Archive for the ‘United Nations’ Category
POLITICO: Susan Rice, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, will argue in a major address Friday evening that the nation should “strengthen” — not “starve” — the world body.
The address is the first in a series of speeches — to continue this spring — making the case to the American people for why the U.N. matters to national security, and detailing how it is being improved. The ambassador will be speaking to the World Affairs Council of Oregon in Portland.
ERIC RASSACH AND ASHLEY SAMUELSON MCGUIRE-WALL STREET JOURNAL: On Jan. 4, Salman Taseer, the governor of Pakistan’s largest province, met a friend for lunch in Islamabad. On his way from the cafe to the car that afternoon, he was shot 26 times with a submachine gun.
Taseer, a Muslim, was assassinated by one of his own bodyguards because of his vocal opposition to prosecuting Asia Bibi, a Christian woman, under Pakistan’s blasphemy law. In a case that has transfixed Pakistani society, Ms. Bibi was sentenced to death last November for insulting Islam.
Because he was governor of Punjab, Taseer was pressured to mute his criticism. As he stated on Twitter days before he was killed: “I was under huge pressure sure 2 cow down b4 rightest pressure on blasphemy. Refused. Even if I’m the last man standing.”
The assassin, Islamic fundamentalist Mumtaz Qadri, is responsible for Taseer’s death. But the United Nations is implicated too. How? It has repeatedly endorsed blasphemy laws like Pakistan’s, in the name of defending religion.
The U.N. got into the business of supporting blasphemy laws more than 10 years ago. Since 1999, the U.N. General Assembly has passed a resolution every year that asks countries to take measures to prevent criticism of religion. The countries that sponsor the resolutions—including Pakistan—have always done so on behalf of the 47-member Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), which votes as a bloc.