In an example of the Brussels Process at work, a group of American religious leaders has confronted the Southern Poverty Law Center over its participation in an event sponsored by MPAC, the Muslim Public Affairs Committee.
Below is the report from the International Civil Liberties Alliance.
American Religious and Civil Rights Leaders Embrace the Principles of the Brussels Process
On 14 August 2012 American religious and civil rights leaders wrote to the Southern Poverty Law Center asking it to withdraw from an event sponsored by the Muslim Public Affairs Committee (MPAC).
This initiative is a timely example of how the ideas driving the Brussels Process are both widespread and growing. Religious and civil rights leaders, as in the case of those protesting any participation in the MPAC event, are taking on the duty to provide guidance to their governments and civil society not to comply with Shariah mandates. The Brussels Process was launched with the signing of the Brussels Declaration 2012 To Safeguard Individual Liberties and Human Rights at a conference in the European Parliament in Brussels on 9 July, 2012. One of the intentions of the Process is to ask people not to participate in human rights initiatives that may undermine civil liberties such as freedom of expression due to the any endorsement of sharia principles. The relevant part of the Brussels Declaration reads as follows:
“To decline any invitation to participate in any local, national or international forum to discuss civil liberties, free speech or human rights, if the organizers — individual persons or organizations — are known proponents of the Cairo Declaration or societal sharia enforcement unless the negotiated or discussed topic is a transition of their codification and implementation of human rights to the UNDHR definitions and away from the Cairo Declaration definitions.”
“We note with great concern the Southern Poverty Law Center’s participation in the widely publicized teleconference sponsored by the Muslim Public Affairs Council on Wednesday, August 15 at 5:30 p.m. PST/ 8:30 p.m. EST, with Wajahat Ali, Ms. Beirich, and Salam Al-Marayati, President of the sponsoring Muslim Public Affairs Council.
We urge you in the strongest possible terms not to partner with Mr. al-Marayati or with the Muslim Public Affairs Council. To treat MPAC as a legitimate organization, much less a valued partner of the Southern Poverty Law Center, is an extraordinary rejection of Jewish Americans and of moderate Muslim Americans. We present at this link (www.scribd.com/doc/102897106) excerpts from extensively documented findings about the statements and actions of Mr. al-Marayati and the Muslim Public Affairs Council that surely require you, if you have any decency, to cancel your participation in the August 15 MPAC teleconference.
Given the neo-Nazi connections, aggressive Jew hatred and the repudiation of moderate Muslims demonstrated in the views of MPAC, we would urge your Board of Directors, staff, supporters and donors to ask:
- Does the Southern Poverty Law Center endorse these MPAC policy positions?
- If not, why are you partnering with MPAC on August 15, 2012?
- If the Southern Poverty Law Center actually agrees with these MPAC positions, should your donors continue to support your activities with donations totaling over $36 million per year?
We hope that you agreed to this teleconference through ignorance of the Muslim Public Affairs Council positions documented at www.scribd.com/doc/102897106, and now that you are aware of their extremism, you will cancel your participation. We look forward to an informed and civil dialogue with you if you have any questions.
Rabbi Jonathan Hausman
Esther Levens, President and CEO of the Unity Coalition for Israel — unitycoalitionforisrael.org
Faith J. H. McDonnell, Director, Religious Liberty Program, The Institute on Religion and Democracy — theird.org
Dr. Ashraf Ramelah, Founder and President of Voice of the Copts — voiceofthecopts.org
Rev. Keith Roderick, D.D. Secretary General of the Coalition for the Defense of Human Rights — coalition-me.org
Juliana Taimoorazy, Founder and President of the Iraqi Christian Relief Council — iraqichristianrelief.org
The International Civil Liberties Alliance continues to promote the principles of the Brussels Process and hopes that other organisations will also embrace its principles and do what they can to oppose the erosion of civil liberties that is increasingly evident in our contemporary world. We would like to work with other individuals and organisations that share our values and who are willing to engage in the Brussels Process, even if they do not endorse every single aspect of the Brussels Declaration.
Previous posts about the Brussels Process: