At the recent Universal Periodic Review (UPR) session held in Geneva on 24th October 2013, it was clear that many Western countries were pressuring Malaysia to sign and ratify certain international human rights treaties; including the ones that allow for unbridled freedom of religion (such as Article 18 of ICCPR on freedom of religion). There were also calls from at least 5 countries for Malaysia to abolish her anti-sodomy laws (section 377A of the Penal Code and the various Shariah enactments); this eventually for allowing same-sex marriage. Indeed, Western countries are willing to go to the extent of overriding the sovereignty of nations in propagating ‘universal standards’ of human rights achievements.
This article has been published earlier here.
Malaysia and neighboring countries are under a lot of pressure to offer legal and public recognition to the LGBTs, and will be under even more pressure at the United Nations in 2013, where Malaysia will be subjected to a review of her human rights commitments under the Universal Periodic Review by the UN Human Rights Council.
I have written the following piece to “end run” the issue. It’s a point that is seldom made, whether or not homosexuality is “pathological” (which most doctors still believe it is).
In order to build an impact on the secular forces sure to be articulate in the coming 2013 Periodic Review of human rights situations in Malaysia and the other countries selected for participation in this particular session, we must be clear enough within ourselves what the secular agenda really is, and we must design a suitable strategy for countering and enlightening this agenda to allow an uncorrupted adherence to our values within the community of nations however we find it at this moment in human history. The world as it is, is not unlike the Ummah in Madinah itself at the time of the Prophet (s.a.w.), in which many religions and customs were represented and powerfully participant in the life of the Madinah community. Continue reading
The United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC) has instituted a procedure to monitor and assist the establishment of its global Human Rights Agenda among member states. It is known as the Universal Periodic Review (UPR), established by the UN General Assembly in 2006 as a process through which the human rights records of the United Nations’ 192 Member States could be reviewed and assessed. This review, conducted through the UN Human Rights Council, is based upon human rights obligations and commitments expressed in the UN Charter, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, human rights instruments to which the State is party.
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. Continue reading