As I noted last night, President Obama has seen fit to award the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Mary Robinson. Obama made this decision even though Robinson presided over the Israel-bash at the 2001 Durban Conference Against Racism and, indeed, has consistently displayed her animus towards the state of Israel.
The case against Robinson’s award does not end here, however. Diana West points out that, as the U.N.’s High Commissioner for Human Rights, Robinson was a booster and key apologist for sharia (Islamic law), and furthered its official recognition and legitimacy in the international arena.
Diana ties Robinson’s boosterism to “creeping Islamism” at the UN — “the encroachment into the international legal arena of sharia, whose Islam-derived dictates directly contradict international human rights law, namely the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights.” She notes that this “creeping Islamism” has now reached the point where the General Assembly is periodically voting on whether to ban criticism of islam in accordance with the laws of Islam. These measures have failed so far, but by decreasing margins.
As for Robinson’s role in the process, Diana points, by way of example, to this statement from 2002:
No one can deny that at its core Islam is entirely consonant with the principles of fundamental human rights, including human dignity, tolerance, solidarity and quality. Numerous passages from the Qur’an and sayings of the Prophet Muhammad will testify to this. No one can deny, from a historic perspective, the revolutionary force that is Islam, which bestowed rights upon women and children long before similar recognition was afforded in other civilisations. Custom and tradition have tended to limit these rights, but as more Islamic States ratify the Convention for the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, ways forward for women are being found and women are leading the debate. And no one can deny the acceptance of the universality of human rights by Islamic States.
“No one can deny the acceptance of the universality of human rights by Islamic States”? In what sense do states like Iran, Saudi Arabia, etc. accept the universality of human rights? Robinson herself admits that the rights of women and children are “limited” in Islamic States. Robinson can blame this on “custom and tradition,” rather than core Islamic principles, if she likes. But her claim that this attempt at an apology cannot be disputed is ridiculous. If Robinson wants to arge that Sharia law — that instrument of oppression — is in conflict with the “core” of Islam, it will require more than her assertion that no one can argue otherwise.
In any case, the bottom line is that human rights are not universally accepted by Islamic States. By pretending otherwise, Robinson makes herself an apologist for oppression and an enemy of freedom.
President Obama’s decision to award her the Presidential Medal of Freedom is a disgrace.