2018 Human Dimension Implementation Meeting
Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe
Monday, 17 September 2018
Working Session 11
Fundamental Freedoms I, Including Freedom of Expression
Intervention read by Henrik Clausen, representing Wiener Akademikerbund
Many thanks to the Center for Security Policy for uploading this video:
Below is the prepared text for Mr. Clausen’s intervention:
Distinguished delegates, ladies and gentlemen. I am Henrik Clausen, speaking on behalf of Wiener Akademikerbund in Austria. We work for peace, non-aggression and the inalienable rights of everyone.
In order to promote conditions in which all can fully enjoy their human rights, there is an important challenge that we must take up, the introduction of non-democratic law into our societies. The dangers for women and minorities are particularly pronounced.
First, let me point out that I am addressing law only, not groups or individuals based on their beliefs. The freedom to believe is inalienable and fundamental to a free society. The practice of law, however, is a different matter.
As the European Court of Human Rights stated in their February 2003 verdict, Sharia Law is incompatible with fundamental principles of democracy and human rights.
Sharia Law mandates discrimination based on religion and belief. It has an Apartheid-style system for minorities, commands capital punishment in many cases, including for apostasy, anti-Semitism and other tenets incompatible with human rights.
Thus, rejecting Sharia Law is essential for protecting fundamental rights for all. Properly understood, the rejection of Sharia is just the enforcement of national law.
It is natural for everyone defending human rights to object to any introduction of Sharia into our societies. Organisations that promote Sharia work against democracy and fundamental freedoms, and must be under surveillance by the state, or closed.
This includes the so-called “Sharia Councils” operating in Britain and other OSCE pS. Deceptively named ‘councils’, these are in fact Sharia courts, because they are perceived in Islamic communities to uphold and enforce Islamic law.
Wiener Akademikerbund recommends:
- That OSCE and the pS explicitly declare the introduction of Sharia Law undesired.
- That organisations promoting Sharia be categorized as political, not religious.
- That enforcing law incompatible with democracy and human rights be criminalized.
For links to previous articles about the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, see the OSCE Archives.