The UDHR and the CDHRI: Their Ideals and Ours

It is one of the enduring myths of the great liberal delusion that all people aspire to the same values as the values of the Enlightenment. Our ideals, flowing from the Enlightenment, include universal Human Rights and equality for all. So firmly is this ideal built into our psyche that we measure our societal worth by our insistence on pursuing this ideal without exception (barring exceptions, of course). It should not be necessary to point out that these are my ideals, too. I may further add that I hold these ideals to be superior to anything else humanity has hitherto devised.

It is, however, inescapable that Human Rights and equality for all are not ideals that all people share. What is more, significant sections of humanity are actively opposed to them. Indeed, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and the ideal of equality for all human beings are so strongly opposed by so many, that no fewer than 45 states signed the Cairo Declaration of Human Rights in Islam (CDHRI), adopted in 1990, expressly to challenge the universality of the UDHR, and specifically its applicability to Muslims, and to instead safeguard the pre-mediaeval and inhuman Shari’a as the framework for human relations and interactions. It is neither a slight nor an insult to say that Muslims do not hold to the UDHR as an ideal, on the contrary, it is an affirmation.

The signing of the CDHRI may, on the face of it, seem like a retreat from a universal ideal, but to the 45 signatories and their famed 1.7 billion co-religionists, it is anything but. Their action is the safeguarding of a far higher ideal, one ordained by none other than God himself. Muslims hold to the ideal of their supremacy over all others and the subjugation of all others to them, whether they violently strive to realise this ideal, or merely avoid the degradation of contact with non-Muslims. To give some idea of the flavour of this supremacy, for a Muslim man to marry a non-Muslim woman is to elevate her, and the children she might bear, to Islam. For a Muslim woman to marry a non-Muslim man is to relegate her, and the children she might bear, from Islam. It is therefore a logical impossibility since a woman’s children belong to her husband, and no one can ever leave Islam.

Muslims are not equal to non-Muslims and there is no need for anyone, especially non-Muslims, to do anything about that inequality. Muslims are already superior. They are already supreme. God made it so fourteen hundred years ago. If reality deviates from this, then there is something wrong with reality and it is incumbent on Muslims to put right such abomination. If they are not in a position to put it right, then they must avoid sullying themselves by unnecessary involvement with that reality. You do not need to invade, occupy or oppress a Muslim country to trigger such “putting right”. Your mere existence will suffice.

So, for non-Muslims to offer equality to Muslims, even if those Muslims find themselves in the most abject of conditions, is a deeply humiliating presumption. Should Muslims condescend to accept such Human Rights and equality with non-Muslims, it would be so as to exact revenge for the affront of having had Human Rights and equality offered to them — forced on them, as they would see it — while they were in no position to spurn it. It is this that underlies the trashing of generous and humane Sweden. It is this that underlies the never-ending demands for special treatment where everyone else accepts equality (special treatment is nothing more than the rolling back of such integration as they’ve been unable to avoid). Muslims will never let go of their supremacy and the inferiority of all others to them, even if they live peacefully next door, regularly offer you food across the garden fence, and have nothing to do with jihad. You are a lesser being and will forever so remain, unless, of course, you do the wondrous thing of converting to Islam.

Another enduring myth of the great liberal delusion is that the violence of Islam is confined to terrorists or “radicalised” Muslims. Men who beat their wives, parents who kill their daughters (filicide is legal in Islam), teachers who inflict falaka on their pupils, fighting as the first resort to settling disagreement, beating as the reflexive response to the smallest transgression, public whipping and caning of women by any male stranger, amputations for petty thefts, beheadings, stonings, etc., are normal parts of everyday peaceful Islam. Where any of these are not practised, it is not because we have a “peaceful Islam”, but because another ethos is powerful enough to impose itself on Islam, whether that is through the institutions of state, or the personal ethics of Muslims in that society.

If you do not recognise these horrors from your own Muslim upbringing, then Alhamdulillah. The serenity of the meal in Ramadan, the edifying musicality of the athan (especially at fajr), the smell of cinnamon on potato fritters, a roomful of giggling women dressing one another before a wedding, the waft of incense from a house, making a mess sucking the vermicelli from the bubur to avoid the cardamom, etc. — we want these beautiful things to numb us to the barbarism at the heart of this faith. And they might well do so, but those horrors remain very much in place, and integral to what makes Islam superior. Naïve liberals need these beautiful things so as to maintain their delusion. I suspect that people who distinguish themselves as “cultural Muslims” may be seeking a Muslim identity free of these unsavoury components, but recognise that the faith is irredeemable.

“HR” in CDHRI means something entirely different to “HR” in UDHR. The piety with which many in the West react to the question of Human Rights and Muslims is both absurd and suicidal. It is also callous. Our pompous, ignorant self-righteousness is costing us dearly, and is abandoning those thousands upon thousands of people in the Islamic world, Muslim and non-Muslim alike, victims of Islam all, who aspire to exactly the same ideals as those who inherited Human Rights and equality for all from the Enlightenment.

 When gangs of rampaging Muslim men rape our women and reduce our cities to ashes, then, from their point of view, well would we deserve it for daring to presume ourselves equal to them. And this is still to say nothing of either Shari’a or terrorism. Many an educated liberal will simply steer well clear of all this and prefer to stick to the mantras of universal Human Rights and their absoluteness. It is a cop-out.


  1. polishsalami says

    There are two issues that stand out to me when it comes to the psychology of Muslims.

    Firstly, there is a type of cognitive dissonance with how great Islam (and by extension, Muslims) is supposed to be, and what it has achieved in actuality*. Muslims don’t win many Nobel Prizes, or anything connected to the intellect — they are not “nerds”; on the other hand, they are not “jocks”, either. How many Olympic gold medals do Islamic nations win?

    Secondly, there doesn’t seem to be any internal dialectic within Islam to create any sort of moral progress in an Islamic society — there is no “right” or “wrong”, only “Islamic” and “un-Islamic”. The only guide that Muslims seem to have is the life of The Prophet; and given that Mo was was a homicidal misogynist paedophile, it should be no surprise that many Muslim men turn out to be homicidal misogynist paedophiles.

    *A Muslim might counter this by saying that the mere existence of one billion-plus Muslims is a sign of success. I’d say that we already know that Muslims are good at breeding and indoctrination; could you try something else for a change?

        • Steersman says

          Re: polishsalami, Anjuli:

          Yea. Certainly an ostensible win for Islam, but some evidence to suggest that it is, or is close to being, the last straw. I figure Muslims are close to wearing out their welcome in the West, and such manifestations of bullying and outright thuggery only further discredit Islam. One might hope at least that that incident will, as Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto [1] is reported to have said following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, “awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve”.

          As for your entirely apt “crucify” quote, you might note Nicholas Christakis’ tweet [2] in response to equally demented calls in Pakistan for the death penalty in response to blasphemy:

          Salem witch trials.Stasi denunc’s. ’80s daycare abuse hysteria. Pakistani apostasy claims. All virtue signaling, deadly mobs

          Both cases further underlining your comments about the “barbarism at the heart of this faith”, and that it is “both absurd and suicidal” to be giving Islam the time of day much less any type of safe harbor in the West.

          1) “_”;
          2) “_”;

          • says

            Richard Dawkins said it much better than I can, “I may give in to your demand for censorship because I fear your barbarism. But don’t for one moment confuse that with respect. I don’t respect you. I despise you.”

  2. Steersman says

    Re: polishsalami 2017-04-01 at 05:59

    There are two issues that stand out to me when it comes to the psychology of Muslims.
    Firstly, there is a type of cognitive dissonance with how great Islam (and by extension, Muslims) is supposed to be, and what it has achieved in actuality*. Muslims don’t win many Nobel Prizes, or anything connected to the intellect ….

    Indeed. Think that the points about “the psychology of Muslims” and “many Nobel Prizes” are particularly important ones – forewarned is forearmed for one thing. But apropos of which, you might check out Why the Arabic World Turned Away from Science [1], and Anjuli’s comments thereon [2]. Lots to chew on in both cases, but one thing in the former that has always struck me as particularly accurate and cogent was the argument that “one of Islam’s biggest obstacles” was “a political tradition of belligerent self-pity”.

    Sure seems to describe much “Muslim psychology to a T, an entirely justified argument that the Muslim world is largely the author of most of its own misfortunes. And that largely because of a dogmatic and barbaric ideology that is fundamentally antithetical to the premises and outlook on which most of Western science is based. Interestingly, Anjuli argues, with some justification, that both the premises and outlook of science are much more compatible with those of Christianity, although the “marriage” of the two hasn’t been without its fractious or problematic incidents. I’ve seen it argued, through the details are obscure, that that is partly due to the Judaic antecedents that has emphasized and promoted the concept of law – which, of course, undergirds most if not all of science.

    1) “_”;
    2) “_”;

    • says

      apropos of which, you might check out Why the Arabic World Turned Away from Science [1], and Anjuli’s comments thereon [2]

      I’ve looked into this some more and came across a really interesting philosopher and historian, Asad Ahmed, on Open India and Beyond. There’s a lot of subtlety in his approach and he’s putting forward an hypothesis that challenges some of Hillel Ofek’s assumptions. He’s making me rethink my own position on the causes of the decline. I’ll update you if/when new ideas start taking hold. Check it out.

  3. Pierce R. Butler says

    polishsalami @ # 1: Muslims don’t win many Nobel Prizes, or anything connected to the intellect…

    At times, Muslim societies have led the world in mathematics, science, health care, and more; at other times (now, in general), Islamic nations lead backwards trends.

    Ergo, Islam per se does not dominate such trends, but goes with the tides driven by other factors.

    Who was it who said, “There are no math lessons in foxholes.”?

  4. says

    @polishsalami & Steersman

    Off the top of my head: Avicenna (Persian polymath with numerous contributions to philosophy, medicine, psychology, poetry, geology, etc), Al-Zahrawi (father of surgery, he is attributed with performing the first thryoidectomy as well as describing the first mastectomy as treatment for breast cancer), Alhazen (another polymath whose contribution to the scientific method have led to him being described as “the world’s first true scientist”).

    On a more modern note: Malala Yousafzai, youngest Nobel laureate ever.

    All of these people are muslim, all of this people subscribed to the same hateful religion. Islam, by it’s nature, has remained unchanged since the times of Avicenna up into the times of Malala. If there is something peculiar about muslim brains that make them inherently inferior morally and scientifically, Al-Zahrawi had it when he invented surgery, Malala had it when she fought for girls’ right to an education and Anjuli had it right up into the second when she stopped being a muslim. The proposition of “muslim psychology” being such-and-such seems flawed in light of the evidence.

    Attempting to be an arm-chair psychoanalist of someone you’re not even in the same room with, is courting failure. Attempting to simultaneously arm-chair psychoanalyze 1Billion+ people is borderline idiotic. When, on top of that, you are working backwards from the conclusion that you are dealing with psyches inherently different from normal human beings… fuck man, you might as well have a thousand monkeys type out your thought process and have your conclusion be the first coherent sentence. Accuracy is just not a factor here.

    I think it’s vital to figure out what, exactly, is the proportion of the problem. Treating a misdiagnosed disease is pretty much leaving things to blind chance, I don’t think anyone here is comfortable with that.

    No government can sustain having 3.5% of the population in open resistance. I don’t imagine that the ratio is much different at a bigger, world scale. Muslims make up 23% of the world population. If 16% of muslims were mujahideen, not only would we be seeing more attacks, they would have already won. So, whatever the number of violent muslims, it’s less than 16%. Probably much less, since the individual person’s desire for self-preservation (and for some, physical incapacity for violence) makes violent campaigns less popular (and populous) than non-violent ones.

    Couple that with the situation where not every muslim country produces muslim terrorists at the same rate, I’ve mentioned before Indonesia’s suspicious lack of big-name terrorists despite being the country with the most muslims.

    I oppose carpet bombing approaches on many levels. On moral grounds, on philosophical grounds and, perhaps more importantly, on strategic grounds.
    Sure, your carpet bombing will definitely hit the motherfucker you wanted dead. It will also hit a million other people who had literally nothing to do with it, other than geographical proximity. Why create more enemies for yourself?

    It is a fact that muslim extremists are a minority within the religion so, by statistics alone, every move that targets Muslims in an attempt to hurt Muslim Terrorists, will inevitably lead to multiple neutral and friendly parties hurt in the search for the one enemy. It will lead to hurting mostly neutral and friendly parties, I’d dare guess something to the tune of 99 complete randos per 1 enemy.

    Societies that adhere to the UDHR are objectively more desirable places to live in than those under, say, the CDHRI.
    This (as well as inapplicability) is part of the reason why I oppose your idea to rescind Human Rights to muslims. It would make the west as undesirable for moderate muslims as Islam-ruled places. It would muddle the waters and give the islamists an opening to present themselves as the lesser evil to their audience. Something very similar to how Trump defeated Hillary. If both parties are undesirable, even the smallest, most irrelevant, obviously dishonest gesture, is enough to tip people in favor of one or the other.

    Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong-Un maintain their power and the love of their people, despite being violent despots, because they present themselves in contrast with the “American Satan”, the evil west that kills, destroys, blah blah blah. Their charade works well because the US, being a bunch of knuckleheads, provide their enemies with plenty evidence of their destructive-moron tendencies. Coming back to terrorists, their appeal to recruit comes from contrasting themselves with the violent barbarians of the west. If you make yourself more like them, if only towards muslims, you make what ought to be a simple choice, harder.

    This is also the reason why (in the context of fighting islamic extremism) shari’a law cannot be allowed to exist in western society, don’t abdicate the biggest advantage you have over your enemy.

    I’m gonna sound like the freaking PC Police here, but I kinda made a mental note to prefix “some” before “muslims” while reading your post. I believe generalizations are rhetorical carpet-bombing. I know some people that will argue that it’s, like, morally wrong and such. I just think that, the larger the group you’re generalizing, the higher the chance of getting it wrong. And 1.6 Billion is a shitload
    Remember that 95% of the victims of islamic terrorism are muslims who are not on board with their shit. If you make a move that harms those guys, you’re kinda doing ISIS’s homework for them.

    • says

      It is possible that I’ve not expressed myself clearly. I agree with diagnosing the disease and understanding the proportion of the problem, except that I think that correctly diagnosing the disease is more vital than figuring out the proportion of the problem, crucial as that is. I am well familiar with the great pre-decline (i.e., pre-12th century) philosophers and scientists who worked in the Islamic world – not all were Muslim and, as far as I know, there was nothing remarkable about the proportions of Muslims versus others in these endeavours. The Translation Movement is the starting point of a novel I’ve been working on for the last eight years. Both Ibn Sina and Ibn Rushd feature in its pages, as do Razaaz al-Jazari, Farid ad-Din Attar (all favourably) and Salah ad-Din (unfavourably). Aside from my fiction work, the philosopher I quote more often than any others is Al-Kindi: “We ought not to be embarrassed of appreciating the truth and of obtaining it wherever it comes from, even if it comes from races distant and nations different from us. Nothing should be dearer to the seeker of truth than the truth itself, and there is no deterioration of the truth, nor belittling either of one who speaks it or conveys it.” I find this a particularly useful anchor to return to, especially in the current climate of secular blasphemy and forbidden knowledge. As easily as I will “obtain truth” from the most abominable right-wing ideologue, I will obtain it from a Muslim philosopher, if that is where truth lies. I do not apologise for this.

      I most certainly do not propose, “rescinding Human Rights to Muslims”. I oppose Muslims who want to rescind it for themselves, and especially Muslims who want to rescind it for all of humanity. What I am proposing is curtailing it for Muslim terrorist prisoners. Prisoners already have their Human Rights curtailed, and I’m proposing that for Muslim terrorist prisoners they be much more curtailed than for other prisoners, even other terrorist prisoners. Our instincts are to fight tooth and nail against singling out any particular category of people, and a healthy instinct that is. But we are not entirely creatures of instinct. We are capable of critically evaluating our own positions and actions (though one might be forgiven for thinking that we’d recently lost that capability). Prisoners are singled out from other people who’ve committed crimes. Dangerous prisoners are singled out from other prisoners for obvious reasons. Muslim terrorist prisoners ought to be singled out from other dangerous prisoners for reasons I’ve already gone into. Each singling-out entails a greater removal of Human Rights, till, if needs be, we are down to affording the prisoner nothing more than the right to life. This is necessary.

      Many critics of Islam stress that they are criticising Islam and not Muslims. That it should even be necessary to point out something so obvious is a sign of the malaise that afflicts current discourse. It becomes comical to see the mainstream media devote a sizeable preamble to each news report on terrorism to stressing, “what we don’t know” and repeating “what we don’t know” and making it absolutely clear “what we don’t know” then emphasising how important it is that we not lose sight of the fact that not all Muslims are terrorists, etc., etc., etc. Have we all become children? Have we become incapable of making these distinctions? Of course there are rightwing idiots and Islamic apologists who are just waiting to pounce on anything they can abuse to further their aims. Since when to they define the benchmark?

      I’m going on this little rant because I’m building up to the ultimate taboo question: what if Muslims should be criticised? What if there is something that Muslims are, indeed, answerable for in all this? Does it help us to file the question of Muslim culpability away under “Forbidden Knowledge”? Readers of this blog already know that I’m gunning for the Qur’an. That one should even have to point out a distinction between the Qur’an and the people who revere it is a sad comment on the state of discourse. But I am also saying that when it seems that Muslims themselves (the people) should be criticised for something, then what purpose could it possibly serve to refuse to do so? If there are Muslims who do not like being criticised, then the obvious answer to that is, “grow up!”

      Finally, I say unequivocally that Islam oppresses all, Muslim and non-Muslim alike, although obviously in different ways. Muslims are as entitled as any human being to the highest fruits of human achievement. That includes the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and equality for all. It is Muslims who oppose this, not me. Now if some people would just get off their Rocinantes, they might just find that Churchill did not side with Muslims on this one.

    • Steersman says

      Re: A Lurker from mexico 2017-04-01 at 14:35

      @polishsalami & Steersman:

      If there is something peculiar about muslim brains that make them inherently inferior morally and scientifically, Al-Zahrawi had it when he invented surgery …. The proposition of “muslim psychology” being such-and-such seems flawed in light of the evidence.

      Attempting to be an arm-chair psychoanalist of someone you’re not even in the same room with, is courting failure. Attempting to simultaneously arm-chair psychoanalyze 1Billion+ people is borderline idiotic. ….

      I’m certainly not arguing that all Muslims are “inherently inferior morally and scientifically”, particularly as “inherently” would seem to cover a lot of ground, both culturally and geneticallly. But if I was, your specific cases would hardly disprove the “thesis” as exceptions abound in many situations and populations without refuting a common cause that more significantly affects the majority.

      And one might suggest that the evolution of various dog breeds in modern times over a relatively short period of time is somewhat analogous to Islamic culture, and which illustrates some of the facts of evolution, particularly the effects of artificial selection. You might take a look at a paper titled “The loss of adaptive plasticity during long periods of environmental stasis” which is cited in the Wikipedia article on Population Genetics [1]; hard not to argue that Islam has been in “environmental stasis”, a debilitating ghetto of its own making, for at least 1400 years, if not substantially longer.

      As for your comment about “muslim psychology”, I’m also not arguing that every last Muslim is motivated all the time by the same set of “values” and perspectives. But there’s no shortage of evidence to justify the conclusion that disturbingly large percentages of them adhere to and support barbaric and savage if not outright psychotic “principles” and values. For instance, see the Pew Forum’s The World’s Muslims: Religion, Politics and Society [2] which apparently indicates, for example, that some 580 million Muslims think death for apostasy is just peachy keen. And lest you think that that is simply an academic hold-over or anachronism, and not at all an active part of Islamic “law”, consider recent cases [3, 4] in Pakistan, a “nation” (a cretinous tribe at best) of some 200 million Muslims, in which far too many are calling for (in the most bloodthirsty and depraved terms imaginable) or have caused, blood to be shed over the “crime” of blasphemy.

      So one has to wonder. Do you seriously think that people like Anne Marie Waters calling [5, 6], quite justifiably, for the borders to be closed to Muslim immigration isn’t due to some quite common and quite odious “muslim psychology”? Do you think that Anjuli’s entire post delineating Islam’s fundamentally antithetical perspectives on human rights and law isn’t speaking to the same phenomenon, to the same problematic “psychology”?

      1) “_”;
      2) “_”;
      3) “_”;
      4) “_”;
      5) “_”;
      6) “_”;

  5. says

    Everything you say about muslims also applies to christians. Or any other “chosen people”.

    Now ask yourself why it’s easy to turn muslims into terrorists, but not christians. But only muslims in certain countries.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *