Wer sagt, dass die UN nichts taugen? Zum Gedenken an 60 Jahre Erklärung der Menschenrechte fand in Genf ein Forum statt, an dem auch Wole Soyinka aus Nigeria und Shirin Ebadi aus Iran teilnahmen. Der Schriftsteller und die Anwältin sind beide Nobelpreisträger (er 1986 für Literatur, sie bekam 2003 den Friedensnobelpreis). Und beide nahmen kein Blatt vor den Mund über den Status der Menschenrechte in islamischen Ländern:
Nobel laureates from Iran and Nigeria used a United Nations forum on Wednesday to condemn hardliners in power in some Muslim countries, and rulers of the world’s last communist states, as gross abusers of human rights.
The two, Iranian lawyer Shirin Ebadi and Nigerian writer Wole Soyinka, also insisted that human rights as set out in the 1948 U.N. Declaration, were universal and could not be limited on the basis of culture or religion.
„Some people believe that the Declaration’s principles are based on Western standards and are not compatible with national or religious culture. Most non-democratic Islamic governments use this reasoning,“ declared Ebadi.
In the Muslim world today, said Soyinka, „the fanatical, absolutist truth enforcers of our time“ were responsible for bloodshed among different Islamic groups and suppression of ideas not in line with their own.
Ebadi and Soyinka also criticised the United States‘ reaction to the September 2001 attacks in New York and Washington, saying the Bush administration had used them to violate rights by invoking national security.
But — to a degree that surprised many diplomats and rights activists used to more cautious and bland speeches from U.N. platforms — they each focused separately on Islamic countries and on practices in some Muslim communities elsewhere.
„I was flabbergasted. I never expected to hear such forthright talk here,“ said one representative of a non- governmental organisation who has been active at the U.N. in Geneva for 30 years.
Soyinka, Nobel Literature laureate in 1986, said the „cultural relativism“ many argue has become dominant in the U.N. meant that non-Muslims „are asked to accept such barbarities as honour killings as justified by tradition.“
This stance — which critics say many governments in the West are adopting to avoid upsetting vocal religious and especially Muslim minorities — is evoked „to undermine or dismiss the universal nature of human rights,“ he said.
Ebadi, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2003 for promoting the rights of women and children in Iran and is at odds with its government, said Muslim dictatorships used religion to underpin their own power.
The views of „enlightened Muslims“ were dismissed, and any criticism of human rights violations and oppression of the people „is treated as criticism of religion itself and human rights defenders are accused of heresy,“ she said.
„They say: ‚Our culture does not permit the exercise of dissent, or of other views — end of discussion,“ said Soyinka. „‚Our culture, they tell the world, is different and our traditions sacrosanct‘.“
Und darum müssen wir solche mutigen Menschen unterstützen, die ihr Leben riskieren um universale Werte zu verteidigen.
Ein Reuters-Bericht hier.
(Dank an Freespeech)