art exhibitions are listed here: http://gatesofvienna.blogspot.com/2009/09/muslims-provoked-by-art.html

Policy recommendations

The International Civil Liberties Alliance sees quite a lot of work ahead before our civil liberties are again sufficiently secured. Governments need to be significantly more assertive and effective to ensure the liberties we have long taken for granted. To that end, we recommend the following:

–        Our civil liberties need to be defended using whatever resources are necessary. Lack of equipment or fear of hurting police personnel is not a sufficient reason to abandon the fundamental obligation of the police to protect demonstrators and the like.

–        Libel law in Britain is urgently in need of revision, reversing the burden of proof so as to prevent misuse of these laws against authors and journalists, who should be free to conduct and publish investigative work without fear of frivolous and costly court cases.

–        It should be made clear that truth is an absolute defence. No matter how offensive it may feel to some, speaking verifiable truth can never be made punishable.

–        Lawmakers and courts must make it clear that criticism of religion does not constitute racism, and thus is not subject to punishment under any form of hate speech law. Further, defamation applies only to individuals, not to religions or ideologies.

–        Dealing with conflict by banning expression of negative sentiment (‘hate speech’ laws) is legally problematic, in that such regulations constitute limitations to our fundamental liberties, and may serve to cover up conflicts rather than solve them. Such broad articles are subject to abuse, should authorities and courts come under pressure from various parties, as were similar laws in the Soviet Union Due to the inherent dangers such laws constitute, ICLA recommends that it is in the interest of our freedom to abolish such laws entirely.

In addition, statements were made by ICLA and Pax Europa during the plenary session of the working group on Fundamental Freedom.


Session 3 Freedom of Movement

The International Civil Liberties Alliance would like to raise the issue of Dutch MP Geert Wilders being denied entry into the United Kingdom earlier this year.

He was barred entry to the UK on grounds that his entry “would threaten community harmony and therefore public security”, even though he has never advocated the use of violence or threatened anyone. On the other hand, a member of the House of Lords, Lord Nazir Ahmed, threatened to mobilize 10,000 Muslims to protest Mr Wilders’ appearance and the showing of his short film Fitna in the British Parliament. Rather than reprimanding Lord Ahmed for this act of intimidation, the British government chose to ban Mr Wilders from entering Britain, returning him to the Netherlands on his arrival at Heathrow Airport.

This constitutes not only giving in to intimidation, but is also in our opinion an abuse of the law to restrict freedom of movement within the European Union.

The International Civil Liberties Alliance therefore calls upon the OSCE to encourage Participating States to refrain from restricting movement on such whimsical and apparently politically motivated grounds.

Pax Europa:

Session 3 Freedom of Assembly

Pax Europa would like to draw attention to the OSCE guidelines to Freedom of Assembly which specifiy that “The state has a positive duty to actively protect peaceful assemblies.” Furthermore, the state is required to protect participants of a peaceful demonstration from any person or group that attempts to disrupt (…) it in any way.

These guidelines were not adhered to during the peaceful demonstrations that took place in Copenhagen in January and August 2009.

In January, a legal and peaceful demonstration in support of Israel was disrupted by counter-demonstrators shouting “Heil Hitler” and “Kill the Jews” as well as other references of that sort. Danish authorities investigated the matter, but decided not to press charges of racism, citing difficulties identifying the participants.

In August, a demonstration against an Iranian-funded mosque was loudly disrupted by left-wing radicals, who were also successful in dissuading many from participating in the demonstration. A request to the police to call the counter-demonstration to order was fruitless when the police officer cited “freedom of expression” as justification for not intervening against the disturbances.

We call on the OSCE Participating States to ensure that the OSCE guidelines pertaining to Freedom of Assembly are adhered to by the governments in all instances, thereby ensuring the continued right to the very freedoms that make up democracy.

ICLA and its allied organizations remain committed in engaging in the OSCE process, in particular in the area of the Human Dimension.

Posted in Berichte von Konferenzen, Conference Reports, Counterjihad | 5 Comments »

Die OSZE und der Counter-Jihad

Posted by paulipoldie on August 31, 2009

Bericht vom „Supplementary Human Dimension Meeting on Freedom of Religion or Belief“ 9.-10. Juli 2009 in Wien .

Anfang des Monats Juli 2009 veranstaltete die „Organisation für Sicherheit und Zusammenarbeit in Europa“ (OSZE) in Wien einen Runden Tisch der „Human Dimension“ (ODIHR) zum Thema „Religions- und Glaubensfreiheit“. Die OSZE ist die Nachfolgeorganisation der KSZE (Konferenz für Sicherheit und Zusammenarbeit in Europa) und in Wien ansässig. Neben anderen NGOs (Non Government Organisations) entsandte auch die BÜRGERBEWEGUNG PAX EUROPA eine teilnehmende Delegation. . Die BPE gab dort vorab die folgende Empfehlung an die Teilnehmer ab: . Die “BÜRGERBEWEGUNG PAX EUROPA” (BPE) ist sowohl unabhängig wie überparteilich und versteht sich als europäische Bürgerrechtsbewegung und Menschenrechtsorganisation. Unser Ziel ist es, nicht nur für den Schutz des freien, demokratischen und säkularen Rechtsstaat in unserem Land zu kämpfen, sondern auch für die europäische Kultur auf der Grundlage der jüdisch-christlichen Traditionen und – besonders – auf den Werten der Aufklärung. Der Verein distanziert sich deutlich von allen rechten oder linken Extremisten sowie von fremdenfeindlichen Bestrebungen. . Die BPE begrüßt und unterstützt alle Bemühungen der OSZE/ODIHR und ihrer Mitglieder sowie NGOs in Vergangenheit und Gegenwart zum Schutz der individualen Menschenrechte wozu es auch gehört, „allein und in Gemeinschaft mit anderen, die eigene Religion oder Weltanschauung in Einklang dem eigenen Gewissen zu bekennen und zu praktizieren.“ . Die Freiheit der Religionsausübung nach europäischem Maßstab beschränkt sich auf die Riten der Religion und verzichtet auf jeden Versuch zur Umsetzung religiöser Vorschriften in den säkularen Staat. Alle religiösen Organisationen und Gruppierungen sind verpflichtet, die UN- Menschenrechtserklärung von 1948 einzuhalten und somit das Recht des Einzelnen zu garantieren, die Religion oder Weltanschauung frei zu wechseln oder auch keiner Religion anzugehören. . Gleiche Rechte für Frauen und Kinder werden in religiösen Gemeinschaften oftmals nicht anerkannt. Zwangsheirat und soziale Diskriminierung von „Ungläubigen“ sind in bestimmten religiös-kulturellen Gemeinschaften an der Tagesordnung. . Daher empfehlen wir: Keinerlei religiöse Gesetze aller Art in allen nationalen Gesetzgebungen. Religionskritik ist Teil der freien Meinungsäußerung. Alle Versuche, die freie Meinungsäußerung im Namen religiöser Interessen unter dem Vorwand der „Islamophobie“ oder des Rassismus einzuschränken, müssen verhindert werden. Bauvorhaben für religiöse Zwecke sollen nicht gegen den Widerstand der unmittelbar betroffenen Bevölkerung durchgesetzt werden. Die nationalen Regierungen sollen Maßnahmen ergreifen zum Schutz aller Personen, die wegen des Verlassens einer religiösen Gruppe bedroht werden. Keine religiöse Organisation soll durch öffentliche Mittel gefördert werden, wenn sie nicht in vollem Umfang die „Allgemeinen Erklärung der Menschenrechte“ (UN 1948) respektiert. Wir fordern alle Delegierten auf, sich für diese vorgeschlagenen Maßnahmen zum Schutz der Religionsfreiheit einzusetzen, damit wir unseren Kindern und Enkeln eine friedliche Welt hinterlassen. BÜRGERBEWEGUNG PAX EUROPA (BPE) Willi Schwend, 1. Vorsitzender Conny Axel Meier, Bundesgeschäftsführer . Die BPE- Delegierte E.S.W. berichtet auf dem Weblog „Gates of Vienna“ über diese Zusammenkunft. Hier veröffentlichen wir die deutsche Übersetzung ihres ausführlichen Berichtes: Manch einer mag sich fragen, was der Counterjihad (Gegen-Dschihad) und eine Organisation wie die OSZE wohl miteinander zu tun haben. Bevor ich mich darauf einlasse, möchte ich einen kurzen Überblick über diese, speziell für Nichteuropäer trotz der Mitgliedschaft der USA und Kanadas, eher wenig bekannten Organisation verschaffen. Dabei werde ich auch auf die Arbeitsweise der OSZE eingehen. . Aus der Selbstdarstellung der OSZE: „Die OSZE ist für Frühwarnung, Konfliktvermeidung, Krisenbewältigung und Konfliktnachsorge zuständig. Die Organisation umfasst 56 Teilnehmerstaaten, die sich weltweit über drei Kontinente erstrecken – Nord-Amerika, Europa und Asien – und mehr als eine Milliarde Menschen umfassen.“ Die OSZE arbeitet mit dem ‘D’ -Wort: Dialog. Sie selbst nennt es ihren „genetischen Code, um die Sicherheit der gesamten Region aufrechtzuerhalten.“ Der Fairness halber muss man sagen, dass die OSZE mehr im Hintergrund, also „außerhalb der Schlagzeilen“ arbeitet, schon um so besser auf eventuelle Bedrohungen reagieren zu können. Das einzige Mal, wenn wir in den Medien etwas über die OSZE hören ist, wenn sie zu Wahlen Wahlbeobachter entsendet, wie zuletzt in Georgien. Die OSZE leistet auch in früheren Konflikt-Regionen ihren „Beitrag zur Stärkung der vertrauensbildenden und der Sicherheits-Maßnahmen.“ Diese Maßnahmen beinhalten unter anderem auch Initiativen zum Schutz der Rechte von Minderheiten, zu Gesetzesreformen und zum gesetzlichen Schutz von Rechtsstaatlichkeit und Pressefreiheit. Wie die EU ebenfalls, so verfolgt die OSZE das Konzept einer euro-mediterranen Partnerschaft, was auch Länder wie Marokko, Tunesien und Jordanien als Kooperationspartner mit einbezieht. Dennoch nimmt außer Israel regelmäßig keiner der Kooperationspartner an den Runden-Tisch-Veranstaltungen der OSZE teil. [redaktionelle Berichtigung: Im Juli 2009 nahm erstmals auch ein marokkanischer Delegierter teil] Die OSZE, bzw. deren Vorgängerorganisation KSZE, war eine der wichtigsten Akteure beim Niedergang des Kommunismus: Die Organisation fand ihren Ursprung in den frühen 1970er Jahren, aus der Schlussakte von Helsinki und der Schaffung der „Konferenz über Sicherheit und Zusammenarbeit in Europa“ (KSZE), die auf dem Höhepunkt des Kalten Krieges als ein wichtiges multilaterales Forum für den Dialog und die Verhandlungen zwischen Ost und West diente. Der Fall der Berliner Mauer im Jahr 1989 und der Zusammenbruch der Sowjetunion im Jahr 1991 markierten den Beginn einer neuen Ära für ein „Freies und vereinigtes Europa“ und die beteiligten Staaten vertrauten darauf, dass die KSZE auch auf die Herausforderungen der Zukunft reagieren wird. Die KSZE bekam zuerst einmal permanente Strukturen, einschließlich einem Sekretariat und Institutionen sowie die ersten dauerhaften Missionen übertragen. Im Jahr 1994 wurde die der Name der KSZE, da nun ja mehr als eine Konferenz, in „Organisation für Sicherheit und Zusammenarbeit in Europa“ geändert. . Die Organisation sieht „Sicherheit als allumfassend an“ und geht auf drei „Dimensionen“ vor : auf der politisch-militärischen, der wirtschaftlich-ökologischen und der humanitären Dimension. Es ist gerade die dritte Dimension – die humanitäre Dimension – die den Niedergang des Kommunismus zur Folge hatte. Die Sowjets wurden durch ihre Teilnahme an der KSZE sanft in Richtung Akzeptanz der Menschenrechte, einschließlich der Religionsfreiheit, geführt: „… [Die] Aufnahme des humanitären Aspekts war ein Sieg für den Westen, einschließlich der neutralen Staaten …. Zu Beginn der Verhandlungen waren die Sowjets noch nicht einmal bereit, überhaupt den Begriff „Menschenrechte“ in den Verhandlungen über die Erklärung der Grundsätze für die Beziehungen zwischen den teilnehmenden Staaten zu verwenden; stattdessen wurde das Wort „Pinguin“ verwendet. Schließlich sahen sie sich gezwungen, den Aspekt der Menschenrechte auch auf ihrem Gebiet als „wesentlicher Faktor für Frieden, Wohlstand und Gerechtigkeit“ anzuerkennen. Zum Beispiel hatte das Einlenken der Sowjetunion direkte Auswirkungen auf deren Umgang mit Bürgern jüdischen Glaubens sowie mit anderen Minderheiten. Die Sowjetunion konnte nicht anders, als einige der inhaftierten und verfolgten Dissidenten freizulassen.[…] Wie der Vorsitzende der US- Delegation der Wiener KSZE-Folgekonferenz richtigerweise darauf hinwies, „gab es bemerkenswerte Ergebnisse.“ Von 1986 ab wurden die Störsender abgeschaltet, so dass die Bürger aller beteiligten Staaten die Sendungen ihrer Wahl empfangen konnten. Einer beträchtlichen Anzahl von Juden wurde gestattet aus der Sowjetunion zu emigrieren. Die Themen Zensur, Meinungs- und Pressefreiheit wurden konsequenterweise in der Folge auch thematisiert. In der gleichen Zeit wurden mehr als 600 politische Gefangene freigelassen, Dissidenten mehr Freiheit eingeräumt und Anhängern verschiedener Religionen mehr Toleranz entgegengebracht. Aber nicht nur die Bürger der Sowjetunion profitierten vom KSZE-Prozess; besonders die Bürger der beiden deutschen Staaten waren endlich in der Lage sich vermehrt zu besuchen (allerdings nur bis zu 30 Tage pro Jahr), das meiste waren Besuche bei Verwandten.“ (Quelle: University Paper by ESW, “The evolution of the CSCE to the OSCE. Did the Institutionalization of the CSCE increase its Effectiveness – evaluation of successes and failures with emphasis on human rights and national minorities. 2002) Ergänzend: . „Das Konzept der Freizügigkeit der Bürger, wie es in der Schlussakte von Helsinki formuliert ist, war es, was im Wesentlichen den Fall des Kommunismus erleichtert hat und markiert so den Anfang vom Ende der Zweiteilung Europas. Was in den frühen 1980er Jahren in Polen mit den Massenprotesten der Gewerkschaft Solidarnosc begann, die dann von der Regierung mit Gewalt beendet wurden, gipfelte erneut in Polen im Jahre 1988, als durch die massiven Streiks gegen die Regierung diese sich gezwungen sah, freie Wahlen abzuhalten, in denen die Kommunisten eindrucksvoll besiegt wurden. Diese Proteste breiteten sich rasch auf andere sowjetischen Satelliten-Staaten wie Ungarn, die DDR, die Tschechoslowakei, Bulgarien und Rumänien aus. Ende 1991 gab dann Gorbatschow auf und die Sowjetunion teilte sich in ihre verschiedenen Republiken auf. Der Kommunismus wurde nicht besiegt, er besiegte sich selbst.“ (Quelle: ebenda) Die OSZE ist „in mehrfacher Hinsicht einzigartig und innovativ. Erstens war das Konzept der souveränen und unabhängigen Staaten unter den Bedingungen der vollen Gleichberechtigung in der Zeit der gegnerischen Block-Konfrontation unbekannt. Zweitens: Während sich andere Verhandlungen eher mit Teilfragen zur Sicherheit befassten, bot die KSZE einen weit umfassenderen Überblick über die Gesamtlage. Drittens: Im Gegensatz zum Sicherheitsrat der Vereinten Nationen, auf dem Entscheidungen regelmäßig durch Vetos gestoppt werden, war auf der KSZE der angestrebte Konsens von Vorteil. Die KSZE bot keinem der beiden Blöcke eine Spielwiese für Machtpolitik. Statt der üblichen Mehrdeutigkeiten förderte der KSZE-Prozess Transparenz in allen Bereichen.“ (Quelle: ebenda) In der OSZE-Terminologie, wird der Begriff der „Human Dimension“ verwendet, um die Gesamtheit der Normen und Aktivitäten im Zusammenhang mit den Menschenrechten, der Demokratie und der Rechtsstaatlichkeit zu beschreiben, was im Rahmen der OSZE als einer der drei wesentlichen Sicherheitsaspekte gilt. Dieser Begriff weist auch darauf hin, dass die OSZE-Normen in diesem Bereich mehr als nur die traditionellen Menschenrechte umfassen. (Human Dimension, vol. 1, 2005) Gemäß dem Buch über die „Human Dimension, Vol. 1, 2005“ handelt es sich beim OSZE-Prozess im Wesentlichen um einen politischen Prozess, der keine rechtlich verbindlichen Normen oder Grundsätze schafft. Im Gegensatz zu vielen anderen Menschenrechtserklärungen seien die „OSZE-Human Dimension“- Verpflichtungen eher politischer Natur, also rechtlich nicht bindend. Dies sei der wesentliche Unterschied, da er die juristische Durchsetzbarkeit der OSZE-Standards nicht zulässt. In anderen Worten, die OSZE-Verpflichtungen können gerichtlich nicht vollstreckt werden. Das „OSZE-Büro für demokratische Institutionen und Menschenrechte“ (ODIHR), mit Sitz in Warschau, ist das wichtigste Organ der OSZE für die „Human Dimension“. Es organisiert die regelmäßigen Treffen, erstellt eine Bestandsaufnahme der OSZE-Verpflichtungen der „Human Dimension“, und gibt Empfehlungen für Folgekonferenzen. In all ihren Aktivitäten arbeitet die ODIHR mit einem Netzwerk von Partnern aus ähnlichen Bereichen zusammen, einschließlich internationaler und lokaler Nicht-Regierungs-Organisationen, die sich für die Menschenrechte einsetzen. ODIHR ist Organisator und Gastgeber für themenspezifische Gesprächsrunden, um ausgesuchten Vertretern der Gesellschaft die Möglichkeit zu geben, Empfehlungen an die OSZE und die Teilnehmerstaaten auszusprechen. Das OSZE-“Toleranz- und Anti-Diskriminierungs-Informationssystem“ (TANDIS) lohnt eines näheren Blickes, vor allem deren Broschüre über „hate crimes“ (Hassdelikte) Es ist der angesprochene Konsens, der uns so extrem hilfreich war bei der Eliminierung einiger „sehr giftiger“ (Henrik R. Clausen) Empfehlungen beim „roundtable“ im Juli 2009. Dies ist von entscheidendem Vorteil, denn wenn es keinen Konsens gibt, dann gilt die Empfehlung als nicht ausgesprochen und ist damit kein Thema mehr. Andererseits bedeutet dies aber auch, dass es nur eine sehr begrenzte Zahl der eingereichten Empfehlungen es schaffen, ins Protokoll aufgenommen zu werden. Folgende Empfehlungen fanden die Zustimmung aller Teilnehmer und wurden verabschiedet: 1. Religions- und Glaubensfreiheit sollen wesentliche Anliegen der ODIHR werden. 2. Die teilnehmenden Staaten werden aufgefordert, die bestehenden Verpflichtungen in Bezug auf die religiöse und weltanschauliche Freiheit in Übereinstimmung mit geltenden internationalen Menschenrechtsstandards zu gestalten. Die teilnehmenden Staaten sind aufgefordert, die Hilfe von ODIHR dabei in Anspruch zu nehmen. 3. Rechtsstaatlichkeit soll als eine wesentliche Voraussetzung für den vollständigen und angemessenen Genuss der Religions- oder Weltanschauungsfreiheit anerkannt sein. 4. Die Teilnehmer- Staaten sind aufgefordert, im öffentlichen Raum aktiv eine Atmosphäre herzustellen, in der die Religions- und Weltanschauungsfreiheit gedeihen kann und in der religiöse und weltanschauliche Glaubensgemeinschaften einen offenen und ergebnisreichen Dialog führen können. Dieser Raum sollte für alle offen sein, und die öffentlichen Medien könnten eine wichtige Rolle bei der Schaffung dieses Raumes bieten. Nachfolgend einige der „giftigen“ Empfehlungen: Cojep International (kein Link zu deren Presseerklärung verfügbar, da nur in Papierform im Umlauf gegeben) scheint eine äußerst gefährliche Organisation zu sein. Sie wurde durch ihren stellvertretenden Vorsitzenden, Veysel Filiz, vertreten, der nicht nur in einer offiziellen Erklärung in scharfen Worten die „Charter on Muslim Understanding“ attackierte, sondern sich auch über „die unzureichende Reaktion der Bundesregierung“ beschwerte, angesichts der besonderen „Art des Verbrechens“ (gemeint war eine niedergestochene Ägypterin in einem Dresdner Gerichtssaal) und die deutschen Behörden aufforderte, „den Angriff öffentlich zu verurteilen.“ Nun, warum nur sollten denn die deutschen Behörden gerade hierauf mit „Verurteilung“ reagieren? Hier die Erklärung von Henrik R. Clausen (ICLA) als Antwort: „Was den Mord in Dresden (betrifft): Wir haben vollstes Vertrauen in den deutschen Rechtsstaat, dass er diese Angelegenheit regelt, und wir betonen, dass keine derartigen Vorkommnisse, egal wie schlimm sie sein mögen, als Vorwand für einen Angriff auf die Freiheit der Meinungsäußerung oder die Umsetzung drakonischer Rechtsvorschriften benutzt (und missbraucht) werden dürfen.“ Es gilt anzumerken, dass in dieser Angelegenheit, vom offiziellen deutschen Regierungsvertreter bei der OSZE abgesehen, außer der ICLA, [unser dänischer Verbündeter, Red.] kein Vertreter der teilnehmenden Staaten und Organisationen das Wort ergriff. Cojep fordert ferner: „Die Regierungen sollten sicherstellen, dass die Strafverfolgungsbehörden speziell geschult werden, um auf anti-muslimische Verbrechen im Besonderen zu reagieren und diese gesondert untersuchen. Die öffentlichen Schulen sollten Anstrengungen unternehmen, um Toleranz und Vielfalt zu fördern sowie anti-muslimische Vorurteile abzubauen.“ Ein ähnlicher Antrag wurde während der „Civil Society Round-Table Meeting“ gestellt, und zwar zur Einführung von „Sensitivity Training“ in den Schulen, aber dies alles war dank der Interventionen von ICLA und BÜRGERBEWEGUNG PAX EUROPA schnell vom Tisch. In seinen Empfehlungen, behauptet Cojep „einen zunehmend starken Rückgang der Mittel für die Unterstützung der muslimischen NGOs, die aber erforderlich sind, um an Veranstaltungen der OSZE-Human Dimension teilzunehmen und deren Stimme Gehör zu verschaffen. Wir möchten betonen, dass, um eine ausgewogenere Beteiligung aller Gruppierungen in der OSZE-Region zu erreichen, ODIHR [OSZE-Büro für demokratische Institutionen und Menschenrechte] die Beteiligung von muslimischen NGOs vermehrt unterstützen sollte .“ Es dürfen keinerlei öffentlichen Mittel für die NGO-Gruppen bereitgestellt werden, da dies die Glaubwürdigkeit des NGO-Status als Nicht-Regierungs-Organisation in Frage stellen würde. Andere Finanzierungsformen wären akzeptabel, aber die weinerlichen Beschwerden von Cojep über eine angebliche Unterrepräsentierung muslimischer NGOs ist unverständlich. Es waren doch sehr viele von ihnen auf der Juli- Veranstaltung anwesend. Was die „hate speech“- Gesetzgebung betrifft (sie sind ausführlich Gegenstand der OECD- Broschüre „Hate Crime Laws — A Practical Guide”) vertrat die US- Delegation folgenden Standpunkt: „Anti-Terror-Gesetze oder Extremismus-Gesetze werden zu oft missbraucht – manchmal bewusst – zur Beschränkung religiöser Gruppen. Zwei Beispiele aus jüngster Zeit, neue Religionsgesetze in Tadschikistan und Kirgisistan scheinen erlassen worden zu sein, um religiösen Extremismus zu deckeln. In der Praxis stellt sich jedoch heraus, dass die Beschränkung legitimer religiöser Aktivitäten eher zu einer Zunahme von Extremismus führt. Unter diesen derart gekennzeichneten Gruppierungen befinden sich in einigen der teilnehmenden Staaten viele muslimische Gruppen … […].“ Die US- Delegation zitiert auch Präsident Obama, der „darauf hingewiesen hat, wie wichtig es für die Länder sei, zu vermeiden, ihre Bürger von der Art und Weise so wie sie es für richtig halten ihre Religion zu praktizieren, zu behindern – zum Beispiel durch Kleidungsvorschriften zu reglementieren, was eine Frau zu tragen habe.“ Wie mehrere Kommentatoren feststellen, ist diese Aussage wirklich tatsächlich giftig, wenn sie denn auf den Islam angewandt wird. Dennoch, der US- Delegation muss Beifall gezollt werden für ihre die freie Meinungsäußerung betreffende Erklärung, nämlich dass es Beschränkungen derselben nur bei Aufrufen zur Gewalt geben darf: „Manchmal werden Aufrufe zu religiöser Toleranz und zur Achtung gegensätzlicher Überzeugungen dazu missbraucht, um Einschränkungen der Meinungs- und Religionsfreiheit, so wie sie unsere OSZE-Verpflichtungen definieren, zu rechtfertigen. Die Vereinigten Staaten sind der Auffassung, dass solche Beschränkungen der Meinungsfreiheit, die auch Äußerungen zu Religionen betreffen können, nicht hinnehmbar sind, es sei denn, es handelt sich um eindeutige Gewaltdrohungen. Die Regierungen sollten die freie Meinungsäußerung in vollstem Umfang gewährleisten. Aus unserer Sicht ist der Missbrauch der Redefreiheit nicht durch Beschränkung derselben zu bekämpfen – selbst falls gewisse Meinungsäußerungen zugegebenermaßen beleidigend wirken könnten, sondern wir haben dafür zu sorgen, dass unsere Gesellschaft die Freiheit der Meinungsäußerung dazu nutzt, um derartige zweifelhafte Aussagen zu verurteilen und um zu einem respektvollen und konstruktiven Umgang miteinander zu gelangen“ Obwohl ICLA (Dänemark), BÜRGERBEWEGUNG PAX EUROPA (Deutschland), Mission Europa (Österreich) und der Akademikerbund (Österreich) aufgefordert wurden, die vorbereitete gemeinsame NGO- Erklärung (Observatory for Religious Freedom, Spanien; Alliance Defence Fund, USA; Paneuropa- Union, Österreich; Plattform Christianophobia in Europa, Österreich; Evangelischer Aufbruch, Deutschland) mitzuunterzeichnen, so sahen wir uns außerstande dazu. Es sind darin zwar ein paar akzeptable Punkte enthalten; andere Passagen die unserem Standpunkt völlig widersprechen sind jedoch höchst problematisch, selbst wenn die Absicht gut gemeint wäre. Beispielsweise ist der folgende Teil völlig untragbar: „Die Regierungen müssen religiöse Bekleidung in der Öffentlichkeit zulassen, es sei denn, übergeordnete Interessen, wie Sicherheit, öffentliche Ordnung oder Gesundheit zwingen sie anders zu entscheiden. Die Regierungen müssen in vollem Umfang und ungeachtet jeglicher Auswirkungen das Recht der Eltern anerkennen, die moralische und religiöse Erziehung ihrer Kinder selbst zu übernehmen, ohne Einmischung der Politik durch Indoktrination der in der Gesellschaft vorherrschenden Ideologie. Letztendlich müssen die Staaten anerkennen, dass Religion eine wichtige Quelle für moralisches Verhalten darstellt, die höherwertiger und somit über der säkularen Rechtsordnung steht.“ Religiöse Gesetze dürfen niemals einen höheren Stellenwert haben als die säkulare Rechtsordnung. Das wäre nämlich exakt das, was den Beifall der Moslems finden würde, weil sie genau das glauben: Die Scharia steht über allen anderen Gesetzen weil es Allahs Gesetz ist. Deshalb ein eindeutiges Nein zur Überlegenheit religiöser Gesetze gegenüber säkularen Gesetzen. Die Vorstellung, den Eltern das uneingeschränkte Recht auf moralische und religiöse Erziehung ihrer Kinder zu garantieren, würde bedeuten, die Tür für islamische Madrassas zu öffnen, die weithin dafür bekannt sind, den Nährboden für religiöse Indoktrination und Gehirnwäsche zu bereiten. Die Ansicht, dass die Eltern für ihre Kinder die moralische Erziehung alleine bestimmen, ist ja an sich ehrenwert, doch müssten muslimische Eltern sich zuallererst von den als problematisch geltenden Versen und Suren des Korans distanzieren und lossagen. (siehe „Charter for Muslim Understanding“). Andererseits, ein weiterer Teil des Textentwurfs wäre durchaus unterstützenswert gewesen: „Die Genehmigung von religiös genutzten Örtlichkeiten hat unter Berücksichtigung städtebaulicher Erwägungen sowie der künstlerischen, kulturellen, religiösen, architektonischen und ökologischen Eigenarten des Standortes zu erfolgen. Lösungen sollten im Dialog mit der örtlichen Gemeinde und den traditionell dort ansässigen Religionen gefunden werden. Die gesetzlichen Bestimmungen sollten hier einen klaren Unterschied machen zwischen Orten, die ausschließlich für Anbetungszwecke dienen und Orten, die daneben auch für Aktivitäten außerhalb des Gottesdienstes genutzt werden.“ Zur Vervollständigung hier noch ein Auszug aus einer Liste von Empfehlungen (manche davon ziemlich gefährlich), die im Vorfeld der Konferenz an die OSZE eingereicht wurden: Alliance Defense Fund (USA): Religionsfreiheit und Versammlungsfreiheit sind sich gegenseitig ergänzende Rechte, wobei ersteres dem letzteren eine ständige Aktualisierung, Weiterentwicklung und Beibehaltung abverlangt. Ein beunruhigender Trend liegt vor, wenn Gesetze zur Schaffung von Orten der Anbetung für die Minderheiten christlicher Religionen entweder illusorisch sind (wegen der anderslautenden Verwaltungsvorschriften, welche die gesetzlichen Bestimmungen zur Errichtung von Gebetsstätten aushebeln und damit nicht anwendbar machen), wie in der Türkei, oder gar nicht erst vorhanden sind, wie in mehreren der eher konservativen Nationen im Nahen Osten (Vereinigte Arabische Emirate und Saudi-Arabien). Weg der Versöhnung (Österreich): Die freie Meinungsäußerung ist die Grundlage und Basis für den Erfolg einer jeden Demokratie. Sie ist die Grundlage für die Würde des Menschen. Der Verlust der Redefreiheit ist der Anfang der Tyrannei, wie die Geschichte beweist. Sie ist in der EU durch hate-speech- (Hassrede-) und Antidiskriminierungs- Gesetzgebung derzeit sehr stark bedroht. Cojep International (Frankreich): In Europa beobachten wir, dass Muslime in zunehmendem Maße willkürlichen und diskriminierenden Beschränkungen in ihren Rechten ausgesetzt sind, ihre Religion öffentlich zur Schau zu stellen und zu praktizieren. Das geplante Schweizer Referendum, welches den Bau von Minaretten zu verbieten zum Ziel hat sowie das jüngst erlassene Gesetz für die österreichische Provinz Kärnten, das dem gleichen Zweck dient, sind zwei Beispiele für diese besorgniserregende Situation. Muslime sind auch besorgt wegen der Einmischung in ihre internen religiösen Angelegenheiten, vor allem dann, wenn sie sich nicht ihre eigenen Imame und Muftis aussuchen können. Wir möchten empfehlen, dass ODIHR die Sachverständigengruppe zur Religionsfreiheit ausgewogener zusammensetzt und gleichermaßen alle Regionen innerhalb der OSZE und alle religiösen Gruppen, Gläubige und Nicht-Gläubige repräsentiert. Zu diesem Zweck möchten wir vorschlagen, dass ODIHR mindestens noch einen Experten mit muslimischen Migrationshintergrund bestellt. Icelandic Ethical Humanist Association (Island): Abschaffung aller Blasphemie- Gesetze Muzaffar Olimov (Tadschikistan): Das Kopftuchverbot schränkt den Zugang der Frauen zu Bildung und Arbeit erheblich ein und diskriminiert so indirekt alle Frauen. In Tadschikistan, wo der soziale Status der Frauen ohnehin unterhalb dem der Männer liegt, sollte daher das Kopftuchverbot aufgehoben werden. Beobachtungsstelle für Intoleranz und Diskriminierung gegen Christen (Österreich): Radikale Gesetze zur Durchsetzung politischer Korrektheit sowie hate-speech-(Hassreden-) Gesetze können zur Beschränkung der Religionsfreiheit sowie der Freiheit der Meinungsäußerung führen. Wir fordern daher, ein behauptetes Recht, sich nicht beleidigt zu fühlen, nicht zuzulassen, welches schlussendlich die völlige Einschränkung der Freiheit der Meinungsäußerung von Einzelpersonen und Gruppen, einschließlich religiöser Menschen und Gruppen bedeuten würde. Observatory for Religious Tolerance and Freedom (Italien): Das ODIHR sollte Verletzungen der Religionsfreiheit gegen Mehrheitsreligionen nicht minderschwer betrachten, als die Verletzungen gegen Minderheitsreligionen, weil alle Verstöße als solche per se schwerwiegend sind und die OSZE-Richtlinien auch für die Mehrheitsreligionen gelten. Die Europäische Union (EU) war gleichfalls auf der Konferenz vertreten, einmal durch die Ratspräsidentschaft (Schweden) und auch durch die Europäische Kommission gegen Rassismus und Intoleranz (ECRI). Was nun folgt, sind Textpassagen aus den von der ECRI an die OSCE eingereichten Empfehlungen (wichtiges wurde von uns markiert): * ECRI betrachtet religiöse Intoleranz als Form von Rassismus * ECRI beschäftigt sich mit verschiedenen Formen von Intoleranz: mit Belästigung durch die Polizei und dem Umgang von lokalen Behörden mit sogenannten „nicht-traditionellen“ Gruppen, mit Gewalt gegen Personen und Eigentum durch nicht-staatliche Akteure und mit Hetzreden (inflammatory speech) von extremistischen Politikern und Medien. * ECRI äußert sich auch zur Verbreitung von Stereotypen und Vorurteilen (zum Beispiel, die begrenzte Bereitschaft einiger religiöser Gruppen, sich zu integrieren), und auch dem Beitrag, den Mainstream-Politiker zu einem negativen Klima dadurch leisten, indem sie solche Dinge wie Zwangsheirat und weibliche Genitalverstümmlung thematisieren. * Für ECRI gibt es keinen wirklichen Gegensatz zwischen dem Schutz der Redefreiheit und dem Kampf gegen religiöse Intoleranz. Es gibt eben Fälle, in denen es notwendig ist, letzterem den Vorrang vor ersterem zu geben. Es wird in diesem Zusammenhang darauf hingewiesen, dass das Zusatzprotokoll zum Abkommen des Europarats über Cyber-Kriminalität bis zu einem gewissen Grad die gleiche Position einnimmt. * In ihrer allgemeine politischen Empfehlung zur Bekämpfung von Rassismus und rassistischer Diskriminierung in Schule und Unterricht unterstreicht ECRI die Notwendigkeit eines Bildungsansatzes, der „unverzichtbar im Einklang mit der wissenschaftlichen Neutralität“ zu sein hat. * ECRI beschäftigt sich mit religiöser Diskriminierung in den Bereichen Arbeit und Wohnung. Dies betrifft unter anderem auch Frauen mit Kopftuch. * Der Dialog zwischen den Behörden und den Vertretern der religiösen Gruppen, als auch zwischen den verschiedenen Gruppen ist wichtig in einer multikulturellen Gesellschaft; von wesentlicher Bedeutung ist aber auch die Beobachtung der Lage durch die Behörden, durch einen Prozess der Datenerhebung, der den Grundsätzen des Datenschutzes und des Persönlichkeitsschutzes Genüge tut. Allerdings ist Multikulturalismus kein Selbstzweck. ECRI strebt die integrierte Gesellschaft an. Für uns ist die erfolgreiche Integration ein beidseitiger Prozess, ein Prozess der gegenseitigen Anerkennung, welcher nichts mit Assimilation hat. Eine „integrierte Gesellschaft“ in der Konzeption der ECRI ist eine, in der Mehrheit und Minderheiten völlig gleich sind. Wie gefährlich die Diskussion über Religionsfreiheit werden kann, wird sehr deutlich wenn man sechs Jahre zurück geht, zum „Runden Tisch“ über Religionsfreiheit und Demokratie, der in Rom im Jahr 2003, während der Herbst-Konferenz der OSZE über Religionsfreiheit, stattfand: Botschafter Babacar Ba sprach im Namen des Generalsekretärs der Islamischen Konferenz, Abdelouahed Belkeziz, und betonte die Bedeutung des Islam für die Menschheitsgeschichte und für die Werte der Toleranz und der Freiheit, die er stets fördere, während er Zusammenhänge zwischen dem Islam und den 11 September 2001- Terroranschlägen bestritt. Botschafter Ba betonte die positiven Beziehungen zwischen dem Islam und anderen Religionen, unter Hinweis darauf, dass der Islam im Laufe der Geschichte ganz harmonisch bestimmte Bestandteile der vorherigen Zivilisationen integriert habe. Er stellte eine Verbindung mit dem Mittelmeer-Aspekt der Rom- Konferenz her, indem er die entscheidenden Rolle der Mittelmeer-Region in der symbiotischen Beziehung zwischen Europa und dem Islam hervorhob. Zwei Koranverse zitierend unterstrich Botschafter Ba die Offenheit des Islam. Seiner Meinung nach sei der Islam seit jeher im Laufe der Geschichte ein gutes Beispiel für Toleranz gegenüber Juden, Christen und auch Ungläubigen gewesen, während er Zwangskonversionen stets abgelehnt habe. Botschafter Ba versuchte klärend auf die angeblichen Missverständnisse im Zusammenhang mit der Debatte über die Vereinbarkeit von Religion und Demokratie einzugehen. Er meinte, der Islam sei nicht weniger kompatibel mit der Demokratie als andere Religionen, basierend auf der Vorstellung, der Westen habe seine demokratischen Grundsätze ja nicht aus irgendeiner Religion, sondern von seinen großen Philosophen bezogen. Darüber hinaus führte er aus, die islamische Welt sei auf dem gleichen Weg wie der Westen, nämlich die Institutionalisierung der Trennung aller religiösen Institutionen vom Staat anzustreben. Er betonte das Engagement der OIC im Dialog zwischen den Kulturen und den Zivilisationen in allen seinen Beziehungen zu internationalen Organisationen, im Speziellen erwähnte er eine Initiative, die er „Dialog der Kulturen“ nannte. Wir sollten, unter allen Umständen, unbedingt das fortführen was wir im Juli 2009 begonnen haben.Wir müssen aufrütteln und diejenigen aufwecken, die sich aufwecken lassen. Vielleicht werden wir eines fernen Tages sagen können: Die OSZE brachte den Kommunismus zu Fall; die OSZE brachte auch den islamischen Herrschaftsanspruch zu Fall. ODIHR Teilnehmerliste (NGOs ab Seite 13) zur offiziellen Seite der ODIHR- Konferenz: Bericht (englisch) von ESW auf “Gates of Vienna” Bericht von Henrik R. Clausen (ICLA) Mission Europa Netzwerk Karl Martell


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A Report on the OSCE Roundtable

Posted by paulipoldie on July 25, 2009

A Report on the OSCE Roundtable

by Baron Bodissey

Earlier this month the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) held a “Human Dimension Roundtable” in Vienna. One of the participants — a Counterjihad sympathizer — has prepared the following report.

OSCE map
Click the image above to see a full-sized map of the OSCE countries. At the bottom of this post is a list of those countries, as well as the mission statement of the OSCE. The original map of OSCE states (in pdf format) can be found here.

Henrik Ræder Clausen has also posted a report on the same event.

The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe
and the Counterjihad

A report from the Human Dimension Roundtable, Vienna
July 9-10, 2009

One may wonder what the Counterjihad and an organization like the OSCE could possibly have in common. Before I delve into this matter, I will provide a short overview of the OSCE, as it is a rather obscure organization, especially for non-Europeans, despite the membership of the United States and Canada. I will also touch on how the OSCE processes work.

According to its fact sheet, “The OSCE works for early warning, conflict prevention, crisis management and post-conflict rehabilitation. The Organization comprises 56 participating States that span the globe, encompassing three continents — North America, Europe and Asia — and more than a billion people.” However, the OSCE uses the “d”-word: dialogue. The fact sheet calls it its “genetic code, in order to maintain security throughout its region.”

To be fair, the OSCE does its work in relative obscurity, “away from the headlines”, in order to defuse potential threats. The only time we hear about the OSCE is during elections, when monitoring missions are established, most recently in Georgia. The OSCE is also active in post-conflict areas, “helping to reinforce confidence- and security-building measures.” These measures include, among others, initiatives for minority rights, legislative reform, the rule of law, and press freedom.

The OSCE, like the EU, believes in Euro-Mediterranean partnership which includes countries like Morocco, Tunisia, and Jordan for further cooperation. All partners for cooperation, save Israel, were noticeably absent from the roundtable discussions.

OSCE seats
The OSCE, or rather its predecessor the CSCE, was one of the main players in bringing down Communism:

The Organization traces its origins to the early 1970s, to the Helsinki Final Act and the creation of the Conference on Security and Co-operation in Europe (CSCE), which at the height of the Cold War served as an important multilateral forum for dialogue and negotiation between East and West. The fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 and the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 heralded the start of a new era for a “Europe whole and free”, and the participating States called upon the CSCE to respond to the emerging challenges. The CSCE acquired its first permanent structures, including a Secretariat and institutions, and established the first field missions. In 1994 the CSCE, more than a conference, was renamed the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe.

The Organization “views security as comprehensive and takes action in three ‘dimensions’: the politico-military; the economic and environmental; and the human.” It is precisely the third dimension — the human dimension — that brought down communism. The Soviets, through their participation in the CSCE, were gently led toward the acceptance of human rights, including freedom of worship:

“…[T]he inclusion of the humanitarian aspect was a victory for the West, including the neutral states….[A]t the beginning of the negotiations the Soviets did not even accept the use of the term “human rights” at the negotiations concerning the Declaration on Principles Guiding Relations Between Participating States, instead the word “penguin” was used. Finally they were forced to accept the human rights aspect on their territory as an “essential factor for peace, well-being and justice”. For instance, by accepting this the Soviet Union had to change its views on the suppression of its citizens of the Jewish faith as well as other minorities. The Soviet Union could not but free some of its imprisoned and persecuted dissidents […] As the Chairman of the United States Delegation to the Vienna CSCE Follow-up Meeting noted, “there were remarkable results”. By 1986, jamming of radio broadcasts had ceased, enabling citizens of all participating states to listen to broadcasts of their choosing. A significant number of Jews were able to emigrate from the Soviet Union. Freedom of speech and press censorship were also matters which were addressed as a consequence. At the same time over 600 political prisoners had been freed, dissidents had been allowed more freedom, worshipers form different religious faiths had won more tolerance. But not only the citizens of the Soviet Union profited form the CSCE process: in particular, citizens of both Germans states were finally able to visit each other (however, only up to 30 days per year), mostly to visit relatives.” (Source: university paper by ESW, “The evolution of the CSCE to the OSCE. Did the Institutionalization of the CSCE increase its Effectiveness — evaluation of successes and failures with emphasis on human rights and national minorities. 2002)

In addition:
– – – – – – – –

The very concept of freedom of movement for people, as established in the Helsinki Final Act, is what essentially facilitated the fall of Communism and marked the beginning of the end for bipolarism in Europe. What began in the early 1980’s in Poland with the mass protests of the Solidarity union, which was cracked down by the government, ended once again with Poland in 1988 the massive anti-government strikes forced the government to allow free elections in which the Communists were heavily defeated. These protests rapidly spread to other Soviet satellite states such as Hungary, East Germany, Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria, and Romania. By the end of 1991, Gorbachev had resigned and the Soviet Union had split up into separate republics. Communism was not defeated but had defeated itself.

The OSCE is

“unique and innovative in several respects. Firstly, the concept of “sovereign and independent states and in conditions of full equality” was unheard of in an era of bloc-to-bloc confrontation. Secondly, while other negotiations embraced a rather fragmented approach to security, the CSCE endorsed a comprehensive view. Thirdly, unlike the United Nations Security Council, where decisions could be halted by vetoes, the CSCE’s advantage was consensus. Thus, the CSCE did not offer the two blocs a playground for power politics. Instead of ambiguity, the CSCE process encouraged transparency in all fields.”

In OSCE terminology, the term human dimension is used to describe the set of norms and activities related to human rights, democracy, and the rule of law, which is regarded within the OSCE as one of the three dimensions of security. The term also indicates that the OSCE norms in this field cover a wider area than traditional human rights law. (Human Dimension commitments, vol. 1, 2005)

According to its book on “Human Dimension Commitments, Vol. 1, 2005”, “the OSCE process is essentially a political process that does not create legally binding norms or principles. Unlike many other human rights documents, OSCE human dimension commitments are politically, rather than legally, binding. This is an important distinction since it limits the legal enforceability of OSCE standards. On other words, OSCE commitments cannot be enforced in a court of law.”

The OSCE’s office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODHIR), based in Warsaw, is the main institution of the OSCE for human dimension. It organizes “regular meetings that take stock of OSCE human dimension commitments and recommends follow-up. In all its activities, the ODHIR reaches out to a network of partners active in related areas, including international and local non-governmental human rights organizations.”

ODHIR organizes and hosts thematic roundtables to give civil society representatives the opportunity to draft recommendations for the OSCE and participating states.

The OSCE’s “Tolerance and Non-Discrimination and Information System (TANDIS) is worth looking into more closely, especially its brochure on hate crimes (pdf)

It is this consensus which was so extremely helpful in killing some “very poisonous” (Henrik R. Clausen) recommendations made at the Civil Society roundtable in July 2009. This is advantageous because if there is no consensus, then the recommendation is not carried and thus no longer an issue. Of course, this means only a very limited number of recommendations make it into the protocol.

These are the recommendations agreed upon in the Civil Society roundtable:

1. Freedom of religion or belief should be mainstreamed in the work of ODIHR;
2. Participating States are encouraged to implement existing commitments on freedom of religion or belief according to international human rights standards. Participating States are encouraged to make use of the assistance available from ODIHR;
3. The rule of law should be recognized as an essential prerequisite for full and proper enjoyment of freedom of religion or belief;
4. Participating States are encouraged to actively create an atmosphere in the public space within which freedom of religion or belief can best flourish and in which religious and belief communities can engage in full and fruitful dialogue. This space should be open to all, and the public media can play an important role in the creation of this space.

Some of the poisonous recommendations are listed below:

Cojep International (no link to Cojep’s press release is available, as they were distributed on paper) appears to be a very dangerous organization. It was represented by its Vice-Chair, Veysel Filip, who not only took the floor sharply criticizing the “Charter on Muslim Understanding” in an official statement, but also complaining about “the inadequate response of the German government to date given the nature of the crime (the stabbing of an Egyptian woman in a courtroom in Dresden)” and “urges the German authorities to publicly condemn the attack.”

Now why should the German authorities react by condemnation? Here is Henrik R. Clausen’s (ICLA) statement in response:

“(Regarding) the murder in Dresden: We have full confidence in the German law to handle this matter, and we emphasize that no such events, no matter how evil, should be used (and abused) as a pretext for assaulting freedom of expression or implementing draconic legislation.”

It should be noted that other than the official German representative to the OSCE, no participating state or organization except for ICLA, took the floor.

Cojep added that “Governments should ensure that law enforcement officers are trained to respond to and investigate anti-Muslim crimes. Public education efforts should promote tolerance and diversity and address anti-Muslim prejudice.”

A similar request was made during the Civil Society round-table meeting, namely for “sensitivity training in schools”, but this was quickly off the table thanks to ICLA and Pax Europa interjections.

In its recommendations, Cojep “has recently observed a sharp decline of funding for support of the Muslim NGOs which is necessary for them to attend OSCE human dimension events and make their voice to be heard. We would like to emphasise that in order to ensure a more balanced participation of all communities in the OSCE region, ODIHR [OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights] should promote the participation of Muslim NGOs more.”

There should be no public funding for NGO groups as this would undermine the credibility of an NGO’s status as a non-governmental group. Other funding is acceptable, but it hard to understand the whining of Cojep regarding a supposed under-representation of Muslim NGOs. There were plenty of those present at the July 2009 meeting.

With regard to hate speech laws (which are described in great detail in an OSCE brochure “Hate Crime Laws — A Practical Guide”), the United States Mission to the OSCE weighs in:

“Anti-terrorism laws or extremism laws are too often misused — sometimes deliberately — to limit religious groups. To cite two recent examples, new religion laws in Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan appear to be aimed at keeping a lid on religious extremism. In practice, however, such restrictions on legitimate religious activities tend to enhance extremism. Among the groups labeled this way in some participating States are many Muslim groups…[…].”

The US Mission also quotes President Obama who “noted the importance for countries to avoid impeding their citizens from practicing religion in almost any way they see fit — for instance, by dictating what clothes a woman should wear.” As discussed by many commentators, this statement is truly poisonous when it comes to Islam.

However, the US Mission must be applauded for its statement on freedom of expression, namely that limitations must not be imposed unless there is a call for violence:

“Sometimes calls for religious tolerance or calls to respect others’ beliefs are used to justify limitations on our OSCE commitments relating to freedom of expression and religion. The United States believes that such limitations on freedom of expression, including religious expression, are unacceptable absent a clear threat of violence — governments should permit free expression to the fullest extent possible. In our view, the antidote to intolerant speech is not limitations on speech — even when it is admittedly offensive — but rather ensuring that our society uses its freedom of expression to discredit and condemn such statements, while nevertheless aspiring to a level of dialogue that is respectful and constructive.”

Though ICLA, Pax Europa, Mission Europa, and the Akademikerbund were invited to sign the Joint NGO Statement (Observatory for Religious Freedom, Spain; Alliance Defence Fund, United States et. al.; Paneuropa Union, Austria; Human Rights Platform www.christianophobia.eu, Europe; Evangelischer Aufbruch, Germany), we were unable to do so. There are some acceptable ideas included in the statement; however, other statements contrary to our ideas were truly problematic, even if the intention is noble.

For example, this statement was unacceptable:

“Governments must admit religious attire even in public places, except when paramount interests such as safety, public order or health compel to rule otherwise. Governments must recognize the wide extent and implications of the right of parents to the moral and religious upbringing of children, without any interference from political power and from official ideology leading to indoctrination. In sum, States must recognize religion as a vital source of moral behaviour which is beyond and superior to secular legal systems.”

Religious law must never be recognized as superior to secular law. This is where Muslims will applaud since this is precisely what Muslims believe: Sharia law is above any other law since it is Allah’s law. Thus, a clear “No” to religious law’s superiority to secular law.

The idea that of granting the parents the unconditional right to moral and religious upbringing of their children unfortunately opens the door to Islamic madrassas, widely known to be breeding grounds for religious indoctrination and brainwashing. While this — the parents being in charge of their children’s moral upbringing — might be seen as good and moral idea, Muslim parents must first renounce the problematic verses and suras of the Quran (see Charter for Muslim Understanding).

On the other hand, one recommendation can and must definitely be supported:

“To guarantee the availability of places of worship taking into account urban planning considerations, and the artistic, cultural, religious, architectural and environmental characteristics of the territory. A dialogue should be established with the local community and religions traditionally present in that area. Legislative regulations should distinguish between places used for worship only and places of worship used for activities beyond purpose of worship.”

Here is a (sometimes very problematic) list of recommendations submitted to the OSCE prior to the Roundtable for Civil Society:

Alliance Defense Fund (US):

Freedom of religion and freedom of assembly are complementary rights, with the former requiring the latter for actualization, maturation and perpetuation. A disturbing trend exists where laws regarding the establishment of places of worship for minority Christian religions are either illusory (because of administrative provisions making the operative provisions of laws allowing for the establishment of places of worship virtually impossible to utilize) such as in Turkey, or are non-existent such as in several of the more conservative Middle Eastern Nations (e.g. United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia).

Weg der Versöhnung — Way of Reconciliation (Austria):

FREEDOM OF SPEECH is the foundation and basis of success of every democracy. It is the basis of the dignity of the human being. The loss of the freedom of speech is the beginning of tyranny, as history proves. It is being severely threatened in the EU in our day by so-called Hate Speech and Antidiscrimination legislation.

Cojep International (France):

In Europe we observe that Muslims have been increasingly facing arbitrary and discriminatory restrictions on their right to manifest and practice their religions. The referendum process to ban the building of minarets in Switzerland and the recent law adopted for the same purpose in the Carinthia province of Austria are two examples of this worrying situation. Muslims are also concerned about intervention of their internal religious affairs, especially when they were not allowed to choose their own imams or muftis.

We would like to also recommend that ODIHR’s Panel of Experts on Religious Freedom should have a more balanced approach towards to all regions of OSCE and all religious groups and believers and non-believers. For this purpose, we would like to propose to ODIHR to include at least one expert with a Muslim minority background.

Icelandic Ethical Humanist Association (Iceland):

Repeal blasphemy laws.

Muzaffar Olimov (Tajikistan):

The ban on hijabs limits the ability of women to get education and employment and indirectly discriminates against women. In Tajikistan, where the economic status of women is lower than that of men, the ban on hijabs should be lifted.

Observatory on Intolerance and Discrimination against Christians (Austria):

Radical political correctness and hate speech legislation may lead to a restriction of the freedom of religion as well as of the freedom of expression. We urge not to promote a claimed right not to feel offended which ends up in restricting the freedom of expression of individuals and groups, including religious individuals and groups.

Observatory for Religious Tolerance and Freedom (Italy):

The ODIHR should not consider violations of religious freedom against majority religions less serious than those against minority religions because such violations are serious per se and OSCE commitments are referred to majority religions as well.

The European Union is also represented in the OSCE, both by the current presidency (Sweden) and ECRI, the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance. What follows are the most destructive passages from ECRI’s paper submitted to the OSCE (emphasis added):

  • ECRI considers that religious intolerance is a form of racism.
  • ECRI has taken issue with various forms of intolerance: harassment by the police and local authorities vis-à-vis, among others, “non-traditional” groups; violence against persons and properties perpetrated by non-state actors; and inflammatory speech by extremist politicians and media.
  • ECRI has also commented on the spreading of stereotypes and prejudice (on, for example, the limited possibilities of some religious groups to integrate); and even the contribution to the negative climate of the exploitation by mainstream politicians of issues such as forced marriages and female genital mutilation.
  • For ECRI there is no real dilemma between protecting freedom of speech and the fight against religious intolerance. There are cases where the demands of the latter will take precedence over the former. It should be noted in this respect that the Additional Protocol to the Council of Europe Cybercrime Convention takes to some extent the same position.
  • In its General Policy Recommendation on combating racism and racial discrimination in and through school education, ECRI has highlighted the need for an instruction which “complies with the scientific neutrality essential in any educational approach”.
  • ECRI has had to deal with religious discrimination in employment and housing. This targets, among others, women with headscarves.
  • Dialogue between the authorities and the representatives of religious groups but also between the different groups is essential in a multicultural society; also essential is the monitoring of the situation by the authorities, through a process of data collection that respects the principles of data protection and self-identification. However, multiculturalism should not be seen as an end in itself. What ECRI strives for is integrated societies. For us, successful integration is a two-way process, a process of mutual recognition, which has nothing to do with assimilation. An “integrated society” in ECRI’s conception is equally inclusive of majority and minority groups.

Just how dangerous the discussion on religious freedom can be becomes obvious if one goes back six years to a roundtable on Religious Freedom and Democracy, which took place in Rome in 2003, during the OSCE Fall Conference on Religious Freedom:

Ambassador Babacar Ba spoke on behalf of the Secretary General of the Islamic Conference, Abdelouahed Belkeziz, emphasizing the significance of Islam in the history of humanity and the values of tolerance and freedom it has always promoted, whilst denouncing the link between Islam and the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks. Ambassador Ba stressed the positive relations between Islam and other religions, recalling how, historically, Islam had harmoniously integrated certain elements of previous civilizations. He made a link with the Mediterranean aspect of the Rome Conference by underlining the crucial role of the Mediterranean area in the symbiotic relationship between Europe and Islam. Quoting two verses of the Koran, Ambassador Ba underscored the openness of Islam. According to him, Islam has always been a good example of tolerance towards the Jews, the Christians and also nonbelievers throughout history, whilst discouraging forced conversion.

Ambassador Ba went on clarify the alleged misunderstandings pertaining to the debate on the compatibility of religion with democracy. According to him, Islam is not less compatible with democracy than other religions, pointing to the notion that the West did not inherit its democratic principles from any religion, but rather from its great philosophers. Moreover, he argued that the Islamic world is following the same path as the West by striving to institutionalize the same separation of religious institutions from the state. He emphasized the OIC’s commitment to the dialogue between cultures and civilizations in all its relations with international organizations, mentioning an initiative called the “civilization dialogue”.

We must, under all circumstances, continue what was started in July 2009. We need to shake up and wake up those willing to wake up.

Perhaps one day we will be able to say: The CSCE brought down communism; the OSCE brought down Islamic supremacism.

What is the OSCE?

(Original pdf here)

The OSCE works for early warning, conflict prevention, crisis management and post-conflict rehabilitation. The Organization comprises 56 participating States that span the globe, encompassing three continents — North America, Europe and Asia — and more than a billion people.

Forum for dialogue — platform for action

Europe faces new threats and challenges. The OSCE, with its multi-faceted approach to security, offers the region a forum for political dialogue and negotiations and a platform for multilateral partnerships that pursue practical work on the ground.

Dialogue is in the OSCE’s genetic code. To maintain security throughout its region, the OSCE relies on political dialogue about shared values and develops partnerships with governments, civil society and the private sector. The OSCE often works away from the headlines to foster discussion to defuse tensions and head off potential conflict.

The OSCE’s 19 field operations enable the Organization to tackle crises should they arise, and can also play a critical post-conflict role, helping to reinforce confidence- and security-building measures. They foster the administrative capacity of the host countries through concrete projects that respond to people and their needs. These include initiatives to support community policing, minority rights, legislative reform, rule of law, press freedom and border management. Increasingly, the OSCE is building networks of professionals to work more efficiently against terrorism, smuggling of small arms and light weapons, and trafficking in human beings.

From the Cold War to new security challenges

The Organization traces its origins to the early 1970s, to the Helsinki Final Act and the creation of the Conference on Security and Co-operation in Europe (CSCE), which at the height of the Cold War served as an important multilateral forum for dialogue and negotiation between East and West. The fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 and the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 heralded the start of a new era for a “Europe whole and free”, and the participating States called upon the CSCE to respond to the emerging challenges. The CSCE acquired its first permanent structures, including a Secretariat and institutions, and established the first field missions. In 1994 the CSCE, more than a conference, was renamed the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe.

The complex security challenges of the 21st century — from climate change to the spectre of terrorism — have made it clear that the co-operation fostered by the OSCE is needed more than ever.

These combine with the challenges inherited from the past — resolving conflicts in the former Soviet Union, embedding stability in the Balkans, promoting military transparency — to make the OSCE agenda ambitious and full.

Participating States

1 Albania
2 Andorra
3 Armenia
4 Austria
5 Azerbaijan
6 Belarus
7 Belgium
8 Bosnia And Herzegovina
9 Bulgaria
10 Canada
11 Croatia
12 Cyprus
13 Czech Republic
14 Denmark
15 Estonia
16 Finland
17 France
18 Georgia
19 Germany
20 Greece
21 Holy See
22 Hungary
23 Iceland
24 Ireland
25 Italy
26 Kazakhstan
27 Kyrgyzstan
28 Latvia
29 Liechtenstein
30 Lithuania
31 Luxembourg
32 The Former Yugoslav Republic Of Macedonia
33 Malta
34 Moldova
35 Monaco
36 Montenegro
37 Netherlands
38 Norway
39 Poland
40 Portugal
41 Romania
42 Russian Federation
43 San Marino
44 Serbia
45 Slovakia
46 Slovenia
47 Spain
48 Sweden
49 Switzerland
50 Tajikistan
51 Turkey
52 Turkmenistan
53 Ukraine
54 United Kingdom
55 United States Of America
56 Uzbekistan

Asian Partners for Co-Operation

A1 Afghanistan
A2 Japan
A3 Republic Of Korea
A4 Mongolia
A5 Thailand

Mediterranean Partners for Co-Operation

M1 Algeria
M2 Egypt
M3 Israel
M4 Jordan
M5 Morocco
M6 Tunisia


Posted in Berichte von Konferenzen, Conference Reports, Human Rights - menschenrechte, Must Read, News | 3 Comments »

Counter Jihad Brussels: 18-19 October 2007

Posted by paulipoldie on June 6, 2009

Counter Jihad Brussels: 18-19 October 2007



Vigilant Freedom Europa
PO Box 580
Wakefield WF1 9FR
United Kingdom

October 19, 2007


Vigilant Freedom Europa at HIDDEN EMAIL

On October 18 and 19, over 70 organizations and individuals joined together in the European and Flemish Parliaments to create a European network of activists from 14 nations to resist the increasing Islamisation of their countries. Keynote speakers included Bat Ye’or, author of Eurabia and Dhimmitude and Robert Spencer, author of Religion of Peace, Why Christianity is and Islam Isn’t. Additional speakers included David Littman, Dr. Arieh Eldad, member of the Israeli Knesset, Dr. Patrick Sookhdeo, Director of the Institute for the Study of Islam and Christianity, Sam Solomon, Director of Fellowship of Faith for Muslims and author of the Charter of Muslim Understanding, Dr. Marc Cogen, Ghent University, Dr. Andrew Bostom, author of The Legacy of Islamic Antisemitism, and Laurent Artur du Plessis, author of a forthcoming book on shariah finance. Many participants worldwide also attended the first day of presentations online through webex conferencing.Armando Manocchio of the Italian organization Una Via per Oriana (”A Way For Oriana”) presented an award to Bat Ye’or in honor of Oriana Fallaci, including a 5,000 Euro scholarship for young journalists.

Additional anti-islamisation experts and activists from the fourteen European countries presented reports on the current state of Islamisation and jihadism in their nations, and citizen efforts to mount a defense of constitutional liberties and national sovereignty, including:

Austria: Elizabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff

Belgium: Filip Dewinter and Paul Belien

Czech Republic: Matyas Zmo

Denmark: Lars Hedegaard

Finland: Not disclosed publicly

France: Nidra Poller

Germany: Stefan Herre

Italy: Adriana Bolchini Gaigher

Netherlands: Dr. Johannes J.G. Jansen

Norway: Jens Anfindsen

Romania: Traian Ungureanu

Sweden: Ted Ekeroth and Reinhard

Switzerland: Dr. Arnaud Dotezac

United Kingdom: Gerard Batten

Other countries represented included Canada, Israel and the United States.

The first day of the Counterjihad Brussels 2007 conference was held in the European Parliament, and the second day of working groups was held in the Flemish Parliament. Selected texts, videos and supplementary documents including charters, existing laws and draft legislation as well as country and issue updates will be posted in the coming week at the conference website at CounterJihad Europa.

Assistance was provided by many organizations and individuals over the last six months including David Littman, Bart Debie, Baron Bodissey of Gates of Vienna and Philip Claeys.


Press Release

Speaker Biographies

Agenda and Presentations Below

October 18, 2007

1. Keynote speech

Eurabia – How Far has it gone?
Bat Ye’or

Creeping Dhimmitude at the United Nations
David Littman

15 minute break

2. Country reports –

10 minute problem statements/current and planned activity summaries

a. Belgium (Belien/Dewinter)

b. Germany (Stefan Herre)

c. France (Nidra Poller)

d. UK (Gerard Batten)

e. Sweden (Ted Ekeroth/Reinhard – FOMI)

f. Denmark (Lars Hedegaard)

g. Norway (Jens Anfindsen)

h. Finland (KS)

i. Netherlands (Johannes Jansen)

j. Italy (Adriana Bolchini Gaigher)

k. Switzerland (Arnaud Dotezac)

l. Romania (Traian Ungureanu)

m. Austria (Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff)

3. Working Lunch/

Country reports – Cont’d as above

4. What can we learn from Israel’s on-going fight with terrorism? (video, H/T Atlas Shrugs)

Dr Arieh Eldad, member of Israeli Knesset


5. From Dawa to Jihad (presentation is not public, but here is a video interview, H/T Atlas Shrugs)

Dr. Patrick Sookhdeo, Director, Institute for the Study of Islam and Christianity and of the Barnabas Fund

6. Opposing Jihadism
Dr. Marc Cogen, professor of International Law, Ghent University

7. The War Against Jihad : Understanding the adversary (presentation not public)
Sam Solomon, ex-Muslim and shariah law expert, author of the Proposed Charter of Muslim Understanding

1 hour break – move to dinner Locale (TBD)

8. Reception (Drinks) and Dinner

Islam – Is it the real problem (video, H/T Atlas Shrugs)
Robert Spencer

The First and Last Enemy-Jew-Hatred in Islam
Andrew Bostom

October 19:

Working Groups (Notes distributed to participants only)

Matyas Zmo: Czech Republic country report

Laurent Artur du Plessis: Shariah Finance

Speaker Biographies (In order of appearance)

Bat Ye’or

Born in Cairo, she found asylum in London in 1957 as a stateless refugee. After her marriage in 1959, she acquired British citizenship and settled with her husband in Switzerland where three children were born. Since 1971, she has written five books and scores of articles on non-Muslims under Islam, adopting a biblical pen name since 1974: ‘Bat Ye’or’ / ‘Daughter of the Nile’. Her first essay, Les Juifs en Egypte (1971) was followed by a major study, The Dhimmi: Jews and Christians under Islam (French/1980; English/1985; Hebrew/ 1986; Russian/1992). This remains an essential introduction to her second major work, The Decline of Eastern Christianity under Islam. From Jihad to Dhimmitude (French/1991; English/1996; German/2002) which put the study of this topic on a new footing and confirmed her reputation as a pioneer thinker in this field. After 9/11, Islam and Dhimmitude. Where Civilizations Collide (2002) examined the trend toward dhimmitude in the 20th century, thereby facilitating a serious assessment of the traditional Islamic ‘Ideology of Jihad’. Her latest book, EURABIA: The Euro-Arab Axis (2005; and French, Italian, Dutch, Hebrew, 2006-08) facilitated an understanding of the gradual transformation of Europe into “Eurabia”, a cultural and political appendage of the Arab/Muslim world. Sir Martin Gilbert wrote about this work: “With all the drama of a master writer, Bat Ye’or [tells] the story of how the European Union is being subverted by Islamic hostility to the very ethics and values of Europe itself.” And renowned historian Niall Ferguson declared that: “No writer has done more than Bat Ye’or to draw attention to the menacing character of Islamic extremism. Future historians will one day regard her coinage of the term ‘Eurabia’ as prophetic. Those who wish to live in a free society must be eternally vigilant. Bat Ye’or’s vigilance is unrivalled.” Since 1985, all her books are reprinted.

David Littman

Born in London, he graduated in history and political science from Trinity College Dublin (B.A. with Honors and M.A), followed by postgraduate studies at the Institute of Archaeology (London University). In 1959 he married and he and his wife moved to Switzerland where they settled. In 1971, under the pseudonym, “D. F. Green”, he compiled and edited jointly with Yehoshafat Harkabi, Arab Theologians on Jews and Israel (English/ French/German, 1971-1976), and published historical articles in academic periodicals from 1975-1985. From the mid-1970s he translated, from French into English, many studies by Bat Ye’or on the condition of Jews and Christians under Islam (”dhimmitude”), co-translating three of her books. Since 1986, he has been active at UN human rights bodies in Geneva as a non-governmental organization (NGO) human rights defender, known for addressing many taboo subjects. He is currently the accredited representative of two NGOs: the Association for World Education (AWE) and the World Union for Progressive Judaism (WUPJ), recently addressing the UN Council on Human Rights four times at its Sixth Session in September 2007. Nearly 100 of his earlier oral and written statements to the Commission and Sub-Commission on Human Rights were published in “Human Rights and Human Wrongs at the United Nation” (WUPJ, 1986-1991, N° 1-11) and several recent statements were republished in Section 5 (pp. 305-472) of The Myth of Islamic Tolerance: How Islamic Law Treats Non-Muslims. (Ed.) by Robert Spencer, New York, 2005; articles from the 1970s are republished in The Legacy of Islamic Antisemitism From Sacred Texts to Solemn History. (Ed.) Andrew G. Bostom, 2008.

Belgium: Paul Belien

Paul Belien (1959) has a Law degree (specialisations in Social Security Law and European Law) and a doctorate in International Studies. He worked as a professional journalist in both Belgium and the Netherlands. Paul Belien is a member of the Mont Pelerin Society and of the Property and Freedom Society. He is an Adjunct Fellow of the Hudson Institute. Paul Belien was one of the nine “founding fathers” of the Flemish liberal party VLD in 1991-1992, but he did not join this party when it became obvious that its leader, Guy Verhofstadt, was steering it into a leftist and neutralist, rather than a hayekian/libertarian and Atlanticist direction. Paul Belien is married to Irish-born Dr. Alexandra Colen, a former lecturer in linguistics at the universities of Ghent and Antwerp, and an MP for the Flemish-secessionist party Vlaams Blok since 1995.

Paul Belien is the author of numerous articles, essays and books, including, most recently, A Throne in Brussels. He is the co-author – together with Lady Thatcher, Lord Tebbit, Philippe Seguin and others – Visions of Europe (Duckworth, 1994) and – with Harvard Business School’s Prof. Regina Herzlinger – Consumer-Driven Health Care (Jossey-Bass, 2004). He has given lectures on European health care systems in various countries, including the U.S., Canada, Japan and Australia.

Belgium: Filip Dewinter

Dewinter is the most eminent person of the political party Vlaams Belang (The Flemish Interest), the Flemish-secessionist party. In November 1987 he was elected for the first time in the Belgian Parliament. Under Dewinter’s leadership, the parliamentary faction continued to grow, notably in 1991, when the Vlaams Belang, from a small party, grew to about 12% of the voters. This growth has continued ever since, making the party the biggest in Flanders according to polls. In 1995 Dewinter became a member in the Antwerp City Council. When the Flemish Parliament and the Belgian Parliament got elected separately in 1995, he chose to be a member of the Flemish Parliament en became faction leader of the group Vlaams Belang. In 2004 the Vlaams Belang faction in de Flemish parliament got 24% of the voters en became the biggest political faction in the whole Flemish Parliament.Dewinter was re-elected ever since.

Germany: Stefan Herre

Stefan Herre established the conservative weblog “Politically Incorrect” (PI – http://www.politicallyincorrect.de ) to counteract the anti-Americanism and anti-Semitism in Germany. After the disputes on the Mohammed-drawings, the main subject of PI changed to Islam. Since then, the number of PI visitors increased continuously, and the team grew up to five authors. At the moment PI is the biggest political blog in Germany with 15.000 to 20.000 visitors and 50.000 to 60.000 page impressions per day. Herre is also an excellent marathon runner (best time: 2:37 h) and three time Ironman triathlete.

France: Nidra Poller

Paris editor of Pajamas Media. Published regularly in Commentary, Contentions, Wall Street Journal Europe, Makor Rishon, Washington Times, City Journal, occasionally in AtlasShrugs, jihadwatch, Jewish Quarterly, National Post, and formerly in TCSDaily, FrontPage Magazine, American Thinker, National Review Online, New York Sun, SPME Faculty Forum, Israel Hasbara Committee and, in French, Controverses, LibertyVox, Metula News Agency, Guysen Israel News, L’Arch. She lectures in the U.S., Israel, and France – on campus, including Harvard, UNCC, CCSU, Haifa U. and Tel Aviv U. -in synagogues, schools, JCCs, B’nai B’rith lodges, and think tanks. She participated in the December ‘06 Herzliya Conference on The Media as a Theater of War. Recent appearances were sponsored by CAMERA, David Project, Israel Project, JCPA. She has been interviewed by John Batchelor, Joseph Farah, Manfred Gerstenfeld, Lori L. Marcus, Dennis Prager, Rabbi Shaul Praver, Janet Parshall, Rabbi Amiel Wohl. She is the author of numerous works of fiction-novels, short stories, illustrated books for children-in English and French-and translations from French to English, including Humanism of the Other and Unforeseen History by Emmanuel Levinas (University of Illinois Press). She was born in Jessup Pennsylvania in 1935. She received a BA in History from the University of Wisconsin (1956 FKF), and an MA from Johns Hopkins University (1969 Writing Seminars).

UK: Gerard Batten

Gerard Batten was a founder member of the UK Independence Party in September 1993 and the first party secretary from 1994 to 1997. He fought local elections, a by-election, a European election, and two general elections as a UKIP candidate before being elected as the MEP for London in June 2004. He also serves as a member of UKIP’s National Executive Committee. In July 04 he was appointed to the Security & Defence Committee of the European Parliament and as the UKIP spokesman on Security & Defence.

He opposed Britain’s membership of the ‘Common Market’ in 1972 and voted for Britain to leave the European Economic Community in the referendum of 1975. He sought election as a UKIP MEP on the basis that ‘a vote for UKIP is a vote to leave the European Union’. His ‘Personal Manifesto’, published prior to his election, states the basis on which he sought election and upon which he serves as an MEP. He will devote his five years in office to working for Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union.

Gerard Batten was born in London and has lived in the East End of London all his life. He worked for British Telecom in a sales capacity for 28 years prior to his election. He has had articles published in a number of magazines and is a regular contributor to Freedom Today, the magazine of the Freedom Association, with his ‘Batten in Brussels’ column.

Sweden: Ted Ekeroth

Ted Ekeroth, born and raised in Sweden. Age 26. Master of Science, Computer science from Lund University, Technical Institute. Currently running his own IT-company.

Active in combating islam since a long time, running a pro-israeli anti-islamic website but dropped that project when he entered Swedish politics, as part of the Sweden Democrats (SD). SD is the only anti-immigration, anti-islamic party in Sweden. He has since tried to establish contact with other groups and parties around Europe. Ekeroth is blogging at http://www.sdblogg.se (Swedish).

Sweden: Reinhard

Reinhard is in charge of FOMI, Swedish Forum Against Islamization, a web forum dedicated to covering the progress of Islamization in Sweden and providing their Swedish readership with articles about Islam, its theology, history, and current developments concerning the global jihad and the Islamization of Western societies.

Denmark: Lars Hedegaard

Lars Hedegaard is a historian, author, journalist and President of The Free Press Society – a Danish organization founded in 2005 for the protection of free speech. He is the co-founder and co-editor of the Free Press Society’s web magazine http://www.sappho.dk specializing in articles and commentaries on Islam, free speech and Western civilization that most of the mainstream press will not touch. He is a former Editor-in-Chief of the Copenhagen daily newspaper Information. Since 2000 he has been a commentator with the national daily Berlingske Tidende and a frequent contributor to radio and television programs.

With degrees in history (University of Aarhus) and English (University of Copenhagen) he has worked for publishing houses in the USA and Denmark and for several journals and newspapers. He is the author of a number of books on contemporary world history. During the 1990s he worked for the Nordic Council of Ministers, specializing in North European area studies. Since then he has devoted most of his time to the study of Islam’s impact on European and Western civilization, on which subject he has published a large number of articles in the Danish Press.

He contributed to Islam i Vesten: På Koranens vej? [Islam in the West: On the Path of the Koran?], edited by Helle Merete Brix and Torben Hansen (Tiderne Skifter, Copenhagen, 2002). Together with Brix and Hansen he authored the national best seller and one of the most hotly debated books in recent years, I krigens hus: Islams kolonisering af Vesten [In the House of War: Islam’s Colonization of the West] (Aarhus, Hovedland, 2003). He is also the Danish translator of Ibn Warraq’s classical work Why I Am Not a Muslim.

His contributions to the recent Danish discourse is described at length in Bruce Bawer’s bestseller While Europe Slept: How Radical Islam Is Destroying the West from Within (New York, Doubleday, 2006).

Norway: Jens Anfindsen

Jens Tomas Anfindsen (born 1973) was a co-founder and one of two editors of the public affairs blog HonestThinking.org and is currently working as a political analyst for Human Rights Service. Anfindsen holds a Ph.D in philosophy from the University of Uppsala, Sweden, and a Masters Degree in philosophy from the University of Oslo, Norway. He has extensive experience as an academic lecturer and is a specialist in the philosophy of religion. Leaving the academia, Anfindsen has been working as a writer and journalist, and has been an active participant in Norwegian, public debate, appearing in numerous publications and media channels.

Finland: www.tundratabloid.blogspot.com

Holland: Johannes J. G. Jansen

Johannes J.G. Jansen used to be the Director of the Dutch Institute in Cairo. Since 1983, he has been a lecturer in the Department of Languages and Cultures of the Islamic Middle East at the University of Leiden. Jansen has studied Islamic extremism since the 1980s and is the author of The Neglected Duty: The Creed of Sadat’s Assassins, New York 1986. His most recent book in English is The Dual Nature of Islamic Fundamentalism. In 2003 he became professor at the University of Utrecht. His book on the biography of Muhammad, the Prophet of Islam, will appear in German early in 2008. His website http://www.arabistjansen.nl gives further bio- and bibliographical information.

Italy: Adriana Bolchini Gaigher

Journalist and national president O.D.D.I.I. Observatory of Italian and International Law. Director of the on-line magazine Lisistrata. She is also a campaigner for social problems and participates in an independent capacity in the administrative elections of the PSI. (Partito Socialista Italiana). In 1978, she was a victim of a terrorist attack carried out by the terrorist group Prima Linea in Milan.

She is active in the social and political field, writing reviews on problems in the cities and she founded the on-line magazine, Lisistrata and an associated blog, plus hosting a network of various other websites. Some years before 2001, she began to notice problems with immigrants, particularly Muslims and began to investigate. She learned about the Muslim Brotherhood, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, the terrorist strategies of Wahabbi Sunnis and its associated anti-western hatred and the conflict arising from the Khomeini revolution with the appearance of martyrs and suicide bombers which led to the massacres of the American and French military in Lebanon. After the 11 September, the nature of the Muslim invasion became an incontrovertible truth. Finally she realised that Italy is becoming infiltrated by Islamic traditions and usage, leading towards the application of Sharia, to which she is vehemently opposed and for which she has received death threats. She has found many Muslim intellectuals exist who are opposed to the radical totalitarianism of Islam and she collaborates actively with them. This led to the decision to found O.D.D.I.I., to use legal means to defend the Constitution and Italian law. As well as supporting human rights and freedom, she opposes those who have totalitarian plans and are against democracy and attempt to deprive Italians of their freedom of expression by means of both physical threats and legislation which has lost its western and democratic authority. She has already had some successes, like blocking the award made by the Tuscany Region to an individual with anti American and anti Israel views who jeopardises the freedom of Italians. Recently she has campaigned against the proposed Islamic centre in Bologna, succeeding in annulling the contract between the city council and the Muslim association involved. Because of this she has been accused of instigating attacks on mosques in Milan mosques, and she has filed a law suit for defamation, slander, incitement to religious hatred, criminal association and other crimes and will continue to fight on.

Italy: Armando Manocchio

National president of the association A WAY FOR ORIANA. As a young man he was interested in fashion and created his own label range of clothing. He spent 20 years in this industry. In 1990 he stood as an independent candidate for the Partito Socialista Italiana (PSI) and received a satisfactory number of votes, even if he was not elected.

The 11 September 2001 produced for him a change of direction and he became particularly concerned about illegal immigration and Islamism. On the death of Oriana Fallaci, he decided to carry on along the road she had started and he founded the organisation “Una Via per Oriana Fallaci”, of which he is the national president, with the objective of encouraging the local councils to recognise the contribution of this great writer and to honour her memory in public places. On a personal level he has participated in many initiatives, building up a nework of contacts with other associations and the national media and has created a prize and a scholarship in honour of Oriana Fallaci.

Switzerland: Arnaud Dotezac

Arnaud Dotezac is a Professor of Law in Lausanne, Switzerland, focusing on the law of religions, particularly islamic law, and also on the law of armed conflict. At the June 2007 conference at Pepperdine University, “The Collapse of Europe,” Dotezac proposed utilizing a common legal concept to enforce accountability on radical mosques and their preachers. That concept is the Precautionary Principle. Here, in our translation from the French original: “The Koran contains passages which constitute general calls to violence. They do not aim at individuals in particular, but readers of the Koran can think that they conform to these injunctions by aiming at individuals. I propose that this risk should be taken into account. That one should ask the people who circulate this text to match it with a warning specifying that the democratic law must prevail on the injunctions which would be contrary to it.” http://precaution.ch/wp/?p=254

Romania: Traian Ungureanu

born: Bucharest, Romania

– graduated with an MA in Romanian and English Language and Literature from the Uniersity of Bucharest

– after graqduation worked as a journalist for youth, arts and literary magazines

– fled communist Romania in 1988, got a 5 year sentence for treason, in absentia

– one year and a half in West Germany, as a political refuge

– since 1989 established in the UK

– between 1989-2003 worked as a Senior Porducer with BBC World Service, Roamnian Section

– fired in 2003 after repeted editorial clashes with the management. Main reasons of conflict: soft line on post-communists in Eastern Europe and anti-american bias of the BBC management. The sacking spills into a a press scandal both in the UK( see Financial Times and The Guardian) and throughout roamanian media

– since 2003 a free lance journalist for major romanian dailies, radio and tv stations.Weekly and monthly op/eds, columns and essays.

– awarded Civic Sociey Prize 2004, Greek-Catholic Church Order of Excellence 2004,The Timisoara Societiy Diplomma 2005, The Flacara magazine Best Journalist Prize 2006.

– published books in Romanian, at Humanitas Publishing House:The Football Manifesto 2004, The War of The Ages – Western Decline And Islamist Siege 2005, The Art of Romanian Unableness 2005, On the Communist Secret Service 2005, Popular Games and Heroes 2006

Austria: Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff

Born in Geneva, Switzerland. Father former Austrian diplomat. Schooling in Tehran (Iran), Vienna, Chicago. In 1990, summer position at the Austrian Embassy Kuwait, inside of which she was forced to remain after Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait. Worked as assistant to the Vice Chancellor of the Republic of Austria, Mr. Wolfgang Schüssel (1995-1997). Austrian Embassy Kuwait, Visa Section (1997-2000), Austrian Embassy Tripoli, Libya (2000-2001). Since 2001, ESL and TOEFL teacher at an English language institute in Vienna. Ms. Sabaditsch-Wolff’s interest in Islam stems from having been exposed to Islam from early childhood. She was in Tehran during the Islamic Revolution of 1979, lived in Kuwait and Libya, and was thus confronted with life under the Sharia. While in Kuwait, she began doing research about women’s rights in Islam by asking why Kuwaiti women were not allowed to vote, considering that Iranian could. This research culminated in a research paper “Suffrage in Kuwait – When IS the Right Time?” during her university education. Ms. Sabaditsch-Wolff’s study of Islam has intensified since, leading her to become active in March 2007 in fighting against the Islamization of Europe. Member of the Austrian Association of Academics (Vienna chapter). Speeches about Islam and the Islamization of Europe for Austrian political parties as well as other influential groups. Publication: book, I Was Saddam Hussein’s Hostage Vienna, 1990. (German language only, out of print). Master of Arts (magna cum laude) in Diplomatic and Strategic Studies

Arieh Eldad:

Prof. Aryeh Eldad, M.D. ( אריה אלדד‎, also spelt Arie Eldad) is a member of the Israeli Knesset and a physician. He belongs to the Moledet party, part of the National Union list in the Israeli Knesset. Eldad is a professor and head of the plastic surgery and burns unit at the Hadassah Medical Center hospital in Jerusalem. He studied medicine at Tel Aviv University, where he earned his doctorate. He served as the chief medical officer and was the senior commander of the Israeli Defence Forces medical corps for 25 years and reached a rank of Tat Aluf (Brigadier General). He is renowned worldwide for his treatment of burns and won the Evans Award from the American Burns Treatment Association. He heads the Ethics committee of the Knesset. He is head of the sub-committee for anti corruption struggle, member of labor welfare and health committee, head of sub committees for organ transplantation and Para-Medical Professions. He is a member of the Science and Technology committee, and head of the Lobby for Anti-corruption struggle.

His publications include: About 150 papers in leading Journals of Burns and Plastic Surgery 1975-2003
Jerusalem – A challenge (Heb.) by Israel Eldad and Arieh Eldad ; Carta Publishing House Jerusalem 1978
A cat in a poke (Heb.) by Arieh Eldad ; Tamuz Publishing House, Tel Aviv 1980
Sinai Fever (Heb). by Arieh Eldad ;Keter Publishing House Jerusalem 1982
The Challenge Of Jerusalem : Betwixt thicket and altar. by Israel & Arieh Eldad; Jerusalem 1992
A weekly Column in Yedioth Aharonot ; 2002-2006
A weekly Column in Maariv; 2006-

Dr. Patrick Sookhdeo

Dr Sookhdeo was born in Guyana, South America, and is now based in the UK.

He holds a Ph.D. from London University’s School of Oriental and African Studies on the impact of Islam on society. He also holds doctorates from Western Seminary, Portland, Oregon and Nashotah House Episcopal Seminary, Wisconsin. He is a Senior Visiting Fellow at the Defence Academy of the UK, Adjunct Professor of the George C. Marshall European Centre for Security Studies, and Visiting Fellow at Cranfield University, UK. He is an author, lecturer, advisor and consultant on issues of war, conflict, society and religion. He is an adviser to the British armed forces on Iraq and Afghanistan. He is also the director of the Institute for the Study of Islam and Christianity and of the Barnabas Fund. His latest book is “Global Jihad: The Future in the Face of Militant Islam”.

Dr. Marc Cogen

Professor of International Law, Ghent University, Belgium and Co-Founder of the ‘European Friends of Israel.’ He specializes in the law of armed confict, international law and common foreign and security policy of the Europen Union. He is currently an advisor to the Belgian Minister of Foreign Affairs

Sam Solomon

Sam Solomon is the Executive Director of FFM – Fellowship of faith for the Muslims, U.K. He studied Islamic law for 15 years, and became an Islamic Jurist and Professor of Shariah law. Upon his conversion to Christianity, he was given 48 hours to flee his country. He now lives in the United Kingdom where he is a consultant to Parliament. He is a leading Christian witness in the Muslim world. FFM: Fellowship of Faith for the Muslims is a Christian intercessory fellowship established by Samuel Zwemmer in 1915. FFM publishes a monthly prayer Bulletin, holds prayer days, and an annual prayer conference. It has a literature department too. It informs and educates Christians on Islam.

Solomon is one of the foremost experts on Islam from a Christian perspective active in ministry within the body of Christ worldwide. This expertise is the result of extensive and rigorous formal training in the traditions and practices of Islam from within and many years of active Christian service. Since responding to the personal call of Christ as a young man, God has given Sam a three-fold ministry vision: Sam is an educator, a legal/political advocate, and a counselor in service of believers locally and internationally. He is also a co-founder of Christian Concern for the Nation (CCFN) with Barrister Andrea William, and the Christian Law Society.

Robert Spencer

Robert Spencer is the director of Jihad Watch, a project of the David Horowitz Freedom Center, and the author of two New York Times bestsellers on Islamic jihad. Spencer has written seven books, ten monographs, and well over two hundred articles about jihad and Islamic terrorism. Along with the bestsellers The Truth About Muhammad (Regnery) and The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades) (Regnery), he is the author of Islam Unveiled: Disturbing Questions About the World’s Fastest Growing Faith (Encounter) and Onward Muslim Soldiers: How Jihad Still Threatens America and the West (Regnery). He is coauthor, with Daniel Ali, of Inside Islam: A Guide for Catholics (Ascension), and editor of the essay collection The Myth of Islamic Tolerance: How Islamic Law Treats Non-Muslims (Prometheus). His latest book, Religion of Peace? Why Christianity Is and Islam Isn’t (Regnery), a refutation of moral equivalence and call to defend Judeo-Christian civilization from the global jihad, is now available.

Spencer (MA, Religious Studies, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill) has been studying Islamic theology, law, and history in depth since 1980. He is an Adjunct Fellow with the Free Congress Foundation, and his monographs on Islam are available from the Foundation: An Introduction to the Qur’an; Women and Islam; An Islamic Primer; Islam and the West; The Islamic Disinformation Lobby; Islam vs. Christianity; and Jihad in Context.

His articles on Islam and other topics have appeared in the New York Post, the Washington Times, the Dallas Morning News, Canada’s National Post, Middle East Quarterly, FrontPage Magazine.com, WorldNet Daily, Insight in the News, Human Events, National Review Online, and many other journals. He has led seminars on Islam and jihad for United States Central Command, United States Army Command and General Staff College, a Department of Homeland Security task force, and branches of the Joint Terrorism Task Force. Also, he has discussed jihad, Islam, and terrorism at a workshop sponsored by the U.S. State Department and the German Foreign Ministry. He has also appeared on the BBC, CNN, FoxNews, PBS, MSNBC, CNBC, C-Span, France24 and Croatia National Televison (HTV), as well as on numerous radio programs including Bill O’Reilly’s Radio Factor, The Laura Ingraham Show, Bill Bennett’s Morning in America, Michael Savage’s Savage Nation, The Sean Hannity Show, The Alan Colmes Show, The G. Gordon Liddy Show, The Neal Boortz Show, The Michael Medved Show, The Michael Reagan Show, The Rusty Humphries Show, The Larry Elder Show, The Barbara Simpson Show, Vatican Radio, and many others.

Dr. Andrew Bostom

Andrew G. Bostom, M.D., M.S. (Providence, RI), is the author of the highly acclaimed The Legacy of Jihad: Islamic Holy War and the Fate of Non-Muslims. He is an Associate Professor of Medicine in the Division of Renal Diseases at Rhode Island Hospital, the major teaching affiliate of Brown University Medical School. Dr. Bostom has published numerous articles and commentaries on Islam in the Washington Times, National Review Online, Revue Politique, FrontPage Magazine.com, American Thinker, and other print and online publications. More on Andrew Bostom’s work can be found at http://www.andrewbostom.org, including a preview of his eagerly anticipated forthcoming book, The Legacy of Islamic Antisemitism: From Sacred Texts to Solemn History.

Additional Speakers for Day 2:

Laurent Artur du Plessis

Mr. Artur du Plessis is a journalist-author, born in Bône (Algeria).
Journalist at Figaro Magazine from 1978 to 1991. Contributions to various publications: Valeurs Actuelles, France Sunday. Author of four geopolitical works, all published by editor Jean Godfrey (http://www.editionsjcgodefroy.fr)
The Third World War Has Begun (October 15, 2002 – Sold 10,000)
The total war with Islam (October 14, 2004)
10 questions on Turkey … and 10 disturbing responses (April 7, 2005)
Iran in the Third World War (October 25, 2005)
He is preparing a book in French on Islamic financing of Europe, in the spirit of “Eurabia” Bat Ye’Or’s work. He sees a major problem: Islamic banks involved in the financing of radical Islam have ramifications in Europe, but also American. This is due to the central role of petrodollars – especially those of Saudi Arabia-in the global economy. And by the duplicity of the theocratic regime of Saudi Arabia, which continues to give its financial protection to radical Islam while being officially an ally of the United States.

Czech Republic Speaker: Matyas Zmo

Matyas Zrno holds an M.A. in International Relations from the Faculty of Social Sciences of Charles University in Prague. In addition to his studies in Prague, Mr. Zrno has studied in Berlin and in the United States, at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln.

Already during his studies Mr. Zrno published regular commentaries and articles in both Czech and international media. He particularly specialises in the current political situation in the Balkans. Before joining the Civic Institute, he worked as a Foreign Desk Editor at the Czech weekly Respekt and in Czech television.

The Civic Institute is the leading representative of conservative thought in Czech society. It carries on the spirit of the vibrant subculture of Czech anti-communist dissent from which it was born. The Civic Institute promotes ideas and principles necessary for free and stable democratic societies. It firmly stays behind the ideals of freedom, the rule of law, human dignity and inalienable rights- along with the economic, social and cultural benefits tied to these ideas. http://www.obcinst.cz/en


Posted in Conference Reports, Counterjihad | 1 Comment »

The Housewife’s Kit

Posted by paulipoldie on June 3, 2009

The Housewife’s Kit

by Baron Bodissey

Counterjihad Copenhagen 2009
In last month’s report on Counterjihad Copenhagen, I mentioned the “housewife’s kit”, a collection of useful Counterjihad materials designed for ordinary people who have become interested in resisting Islamization, and are able to participate in a limited or part-time way.

The German-language materials were originally devised in Austria, but an English-language adaptation has been posted at the International Civil Liberties Alliance website.

The full text is reproduced below, but check the Housewife’s Kit again from time to time, because it will be expanded and updated in the future.

Housewife’s Kit: Getting Active in the Counter Jihad


So, you’re concerned about increasing Islamisation and have decided to join the growing Global Counter Jihad Movement. You want to help your civilisation during this difficult time but do not know where to start. It is the purpose of this guide to get you started with your activism.

The amount of time you devote is entirely up to you.

Most members of the movement have full time jobs and family commitments. Even if you just spend a few minutes a day informing yourself about the issues, you will already be making a contribution to the cause.


You have recognised that there is a problem, perhaps due to an outrageous event (e.g. 9/11, 7/7, the reaction to the Danish Mohammed Cartoons, aggressive Islamist demonstrations, etc), an issue that concerns you (spread of sharia law, women’s rights, human rights, freedom of speech, gay rights, Government censorship, halal meat/animal cruelty, terrorism, unfair treatment of non-Muslims, indoctrination in schools, etc.), developments in your own local area, or a more general concern about the direction that society is now taking.

Your desire to participate in this cause means that you have already made this important step and you are already assisting the Global Counter Jihad.


The next step is an important one and is something that everyone can and should do. It is important that you broaden your understanding of Islam, its role in history, its beliefs, and its impact on societies around the world. There is a large volume of information that the political establishment want to hide from the public. News is hidden by a combination of Government policy, Government and Islamist propaganda, biased news reporting and selective exploration of the issues, self censorship, and a general unwillingness to think critically.


Set some time aside each week (even if it is just a few minutes) to read relevant websites (or just choose one of these to follow) such as:
– – – – – – – –

(Some of these have facilities to sign up to their newsletters).


If reading websites is not your thing then there is an excellent internet radio show called ‘The Gathering Storm Radio Show’ that is live on Fridays (though you can listen to old shows at any time) that explores many issues relating to Islamisation. Informative podcasts can also be found at ‘Shire Network News’ and at ‘Radio Jihad’.


Activists from across the world have used YouTube to inform the public about Jihad and Islamisation. This can also be a useful source of educational material. There are numerous channels that cover this area but a small number are listed here to give you an idea of what is available:


It is important to know what is in books like the Koran. ‘The Skeptic’s Annotated Quran’, ‘Prophet of Doom’ and Robert Spencer’s series ‘ Blogging the Qur’an’ are good places to start your studies. These and other links can be found on the ICLA site. This will help you develop convincing arguments that can be used to draw others into the Counter Jihad movement.


The Counter Jihad was born on the Internet and it was there where it took its first bold steps. There is still a great deal you can do without leaving the comfort of your own home.


Join the International Civil Liberties Alliance. This will help with your ongoing education about the issues and also inform you about things that you can do. There is a regular newsletter and a forum where you can exchange ideas and get to know other members. You can help spread the word about the cause by forwarding the newsletter to people that you know, to encourage them to get involved.


If there are any issues or events that you think might be of interest to the Counter Jihad then let ICLA know. Do this by:

1) Making a comment under the feature article on the ICLA website, providing a description of the issue/event and including any relevant links.
2) Starting a thread on the ICLA forum (you need to be an ICLA member to do that).

This could include mosque building projects, discrimination against non Muslims, petitions, demonstrations, conferences, events, projects that need publicity, unreasonable politically correct initiatives, etc.


Comment on blogs and forums or even set up your own blog (e.g. Blogger, WordPress, etc) to inform people about Jihad and Islamisation.

Commenting on allied blogs such as Gates of Vienna is also a great way to get to know other activists.


Letting your views be known, correcting errors and misconceptions about the Counter Jihad, balancing Islamic and Government propaganda, etc. in comments sections on newspaper websites. This is where the benefits gained from educating yourself about the issues can be invaluable.


If you have skills in more than one language then you could participate in the ‘Rosetta Stone’ Translation Project (you need to be an ICLA member to contribute to this).


This includes forwarding links to stories or YouTube videos about Islamisation issues to friends and family to help them become aware of things that are censored out of mainstream media coverage. Public education is an important part of the work of the Counter Jihad.



This involves letter writing and more details can be found HERE.


Write letters to current affairs /news print publications such as newspapers and magazines about issues related to Islamisation.


This helps to make them aware of the voices of opposition to Islamisation in their constituency/district and makes it more likely that they will speak out against Islamisation. You can also send them educational material or provide links to such material.



Attend political demonstrations that further the cause and demonstrate to the wider public that people are not happy about Islamisation and the effects that it is having on our society and way of life.

Attend conferences, seminars and public meetings.


Take photographs and video footage from events you attend or areas of interest to the cause that you visit and make the material available to the wider network. The Counter Jihad has people all over the world and you can act as its correspondent in your own area to help it expand as a media gathering organisation. An example of video activism can be seen from ICLA’s fact finding tour of Malmö. Examples of photographic activism can be found HERE, HERE and HERE.

All you need is a camera and an eye for the issues.

Over time, as a movement it will be possible to develop a huge library of material that can be used to further the interests of the cause.


When you have gained knowledge and confidence why not set up your own ICLA branch and connect it with the wider global network?

Remember, your ideas could be the basis of a campaign and that campaign could impact on the politics of many countries.


Posted in Conference Reports, Counterjihad, Islam - What can we do? Was können wir tun?, Must Read | 1 Comment »