Sunday, February 27, 2011

A Clash of Declarations

An editorial in the Vancouver Sun, edited and reprinted in the Toronto Star, pays homage to the UN's 1948 Declaration and calls on Canada to help bring democracy to the Arab world:
It has been 62 years, two months and two weeks since the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted by 48 members of the United Nations General Assembly on Dec. 10, 1948. Only eight were opposed, including six nations that fell under Communist domination, Saudi Arabia and South Africa.

Among its core principles are the right to life, liberty and the security of the person, freedom of thought, conscience and religion, and freedom from torture or cruel, inhumane treatment or punishment. Navi Pillay, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, cited one more in an address this week: That the will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of the government.

None of these principles applies in the countries that have been plunged recently into chaos by civil strife. And while much of the world has coddled, courted and enabled the kings, tyrants, dictators, sultans and other illegitimate rulers throughout the Middle East and Africa, the people they oppressed have always had the same human rights aspirations as everyone else...
Also, none of these principles applies in the countries that are signatories to a competing articulation of "human rights," one which no one seems to be talking about at the moment--the Cairo Declaration of Human Rights in Islam. In other words, sharia "rights" for all!

Anyone familiar with that Declaration, which, for the Muslim world, supersedes the (kafir) UN one, could never have written the following:
Canada has an important role to play in the transformation of these societies. After all, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was largely the work of Canadian John Humphrey, a McGill University law professor who ran the Division for Human Rights in the UN Secretariat for two decades. In his early years there he wrote the first draft of the Declaration and then guided it through its adoption by the General Assembly.

Given Canada’s contribution to the Declaration, we have assumed a historical obligation to do whatever we can to ensure that its principles apply to all people in every nation. Canadians know how to build and sustain democratic institutions that uphold freedom and develop rules of governance to ensure accountability and transparency. We also believe ardently in the rule of law and can help establish an independent justice system that people can trust. These elements are the bedrock of democracy.

As a new political era begins in countries now in upheaval, Canada should be there to help lay the foundations of democracy and promote freedom and justice for all.
No can do until the Cairo Declaration is declared null and void.

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