On 14 February 2012, H.E. Ms. Laura Dupuy Lasserre, President of the Human Rights Council in Geneva, received a short communication from the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) Group on Human Rights and Humanitarian Issues, attempting to explain the OIC’s unanimous opposition to proposed amendments to the UN Universal Declaration of Human rights and the countries’ reservation on the subsequent Panel on “Discrimination and Violence based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity” which was to be held on 7th of March 2012 during the 19th session of the Human Rights Council. A number of widespread misunderstandings of Islam and its principles were mentioned in responses to this letter as amended to the Website.
The letter opens by reminding the Council that the international community has only recognized those rights enumerated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which have been codified and ratified in subsequent international legal instruments. Therefore, the addition of Lesbians, Gays, Bisexual and Transsexuals, (LGBTs) rights-related issues constitutes an attempt to introduce into the ideology of the United Nations concepts that have no legal foundation in any existing international human rights instruments.
The letter also highlights OIC Group’s concern on attempts to introduce new notions and standards by misinterpreting the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and various international treaties as if they included such notions. Many of these notions were never articulated or agreed to by the UN membership. It is stated in the letter that these attempts may undermine the intent of the drafters and signatories to these already existing human rights instruments, or seriously jeopardize and destabilize the entire international human rights framework.
The OIC Group is even more disturbed with the attempt to focus on certain persons of marginal or pathological sexual behavior, while not focusing on the glaring instances of intolerance and discrimination in various parts of the world on the basis of color, race, tribal affiliation, education, or religion, to mention only a few.
At the World Conference on Human Rights held in Vienna in 1993, it was explicitly agreed that whenever considering the issue of human rights, national and regional particularities, including various historical, cultural and religious backgrounds, must be borne in mind. From this perspective, the issue of sexual orientation in actual practice is certainly unacceptable as a stable or universal issue in the various cultures or religions of the world, including among Muslims. In the case of Malaysia, issues of this nature would undermine the special position accorded to Islam as the religion of the Federation, along with the assurance that other religions can be practiced in peace and harmony, as cited by Article 3 of the Federal Constitution.
In summary, the OIC Member States are concerned that the Human Rights Council will adjudicate issues that relate to personal behavior and preferences, having no relation with fundamental human rights. Such a debate would obscure and endanger the focus of the real issues that deserve the attention of the Council.
Knowing full well the many incompatibilities between secular, Islamic, and other religious value systems, the OIC Group has cleverly chosen an argument that they hope even the so called non-religious people can understand. They have pointed out that consensus cannot be reached among cultures on many of these behaviors, so that introducing them into any so-called “universal” declarations can only increase the conflict and argument among different peoples. This is what they term the danger of a breakdown in the international human rights agenda arising from the planned Panel on “Discrimination and Violence based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity” during the 19th session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva.
On the other hand, it is interesting to note that the metaphysics of the secular position, that is to say, the unspoken ideology behind them, also recognizes these difficulties, hence their unwillingness to involve or endorse religious concepts at any point within their arguments. However, their reference to dubious genetic or behavioral absolutes cannot be accepted either, as they are manifestly contradictory or subjective within themselves.
Proofs are claimed that do not exist, however difficult Sigmund Freud and his followers to this day have found the homosexuals to treat and correct. The Freudian contribution to the debate is that whichever sexual style is first adopted during adolescence, homo or hetero, tends to become the dominant lifetime habit, much as smoking cigarettes. This is why Muslims so seriously reject the secularist arguments, especially from such as the French government that Muslim dress codes should not be permitted until after the age of eighteen. It is precisely before this age that they are needed most.
Other than the lack of scientific consensus, it is equally true that universal agreement, what earlier philosophers such as Aldous Huxley called “The Perennial Philosophy”, does not and cannot exist between religions that have been revealed by the Almighty in a carefully planned sequence and style-management suiting different times in history and human intellectual maturation.
Therefore, the secular campaign is doomed to failure unless it restricts itself to those issues as pointed out by the OIC Group, the need for a foundation of limited consistency that can be supported by existing and proposed documents and agreements such as the UN Declaration and its various international offshoots so far, such as the Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam. The extent to which deep understanding between differing religions, and especially Eastern and Western cultures, or we may say, monotheistic and polytheistic religions, is clearly indicated in the public responses to the OIC Group letter, as we will examine now.
Among public responses to these considerations, we find the following:
“You are yet another small group of extremist fundamentalists. I think you are very sad and quite insane.”
Such a comment is known as an ad hominem attack on a group’s character rather than an intelligent and respectful response to the issues being raised, and is universally banned from civilized councils of debate and discourse.
“The only reason why you don’t want to believe in this form of equality is because you actually want the right to harm others who believe differently.”
This comment is pure libel against the character and values of billions of Muslims trying to live good, peaceful lives, raising their families and pursuing human knowledge, like everyone else.
“When everyone thinks that other beings in the world are similar to themselves, there will be no war or discrimination or hatred. The only way to achieve this is by love. Only by love.”
Muslims have a better edge over this argument, since their entrance into Paradise after the Day of Judgment is measured by the responsibility they have shouldered and attempted to fulfill, even if they fail, rather than by those superficial, volatile and violent feelings of ‘love’ as portrayed by the secular west in their hearts or minds which are the primary obsessions and money-earners of most of the public entertainment media.
“Homosexuals do not choose their sexuality, it is how nature made them, and so to murder, persecute or discriminate against homosexuals is totally unjust. (If you disagree with this statement, educate yourself in basic biology — homosexuality is found throughout the animal kingdom!)”
I beg to differ with the above assertion. Homosexuality is NOT found “throughout” the animal kingdom. The medical truth is not by any means established in this matter, or in any case, its control and rejection must be considered part and parcel of that which distinguishes human beings from their animal environment by conscious intent and personal struggle.
Those who fail to maintain the gender polarity of human life may be said to betray their innermost natures as human beings, especially since no procreation can follow from their surrender to hormonal weakness. Having children through the proper institution of marriage is the ONLY way individuals can get a glimpse of both where we have come from and where we are going, both before and after this earthly life. This is also one of the primary messages of Islam, which does not condone intentional celibacy for any purpose.
Traitors to a people are generally punished in some way, and that is why it has been argued that LGBT relationships are universally regarded as against the pristine religious values, proper personal conduct and civilized human interaction. Our young generation especially must be brought to a full realization of their humanity, rather than their commonality with the animal kingdom. There is no credible reason recognized by this sample of Internet respondents that it should suddenly be any different after all the generations of human history.
“Shame on everyone who promotes or condones Islamic doctrine!”
What greater ignorance, blasphemy, or prejudice could possibly be imagined than this statement?! Who is promoting “Peace on Earth” here? As the Qur’an clearly states, those whom Allah the Almighty wishes to lead astray will remain astray, their hearts will remain as stones, and they will never understand. There may be little use in wasting time on them.
It is a fundamental act of faith that a proper understanding and practice of Islam is the only source of resolution of these issues between the hard-of-heart and the willing Believers. And even then, Al Qur’an states often that only after the Day of Judgment will we, and the secularists, really know what we have been doing. May Allah prepare us adequately for this Day, this Day of Judgment, before which we stand in fear, trembling, and love before the Majesty of Our Creator.