Henrik Clausen and Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff have once again volunteered for hazardous duty in Warsaw at the annual ODIHR conference of the OSCE™ (see this post for an explanation of my use of “™” following the acronym). Below is their report.
OSCE: An organization on the ropes after failing at its primary mission
by Henrik Raeder Clausen and Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff
So we’re back, talking truth to power at the annual OSCE “Human Dimension” conference. While the Warsaw location Hotel Sofitel is the same, much is different. Old adversaries are no longer there; new challenges are emerging. We are still heeding the call by President Reagan to remain vigilant.
The all-pervading backdrop for this year’s event is of course the war in Ukraine. This is a major embarrassment for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, as it has as its primary mission to prevent any such wars from ever breaking out again by having a forum to put forth security concerns from the various participating States (pS), to work out a compromise diplomatically, and thus to prevent any such conflicts from escalating.
For several years, our group of freedom activists has watched those dialogues become ever less constructive — but those are not our battles to fight. We originally joined to halt subversive activities from Islamist states and organizations, such as the OIC (Organization of Islamic Cooperation), Turkey and — as it turned out — even the Muslim Brotherhood.
Unfortunately, as old enemies leave, new ones appear. A group called “CAGE UK” presented a comprehensive Muslim gripe list, both in the plenary session and at a sparsely-attended side event about “state-sponsored Islamophobia” in Austria, Denmark, and the United Kingdom. We attended the side event and asked for a legal definition of the word “Islamophobia”. Puzzled blank stares revealed that they did not have one. One side note, it was interesting that the OSCE painstakingly avoided the use of the word “Islamophobia” at all times.
We found this year’s event to be scaled back significantly. Fewer plenary sessions, fewer worthwhile side events, fewer NGOs in attendance. Even the interpretation was cut to only cover English and Russian, and there was no longer a work room for the NGOs.
Our delegation was also just a core team:
- Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff, Bürgerbewegung Pax Europa
- Henrik Ræder Clausen, Wiener Akademikerbund
- Peter McIlvenna, Hearts of Oak
Of our old time adversaries, many have given up and left the battleground: Turkey was still in full boycott, and with them several Turkish-funded GONGOs (Government Organized “Non-Governmental Organizations”). Open Society groups, which used to flood the conference with talks and glossy brochures, were not there. Even Bashy Quraishy (EMISCO), who used to embarrass himself responding to our interventions, was absent.
So we got down to work, as usual, with speeches and interventions. Our new delegation member, Peter from Hearts of Oak, got a fast-track introduction to how the forum works. and caught on to it very quickly. No wonder: As he has worked for our mutual friend Sam Solomon for fifteen years, we are thinking along the same lines.
Here’s what we brought up in the plenary. Please enjoy, and share:
Henrik Ræder Clausen, Wiener Akademikerbund: Promoting Sharia is not protected by freedom of religion (PDF)
Henrik Ræder Clausen, Wiener Akademikerbund: How to effectively counter anti-Semitism (PDF)
Some of our allies were present, bringing up issues that remain unaddressed, for our busy, overpaid states are not willing to take the political risk to defend minorities’ rights in Turkey, or the right of Muslims to leave their religion. The hypocrisy shown by the divide between the OSCE commitments undertaken by the participating states, and their actual actions, is glaring.
Set My People Free: Muslims still without the right to leave their religion
One official opening remark was very good and principled. If you are with me so far and want to see that an international organization can make useful contributions, please enjoy Dr. Damian Tambini elaborating the importance of real freedom for the media.
Dr. Damian Tambini, Distinguished Policy Fellow in the Department of Media and Communication at the London School of Economics: Opening remarks: The Importance of Genuine Media Freedom
Many of the official introductions to the plenary sessions were more confusing than useful. In particular, a video contribution from “Religions for Peace” was an exercise in neo-Marxist terminology. While “intersectionality” might sound profound, the intervention could be summarized as follows: “I have struggled to understand the religious conflict, and can’t. So please don’t pretend that you do.”
Obviously, our delegation is unfazed by such indoctrination. We have studied our topics for years on end, read our books, and taken lessons from the most competent scholars of Islam, heard the neo-Marxist narrative, and listened to proponents of freedom. Once understood, there’s a certain logic to defending freedom in face of totalitarian trends. It takes a leap of faith to do it and to have confidence that it works.
Victories aside, there is still plenty of work to do. National sovereignty is being challenged by globalist agendas of “non-discrimination”, mandated “tolerance”, and the promotion of minorities’ “right to not be offended”. Also, the repressive events during the COVID crisis need to be addressed. Freedom of assembly and freedom of public debate are fundamental and need to be defended. We will continue to attend these meetings for as long as it is possible and we are able to.
For links to previous articles about the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, see the OSCE™ Archives.