United Nations Human Rights Council, 16th session, Geneva – 28 February 25 March 2011: Agenda Item 8: General Debate on Follow-up and implementation of the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action
Oral Statement by Sultan Shahin, Editor, New Age Islam
On behalf of International Club for Peace Research
Even though The Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action called for elimination of all kinds of human rights violations almost two decades ago, we find that in some areas the situation is only worsening. Article 15 asks us to work against xenophobia and article 19 calls upon governments to protect all human rights of minorities. But xenophobia, particularly in the form of Islamophobia, is growing in several European countries and partly feeds upon the flagrant violation of the human rights of religious minorities in several Muslim-majority countries.
Petrodollar Islam has injected the poison of Islam-supremacism in Muslim societies worldwide. Even exemplary moderate countries like Indonesia, Malaysia are now infected with this virus. But the worst case scenario is evolving in the only Muslim nuclear power, Pakistan. Jihadi vigilantes including members of security forces are hunting down and killing all those who oppose their version of Islam. The country is drowning in a sea of violence but civil society, media or elected parliamentarians dare not condemn the wanton killings in the name of Islam. The educated middle class regards these murderers as heroes. Many in the security apparatus support the Talibani goal of a takeover of Pakistan to be followed by that of other countries in the region and beyond. Their goals maybe insane, but their insanity is not unlike that of the Nazis and Fascists in early 20th century Europe.
Even the Pakistani Parliament consisting of freely elected members has not been able to condemn either of these assassinations. The valiant civil society that has been campaigning against the blasphemy laws and demanding human rights for religious minorities for decades is now on the back foot. Its prominent members are saying publicly that they are just waiting to be assassinated. They are afraid because there is not a single institution in the country that is either not compromised or scared.