THE BLACK KETTLE

Proverbs 21:30

The UN’s Alliance Of Bigots

Joseph A. Klein:

The United Nations “Alliance of Civilizations,” co-founded by Turkey and Spain, has an annual budget of approximately four million U.S. dollars. It just completed its Fifth Global Forum this past week in Vienna. The ostensible theme of the lavish two-day gathering was “Responsible Leadership in Dialogue and Diversity.”

According to its appropriately named “Vienna Declaration,” the forum was aimed, among other things, at an informed debate on how responsible leadership can make a difference in promoting and protecting full enjoyment of the right to freedom of religion and belief in “a context of religious pluralism” and “greater diversity.”

Outlining his vision to make the Alliance of Civilizations more active in addressing acute inter-ethnic and inter-religious tensions, the High Representative for the Alliance of Civilizations, Nassir Al-Nasser of Qatar, stated, “We will strive to use the tools at our disposal in the difficult settings around the world. We will not shy away from them.”

How noble. Unfortunately, the Alliance of Civilizations’ lavish global forum turned at times into a perversion of its stated mission. The Emir of Qatar H H Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, for example, used his speech to complain about “an increase in the manifestations of misunderstanding about Islam and the Islamic civilisation in addition to the Muslims’ suffering from marginalisation, discrimination and hatred in many parts of the globe.” The Emir called “the Palestinian cause” the “last colonial issue in history.”

Where, in the interest of inter-faith tolerance and dialogue, was the Emir’s acknowledgment of manifestations of misunderstanding about Christianity, Judaism and other faiths in the Muslim world, where non-Muslims suffer from marginalization, discrimination and hatred? Where is his call for good faith dialogue towards reaching a viable two-state Palestinian Israeli solution and rejection of the call by Hamas – whom the Emir visited in Gaza late last year – to destroy the entire Jewish state?

Irresponsible, bigoted leadership was also on display at the Alliance of Civilizations forum.

Exhibit A was a speech delivered on February 27th by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. His hateful remarks equated Zionism with fascism and, curiously enough, with anti-Semitism. He labeled each of these “isms,” starting with Zionism, as “a crime against humanity” and said that Islamophobia belongs in the same crime against humanity category.

Sadly, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon – who was present on the stage – remained silent.

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February 28, 2013 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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