Saturday, October 23, 2004

The Hollow Men

Readers with an interest in finding out more about the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) can follow this link sent by a reader, TD. I suppose many of their resolutions have to be taken with a grain of salt as the political statements they are. However, it does give a sense of where the OIC is coming form and what sort of world it desires. It is definitely not the value neutral One World that the Western Left so ardently desires. There are 168 points in the OIC declaration, from a conference held in June, 2004. Here are some of them.

9. The Conference commended with pride the resistance of the valiant Palestinian people and their legitimate leadership headed by gallant President Yasser Arafat against Israeli aggression. It called for an immediate end to the siege imposed on the Palestinian people and President Yasser Arafat so that they can move freely in and out of the Palestinian territories. It condemned recent Israeli threats on President Arafat’s life and reaffirmed its continued political, financial and moral support for the Palestinian people so that they can regain their inalienable national rights, including the right of return, self-determination and an independent Palestinian State with Al-Quds Sharif as its capital.

27. The Conference expressed firm support for the rightful cause of the Muslim Turkish Cypriots ...

29. The Conference reaffirmed its support to the people of Jammu and Kashmir for their legitimate right to self-determination, in accordance with the relevant UN resolutions and the aspirations of the Kashmiri people. It called for respect of the human rights of the Kashmiri people and the ending of their continuous violations. It urged India to end human rights violations against the Kashmiri people and allow international human rights organisations to verify the condition of human rights in Indian-held Kashmir.

54. The Conference urged the Republic of the Philippines to complete Phase II of the Peace Agreement concluded in 1996 between the Republic of the Philippines and the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), and to continue to implement the Comprehensive Plan for the Development of the Muslim Autonomous Region in Southern Philippines in order to restore stability and peace in the region. It also called on it to cooperate with international and regional organizations that provide assistance for the development of the region.

62. The Conference expressed deep concern over repeated and erroneous attempts to associate Islam with human rights violations, and over the use of television, the radio and the press to propagate such misconceptions. It called for an end to the unjustified campaigns of some non-governmental organizations against a number of Member States, which demand the abolition of Sharia laws and penalties in the name of human rights protection. It affirmed the right of States to uphold their religious, social and cultural idiosyncrasies, which are legacies that help enrich common universal concepts of human rights. It urged that the universality of human rights must not be used as a pretext to interfere in the internal affairs of States and flout their national sovereignty. The Conference also condemned the decision of the European Union to denounce stoning as a penalty and what it calls inhumane punishments meted out by some Member States in compliance with Islamic Sharia.

107. The Conference reaffirmed the need to boost the Supreme Council for Education and Culture in the West, which is an Islamic cultural strategy. It called on OIC Member States to provide financial and moral support to the Council through ISESCO.

108. The Conference requested the Secretary General to conduct an in-depth study in coordination with Member States so as to safeguard Islamic culture and heritage from the adverse effects of globalization.

137. The Conference commended the IRCICA’s efforts to safeguard the cultural heritage and Islamic identity of Muslim communities in Non-OIC Member States and called on it to continue such efforts. It requested Member States and Islamic institutions and personalities to provide it with the support needed to attain such a noble goal.

Al-Quds Sharif, by the way, is the city once known as Jerusalem. It is also the name of a medal awarded to people who have performed exemplary service to the Palestinian cause. Although people may choose one point of view over another; prefer to call a city Al-Quds Sharif or Jerusalem according to their inclination, it seems self-evident that there are sides to choose from. Not to put too fine a point on it, the OIC has chosen a side; their side to be exact and they are perfectly entitled to do it. What is at issue is whether people in the West are also free to choose their "side" or whether this has been permanently proscribed as a kind of bigotry or ethnocentrism; a form of hate speech or forbidden thinking. The Global War on Terror may be not so much about freeing the Middle East as about liberating ourselves. Allah spoke to his Prophet and sent forth his flame; but the West has forgotten all, even its very name.

And did those feet in ancient time
Walk upon England's mountains green?
And was the holy Lamb of God
On England's pleasant pastures seen?

And did the Countenance Divine
Shine forth upon our clouded hills?
And was Jerusalem builded here
Among these dark Satanic mills?

Bring me my bow of burning gold!
Bring me my arrows of desire!
Bring me my spear! O clouds unfold!
Bring me my chariot of fire!

I will not cease from mental fight,
Nor shall my sword sleep in my hand
Till we have built Jerusalem
In England's green and pleasant land.
-- William Blake

Best of the Comments

"St Augustine defines virtue as ordo amoris, the ordinate condition of the affections in which every object is accorded that kind of degree of love which is appropriate to it. Aristotle says that the aim of education is to make the pupil like and dislike what he ought. When the age for reflective thought comes, the pupil who has been thus trained in 'ordinate affections' or 'just sentiments' will easily find the first principles in Ethics; but to the corrupt man they will never be visible at all and he can make no progress in that science. Plato before him had said the same." MDBritt