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.

Muslim women defend Muslim women’s oppression (yet again)

With a recently-launched petition, a group of Australian Muslim women are setting out to block Ayaan Hirsi Ali from speaking in that country. I shan’t bore you with the justifications.

Scroll to the bottom of the petition and take a look at what the petitioners do for a living. They seem not yet to have grasped that the (un-Islamic) freedom Australia gives them to pursue their careers is the same (un-Islamic) freedom that Ayaan Hirsi Ali has to speak. Nevertheless, let us not be churlish here. They are not living in an Islamic society and are able to organise petitions. It is a progress of a sort, even if they don’t get it.

It’s also an interesting phenomenon of Western Muslim women ascribing their freedoms to Islam, rather than the free environments in which they find themselves. Why do they find it necessary to defend Islam, even to make fools of themselves doing so? To me, this again points to that weird identity: Muslim.

How do Muslim terrorists perceive Human Rights?

Would it have constituted unlawful discrimination for the Enterprise car rental attendant in Birmingham to have refused to hire the car to Khalid Masood, perhaps on the grounds that he looked like most terrorists we see these days plus he has a name like most terrorists we hear of these days, or perhaps even that the attendant just got a weird vibe off the guy? Should the attendant have refused to hire him the vehicle, and then tipped off the police? Should the attendant have hire him the vehicle, but then tipped off the police anyway? Would the police have been guilty of harassment had they intercepted him to run some checks? (are there restrictions on how long the police and stop a vehicle for?) Whatever your answers to these questions, four people who had absolutely nothing to do with Khalid Masood are now dead. He killed then. Deliberately. Not because ISIS said so, but because Allah said so. Cut the crap! You may remember: Khalid Masood, a Muslim terrorist, killed them in London on Wednesday, and injured forty. What you may not know, is that Muslim terrorists killed fourteen other people and injured a further twenty on the same day. The tally for the thirty days leading up to Wednesday 22 March was “138 Islamic attacks in 24 countries, in which 997 people were killed and 1142 injured.”

I get berated sometimes, for suggesting that in the case of Muslims terrorism, Muslim terrorism in particular, Human Rights is a mistake. It is a mistake because Human Rights offers that kind of terrorist an opportunity and encouragement. It is a mistake to see a Muslim’s terrorist act as merely a crime. That terrorist perceives himself or herself as part of something far greater, far grander, than a single act of mass muder. And apart from our Human Rights offering that terrorist the encouragement and opportunity to commit the terrorism he believes it his duty to commit, he is at the same time offended that despicable, lesser beings who deserve death should presume to treat him equally, should “offer” him rights. In his eyes, equal treatment with a kafir is an affront. They will only start taking us seriously if we deny them equality and deny them Human Rights, especially in prisons. And before you throw up your hands in that clichéd “then we become like them,” let me say that if you insist on the blind application of Human Rights on those whose express intention is to destroy those right, then we will become like them. Those willing to say this explicitly are still far too few. One clear voice is that of Ayaan Hirsi Ali, quoted in Real Clear Politics yesterday:

“We empower them because every time we appease and appease and appease, they see that as God’s hand – their perception of God – they see God’s hand making it easy for them to advance their agenda,” Ali said. “They don’t see that here is a decent, civilized society that is trying to understand them and give them time, and try to persuade them to put their weapons down. That is not how they see it.”

“That is wrong,” she said about efforts to assimilate Islamic immigrants. “That is seen as weak and you are inviting aggression if you do that.”

I have argued repeated on this blog, given what Islam is, and given our obstinate denial of its nature (and our lily-livered approach to apprehending terrorist suspects), it’s a miracle we’re not yet overrun with terrorism; other parts of the world already are. Of the almost 1000 people killed by Muslim terrorists in the thirty days leading up to and including 22 March, six have been in the West. Of the 138 terrorist attacks in which they died, two of those attacks were in the West. Isn’t it obscene to cry lone wolf?

Faith is all it takes

My inbox is often a commentary in its own right. From this morning’s rich pickings, I pass on:

Islamists kill ex Muslim in Southern India, a piece by the good doctor, Arun, at Freethought Blogs:

Farooq was an Iron scrap dealer living in the South Indian city of Coimbatore. He was an outspoken ex Muslim atheist who regularly used to criticise all religions including Islam on Facebook and Whatsapp. He was an active member of an outfit called Dravidar Viduthalai Kazhakam, a break away group of Dravidar Kazhakam.

Not able to answer his criticisms, Islamists decided to punish him as per their holy book.

“Indeed, the penalty for those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger and strive upon earth [to cause] corruption is none but that they be killed or crucified or that their hands and feet be cut off from opposite sides or that they be exiled from the land. That is for them a disgrace in this world; and for them in the Hereafter is a great punishment,”                     Quran 5 : 33

[more here…]


And the very next item in my inbox today…

Screen Shot 2017-03-20 at 10.27.54

This is a newsletter entitled Faith and Skepticism, comprising a selection of material from the New Yorker archives:

A 1955 piece on the Dead Sea Scrolls that mentions someone named Muhammad (!)

A 1981 piece on End-of-Days ambassador Jerry Falwell.

A 1995 piece on the commonly-fathered bastard child of all Abrahamic faiths.

Then we leap across the back of an elephant to:

A 2007 piece on God’s own Rottweiler yapping at an even meaner, fiercer dog.

A rather good 2016 piece on Kemalism, modestly covered.

Then we time-travel back to:

A 1968 (and none of that) piece on Pope Paul, the one the Rottweiler venerated (same kennel, different dog).

A 1999 piece entitled The Future of Faith: Confessions of a churchgoer, not to be confused with the more gung-ho The End of Faith: Confessions of an atheist.

A 2000 piece on that most millennial of existential crises.

And, finally, a quick shimmy under the belly of the beast to:

A January 2002 piece on the religion that was on everyone’s mind at the time.

Yes, every media outlet knows exactly what an elephant looks like, but I suppose when it’s in the room, you’d best stick to describing the tip of its tail, and a bit of its left earlobe, maybe.

Al-Azhar Sheikh, “Islam is guilty of religious violence and terrorism”

In a spectacular act of self-beheading, Dr. Ahmed al-Tayeb, imam of the highly-regarded and authoritative Al-Azhar Mosque in Cairo, in an attempt to prove Western double standards when it comes to the treatment of Islam, Christianity and Judaism, complained that “all [Islam, Christianity and Judaism] are guilty of …religious violence and terrorism.” This is cataclysmic. No doubt there will be howls of “Islamophobia!” from Islamic apologists of all stripes as they clamour to inform the Sheikh that Islam has nothing to do with terrorism. The poor ignorant man has no idea what’s coming his way.

As for the terrorism of Christianity and Judaism, sorry. Our priority must be the sheikh’s scandalous claim that Islam is guilty of terrorism. A Zionist agent, no doubt.

[Sorry, I can’t get the link to work, but it’s on the website]

Political correctness is the new opium of the people

Religion is, indeed, the self-consciousness and self-esteem of man who has either not yet won through to himself, or has already lost himself again. …Religion is …the fantastic realisation of the human essence since the human essence has not acquired any true reality. The struggle against religion is, therefore, indirectly the struggle against that world whose spiritual aroma is religion.

Religious suffering is, at one and the same time, the expression of real suffering and a protest against real suffering. Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people.

These are the words of Karl Marx, written between December 1843 and January 1844, and published in February 1844. They are often quoted out of context and often misunderstood, as indeed, is the fate of their author. How poignant these words have once again become. The fight against religion is just beginning in one part of the world, when it has to be taken up all over again in another. It seems there is no better time than the present to rescue this profound insight from its vulgar sound bite, “Religion is the opium of the people.”

In my view, the most important line of this quotation is not the last one, but the first, for it contains all that follows: “Religion is …the self-consciousness and self-esteem of man who has either not yet won through to himself, or has already lost himself again, [my emph.].” How prescient that final clause, for we find ourselves in a world of free people who dare not be free, of unchained people who fight their way back into chains, of people who vocally silence themselves, and of people who say unto God, “Rest, oh Lord, for we are the oppressed creatures who oppress ourselves; we, the heartless, are the heart of the world; and we, the soulless, will shepherd the souls. Our ways are the opium of the people.” I cannot shake from my mind this haunting image:

Credit: Todd Heisler/The New York Times.

Credit: Todd Heisler/The New York Times.

It stands as a testament to how oppressed, how heartless and how soulless free people have again become. I shudder at recollecting a rabid sexist leading a women’s march. We live in a time when racist black youths can attack an old white man (an old white man who was single-handedly calling out an entire population for their complacency in the face of the steady erosion of their freedom), those youths then claiming the moral high ground for their conduct and getting it. When racism is hailed as a virtue, when a movement terrorising the world is embraced as peaceful, then the “inverted world” that Marx talks about is back. It is an inverted world in which God, the ideal human, is captured in a racially-composed photograph (right down to a religion masquerading as a race), and in which its context — oppressed, heartless, soulless reality — is purveyed as “intersectionality”. How bankrupt we have become.

When the free have abandoned freedom and taken on the role of God in oppressing themselves, in silencing themselves and in imposing conformity upon themselves, it falls to those still enslaved under God to free not only themselves from God, but also the free from themselves. The new religion of the free, multiculturalism, with its dogma of political correctness, finds its place very easily in the great fake war with the alt-right. Meanwhile, in the real world, the nightmare continues.

There is nothing “Eurocentric” about the Enlightenment, and it is only Western to the extent that it first occurred in that particular locality. It is also not a product of “our Judaeo-Christian heritage,” as is sometimes claimed. The Enlightenment, both in its conception and in its actions, espoused that ideal human that religion outsources to a supernatural being. Not only did it posit the ideal human, free of want, free of fear and in pursuit of happiness, it posited the ideal human in terms that transcended all difference, without sublating difference.

The formulation, “All men are equal,” (in the archaic wording then current), recognises that we are all human, above whatever else we may be, and presumes itself applicable to us all. Recognition of equality at any level below that of human must necessarily entail the erosion of equality. As soon as we confine ourselves to the equality of races, the equality of sexes, the equality of cultures, etc., as opposed to the equality of all human beings as human beings, we are on a slippery slope that leads inexorably to the philosophy of despair that is identity politics, political correctness, interfaith dialogue, diversity training, intersectionality, and all the other icons of the perplexed. It is a recipe for infinite fracturing as all must continually differentiate themselves from all in a struggle for resources that becomes increasingly attainable only through sectional identity and the greater claim on pathos. In this inverted world, the preservation of racism becomes more important to black people than even to white racists. The preservation of sexism becomes more important to women than to misogynists. When “Black Lives Matter” perceives “All Lives Matter” as an existential threat, we have reached the pit of despair. When feminists dare not raise as much as a peep against the horror that is the lives of women under Islam, then we are in the pit of despair.

The Enlightenment recognised that the formulation “All men are equal” was also a battle cry. It expressed an ideal that has to be fought for. Indeed, it arose out of the eighteen million lives lost in the 125 years of war to the subjugate Christianity to humanity. Like all wars, it is one with many setbacks, many retreats and many regroupings. And now, beset as it is by a fifth column of free people bent on destroying their own freedom, humanity arrives at the gates of Mecca. It does so, however, from within, struggling to break out. It is to be hoped that it succeeds in time to save the free people from themselves.

A self-serving “sensitivity” that beggars belief

A few months back, a contributor to this blog expressed outrage at my refusal to challenge another contributor for calling for the torching of mosques. I considered this irresponsible, but not an act of such magnitude as to warrant a response. I saw this expression of an opinion as paling into insignificance against what was actually taking place in the world, and to which I did (and do) give my full attention. Today I am reminded of that little spat. There’s apparently been a spate of arson attacks on mosques in the US, “Four Mosques Have Burned In Seven Weeks — Leaving Many Muslims and Advocates Stunned” said one headline.

We’ve never seen four mosques burned within seven weeks of each other,

said Mark Potok, a senior fellow at the Southern Poverty Law Center. Really?

Muslim terrorism 2016 – Mosques Sheet2

Fifty-seven mosques attacked in fifty-two weeks, with 365 deaths and 776 injuries thrown in. How’s that stack up?

It seems Muslim lives only matter if they’re murdered by non-Muslims. There’s a ring of familiarity to that.