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29 November, 2008


It ws September 3rd, 2003 when I was put in solitary confinement. Myself and a few dozen other Muslim prisoners in SCI Mahanoy in PA had written letters to the institution-assigned Islamic Chaplain voicing our concern that he was monopolizing his post to push his particular brand of Islam, which has involvment in a group called "The Musilm Brotherhood". Islam has 80+ sects, and he represented only one. This resulted in a round-up of deemed "threats to security" including myself. We were placed under "administrative custody", which means that every 3 months the institution's staff would question us about our faith, then send us back to our cells, that is unless we recanted and played nice. Of course, since this was occuring behind fences and walls, their was no balance and mostly the reviews invovled the throwing around of insults to illicit a negative response from the reviewed. It worked. I spent 6 months in a cell with ice on the inside of my window, until the FBI became involved and started to try and recruit those who stood firm. I suppose that the whole thing was orchestrated to break each of us down, and make us more willing to cooperate as spies. Maybe it worked for some, maybe it didn't. Thankfully, I evolved past religion and have been released back into the world a spiritual man without any label to ascribe to.

Lately, I've been receiving calls from the American Center for Law and Justice requesting support in opposing the passing of a UN resolution that would make illegal the descrimination against people of religion, a resolution that is to no suprise receiving alot of support from Muslims. Though I am not a Muslim anymore, by modern Muslim standards at least, I am deeply offended by the calls I am receiving. Dig this: They say that the res will result in the persecution of Christian s world-wide! Imagine that. After a recent 8 year Crusade, suddenly the Christians Right are worried that they may get some of their own medicine.

The reality of it is that the resolution calls for no such action, but rather is like a cease and desist order to stop them from doing what they claim others will do. Yes, there will be consequences in other nations if a Mission group oversteps the lines they've ignored for so long. Yes the passing of this res could speed up the self-fulfilling prophecy of Armegeddon and what not. It's happening anyway, though. In reality, I see the res as a form of damage control, and a necessary one at that. But what do I know?

1 comment:

  1. Nuwbunun, Thank you for posting this document. I am opposed to xenophobia, Islamophobia, and Christian-based intolerance, and I wish to reiterate my intolerance of such ideas expressed even on this site. I will therefore post the document here in my comment:

    Fourth session
    Agenda item 2
    Pakistan (on behalf of the Organization of Islamic Conference) : draft resolution
    4/… Combating Defamation of Religions

    The Human Rights Council;

    Recalling the Outcome Document of the World Summit 2005 that emphasized the responsibilities of all States, in conformity with the UN Charter, to respect human rights and fundamental freedoms for all, without distinction of any kind as to race, colour, sex, language or religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status; and acknowledged the importance of respect and understanding for religious and cultural diversity throughout the world;

    Recalling also the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action, adopted in September 2001 by the World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance;

    Recognizing the valuable contributions of all religions to modern civilization
    and the contribution that dialogue among civilizations can make to an improved
    awareness and understanding of the common values shared by all humankind,

    Recalling further the Final Communiqué of the Third Extraordinary Session of the Islamic Summit Conference held in Makkah, Saudi Arabia on 7-8 December 2005, that expressed serious concern at rising discrimination against Muslims;

    Taking note of the Report of the High Commissioner for Human Rights on “Combating Defamation of Religions”;

    Welcoming the report by the Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance on the “Situation of Muslims and Arabs in various parts of the world” in which he has given evidence of the upsurge in Islamophobia;

    Emphasizing that States, non-governmental organizations, religious bodies and the media have an important role to play in promoting tolerance and freedom of religion and belief through education;

    Noting with concern that defamation of religions is among the causes of social disharmony and leads to violations of human rights;

    Noting with deep concern the increasing trend in recent years of statements attacking religions, Islam and Muslims in particular, in human rights forums;

    1. Expresses concern at negative stereotyping of religions and manifestations of intolerance and discrimination in matters of religion or belief;

    2. Expresses deep concern at attempts to identify Islam with terrorism, violence and human rights violations;
    3. Notes with deep concern the intensification of the campaign of defamation of religions, and the ethnic and religious profiling of Muslim minorities, in the aftermath of the tragic events of 11 September 2001;

    4. Recognizes that in the context of the fight against terrorism, defamation of religions becomes an aggravating factor that contributes to the denial of fundamental rights and freedoms of target groups, as well as their economic and social exclusion;

    5. Expresses further concern at laws or administrative measures that have been specifically designed to “control” and “monitor” Muslim and Arab minorities, thereby stigmatizing them further and legitimating the discrimination that they experience;

    6. Strongly deplores physical attacks and assaults on businesses, cultural centres and places of worship of all religions as well as targeting of religious symbols;

    7. Urges States to take resolute action to prohibit the dissemination of racist
    and xenophobic ideas and material aimed at any religion or its followers that
    constitute incitement racial and religious hatred, hostility or violence;

    8. Also urges States to provide, within their respective legal and
    constitutional systems, adequate protection against acts of hatred, discrimination, intimidation and coercion resulting from defamation of religions, to take all possible measures to promote tolerance and respect for all religions and their value systems and to complement legal systems with intellectual and moral strategies to combat religious hatred and intolerance;

    9. Urges all States to ensure that all public officials, including members of
    law enforcement bodies, the military, civil servants and educators, in the course of their official duties, respect different religions and beliefs and do not discriminate against persons on the grounds of their religion or belief, and that any necessary and appropriate education or training is provided;

    10. Emphasizes that everyone has the right to freedom of expression, which
    should be exercised with responsibility and may therefore be subject to limitations as provided by law and necessary for respect of the rights or reputations of others, protection of national security or of public order, public health or morals and respect for religions and beliefs;

    11. Deplores the use of the print, audio-visual and electronic media, including the Internet, and any other means to incite acts of violence, xenophobia or related intolerance and discrimination towards Islam or any other religion;

    12. Invites the Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance to regularly report on all manifestations of defamation of religions and in particular on the serious implications of Islamophobia on the enjoyment of all rights;

    13. Requests the High Commissioner for Human Rights to report on the implementation of this resolution to the sixth session of the Human Rights Council.