Ein Blog über Religion und Politik

Islamisten an der Macht – und Menschenrechte?

Von 28. Februar 2012 um 18:08 Uhr

Eine wichtige Debatte findet auf den Seiten des New York Review Blogs statt. Einige feministische Organisationen greifen Human Rights Watch für deren letzten Report an, der eine freundlich-offene Haltung zu den demokratischen Machtwechseln in der arabischen Welt empfiehlt – auch wenn dort islamistische Kräfte ans Ruder kommen.

Ich kann hier nicht alle Argumente wiedergeben- aber beide Seiten machen gute Punkte.

Die Kritikerinnen sagen:

In your desire to “constructively engage” with the new governments, you ask states to stop supporting autocrats. But you are not a state; you are the head of an international human rights organization whose role is to report on human rights violations, an honorable and necessary task which your essay largely neglects.

You say, “It is important to nurture the rights-respecting elements of political Islam while standing firm against repression in its name,” but you fail to call for the most basic guarantee of rights—the separation of religion from the state. Salafi mobs have caned women in Tunisian cafes and Egyptian shops; attacked churches in Egypt; taken over whole villages in Tunisia and shut down Manouba University for two months in an effort to exert social pressure on veiling. And while “moderate Islamist” leaders say they will protect the rights of women (if not gays), they have done very little to bring these mobs under control. You, however, are so unconcerned with the rights of women, gays, and religious minorities that you mention them only once, as follows: “Many Islamic parties have indeed embraced disturbing positions that would subjugate the rights of women and restrict religious, personal, and political freedoms. But so have many of the autocratic regimes that the West props up.” Are we really going to set the bar that low? This is the voice of an apologist, not a senior human rights advocate.

Nor do you point to the one of the clearest threats to rights—particularly to women and religious and sexual minorities—the threat to introduce so-called “shari’a law.” It is simply not good enough to say we do not know what kind of Islamic law, if any, will result, when it is already clear that freedom of expression and freedom of religion—not to mention the choice not to veil—are under threat. And while it is true that the Muslim Brotherhood has not been in power for very long, we can get some idea of what to expect by looking at their track record. In the UK, where they were in exile for decades, unfettered by political persecution, the exigencies of government, or the demands of popular pressure, the Muslim Brotherhood systematically promoted gender apartheid and parallel legal systems enshrining the most regressive version of “shari’a law”. Yusef al-Qaradawi, a leading scholar associated with them, publicly maintains that homosexuality should be punished by death. They supported deniers of the Holocaust and the Bangladesh genocide of 1971, and shared platforms with salafi-jihadis, spreading their calls for militant jihad. But, rather than examine the record of Muslim fundamentalists in the West, you keep demanding that Western governments “engage.”

Western governments are engaged already; if support for autocrats was their Plan A, the Muslim Brotherhood has long been their Plan B. The CIA’s involvement with the Muslim Brotherhood goes back to the 1950s and was revived under the Bush administration, while support for both the Muslim Brotherhood and Jamaat e Islaami has been crucial to the “soft counter-terror” strategy of the British state. Have you heard the phrases “non-violent extremism” or “moderate Islamism?” This language is deployed to sanitize movements that may have substituted elections for bombs as a way of achieving power but still remain committed to systematic discrimination.

Dagegen halt Human Rights Watch, dass die Trennung von Religion und Staat nun wohl kaum ein Grundrecht sein kann (so sehr man sie für politisch wünschenswert halten möge): siehe viele Beispiele aus der westlichen Welt, in denen Staatskirchen existieren. Das ist aber ein Nebenschauplatz, denn es geht ja wohl eigentlich um Religionsfreiheit als Grundrecht, inklusive der negativen Religionsfreiheit (also Freiheit zu Agnostizismus, Areligiosität und zum Atheismus). Über die muss man sich nun wahrlich sorgen machen, vor allem in Ägypten, wo die Kopten unter Druck stehen.

HRW schlägt vor, dass die Wahlergebnisse zu akzeptieren seien, auch da, wo sie Islamisten an die Macht bringen – dass jedoch der Kampf für individuelle und universelle Rechte davon unbenommen fortgehen müsse:

As rights activists, we are acutely aware of the possible tension between the right to choose one’s leaders and the rights of potentially disfavored groups such as women, gays and lesbians, and religious minorities. Anyone familiar with the history of Iran or Afghanistan knows the serious risks involved. However, in the two Arab Spring nations that have had free and fair elections so far, a solid majority voted for socially conservative political parties in Egypt, and a solid plurality did so in Tunisia. The sole democratic option is to accept the results of those elections and to press the governments that emerge to respect the rights of all rather than to ostracize these governments from the outset. As Roth wrote:

Wherever Islam-inspired governments emerge, the international community should focus on encouraging, and if need be pressuring, them to respect basic rights—just as the Christian-labeled parties and governments of Europe are expected to do. Embracing political Islam need not mean rejecting human rights, as illustrated by the wide gulf between the restrictive views of some Salafists and the more progressive interpretation of Islam that leaders such as Rashid Ghannouchi, head of Tunisia’s Nahdha Party, espouse. It is important to nurture the rights-respecting elements of political Islam while standing firm against repression in its name. So long as freely elected governments respect basic rights, they merit presumptive international support, regardless of their political or religious complexion.

The signatories of the above letter disagree. In their view, Islamic political parties that come to power “remain committed to systematic discrimination.” We, too, are deeply concerned about that possibility and have been spending a great deal of time monitoring the conduct of Islamic parties, pressing them to respect all rights, and condemning any conduct that falls short. Human Rights Watch has a long history of standing up to governments founded on political Islam that discriminate against women, gays and lesbians, and religious minorities. But we would not reject the possibility that a government guided by political Islam might be convinced to avoid such discrimination.

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    • 14. März 2012 um 15:33 Uhr
    • marriex
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