The following video shows the intervention read by Clare Lopez, representing the Center for Security Policy, at OSCE Warsaw on September 15, 2017, during Session 8, “Tolerance and non-discrimination II”.
Note that Ms. Lopez was given the standard OSCE rebuke by the moderator after her intervention.
Many thanks to Vlad Tepes for uploading this video:
Below is the prepared text for Ms. Lopez’ intervention:
The Center for Security Policy would like to offer a few suggestions for how OSCE institutions and field operations might best implement their mandates and programming for maximum effectiveness in meeting human dimension commitments.
Citing from the OSCE Human Dimension Implementation Meeting Annotated Agenda for 2017, I will focus on just the following one of these priorities:
Ensuring equal enjoyment of rights and equal protection in political and pubic life
As has been noted here, the elevation of the individual as the key pillar of society, with equality in human dignity for each and every person, man, woman, and child, is a cherished principle of Judeo-Christian-based Western Civilization.
The absolute equality of all persons before the rule of man-made law is the foundation of other rights and freedoms: for if we are all equal with one another, then none rightfully may rule over another except by consent freely given — all are granted the same rights and the same liberties — but of them are demanded also the same obligations before that law.
This is true in one’s personal life as well as in the public sphere.
Understanding that the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) chose with the 1990 Cairo Declaration to abrogate the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights in favor of acknowledging only such rights as might be accorded under Islamic Law, the OSCE is therefore accorded a significant challenge — but also a tremendous opportunity.
The challenge — which will be a hard one — means that the OSCE must:
- confront the painful reality that under shariah, Muslim and non-Muslim, men and women, are explicitly unequal;
- realize that Islamic Law has never explicitly banned slavery or sex slavery;
- know that Islamic Law allows polygamy and the marriage of little girls as young as 9 years old;
- understand that Islamic Law allows, approves or makes obligatory Female Genital Mutilation;
- face the fact that the hudud punishments impose amputation, beheading, flogging and execution for adultery, apostasy and homosexuality.
Tough, yes. But here is the tremendous opportunity before the OSCE: by confronting such difficult realities, this exceptional organization and all the dedicated people in its institutions and field operations may set their sights on education, dialogue, and the prioritization of programming and projects that can blaze an international pathway to truly championing the rights of
- women who long for equal respect and the freedom to make their own decisions;
- children who dream of finishing their education before being forced into married life;
- the targets of genocide and enslavement who yearn for someone to take their side for once;
- gays and lesbians who deserve the right to love whom they will;
- and all who today in the 21st century still face denigration, inequality, marginalization and oppression under the horrors of shariah.
OSCE, the challenge and the opportunity are yours. Carpe Diem.
For links to previous articles about the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, see the OSCE Archives.