November 30, 2010
Sharia and Obama's Foreign PolicyBy Wendy Wright
A Christian woman who gave water to Muslim fieldworkers was accused by the women of blaspheming Muhammed. The women refused the water, claiming it was unclean because a Christian carried it. Asia Bibi, a mother of five, merely explained her faith. For that, she has been in prison for over fifteen months and has been sentenced to be hanged, according to The Telegraph.
Ashiq Masih, her husband, said, "I haven't told two of my younger daughters about the court's decision. ... They asked me many times about their mother, but I can't get the courage to tell them that the judge has sentenced their mother to capital punishment for a crime she never committed."
Pakistan outlaws blasphemy against Islam. It is punishable by death. Religious minorities are targeted for accusations, and while most are acquitted, they are oftentimes killed by mobs.
Last week, the U.N. again voted for a resolution against "defamation of religions" or "vilification of religions" as a violation of human rights. It's been called a global anti-blasphemy law, and it changes the concept of human rights from protecting people from persecution to condemning criticism of (a particular) religion. This nonbinding resolution, altered slightly this year, has passed every year since 2005 against the objection of the U.S. While Christianity formed the basis of the Western world's embrace of freedom of speech, religion, and conscience, this resolution would legitimize the Islamic prohibition against non-Muslim beliefs.
In Iran, a Muslim widow accused of adultery is sentenced to be stoned to death. When international activists and government leaders condemned the sentence and questioned the legitimacy of the Islamic-based trial, Iran released a supposed confession from the woman.
Sakineh Ashtiani drew international attention when her son alerted the outside world to her plight. The son and Sakineh's lawyer have since been arrested, and two German men who sought to interview her son have been detained in Iran.
The Washington Times reports that Iranian state television broadcast an interview of Sakineh saying, "I am a sinner." Her face was blurred, and her words, spoken in a regional language, were translated into Farsi. Statements purportedly from her son, lawyer, and the German journalists were also broadcast.
In the tape, Sakineh's son retracted his previous statements that Sakineh was tortured and criticized Sakineh's lawyers, one of whom has fled the country and received asylum in Europe for publicizing the case. The journalists accused a female activist in Europe of hiring them, and one said he would file a complaint against her.
Sanctions against Iran for its nuclear ambitions are taking a toll, and Iran initially appeared to relent from the harsh stoning sentence as international moral criticism mounted on top of the economic punishment. But this latest round of arrests and public "confessions" shows Tehran ratcheting up the tension between itself and Western countries.
Ironically, the "confessions" came the same week that the U.S. Senate held hearings on the ineffective U.N. women's treaty called CEDAW (Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women). Radical feminists and the Obama administration are pressuring the Senate to ratify CEDAW, calling it a priority in order for the U.S. to gain credibility in the international world on women's rights.
Melanie Verveer, Obama's ambassador on global women's issues, and other supporters stated that errant countries which have adopted CEDAW (like Iran) would be more likely to follow the treaty if the U.S. ratified it.
Concerned Women for America submitted testimony to the Senate pointing out that nations which are the worst abusers of women are also anti-American. They are not likely to change their ways because the U.S. adopts a treaty. And if the U.S. ratifies CEDAW, we would be subject to the U.N. committee that oversees its implementation. Representatives from countries that adopt CEDAW -- like Iran -- can sit on the committee.
To get an idea of how the CEDAW Committee has already operated, it has criticized countries for allowing Christian beliefs to influence policy and cultures. Christianity, the essential foundation for freedom of belief, speech, and religion, is frowned upon by both radical feminists and Islamists.
The Obama administration has great admiration for international law and believes that subjecting the U.S. to other countries' opinions will make us moral and accountable. Yet it seems unaware that its attempt to place America under the authority of international opinion and "law" jeopardizes our Christian-based liberties and freedom from Shariah-inspired tyranny.
In a recent article, "Stonings and Nuclear Weapons," I wrote, "If we want to see what America's enemies -- Islamist radicals -- have in store for us if we don't stop them, look at Sakineh. Would we want shariah law allowed, in any form, in America?"
We can add Asia Bibi and the thousands, if not millions, of Christians and women who have suffered at the hands of Islamic radicals. President Obama and Secretary Clinton should think twice about subjecting America to international law and bodies where the U.S. is easily outvoted or unrepresented.
Wendy Wright is president of Concerned Women for America, the nation's largest public policy women's organization.