United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is operating from the same playbook as President Obama when it comes to addressing the threat of global jihad. They both deny that such a religiously-based threat exists. Just like Obama, Ban Ki-moon uses the euphemism “violent extremism,” without linking it to its primary ideological source – Islam.
The global terrorist scourge is driven by Islamic supremacy and the jihadist war against the “infidels” that are embedded in sharia law. That is not to say that the jihadists are the only terrorists in the world. However, to diffuse responsibility by contending that violent extremism is found in all faiths ignores the fact that the only global terrorist network threatening our way of life today is bound together by the teachings of Islam.
In the Secretary General’s remarks to the UN General Assembly on January 15th introducing his “Plan of Action to Prevent Violent Extremism,” he said that “the vast majority of victims worldwide are Muslims.” Obama said essentially the same thing last February at his Summit on Countering Violent Extremism, lamenting that it is “especially Muslims, who are the ones most likely to be killed.”
Both Ban Ki-moon and President Obama omitted to say that the killers are also primarily Muslims. Moreover, they left out entirely any mention of the ongoing genocide being conducted by Muslims in the name of Allah against Christians and Yazidis in the Middle East.
When I asked the spokesperson for the Secretary General why the Secretary General did not acknowledge the fact that the vast majority of global terrorists today are Islamists, the spokesperson responded that “the Secretary‑General’s focus is not on targeting or pointing finger at one ethnic group, one religious group, or people who claim to act in the name of a particular religion.”
This begs the question as to why the Secretary General took pains to assert that Muslims constitute the majority of terrorists’ victims but refused to acknowledge that the vast majority of perpetrators are also Muslims.
The Secretary General’s Plan of Action to Prevent Violent Extremism describes what it calls the “drivers of violent extremism.” These drivers include, according to the UN document, lack of socioeconomic opportunities, marginalization and discrimination, poor governance and violations of human rights, prolonged and unresolved conflicts, radicalization in prisons, collective grievances, and exploitation of social media.
Obama offered essentially the same explanation for the growth of violent extremism put forth by Ban Ki-moon. A key problem, he said, was lack of economic opportunity that trapped people –especially young people – “in impoverished communities.”
Obama added: “When people are oppressed, and human rights are denied — particularly along sectarian lines or ethnic lines — when dissent is silenced, it feeds violent extremism.”
Ban Ki-moon and President Obama both have argued that Islam itself is blameless. It is, in Ban Ki-moon’s words, the “distortion and misuse of beliefs” that are to blame. At his February 2015 Summit on Countering Violent Extremism, President Obama called out what he described as “the warped ideologies espoused by terrorists like al Qaeda and ISIL, especially their attempt to use Islam to justify their violence.”
However, the truth is that Islam itself contains the seeds for the violence that is such a prominent part of jihad. Jihadists using violence as a tactic to impose Islam as the world’s only “legitimate” belief system are following the path laid down by Prophet Muhammed himself and his early followers, according to their literal words and acts.
The proposed actions to address the problem of “violent extremism,” both Ban Ki-moon and Obama agree, include better education, more opportunities for women, better governance, and respect for human rights including freedom of expression and freedom of religious belief. The UN Secretary General and President Obama base their common strategy on their shared utopian belief that peoples from every country and culture embrace a common set of “universal” human rights, as expressed in the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The Universal Declaration’s preamble states: “recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world.”
However, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, despite its enlightened vision of the inherent dignity and fundamental rights of all human beings, is far from being a truly universally accepted creed. Muslims reject it to the extent that it conflicts with sharia law.
While Muslim member states of the United Nations, with the notable exception of Saudi Arabia, signed the Universal Declaration, they disavow its Western, secular-based principles. Islamists refuse to be ruled by any human rights document that deviates from what they regard as the divinely-inspired sharia law.
As the Islamic response to the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation foreign ministers adopted The Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam in 1990. After reciting a litany of human rights that it pledges to protect, the Cairo Declaration subjects all of its protections to the requirements of sharia law. “The Islamic Shari’ah is the only source of reference for the explanation or clarification to any of the articles of this Declaration.” (Article 25)
By making Islamic law the sole authority for defining the scope of human rights, the Muslims’ Cairo Declaration sanctions limits on freedom of expression, discrimination against non-Muslims and women, and a prohibition against a Muslim’s conversion from Islam. Such restrictions on freedoms directly contradict the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Saudi Arabia and Iran, the leading Muslim majority countries today representing the Sunni and Shiite branches of Islam respectively, may be at odds with one another regarding certain sectarian and geopolitical issues. However, they both purport to govern according to sharia law, which is used to justify their religious intolerance, brutal suppression of dissent, misogyny and capital punishment for blasphemy, apostasy, adultery and homosexuality. It is Saudi Arabia’s Wahhabism which has helped fuel the jihadists inside and outside of Saudi Arabia seeking to forcibly purify Islam from the influence of “infidels.” And Iran is the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism, as it seeks to fulfill the vision of Ayatollah Khomeini, the late founder of the Iranian Islamic revolution, to kill the infidels and ensure “that the writ of Islam is obeyed in every country in the world.”
Iran’s current Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei has rejected the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which he claims is reflective of a “culture of dominance.” Instead, he said “the answer is return to Islam, and recourse to Divine revelation.” He called for the use of “Islamic sources (the Quran and the Sunnah) in legal matters.” Presumably, what the Supreme Leader described as the “Islamic mode of thinking in society” would explain the Islamic Republic of Iran’s arbitrary imprisonment, torture and the killing of political dissidents and members of minority groups. The “Islamic sources in legal matters” evidently serve as the basis for the regime’s discriminatory laws against women, among other repressive laws.
In 2013, Iran was rewarded by the UN for its vows of global conquest with a seat on the General Assembly’s disarmament committee. Last year Iran was rewarded for its horrendous record of abuses against women with membership on the executive board of the UN Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women. And as of January 16, 2016, Iran has been welcomed back into the international community with the lifting of sanctions and the unfreezing of assets worth approximately $150 billion.
The Saudi Sheikh Saleh Al-Lehadan, head of the Supreme Judiciary Council, expressed back in 2008 the religious intolerance that lies at the heart of the leading Sunni country’s practice of Islam: “After getting rid of the Jews in our Arab land, we must turn to the Christians. They have three options: either they convert to Islam, or leave, or pay Jizia (protection taxes).” With the help of the Islamic State and al Qaeda that receive funding from Saudi Arabia, this ambition is on its way to being realized, and even expanded to reach throughout the Middle East and beyond.
The same Saudi sheikh and head of the Supreme Judiciary Council also said: “Women who are raped by men are themselves to blame. They provoke men by the way they dress or walk.”
Last year Saudi Arabia was rewarded for its horrendous human rights record with a seat and leadership position on the UN Human Rights Council.
Coddling the leading jihad exporting countries and pretending that sharia law can ever be reconciled with so-called “universal” human rights values will render all plans of action to prevent “violent extremism” an utter failure.